In Attacking Syria, Israel Bets on No Retaliation

Confident They'll Get Away With It, But What Do They Hope to Gain?

Syrian officials were quick to condemn this weekend’s Israeli attacks as an act of war, something which perhaps would’ve been much more meaningful if the nations weren’t already in a state of de facto war for decades, but there has been no retaliation.

And indeed, Israeli officials are betting that’s going to stay the case. Officials familiar with a special cabinet meeting today say that the assumption is that Syria won’t, an since they’re in the middle of a civil war realistically can’t, launch any serious retaliation.

The attacks have centered on putative missiles that might conceivably end up with Hamas, even though they are a type of missile Hezbollah reportedly already has in their arsenal. Syria says they are considering their options, and Israeli analysts see it as a risky venture, one which doesn’t seem to gain them much.

Israel has plenty of reason to want Assad gone, and may want to move against Assad simply to cost Iran an ally, but with al-Qaeda taking such a leading role in the ongoing Syrian rebellion it surely risks creating a major new problem on their northern border.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.