It's a Twitter CAPSLOCK WAR! Two days ago President Trump, in all caps, warned the Iranian president not to threaten the United States or be prepared to suffer the consequences. "BE CAUTIOUS," he electronically yelled.
Yesterday the Iranian foreign minister responded, in all caps of course, "COLOR US UNIMPRESSED!"... then a bunch of rambling bravado… and finally ending with his own identical electronic yell,"BE CAUTIOUS!"
But Twitter wars aside, a real war in the Middle East is looming. You can almost play a twisted and demented game of "Pick your Caliphate" with all the regional actors looking to take advantage of the chaos that ISIS left behind. And no one is in a better position to benefit from that than Iran. They've all but completely subjugated Iraq. Iranian funded, trained and directed militias are spread out all over the country.
But beyond Iraq, the Iranians are pushing closer and closer to Israel. Their militias and Revolutionary Guard Corps are all over Syria. They're pushing closer and closer to the Golan Heights. There's only so much the Israelis are going to put up with. They've already begun striking Iranian troops with limited airstrikes, but there's only so much they can do with Russian air defense assets protecting both Iran's and Assad's forces. Meanwhile, both are seeing how close to the Golan they can get.
What is Russia doing here? They are protecting Assad and they're enabling Iran to turn Syria in another Lebanon. In less than two weeks, Netanyahu has traveled to Moscow, spoken to Putin over the phone, and yesterday spoke to the Russian Foreign Minister in Jerusalem. And what was Russia's proposal? Iranian troops stay in Syria, but they have to stop 60 miles from the Golan Heights. Umm no. Not acceptable. And Netanyahu told them as much.
Iran is encircling Israel, and Russia is helping them do it.
As all of this has been going on, a record amount of rocket attacks from Gaza have been fired over the past two weeks. Iran is pressuring Hamas to up the pressure, while at the same time moving their troops down through Syria. Iran is encircling Israel, and Russia is helping them do it. Listen to some of the escalations, just in the past 72 hours. On Monday, Israel fired missiles at two Syrian missile sites. Just this morning, literally just minutes ago, Israel shot down a Russian made Syrian fighter jet after it penetrated into Israeli airspace.
The next war in the Middle East? Iran, Syria and Russia are showing their hand. The question now is, how big will this get?