ANALYSIS: A former CIA officer’s speculations on the Israeli attack on Syria

On the mysterious Israeli air attack on Syria

Having dealt with Arabs for more than fifty years now, often in situations very similar to this one, I have no trouble understanding why the Syrian reaction to the Israeli bombing attack last month has been carefully muted. Asad cannot afford a military confrontation with Israel at this time. His air force and army could be effectively wiped out by the IDF in a few hours. And he has no desire to broadcast the fact that his air defense forces (some of which, I am told, consist of very expensive new ground-to-air rocketry purchased from Russia but not yet operational) were impotent to respond in the face of such a deep and brazen Israeli penetration of the Syrian motherland. It would be plainly foolhardy for the Syrians to attempt confrontation with the IDF when their military establishment is in such a parlous state as it is today. I therefore find it perfectly understandable that Asad has chosen not to fly off the handle over this incident, and why his Arab neighbors and supposed brothers in arms have likewise decided that the better part of valor is to pretend they haven’t noticed. [complete article]

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