Israeli leaders intend to ask U.S. President Barack Obama to act militarily to stop Syrian arm shipments to Hezbollah, the British newspaper The Guardian reported on Sunday. In return, the U.S. president will likely ask Israel to make progress in the peace process, the newspaper reported.
"Israel will use President Obama's visit on Wednesday to try to persuade the U.S. to carry out air strikes on Syria if there is evidence that Syrian missiles are to be handed over to Hezbollah in Lebanon," the report said.
It said Israel would, at the very least, seek an American green light "for Israeli military action" to stop game-changing weapons from reaching Hezbollah.
According to The Guardian, Israel also wants to use Obama's upcoming visit to bridge differences on Iran, whereas the U.S. would prefer to focus on the peace process with the Palestinians.
"Obama will come under Israeli pressure to lower the U.S. threshold for military action against Iran," the report said.
"The U.S. president will try for an Israeli commitment to a peace process with the Palestinians. Neither side is likely to be successful, leaving Syria as the most promising arena for agreement.
"[Israel] would like the U.S. and Israel to jointly draw a notional 'red line' that in practical terms would prevent Iran [from] having even the capacity to build a warhead. Prime Minister] Benjamin Netanyahu's office concedes that it is more likely to succeed in securing U.S. support over Syrian missiles than to persuade Obama to share the Israeli prime minister's position on Iran."
American officials have recently stated that the U.S. will intervene in Syria only if the country's biological or chemical weapons are used by the regime or fall into the hands of terrorists.
According to foreign press reports, Israel hit a Syrian weapons convoy in late January before it crossed the Lebanese border. The convoy was reportedly carrying surface to air missiles.
"These missiles are not just a problem for Israel," a senior Israeli official told The Guardian. "They include [anti-ship] missiles, and who has the biggest navy in the Mediterranean?" He was referring to the U.S.'s Sixth Fleet.
The paper also quoted a Western diplomat as saying, "What I hear over and over again from Israeli generals is that another war with Hezbollah is inevitable."