BEIRUT, Lebanon — Israel on Monday appeared to have escalated its shadow war in Syria against Iran, with a predawn airstrike against a military base that coordinates Iranian-backed militias, killing four Iranian military advisers.
The dead included a colonel who served as a senior officer in Iran’s drone program, according to Iranian news reports.
The attack on the Syrian air base near the desert town of Palmyra in central Syria drew new attention to a conflict between Iran and Israel that has been steadily increasing in intensity while mostly hidden in the shadows of Syria’s civil war.
A barrage of missiles struck an airbase in the Homs province on Monday morning. The airstrikes came just days after a suspected chemical attack on a rebel-held town in eastern Ghouta killed dozens of men, women and children, and prompted international condemnation.
The T4 military base was hit with “several missiles” early Monday morning, SANA, Syria’s state-run media network, reported. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a war monitoring group, said 14 people were killed in the attack.
A tectonic shift is taking place in Middle East politics. We may be on the verge of seeing a historic normalization of relations between Israel and several major Arab states. And it is all thanks to Iran.
On March 13, representatives from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman and the United Arab Emirates, among other countries, gathered at the White House for a one-day meeting on the growing humanitarian crisis in Gaza. The conference was convened by Trump administration senior adviser on Middle East peace Jared Kushner. And what was most noteworthy was that an Israeli delegation also attended, marking the first ever publicly acknowledged diplomatic meeting involving these countries and the Jewish state.
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, in an interview published Monday, recognized Israel’s right to exist and extolled the prospect of future diplomatic relations between his kingdom and the Jewish state.
In an extensive interview with The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg, Prince Mohammed laid out his vision for the future of the Middle East, including the possibility of cooperation with Israel.
What if I were to pay $3 million dollars to have your father shot in the head? That’s the question I asked Michael Lynk, the United Nations’ so-called “special rapporteur” on Israel, this past week when he presented a report to the U.N. Human Rights Council, a hostile anti-Israel and anti-Jewish body. It was an uncomfortable question, but not as uncomfortable as the circumstances that brought me to ask it.
My father, Richard Lakin, was murdered in 2015 by Palestinians at age 76. He was riding a public bus home from a doctor’s appointment in Jerusalem when two terrorists boarded and began shooting and stabbing the passengers. They shot my father in the head and butchered him with a knife after he fell to the ground. He succumbed to his wounds two weeks later.
Op-ed: The automatic majority against Israel in the United Nations Human Rights Council is not going to change. But last Friday, the number of opposing and abstaining states was higher than in previous votes, which is why Israel shouldn’t rush to quit the council just yet.
Five anti-Israel resolutions have created once again, and rightfully so, a feeling that “the entire world is against us.” But a meticulous examination of the distribution of the votes actually points to a small positive change.