The Christian Science Monitor

As Israel, Iran square off in Syria, can Russia play peacemaker?

The homemade video shows a peaceful scene of skiers coasting down a shimmering snow-covered trail on the southern slopes of Mount Hermon, a towering range that straddles the borders of Syria, Lebanon, and the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights.

Suddenly, the camera catches the smoke trails of a pair of Israel’s Iron Dome missiles launching from just below the ski area. The missiles streak across the blue sky to intercept an Iranian surface-to-surface missile fired in retaliation for a pre-dawn Israeli strike on targets near Damascus.

The Jan. 20 footage was a surreal reminder of how Israel and Iran appear to be inching dangerously toward a larger clash over Iran’s

A Russian balancing actIranian and Israeli signalingA role for Europe?

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from The Christian Science Monitor

The Christian Science Monitor5 min read
Does Hungary Education Reform Mean More Patriotism, But Less Democracy?
Viktor Orbán’s education reform is making Hungary’s curriculum more patriotic, but critics say it’s at the expense of critical thinking and democracy.
The Christian Science Monitor2 min read
Trudeau’s Ultimate Test In Making Apologies
After apologizing often for official misdeeds of past governments, the prime minister faces voters over a racist-tinged misdeed and their judgment on his contrition.
The Christian Science Monitor5 min read
Immigrant Groups Sought Relief From Trump In Court. It Isn’t Working.
Last week, the Supreme Court allowed the Trump administration’s new restrictive rule on asylum-seekers to stand while the legal battle plays out.