Skip to main content

Next Israel-Hezbollah confrontation could be in Syria

While the cease-fire brokered by the United States, Russia and Jordan seems to be holding for now in southern Syria, it might not last for long given the Israeli-Iranian rivalry in the region.
Israeli soldiers are silhouetted as they search for remains of rockets fired from Lebanon on Sunday, near the northern city of Nahariya December 21, 2015. Israel's military said it fired artillery rounds into southern Lebanon on Sunday in response to rockets fired earlier across the border that struck inside Israel. Three rockets fired from Lebanon had struck northern Israel, causing no damage or injuries, hours after a militant leader in the Lebanese group Hezbollah was reported killed in an air strike in
Read in 

There is a relative calm in southern Syria in the wake of the July 7 US-Russian-brokered cease-fire agreement backed by Jordan. The deal came against the backdrop of increased clashes between pro-regime militias and the Syrian opposition, as well as escalating strikes by Israel on Iranian interests in the region. Yet the cease-fire will be difficult to hold in the long run given the strategic importance southern Syria holds for Iran and its proxy, Hezbollah. Such local dynamics mean that the possibility of a future showdown between Hezbollah and Israel is increasingly strong in southern Syria — more than in nearby Lebanon, Hezbollah’s bastion.

Russian troops in charge of monitoring the cease-fire appear to have deployed on July 17 in the Daraa province, according to Syrian Masdar News. The recent US-Russian deal included establishing de-escalation zones along Syria’s borders with both Jordan and Israel.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.