Panorama of Week: Israel targeting of Iran in Syria mounts, Qatar has not changed

The past week witnessed the most violent Israeli raids on the Iranian forces in eastern Syria, which an Israeli official commented as a higher stage of striking the Iranian positions, while reports talked about the possibility of a war between Israel and Iran, while Qatar’s actions do not indicate that it will change its position on the relationship with Turkey and Iran.

During the past week, Arab newspapers reported on the Israeli raids on the pro-Iranian forces in Syria and the tension between the two parties, in addition to the results of the Gulf reconciliation.

'Israel begins a higher phase in striking the Iranian positions in eastern Syria'

The beginning is with the Syrian issue, and in this context, Al-Sharq Al-Awsat newspaper said: “Israeli raids on weapons stores and military sites in eastern Syria, (Wednesday), resulted in at least 57 deaths among the regime forces and pro-Iran groups, in the highest toll since the start of the Israeli strikes in Syria. "

This came at a time general Al Amous Yadlin, a former leader in the Israeli Air Force, revealed that these raids that targeted the border area with Iraq is considered " a higher stage of targeting the Iranian positioning", and it indicates that the raids send messages to the US president-elect, Joe Biden, the Syria's Assad and Tehran.

For months, Israel has been intensively targeting the Iranian military sites and others of loyal groups in several areas of Syria, timed with its confirmation of continuing " targeting the Iranian position in Syria

Yadlin, who is known for his participation in the Israeli raids on the Iraqi nuclear reactor in 1991 and heads the National Security Research Institute in Tel Aviv today, maintains close ties with the leaders of the Israeli security apparatus, especially the Air Force, said that the recent Israeli- attributed strikes were a higher level of striking the Iranian position in Syria; Because it targeted a remote area in the Syrian depth and hit ten specific targets.

"No US-Iranian war ... What about an Israeli-Lebanese-Syrian war?"

In turn, the Lebanese newspaper Al-Nahar said: “The Lebanese are afraid of a massive Israeli aggression against Lebanon and Syria, directed against the accurate and inaccurate Hezbollah missiles, which are in the tens of thousands in the first areas and its factories if they were started to be manufactured in certain areas of it, and it also aims to move from the daily bombing of warehouses of Iranian and other weapons affiliated with the "party" in the second, and the military groupings of Islamic Iran and its Lebanese ally, with the aim of forcing it to leave southern Syria, which borders Israel.

Finally, their fear increased after the Lebanese airspace became a route for the Israeli warplanes to target its enemies in Syria, and after it finally turned into an arena for continuous flight at low altitude, and began to carry out mock raids that may be aimed at causing terror among civilians in Lebanon, and at the same time, perhaps due to preparing an atmosphere to strike it militarily, the aforementioned fear mixes with two contradictory Lebanese feelings.

The first is the desire of some Lebanese to get rid of the control of "Hezbollah" and perhaps its incubating environment. This is something that, in their view, only Israel can do, and the second is the fear of the devastation that must be inflicted on all of Lebanon and its people, making the collapse of the state therein final, and the return of the "party" to rise in the ranks of its environment despite its heavy losses and restore its strength and control over the country as it happened after the July 2006 war.

According to the newspaper, the important political parties themselves believe that Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu has no interest in waging an out-all war on Lebanon and Syria, especially at this stage.

Knowingly, those think it likely, based on the need of the latter to a victory to be able to win the general elections after months of the recent dissolution of the Kennest. As the daily protests in its headquarter vicinity, demanding his resignation, continue, though not massive and the judiciary hasn’t closed his serious files and continues to chase him down.

However, the political parties themselves suggest that Netanyahu will not resort to war to secure his victory, because his popular assets are "high" as it is said, and the Right-Wing, which today represents the majority of the people of Israel, calls him "the King of Israel", after his distinguished relationship with Trump in making the achievements that were impossible to achieve. The lesser this speed is: officially recognizing Israel's annexation of East Jerusalem, making it with the West as its capital, transferring the US embassy to it, sponsoring the "Deal of the Century" that recognizes to Israel its control over and expansion of West Bank settlements, and its right to control the Jordan Valley for security reasons, and recognition that the Syrian Golan is an Israeli land, and by opening the path to normalizing Israel's relations with its Arab enemies.

