Gil Murciano

Israel vis-à-vis Iran in Syria: The Perils of Active Containment

Iran’s Growing Influence in the Evolving Order in Syria Is Driving Israel to Change Its Mindset and Strategies

SWP Comments 2017/C 41, October 2017, 8 Pages

The perceived shift from chaos to an evolving order in Syria presents a challenge to Israel’s policy of limited intervention. Iran’s growing influence in Syria and its efforts to improve Hezbollah’s strategic capacities presents Israeli decision-makers with a sense of urgency to act now while the future settlement in Syria is still being shaped in order to avoid a fait accompli of an Iranian stronghold on Israel’s northern border. This notion is further enhanced by a perceived lack of a serious commitment from the main extra-regional powerbroker, Russia, as well as the US to Israel’s national security needs. During the last few months, the first signs of a change became apparent in Israel’s strategic approach as well as a new willingness to take active measures to contain Iran’s strategic efforts in Syria. The combination of a new proactive Israeli policy and the lack of a security regime to regulate the situation increases the likelihood of an unintended escalation between the parties. Germany should use its relations and leverage vis-à-vis the two parties to promote a new security regime between Israel and Iran and help prevent a destructive escalation.

SWP Research Paper

Sebastian Schiek
Movement on the Silk Road

China’s “Belt and Road” Initiative as an Incentive for Intergovernmental Cooperation and Reforms at Central Asia’s Borders


Annegret Bendiek
A Paradigm Shift in the EU’s Common Foreign and Security Policy: From Transformation to Resilience