The real next war in Syria: Iran v Israel

Israeli soldiers training in the annexed Golan Heights. In the past few weeks - for the first time ever - Israel and Iran have begun quietly trading blows directly in Syria. Israel and Iran are now a hair-trigger away from going to the next level - a
Israeli soldiers training in the annexed Golan Heights. In the past few weeks - for the first time ever - Israel and Iran have begun quietly trading blows directly in Syria. Israel and Iran are now a hair-trigger away from going to the next level - and if that happens, the US and Russia may find it difficult to stay out, the writer says.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Stop me if you've heard this one before: Syria is going to explode. I know, you have heard that one before, but this time I mean really explode.

Because the United States, British and French attack on Syria to punish its regime for its vile use of chemical weapons - and Russia's vow to respond - is actually just the second-most dangerous confrontation unfolding in that country.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 17, 2018, with the headline 'The real next war in Syria: Iran v Israel'. Subscribe