It’s difficult for outsiders to assess with any precision the likelihood that Syria rebels will topple Bashar Assad, or even the extent to which they will make inroads. However, it seems clear that the rebels are doing better, and pose more of a threat to the regime, than many had supposed.
Israel, which has a strong interest in the proceedings, has assessed that the rebels are doing well enough that Hezbelloh may attempt to remove sophisticated weapons, including Scud missiles, to Lebanon. That way, if the rebels seize control of key Syria military facilities, Hezbollah won’t lose possession of its arsenal of deadly weapons. The Scud missiles are believed to have been allocated by Syria to Hezbolllah, but are stored at Syrian bases with the understanding that they will be moved to Lebanon only if the event of a war with Israel.
Israel will face an interesting decision if it learns that Hezbollah actually is moving weapons. If the weapons are transferred from Syrian bases to Lebanon, where Hezbollah would fully control them, the threat they pose to Israel would increase. However, an Israeli attack might benefit Assad by enabling him to rally support in the face of Israeli aggression.
Israel is also concerned about the fate of Syria’s chemical weapons arsenal. It fears that, as a result of the uprising, they could fall into rogue hands. Only 60 percent of Israelis currently possess gas masks.
There is very little to recommend about Assad, the views of Nancy Pelosi and John Kerry notwithstanding. However, Israel knows what it’s dealing with when it comes to the tyrant. After the tyrant, if an “after” is approaching, who knows?