Israel v Iran: Are they heading for a war?

Syrian state TV footage shows Israeli missiles over Damascus

These are the first skirmishes in a potential war between israel and Iran that promises a fearful level of destruction – even by the standards of the modern Middle East.

It could spread across Syria and Lebanon. Israeli cities would be hit, as might strategic targets in Iran. In its initial stages, it would be Israeli air power against the long-range missile forces of Iran and its Lebanese ally Hezbollah.

It is a conflict that needs to be averted and the time to do it is now. However israel and Iran remain on a collision course.

Israel has long been wary of Iran’s growing influence in the region.

A low-level struggle has been under way for years in which the Israelis have sought to prevent sophisticated Iranian weaponry, such as long-range and anti-shipping missiles, being passed by Iran to Hezbollah in Lebanon. Convoys have been intercepted and weapons stores bombed.

But the war in Syria has greatly increased the proximity of Iranian-backed forces to Israel’s borders.

In addition to its ally Hezbollah, a variety of Iranian militias have been active in the fighting, along with officers and advisers from the Revolutionary Guard Corps.

Iran’s strong support for the government of President Bashar al-Assad – along with…

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