By Micah HalpernI've Been Thinking:
Over the past few weeks it seems clear that Israel has changed their assessment of Syria.
Until now Israel has always claimed that President Bashar Assad of Syria was on his way out and that his days were numbered. It was not a question of if but when he would be ousted, killed, toppled or exiled.
Now the Israelis have confirmed that Bashar Assad is there to stay for the foreseeable future. Assad has secured his position and his primary mission is to rid his country of Islamic al Qaeda influences that have crossed into Syria to try to topple him.
The change in Israel's assessment is based on Assad's recent military successes and the change in momentum within Syria that has continued to flow in his favor over the past ten months. In addition there is the international credibility that Assad has gained by cooperating and helping to identify and destroy chemical and biological weapons facilities within Syria.
Now Israel is now drawing up new and future scenarios for Syria. Primary on their list are the 5,000 to 10,000 foreign al Qaeda fighters only a stoneâ€™s throw away from Israel.
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