If there’s one thing Bashir al-Assad’s enemies hate more that al-Assad, it’s Israel. Recently al-Assad has been quoted as saying that “The Syrian government will not stand in the way of any Syrian groups that want to wage a war of resistance to liberate the Golan”. Since Israel regards the Golan Heights as part of Israel, then Israel is likely to regard any attack against the Golan Heights as an attack against all of Israel.
With Hezbollah now quite openly supporting al-Assad and the Russians apparently sending the Syrian government sophisticated air defence missiles and other more advanced and accurate ballistic weapons, the power balance has shifted from al-Assad adopting a defensive mode to, at least, a deterrent mode. If, indeed, al-Assad does have the weapons he claims, then Israel would think twice about attacking Syria. However, al-Assad – even if he didn’t have a full-blown civil war to deal with – is in no military position to take on Israel and win.
Israel’s main consideration would be its home front. Even a minor tactical strike against Syria now would be fraught with danger. Unlike a few weeks ago when Israel attacked various weapon depots in Syria, any new attack against Syria under the new circumstances might trigger a response that Syria was not capable of then. And once the first salvos are fired against Israel, they could signal the beginning of a massive barrage of missiles into Israel from both Syria and Hezbollah that could weaken Israel’s resolve to continue fighting considerably despite Israel being militarily far superior than its enemies.
It may well be at this point that al-Assad’s enemies in Syria might see an opportunity to attack their long-time traditional enemy; Israel. Such a move would certainly relieve the pressure on al-Assad as far as the civil war is concerned.