consensus that it is a priority by the world community comprising international
rivals like the United States, Europe, Russia, and China and regional rivals
like Iran, Syria, and Saudi Arabia, Israel, like Turkey, does not eye the U.S.-led war on the IS as its regional priority. Nor fighting Israel is an IS priority.
The Israeli top priority is to dictate its terms to Syria to sign a peace treaty with Israel before withdrawing its forces from the occupied Syrian Golan Heights, Palestinian territories, and Lebanese southern lands.
For this purpose, Israel is determined to break down the Syria-Iran alliance, which has been the main obstacle preventing Israel from realising its goals. Changing the ruling regime in either Damascus or Tehran would be a step forward. Towards this Israeli strategic goal the IS could not be but an Israeli asset.
"To defeat ISIS (The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria as the IS was previously known) and leave Iran as a threshold nuclear power is to win the battle and lose the war," Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the UN General Assembly last September.
Therefore, "it should not come as a surprise that the (Benjamin) Netanyahu government has not yet taken any immediate steps against IS," according to Amos Harel, writing in Foreign Policy on September 15.
However, information is already surfacing that Israel is "taking steps" in the opposite direction, to empower the IS and other terrorist groups fighting and infighting in Syria.
Israeli daily Haaretz on last October 31 quoted a "senior Northern Command officer" as saying that the U.S.-led coalition "is making a big mistake in fighting against ISIS--the United States, Canada and France are on the same side as Hezbollah, Iran and [Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. That does not make sense."
Regardless, on September 8 Israeli daily The Jerusalem Post reported that Israel has provided "satellite imagery and other information" to the coalition. Three days later Netanyahu said at a conference in Herzliya: "Israel fully supports President [Barack] Obama's call for united actions against ISIS. We are playing our part in this continued effort. Some of the things are known; some of the things are less known."
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