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Syria has never changed. There is still the question of whether this nation will still exist by the
end of the decade. Or whether it will break up into statelets. Israel has now begun launching air
strikes against Iranian military installations within Syria since they say they are a threat to their
“national security”. I of course have mixed feelings towards Iran and Hezbollah’s involvement in
the war on behalf of Syrian President Bashir Al Assad. On Saturday, the UK-based Syrian
Observatory for Human Rights reported the strikes on Tuesday and Thursday killed 42 people,
including 19 Iranians. The truth is that the Israelis are trying to provoke a military response
from Iranian forces in Syria.
Then US President Donald Trump will feel compel to launch an attack on Iran. Israel may even
launch attacks against the Bashir regime in Damascus.
The extract below was written by Margaret Evans.
On Saturday, the U.K. -based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported the strikes on
Tuesday and Thursday killed 42 people, including 19 Iranians. Here is some of what Evans had
to say as she answered questions, after visiting the city of Douma on the outskirts of Damascus:
How are Israel-Iran tensions playing out in your conversations in Syria? “Certainly most Syrians
have no great love in their hearts for Israel, so it becomes a much layered conversation when
you are having it. “We did have a conversation with a retired Syrian army general, who is very
much in support of the regime here, who said, ‘Look, we have the right to choose the allies that
we have,’ which include Iran. (Where does Syria go from here?)
The truth is that Syria (which in this complicated case refers to the Assad regime) is still
technically at war with Israel having only signed an armistice in 1981. Damascus has long since
disputed Israel’s right to that territory however they are not in a position to do anything about
it. Iran however has used the enmity between the current Syrian dictator and Israel to its
advantage, cultivating a new source of influence for its Shi’ite sectarian agenda and financial
support for the militant group Hezbollah in Lebanon. Iran hopes to gain a stronger foothold in
the Arab world through the influence it has on Syria, Iraq and Lebanon on the one had and
Yemen on the other.
This would explain why Saudi Arabia has shifted towards Israel in recent years. However, with
most now desiring an end to the war, so there can be a return to normality which means the US
should cut their funding to the rebels and cooperate with Assad and his allies.
This would, of course, constitute a massive reversal in policy – as well as a grim admission that
the Russians have been essentially right in the civil war. But, although a great many elements in
the Syrian tragedy remain cloudy, it seems clear that foreign assistance to the rebels has simply
had the result of prolonging, or systematically stoking; the disaster. For years, much of the
fighting has consisted of the mindless lobbying of ordinance on civilian areas, a process that
mainly creates misery and refugees. All, or just about all, present policy proposals concerning
Syria would essentially perpetuate this dismal condition. There is a risk, of course, that, once
something of a peace has been secured, Assad’s forces will embark on murderous rampages
against former enemies. But it is more likely that this danger can be effectively dealt with if the
United States and other interveners are inside the tent rather than outside of it.
The real question here is, if the US wants peace in Syria? If Trump had said he wanted peace
then he would have ended the US financial support given to the rebels a long time ago. In
return they would assist Assad in fighting the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. ISIS has now been
defeated and the main fighting against the Damascus regime has been taken up by the rebels.
The civilians are of course the main victims of these casualties and therefore this leads to them
becoming refugees. The West especially Europe has born the brunt of this exodus. The US of
course should take some of the responsibility for the refugee crisis.
The only way to end the slaughter in Syria is to work with Russian President Vladimir Putin on
finding a peaceful solution. The US, Britain and their allies can then push for terms favorable to
the rebels and see a transition that at least respects rule of law and human rights.