The Jerusalem Post reported last week that Israel and ISIS might have more in common than previously presumed. According to the Meir Amit “Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center” (ITIC), a research group that has strong ties to the Israeli government and receives “some” funding from it, “both ISIS and Israel may be targeting the same Iranians”. (The group’s website URL is Terrorism-info.org and tellingly fails to list ISIS under “Terrorist Organizations”.)
This clarifies Israel’s position on ISIS somewhat, in that the government believes that the terror organization is at the very least seen as a lesser threat/ rival than Iran. ITIC notes that ISIS “will likely change its combat patterns and revert to guerrilla tactics and terrorism following the end of the campaign against it in Iraq, and may carry out hit-and-run attacks against Iranian vehicles moving along the land corridor (Iranian vehicles may be perceived as attractive targets for ISIS in its new incarnation).”
Basically, now that ISIS has been significantly weakened, it is believed that it will revert to small-scale hit-and-run tactics against Iran.
It goes on to state that Iran’s support of the Syrian army against ISIS in Syria “fans the flames of conflict with ISIS, which retains significant operational capabilities even after the collapse of the Islamic States.”
“We assess that Iran and the militias under their patronage will struggle to provide an adequate response to this terrorism challenge.”
“The Iranian presence in Syria increases the likelihood of friction with Israel and may lead to an escalation between the two countries at a timing that is not suitable for Iran.” Again, Iran’s presence in Syria is seen as a greater threat than ISIS.
While the report does not go as far as to admit collusion with ISIS, it does note that both Israel and ISIS might strike the same targets in Syria… by pure coincidence, of course.
The Jerusalem Post goes on to write that “In some ways, Israel has not shed too many tears when ISIS hit Iran and its allies even before this point.”
“Now that ISIS is no longer an invasion threat to Israel, Israel can now unambiguously view ISIS attacks on Iran and Iranian proxies as beneficial.”
Surely “beneficial” does not imply direct or indirect support for ISIS…
This report would explain why Israel rarely targets ISIS, while bombing Syrian government and Iranian targets all over Syria. This apparently unintentional symbiosis with ISIS also explains why ISIS had to come right out and publish an article (as reported on last year by the Times of Israel) specifically explaining why Israel had not been attacked by the terror organization (contrary to the expectations of its followers and citizens of Israel alike).
Indeed, unlike most Muslim groups in the region, ISIS comes right out and argues against attacking Israel over the thorny issue of Palestine.
According to Israel’s former defense minister, ISIS even came right out and apologized for accidentally attacking Israeli soldiers. The Wall Street Journal reported that Israel also provides medical aid and finances to rebels (According to the Jerusalem Post, this included Al Qaeda, an Israeli military official was quoted saying “We don’t ask who they are, we don’t do any screening. Once the treatment is done, we take them back to the border and they go on their way.”) in order to maintain a “buffer zone” in the Golan Heights.
The Golan Heights is a strategically significant region that belongs to Syria but has largely been occupied by Israel since the 1967 Six-Day-War, a region Israel might have to return should the conflict end in Assad’s favor. The UN Security Council and the wider international community do not recognize Israel’s claim to the territory.