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How Powerful Is Israel?
Who Are The Largest Rebel Groups Fighting In Syria?
In 1948, Syria joined other nearby Arab countries in denouncing the State of Israel as a country. Just one day after Israel declared its independence as a sovereign state, forces from Syria, Egypt, Jordan, and Lebanon all invaded the Jewish state. Since then, the countries have both refused to establish diplomatic relations and violent conflict has persisted over the years. In 1967, the Six Day War was fought between Israel, Syria, Jordan, and Egypt. After the conflict ended, Israel annexed a great deal of surrounding territory, including the Golan Heights region in the north. Since then, Syrian and Israeli forces have clashed over control of the land. As Israel has also fought against Lebanon, Syria supported Lebanese forces as well as the Hezbollah terrorist organization.
There have actually been attempts to establish peaceful relations between the two countries, but negotiations have always deteriorated. As recently as 2011, the U.S. was working to broker a treaty between the two, but speculation from experts says that Syria backed out to avoid losing Iran as an ally. If you're interested in learning more about that, check out this piece by Max Fisher in Vox, where he poses the question: Could a peace treaty between Syria and Israel have prevented the Syrian civil war?
I Got Syria So Wrong (politico.com)
"I spent early 2011 trying to ease tensions between Syria and its neighbors. I never predicted the brutality that would come from inside."
Six Day War: The East Jerusalem Controversy (npr.org)
"In the Six Day War of June 1967, Israel defeated the combined armies of Egypt, Syria and Jordan, capturing the West Bank, East Jerusalem, the Gaza Strip, the Golan Heights and the Sinai Peninsula."
Israel strikes Damascus' military targets in retaliation for rocket fire by 'Iran-funded militants' (rt.com)
"Israel has pounded with artillery and launched airstrikes against 14 Syrian military positions in Golan Heights, holding Damascus responsible for failing to prevent a rocket attack on Israeli territory which the IDF pinned on an "Iran funded Islamic Jihad" group."