Again, I am not a prophet nor am I making a prophecy. I am only asking the question considering proposed policies of the United States government.
Syria has never been a threat to the United States. It has been a means of getting back at Iran. The whole Syrian conflict has been a cover to destroy Iran’s political power in the region.
For over thirty years the Islamic Republic of Iran has been an enemy of the US government. Iran has been the thorn in the side of US policies in the Middle East. Americans have been led to believe that Iran is the greatest threat to American security. The facts are Iran has never been an actual threat to the United States. It has no desire to make the US territory, has never conducted a terrorist operation aimed at the American homeland, and if they were to gain nuclear weapons, they have no delivery system to threaten the US. The economy of Iran is weak, and they will never become a challenger to the US.
So, why is the US government so involved in the Middle East? The danger from Syria and Iran has never been towards the US but towards Israel. For years there has been a consensus in Israel that Iran cannot be allowed to acquire nuclear weapons. From left to right across the political spectrum, a great many Israelis see a threat to their very survival from a nuclear Iran. Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said, “Israel will not tolerate a nuclear weapon in the hands of people who say openly, explicitly and publicly that they want to wipe Israel off the map.” In his first speech to the Knesset after being sworn in as prime minister, Binyamin (“Bibi”) Netanyahu said, “We cannot afford to take lightly megalomaniac tyrants who threaten to annihilate us.” Other Israeli leaders fear that Israel’s strategic room for maneuver in the region would be constrained by an Iranian nuclear deterrent. The success of Iranian-backed terrorist groups, Hizballah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza and the West Bank, in the last few years has only added to Israel’s concern.
The Israeli leadership is concerned that if Iran gains nuclear weapons, they will attack Israel and the international community will do nothing. Israel, however, is not sitting back waiting for the first strike from Iran. They have been planning for a military operation to prevent Iran from ever gaining nuclear weapons. It should be noted that Israel has the nuclear weapons needed to stop Iran in its tracks and will no doubt use that option if they feel it is required. So, there is a considerable reason to believe that under the right (or wrong) set of circumstances, Israel would launch an attack—principally airstrikes, but possibly backed by special forces operations—to destroy Iran’s nuclear program. This could create either an opportunity for or a threat to American interests about Iran and the broader Middle East. It could constitute a chance, and thus a possible policy option if the United States would like to see Iran’s nuclear program destroyed but prefers not to do it. It could be a threat if the United States believes that an Israeli attack would destabilize the region and would not advance (or would harm) American interests concerning Iran.
For years I have heard Zionist Christians who have expressed the hope that Israel would strike Iran— that Jerusalem would have the “guts” to do what Washington does not. Other Americans regard the prospect with horror, believing that an Israeli attack would bring about Armageddon.
Since the US government would like to appear to have clean hands encouraging or even assisting Israel in conducting the strike would deflect away from the US international criticism and place it on Israel. With the increase in anti-Semitism around the world, Israel would be blamed and condemned by the world.
By pulling out of Syria and bringing our troops home from the Middle-East the US government is opening the door for both Israel and Turkey to get involved in Syria and Iran. Turkey is ready to move on Syria, along with Israel.
Syria is the first step to an air strike on Iran. Israel would not need to secure regional support for such an operation. They could move very fast to implement an attack. There are, however, some problems if this happens.
Israel cannot avoid flying through someone’s airspace. The most direct route from Israel to Iran’s Natanz facility is roughly 1,750 kilometers across Jordan and Iraq. As the occupying power in Iraq, the United States is responsible for defending Iraqi airspace. The alternatives via Turkish airspace (over 2,200 kilometers) or Saudi airspace (over 2,400 kilometers) would also put the attack force into the skies of US. Allies equipped with American-supplied air defenses and fighter aircraft. In the case of turkey, an Israeli overflight would be further complicated by the fact that Turkey is a NATO ally that the United States has a commitment to defend, and it hosts a large, joint Turkish-American airbase along the most likely route of attack.
For political and military reasons, Israel’s need to overfly Turkish, Iraqi-Jordanian, or Saudi airspace creates two problems. First, an Israeli strike must achieve surprise so that Israeli planes are not intercepted by the air defenses and fighters of those countries. Second, in part based on reason number one, the Israelis would get basically one shot at Iran. On the first pass, they likely would surprise any of those countries and be able to reach Iran and return before the Turks, Saudis, or Jordanians could activate their air defenses; but a second wave would meet alerted air defenses, creating military and political problems that Israel would likely find insurmountable. An initial Israeli attack across Iraqi territory would severely complicate the US military presence there; a repeat performance would likely compromise it all together. So, after the first round of strikes, Israel would have nothing but its small fleet of ballistic missiles and submarine-launched cruise missiles for follow-on attacks, and because the ballistic missiles are such valuable assets, Jerusalem would not likely squander them on anything but the highest value Iranian targets.
If for whatever reason Israel carries out missions against Syria and Iran will they then face Turkey who will no doubt have gained control over a large portion of Syria? Turkey is no friend of Israel and with Syria and Iran weakened will Turkey become the uniting force to bring about the desired Islamic Caliphate that will unite the Muslim countries against Israel?
These are just a few thoughts that should be considered about what is taking place in the Middle-East today. I do support President Trump in getting out of the Middle-East. Regardless of what Turkey and Israel do or the outcome of their actions, we are moving closer to the final judgment God will bring on the wicked. It is important that as Christians we warn others to be prepared for the coming of the LORD as we see the day approaching.