A fall war in Iran was clearly Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s first choice. But it turns out the November war on the Gaza Strip may not have even been the second choice, as Israel is said to have repeatedly approached Jordan about the possibility of attacking Syria.
Israel and Jordan’s government cooperate closely on regional military operations, and despite Israeli comments that they can unilaterally attack Syria whenever they want, they reportedly kept pressing Jordan for an official imprimatur over the past two months.
“You know the Israelis,” noted one official, “sometimes they want to bomb right away.” Jordan however, rejected the plan, fearing that they would be accused of complicity, especially since US troops are deployed in Jordan along the Syrian border right now.
Defense Minister Ehud Barak ordered the Israeli military to prepare for an invasion of Syria back in July, but officials have since downplayed that prospect. With Israel’s election just over a month away, it is hard to fathom them starting yet another war, but as Netanyahu looks to burnish his hawkish reputation, it seems the idea is not being ruled out.