Scud missiles could be fired at Israel by Syria or by one of her proxies in response to any attack from America,
In the Gulf War of 1991, this was the response by Iraq to the American-led actions against the regime of Saddam Hussein.
Back in 1991, the tiny state of Israel was told by the US administration not to retaliate to the missile attacks on its citizens. America was afraid that any response from Israel would fragment the delicate and precarious nature of the international coalition which had been formed.
The fear is that the current situation in Syria following the alleged recent use by the Assad regime of chemical weapons against its citizens could result in a similar situation.
The Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, said on Tuesday:
“We are not part of the civil war in Syria, but if we identify any attempt whatsoever to harm us, we will respond with great force.” The Israel Defence Forces Chief of Staff, Benny Gantz, said at a memorial service: “Those seeking to strike us will find us sharper and fiercer than ever. Our enemies must know we are determined to take any action needed to defend our citizens.”
Israel’s promise to strike and to strike hard against any aggressive moves against her is quite different from the Israeli government’s response in 1991. Miraculously, in those scud attacks, only two Israelis were killed, but a considerable amount of damage was caused to property and to the economy.
Zalman Shoval, who works with the Netanyahu administration, spoke about the difference between Israel during the Persian Gulf war and the Israel of today:
“Today Israel is a hundred times stronger militarily than it was during the Gulf War. And with American leadership in the Middle East much weaker now than it was at that time, Israel does not have to give in to pressure from Washington to not respond if Israel is directly attacked.”
The United States and Israel hope that scud missiles will not be introduced into the war against the tiny Jewish state. Only time will tell what the outcome of any such Syrian aggression would be.