WWIII Approaches: Middle-East Ready to Burn?

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Israel's Next War: Today the Gaza Strip, Tomorrow Lebanon?
Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya - Global Research
January 17, 2009

The March to War: Today the Gaza Strip, Tomorrow Lebanon...

In the Middle East, it is widely believed that the war against Gaza is an extension of the 2006 war against Lebanon. Without question, the war in the Gaza Strip is a part of the same conflict.

Moreover, since the Israeli defeat in 2006, Tel Aviv and Washington have not abandoned their design to turn Lebanon into a client state.

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert told France's President Nicolas Sarkozy, in so many words, during his visit to Tel Aviv in early January that today Israel was attacking Hamas in the Gaza Strip and that tomorrow it would be fighting Hezbollah in Lebanon.[1]
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The Middle Eastern Powder Keg: A World War III Scenario?

In 2006, when Israel attacked Lebanon, the war was presented to international public opinion as a conflict between Israel and Hezbollah. In essence the 2006 war was an Israeli attack on all of Lebanon. The Beirut government failed to take a stance, declared its "neutrality" and Lebanon's military forces were instructed not to intervene against the Israeli invaders. The reason for this was that the political parties of the Hariri-led March 14 Alliance that dominated the Lebanese government were expecting the war to end quickly and for Hezbollah (their political rival) to be defeated, and eventually excluded from playing a meaningful role on the Lebanese domestic political scene. Exactly the opposite has occurred since 2006.

Moreover, had the Lebanese government declared war on Israel, in response to Israeli aggression, Syria would have been obligated through a Lebanese-Syrian bilateral treaty, signed in 1991, to intervene in support of Lebanon.

In the case of a future Israeli war against Lebanon, the structure of military alliances is crucial. Syria could indeed intervene on the side of Lebanon. If Syria enters into the conflict, Damascus could seek the support of Tehran in the context of a bilateral military cooperation agreement with Iran.

A scenario of escalation is, therefore, possible, which could potentially spin out of control.

If Iran were to enter on the side of Lebanon and Syria in a defensive war against Israel, the U.S. and NATO would also intervene leading us into a broader war.

Both Iran and Syria have military cooperation agreements with Russia. Iran also has bilateral military cooperation agreements with China. Iran is also an observer member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). Iran’s allies including Russia, China, the member states of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) could all be drawn into the broader conflict.
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