Iranian, Syrian, and Hezbollah leaders met this week and issued and unusual amount of bluster, even for them.

It looks like Gen. Petraeus’s prediction of a Mini-Tet will come to pass. Iran promises a hot summer.

Also Thursday, following a surprise meeting with Hizbullah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah in Damascus, Ahmadinejad said that it was going to be a “hot” summer in the Middle East.

“We hope that the hot weather of this summer will coincide with similar victories for the region’s peoples, and with consequent defeat for the region’s enemies,” Ahmadinejad added, in an apparent reference to Israel.

Syria is preparing for War this year.
The Syrian military invaded and occupied positions in Lebanon a weeks ago. The Iranian-Syrian alliance continues to arm and fund Hezbollah and Hamas.

Soon after President Assad’s “election” in Syria, he had this to say

“The current year will be fateful and the remaining months [of this year] will determine the destiny and future of the region and maybe of the world”

Syria is pressuring Israel to return the Golan Heights. There’s not really much in the Golan. The Syrians once used it to bombard Israel with long-range artillery, so the Israelis captured and held it. Today the Syrians may be trying to forment an insurgency to recapture the lost territory.

The Syrian conventional military is a decrepit mess of antiquated vehicles, poor leadership, conscripts, and widespread corruption. If it attacks Israel directly, it will be defeated in short order.

Syria has learned from its mistakes in the 1960s and 70s. It is adopting “4th Generation Warfare” tactics. Syria is attacking Lebanon, Israel, and Iraq with militant non-state actors. It supports Hezbollah, Hamas, and al-Qaeda in Iraq to tie down its enemies through proxy-warfare. There are indications that Syria will expand this strategy to wage war against Israel.

Taqi said Syria took an important lesson from last summer’s war between Hizbollah and Israel: The Israeli rear is vulnerable to long-range artillery rockets. Hizbollah fired some 4,000 rockets in 33 days of intense fighting that battered the Israel Defense Force and damaged its ability to deter others.

One Syrian defense official said Syria would avoid a direct, classic war with Israel, seeking instead a guerrilla conflict on the front lines while firing rockets and ballistic missiles at strategic and civilian installations.

Syria has Soviet-made SS-21 missiles and has built a large arsenal of Scud ballistic missiles, the D variant with a 700-kilometer range. Syria also builds artillery rockets of various calibers ranging from 122mm to 240mm, and has bought other types from Russia and Iran with ranges up to 200 kilometers.

“The next possible Syrian-Israeli war will be more like a war of cities rather than battles on fronts or in the fields,” the Syrian defense official said. “It’ll be a war of attrition that Israelis are not good at.”

The war already started. I’m left wondering how nasty it will get.

Unfortunately, I won’t be finished with my training to get there this year. I will likely be deployed there next year. And honestly, I don’t think the war will be over by then.