'Qatar's ambitions extend to a broader Gulf reconciliation that includes Iran'

Regarding the Gulf issue, Al-Arab newspaper said: “Qatari positions, official or leaked by figures who are not currently directly in government, such as the former Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim Al Thani, that Doha does not only intend not to change its positions on Iran, after the reconciliation between Qatar and Saudi Arabia, the Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain. It also seeks to ensure that the benefits of that reconciliation include its regional “ally” Tehran.

A call by Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim, to open an Iranian-Gulf dialogue, hold the features of a Qatari ambition for a broader reconciliation that goes beyond the Arab circle, to include Iran, which the Saudi Arabia-led Gulf states, rejected their many previous calls, as they are formal calls that do not include any references to changing Iranian policies that threaten the stability of the region and the security of its countries.

This call went beyond the mere personal position of a sheikh from the ruling family who was no longer directly participating in the ruling process, when an official in the Qatari government blessed it.

Sheikh Hamad called for opening a dialogue between the Gulf states and Iran and not betting on the tension between Tehran and Washington.

Following the Gulf summit last week in the city of Al-Ula in northwestern Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the four countries signed a declaration of reconciliation that included the resumption of relations and the reopening of borders and airspace, as a start to a process through which confidence would be built later and the controversial files between Qatar and militant organizations were discussed, in addition to its relations with both Turkey and Iran and providing them with a foothold in the Gulf.

And in anticipation of the opening of the latest file, Doha was keen to ensure that no changes were made to those relations that particularly disturb Saudi Arabia.

"The Gulf reconciliation will not affect Doha's relationship with Tehran and Ankara," the Qatari Foreign Minister, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdul Rahman Al Thani, told the Financial Times, stressing that Qatar's bilateral relations with other countries "result from sovereign decisions and national interest."

'Hariri in Turkey: Business, not Politics'

Regarding Saad Hariri’s visit to Turkey, the Lebanese Al-Akhbar newspaper said: “How can President Saad Hariri bring France, the UAE and Turkey together? Given the relationship between the three countries, the “mission" seems complicated, but the answer may be easier than some believe if the reason for the visit is Istanbul ... "Very personal"!

The newspaper added, "The surprise visit of President-designate Saad Hariri to Turkey, the day after the holidays, indicated that it had political dimensions, especially since it came after two visits to the Emirates and France, which were between them and the (Sublime Port) what made the blacksmith, as the resonance of the hostility between Istanbul and Abu Dhabi reverberates across the Gulf and the Horn of Africa and Libyan land.

And between Istanbul and Paris there is a dispute over gas in the Mediterranean, a conflict in Libya and Karabakh, and a curse on (the anti-Islam agenda of French President Emmanuel Macron) according to what Ankara accuses, in return for all of this, Hariri’s relationship with Macron, Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Mohammed bin Zayed ranged from cold to bad ... What role can Hariri, who has been unable to form a government for months, play at the table of "elders


Hariri's concealment about the visit and his meeting with Erdogan, even with the closest associates, opened the imagination wide to scenarios that go beyond the size of the head of the Future Movement, relative to the size of the files in the region. And he is singled out in the battle to form the government.

But the reality is that politics was the least present in the Turkish visit program and the two visits that preceded it. According to the data, Hariri did not hold meetings in the Emirates and France with officials, or at least did not record meetings on which to build, in the first, it was just (a family opportunity), and in the second he heard about (Shock) from the Lebanese performance in dealing with the crisis ... no more.

As for Istanbul, he went to it, according to informed sources, for personal reasons related to matters pending in the company "Turktelecom", in which he owned the largest stake through "Oger Telecom", which the Turkish Treasury agreed in 2018 to transfer its ownership to a group of creditor banks, after its inability. On the repayment of its debts, which were estimated at more than $ 7 billion, and its “evasion” of paying outstanding loans despite recording $ 2.5 billion in profits in 2014, and $ 1.3 billion in both 2015 and 2016, and the sources explained that “after the Turkish government decided to recover the company, I reserved a reserve, for a period of two years, on Prime Minister Hariri’s money in Turkish banks, in order to pay debts to Turkish parties, ”and“ the purpose of the visit may be to demand refunds of sums after the end of the detention period.

It is likely that Hariri placed the Emiratis and the French in the atmosphere of the visit (so as not to be misinterpreted).

Arefoun stated that (the meeting dealt with the issue of the Beirut port, and the Turkish president hinted at Turkey's desire to participate in the reconstruction), pointing to the announcement of Hariri's office that he discussed with the Turkish president (ways to support efforts to stop the collapse and rebuild Beirut as soon as the new government is formed).

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