A growing terrorist state in Sinai and disputes among Arabs in Lebanon increase the likelihood of more missile attacks on Israel, says a defense analyst.
Dr. Norman A. Bailey, Ph.D., is a lecturer at The Israeli National Defense College and an assistant professor at the Washington-based Institute of World Politics, wrote in Globes that the Middle East will become even more volatile if Iran loses its key ally, Syrian President Bashar Assad.
He noted that Israel recently has been under missile and rocket attacks from two fronts in the south – Gaza and the Sinai. Dr. Bailey added that it is probable that Hamas can no longer control Islamic Jihad terrorists in Gaza, while the Egyptian government has lost control of the Sinai Peninsula, which borders Israel from south of Gaza and to the east.
Al Qaeda apparently has fired rockets on Israel from the Sinai Dr, Bailey wrote. He left unanswered the question of why the attacks are taking place.
“Were they contracted by someone?” he asked. “Did they simply decide on their own to traverse all of Egypt in order to fire missiles, perhaps looted from Libyan arsenals, at Israel? Are they under any central discipline, or are they simply using the Al Qaeda label, as is becoming common in Africa and elsewhere? Who is paying and supplying them?”
The situation in southern Lebanon, controlled by Hizbullah, is less complicated but more precarious than ever, according to Dr. Bailey.
He wrote, “Various incidents have indicated growing hostility between Hizbullah, which is Shia, and the Syrian rebels, who are Sunni.
“Iran and its Lebanese proxy Hizbullah support the besieged Alawite government of Bashar al-Assad. If it falls, Iran will have lost a most valuable ally, indeed its only ally in the Sunni/Arab world, and Hizbullah will have lost a protector. What then?
What is clear…is a resurgence of virulent sectarianism, which will represent both an opportunity and a threat to Israel. Playing factions off against each other is becoming a real possibility.
As Muslim governments and terrorist organizations try to divert attention from their internal problems, Dr. Bailey concludes, “Stay tuned to Radio Beirut.”