As tensions rise in Syria between Israel and Iran, it is taken for granted that if fighting breaks out there between the two sides, it will spread to neighbouring Lebanon. The argument is that Tehran will mobilise its Shia proxies, above all Hezbollah, which would then begin bombarding Israel on a front stretching from the Golan Heights to southern Lebanon.
Michael Young is opinion editor of The Daily Star. He tweets @BeirutCalling.
Donald Trump’s decision to cut arms to Kurdish forces in Syria may have pleased the Turkish government, but it also showed the extent of Washington’s seriousness in containing Iran in the Middle East. The fact is that the United States does not appear to have any systematic plan, beyond Mr Trump’s rhetoric, to counter Tehran’s regional influence.