A Daily Analysis
By Marc Schulman
July 18, 2012- Terror Attack in Bulgaria, End of Road for Assad?
Our luck finally ran out today, and at least seven Israelis are dead. It occurred in the city of Bourgas, Bulgaria, a popular tourist destination, especially for young Israelis. The Bulgarian charter flight from Ben-Gurion Airport, arrived in Bourgas at 4:45 PM. After the passengers had gone through passport control and received their luggage, they left the terminal and boarded buses. It seems that after the buses were loaded, a bomb detonated, killing several passengers, and injuring many of the people on the bus. Five Israelis as of the moment are said to be in critical condition. This is the story as of 9:15 PM Israel time. In the coming hours we will begin to hear the horror stories of what happened, stories of lives tragically cut short. The pictures of the burnt bus bring back too many bad memories in Israel. I am sure the collective blood pressure of the country has gone up this evening.
For the last four years Hezbollah and Iran have been working together to undertake a major bombing against Israeli targets. The Mossad and local authorities in places such as New Delhi, Nairobi and a large number of other places have managed stop the attacks over time. However, is not possible to stop all the attacks. Sadly, today they seem to have succeeded. We must note that today is the 18th anniverversary of the Iranian attack on the Jewish center in Buenos Aires. There can be doubt that today's act of terror was carried out by some combination of Iran and Hezbollah, though final confirmation of that news will have to wait for further developments. Considering the current situation in Syria, and our ongoing confrontation with Iran, we can expect Israel's response to be implemented quietly.
Meanwhile, it really looks like we may be reaching the end of Bashar Assad's regime. Today, the top four members of the Syrian defense establishment were killed in an attack on the Security Headquarters. This is the third day of fighting in Damascus. The sense is that this is close to the end of the line for Assad. There are two specific concerns in Israel. The first concern is that Assad might take actions against Israel in a last desperate act, (something that is not considered likely). The second, and real concern, is what will happen to Syria's chemical weapons in the aftermath of the fall of Assad's regime. Of course the greatest fear is that Hezbollah might get them. There is a sense that Hezbollah might not want to get involved since it seems Israel made clear that Hezbollah receiving chemical weapons would be considered a "Cause Belli" for an Israeli attack.