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The Syrian War Escalates

Updated on February 18, 2013

The two year war in Syria has taken an unexpected turn. The Iranian proxy, Hezbollah, has sent 1000 armed men into Homs, Syria, to defend the Shiite villages and towns in that area. This relieves Assad's forces to move into Damascus to strengthen their defenses. However, the leading opposition group, al-Nusra, that is associated with al-Qaeda, is now also obtaining heavy anti-tank missiles from Kosovo, mostly Kornet and Fagot anti-tank missiles. These new weapons are not via Western channels but are bought and smuggled into Syria.

The other development is that al-Nusra, flushed with several strategic wins in Syria, has now entered Lebanon in small groups attacking the Iranian supported Hezbollah army in the Beqaa Valley. Most of the attacks in the past 10 days have been hit and runs but obviously there is widening of war. It may become more of a war between Sunnis and Shiites very soon. The ploy to send Hezbollah into Syria is Iranian approved and their way to help Assad stay in power. It is also a way for Iran to be more involved.

This could become a war between two known terrorist groups-Hezbollah and al-Nusra, which would make Syria even more complex to resolve in a peaceful manner. Now, add to the mix, Israel, and the tinderbox may just explode.

But, the danger to the whole equation is if Israel conducts more airstrikes. If Hezbollah or al-Nusra are attacked, this could actually unite them in a common enemy-Israel. Hezbollah could start their own revenge by firing rockets into Israel broadening the war. Meanwhile, the war in Damascus carries on with Assad's finger on the the chemical weapon button.


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