During the years of the Syrian conflict, the annoying issue to Damascus has been the constant Israeli airstrikes that are meant to widen the range of crisis and disrupt the Syrian government's fight against terrorism.
AhlulBayt News Agency (ABNA): During the years of the Syrian conflict, the annoying issue to Damascus has been the constant Israeli airstrikes that are meant to widen the range of crisis and disrupt the Syrian government's fight against terrorism.
The Israelis, in order to justify the illegal aggression and violation of Syria's territorial sovereignty, have always stated that preventing the Iranian military entrenchment on the borders of the occupied Palestinian territories is the main reason for their attacks.
Meanwhile, although the Israeli regime's airstrikes have not had important field effect to stop the defeat of foreign-backed terrorists, as well as the reduction of military cooperation between Iran and Syria, and the Tel Aviv’s security walls are now more shaky than before the Syrian crisis, the Israeli leaders insist on continuation of their raids in order to win the attention of the international actors, especially the West, and also to take a gesture of non-silence to Axis of Resistance encirclement of the Israeli regime.
However, Monday's Israeli missile attack on the port of Latakia in Syria's west was one of the rarest cases of its numerous airstrikes in recent years. The attack can bear a clue to the Israeli understanding of the developments in the region and the hidden dimensions of the regime's motives and goals to influence these developments.
Israeli fear of birth of rival corridor
In recent years, there has been intense competition among countries in West Asia to find their way into the main corridors of the international trade network, as it can have various economic and political implications for the countries and the regional system.
Meanwhile, the new Israeli attack on the port of Latakia comes at a time when there are news about Abu Dhabi's plan to establish a transit route connecting the Persian Gulf to the Mediterranean Sea through the land border of Iran, Turkey, and then Syria. The reports of such a plan are more valid if we considered the UAE foreign policy moves over the past month to defuse tensions with Turkey, Syria and Iran, by sending high-ranking officials to these countries.
The coincidence of the missile attack on Syria's main port on the Mediterranean coast, with the visit of Emirati and Syrian officials to Tehran is not accidental and is completely meaningful and meant to paint Persian Gulf sea-land corridor to the Mediterranean risky and thus dissuade the Emiratis from investment. It is worth mentioning that in recent years Iran has tried to open a trade route, starting from Iran and reaching Syria through Iraq, to the Mediterranean Sea by operating Latakia port. One of the important contracts of Iran in Syria to this end has been the transfer of the port of Latakia operation to Tehran in 2019 and during President Bashar al-Assad visit to Iran.
From the moment they signed the normalization agreement with the UAE and a number of other Arab states, the Israelis have become optimistic about realization of their long-time dream of connecting Haifa port to Persian Gulf through a railway– a project of abundant economic and political benefits to them. One of the major outcomes is that the project would transform Haifa to a transportation hub and a connection spot of Asia, Europe, and Africa.
But while the railway project is on hold as the Arab-Israeli normalization is pending, the Iran-eyed transit route to the Mediterranean via Iraq and Syria has infrastructures for fast materialization after primary economic and political agreements. In case of realization, the route can take attention of China's ambitious "Belt and Road Initiative." To this end, separate pacts for strategic cooperation between Beijing and others like Iran and the UAE can be facilitating.
Iran nuclear talks and old media propaganda game
From another angle, the coincidence with Iran nuclear talks to revive the 2015 deal in Vienna of the Israeli claims about targeting an Iranian arms shipment in Latakia and the American claims about seizing an Iranian arms shipment bound for Yemen's resistant movement Ansarullah is a largely threadbare tactic used by the Israeli and the Western governments to sway the course of negotiations.
Negotiation developments show that Iran, taking principal stances and making play cards from field victories in regional cases and progress in its nuclear program, has put the West in a position of defense and passivity. In the meantime, concerned about possible White House retreat in talks and disregard of the Israeli security consideration in relation to nuclear deal revival agreement, Tel Aviv, by the attack on Latakia, tries to feed its anti-Tehran political propaganda.