Both Washington and Tel Aviv’s past decade of Syria policy has been driven largely by fears of a so-called “Shia crescent” or Iranian land bridge which would conceivably connect Tehran with the Mediterranean via pro-Shia Baghdad and Damascus in a continuous arch of influence. A 2007 article in The New Yorker by famed investigative journalist Seymour Hersh even predicted that a major proxy war fueled by the West and Saudi Arabia, and centered in Syria would soon erupt in order to prevent this so-called Iranian and pro-Shia expansion to the Mediterranean. Hersh presciently wrote at the time:
To undermine Iran, which is predominantly Shiite, the Bush Administration has decided, in effect, to reconfigure its priorities in the Middle East. In Lebanon, the Administration has coöperated with Saudi Arabia’s government, which is Sunni, in clandestine operations that are intended to weaken Hezbollah, the Shiite organization that is backed by Iran. The U.S. has also taken part in clandestine operations aimed at Iran and its ally Syria. A by-product of these activities has been the bolstering of Sunni extremist groups that espouse a militant vision of Islam and are hostile to America and sympathetic to Al Qaeda.
Fast-forward more than a decade after Hersh’s predictions, and a bloody proxy war for Syria that has tragically taken half-a-million lives out of which Assad and his Hezbollah and Iranian allies have emerged victorious, the Washington neocons’ worst nightmare has come true. A literal new land bridge establishing an international highway that runs all the way from Tehran to Beirut is now under construction, just released satellite images reveal.
At the end of a month that’s nearly witnessed directly military confrontation between the US and Iran, with a continuous war of words and American military build-up in the Persian Gulf, the White House has ordered a fresh deployment of 1,500 troops to the Middle East to monitor Iran’s actions, according to Pentagon statements.
No doubt these new ground forces will take note of any potential Iranian troop or proxy militia movements through Iran into Syria. Beirut-based Al-Masdar News provides the following details of the newly released satellite images as follows:
The Israel-based Image Satellite International company released a new satellite image showing the construction of a land bridge between Syria and Iraq.