Conservative commentator Ben Shapiro issued a grim warning to listeners of his Facebook Live program last week.
As CNS News reported, he predicted another “full-scale war in the Middle East” could be taking shape to break out in the “very near future.”
His analysis was based on recent developments involving Syria, specifically escalations in its conflict with Israel.
An Israeli jet was shot down in Syrian airspace earlier this month in apparent response to Israeli forces destroying an Iranian drone launched within its borders. The latest hostilities are only contributing to the Syrian powder keg Shapiro thinks too many people are ignoring.
“See, when we decided that we were going to get rid of ISIS, that was a very good thing,” he said. “But there’s been nothing to fill the gap. And so, what you’re ending up with now is essentially six separate countries are now involving themselves in the Syrian war.”
Each of those nations, including the U.S., are “fighting for a certain level of supremacy” within the borders of the war-torn nation. As Israel increased its military response after its jet was shot down, Shapiro said the volatile situation deteriorated further.
Israeli forces “went in in an air raid and they destroyed half the Syrian air force on the ground,” he said.
As a partisan aside, Shapiro noted that the military move “makes clear … how much of a lie it was when Barack Obama said that there was nothing we could do in Syria to stop, for example, the gassing of citizens of that country.”
Despite the fact that Israel acted “legitimately” in Shapiro’s view, he said “all of this internecine warfare … could have serious external effects.”
The Israel-Syria conflict amounts to just a “proxy war,” he said, “because Iran is funneling supplies to Hezbollah, a terrorist group in Lebanon, through Syria, and they are moving all of those supplies directly through areas that Israel has been hitting.”
Much of the violence involving Syria is being played out through such proxy wars, he argued, including increasing tensions between the U.S. and Russia.
As the situation becomes muddier, Shapiro advised American military leaders to reconsider their mission in Syria.
“Now, there is no congressional authorization for American forces to be in Syria, OK?” he said. “This is why we actually need, as (Sen.) Rand Paul says, we need congressional authorization. If we’re going to be there, then we ought to have Congress authorize it. The American people ought to be clear about what exactly our goals are there. Is it to solidify? Is it to preserve the status quo? Why exactly we’re there? Why are men and women in harm’s way? Why are we spending our cash there?”
He went on to describe the confusion surrounding what is believed to be a U.S.-backed strike on Russian forces stationed in Syria earlier this year, explaining such deadly skirmishes only bolster his underlying point about instability in the region.
“So, again, in the last week, we’ve seen Israel take out half of the Syrian air force, and we’ve seen the United States kill something like 100 Russian fighters, apparently,” he said. “So, all of this is heating up in rather rapid fashion.”
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