Lately, Israel has increasingly added its voice to the international chorus of concern over the Syrian al-Qaeda threat. Last week, an 'unnamed Israeli official' was quoted by various media outlets claiming that jihadis fighting in the conflict had mushroomed from 2,000 to 30,000 in just two years. Just days later, at the prestigious Institute for National Security Studies annual conference, IDF intelligence chief Aviv Kochavi displayed a map showing al-Qaeda gains in Syria, including three operating bases in southern Turkey, from which they have easy access to Europe.
Indeed, it was only a matter of time before the Jewish state broke its silence over the jihadist contamination of a conflict which otherwise promised to bring its fiercest enemies, Hezbollah, the Assad regime, and Iran, to their knees.
On the surface, Israel's concerns may seem encouraging to other actors seeking to paint a black-and-white picture of the Syrian conflict to either legitimize support for Assad or to backtrack on previous policies calling for his ousting.