Tariq Alhomayed is the Editor-in-Chief of Asharq Al-Awsat, wrote on Tuesday that it is clear from the Israeli military response – even if this is a limited one – against the al-Assad forces in the Golan Heights that Israel is trying to save Bashar al-Assad and is working to drown the region in an ongoing state of chaos. Alhomayed suggests this is being done in order to complicate the Syrian crisis, which in turn would prevent critical decisions being taken to hasten the toppling of the tyrant of Damascus.
Alhomayed argues that since the start of the Syrian civil war, in January, 2011, Assad’s responses have been completely predictable: setting Lebanon on fire, pushing refugees to Turkey and Jordan, exploiting Turkey’s Alawite community, dragging Iraq into the crisis, and playing the “sectarian card” in Syria.
Assad has done all of the above, and now, says Alhomayed, comes the predictable attempt on his part to involve Israel. And while Syria’s other neighbors have been resisting its repeated provocations (if you disregard Turkey’s artillery barrage in response to shells falling in its territory a few months ago), with the first Assad provocation of Israel, it took action and responded. Alhomayed, thinks this is strange. Try to follow his logic:
“We describe this as ‘strange’ because what al-Assad has done recently in the Golan Heights – which have been quiet for nearly 4 decades – is precisely what Saddam Hussein did during the occupation of Kuwait. He launched ‘Scud’ missiles at Israel in order to drag it into the crisis and ‘shuffle’ the cards. At the time, then US President George Bush Senior confronted Israel and obliged it to exhibit self-restraint and not involve itself in the crisis surrounding the Iraqi occupation of Kuwait. Today, al-Assad is doing the same thing with Israel, and along the same line as Saddam Hussein. The issue does not require an abundance of intelligence to realize that al-Assad is trying to escape forward. In this case, why is Israel getting involved now and trying to save al-Assad by serving his interests? Why now, when we are witnessing quick and dramatic progress in the Syrian file, as well as military advancement in Damascus and political development at the level of the Syrian opposition which is now united, not to mention the positive international position towards this unity, which signals that al-Assad’s days are truly numbered? We say that this is “strange” because it is bizarre that al-Assad’s allies in this crisis should include Iran, Hezbollah and Israel! Of course, each party has their own motives, however these are destructive motivates that demonstrate the threat this tripartite represents to our region, not to mention al-Assad himself!
“Al-Assad wants to drown the entire region in chaos; whilst Tel Aviv would have no objection in seeing the Syrian crisis last for decades and set fire to the entire encompassing region. Israel has no problem with Jordan, Turkey and Lebanon drowning in chaos, for the weaker Arab states become, the stronger Israel gets. This is what Tel Aviv wants, even with regards to Egypt. For so long as we Arabs our facing problems we have created with our own hands, Israel will not hesitate to pour fuel on the fire.”
This is certainly a foreign policy I would endorse. I’m only surprised that this well informed Saudi editor is able to see a difference between the government and the rebels in Syria in terms of moral superiority. From over here they seem equally blood thirsty.