web analytics
March 29, 2015 / 9 Nisan, 5775
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post


In Shift, Israelis Now Believe Assad Could Prevail In Syrian Civil War

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad

There is a “real possibility” that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad “could survive Syria’s civil war and even prevail in it” against the rebels trying to topple him, Israeli International Relations and Strategic Affairs Minister Dr. Yuval Steinitz told a group of foreign journalists in Jerusalem on Monday.

Steinitz’s comments reflect the recent turnaround in Assad’s fortunes, with success on the battlefield thanks to immense military aid from Hizbullah, financial aid from Iran, and diplomatic cover by Russia.

The assessment also underscores the changing nature of the Syrian conflict and Israel’s views on it. Israeli security officials were initially convinced that Assad’s demise was only a matter of time. Last July, then-Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said the Assad regime was “at the beginning of its end.”

Delivering a veiled threat on Monday, Steinitz said, “It is in Assad’s interest not to provoke Israel into a Syrian intervention.”

Meanwhile, Lebanon’s Al-Akhbar newspaper, which is affiliated with Hizbullah, quoted a statement made by Assad to a visiting Jordanian politician in which the Syrian leader supposedly said he was “very serious” about his intention to “open a front against Israel on the Golan” should Israel intervene in the Syrian civil war or mount an attack against Syria’s missile systems.

“Establishing a front line against Israel in the Golan [Heights] is a very serious thing and it will entail more than random artillery fire,” Assad was quoted as saying Sunday, in an opinion piece written by a Jordanian politician.

“Syria will have a well-planned response, which will have long-lasting ramifications,” he reportedly said.

The op-ed further quoted Assad as saying that Syria’s retaliation will be “similar to that waged by Hizbullah in southern Lebanon.”

The credibility of the Al-Akhbar report is questionable. In late May the newspaper quoted the Syrian president as boasting that his country had already received the first shipment of Russian-made S-300 anti-aircraft missiles it was expecting. Assad’s office itself rolled back that report, saying he Syrian president never made that remark but spoke generally about existing contracts with the Russians being fulfilled.

The Al-Akhbar report was not verified by any Western source, and though Moscow said it would follow through on the arms sale, which was inked in 2010, a spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin said last week that the system has yet to be delivered to Damascus. Moscow’s Interfax news agency reported last week that while Russia is training Syrian military officers on anti-aircraft systems, their training “does not include the advanced S-300 system at this time.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday that Israel would “retaliate against anyone who threatens to harm Israel or brings it harm.”

The warning followed a tense conflict June 6 on Israel’s border in which Assad’s forces recaptured the lone border crossing after it had briefly fallen into rebel hands. Heavy fighting saw Syrian tanks enter the demilitarized zone between the two countries and prompted Austria to withdraw its 300-soldier contingent from the UN force, shrinking it by one-third.

Israel threatened to strike the tanks, according to a leaked UN document, refraining only when Syria promised to fire solely on rebel troops.

“The crumbling of the UN force on the Golan Heights underscores the fact that Israel cannot depend on international forces for its security,” Netanyahu told his weekly Cabinet meeting in Jerusalem on Sunday.

Israel has assiduously sought to stay out of the Syrian morass, engaging only when its interests were directly threatened. Thrice Israel has attacked Syrian weapons convoys bound for Hizbullah – once in January and twice in May.

Before this week, however, Israel had not threatened to engage Syrian forces directly. Still, last week’s battle probably won’t change Israel’s basic approach to the two-year-old conflict next door. The Syrian border has been largely calm since the 1973 Yom Kippur War, and Netanyahu said Sunday that Israel won’t enter the war “as long as fire is not being directed at us.”

That attitude plays well with ordinary Israelis, who clearly don’t want their country dragged into a neighboring conflict. An Israel Democracy Institute poll released Sunday showed that 86 percent of Israeli respondents want to stay out of Syria.

“Israel has an interest that the two sides will keep fighting, and not go in and decide who’s better for Israel,” said Syria expert Ely Karmon of the Interdisciplinary Center. “We need to wait and see who will control Syria.”

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

3 Responses to “In Shift, Israelis Now Believe Assad Could Prevail In Syrian Civil War”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Nothing wrong with this option. These people do not understand democracy. They will kill each other.

  2. They will kill each other, good for Israel, but I wonder Syria's army is a farce?, why Syria needs the help from Hezbollah?, increadible!

  3. Also I am wondering, why the suniii Hamas or palestinian doen"t help the suniies in Syria, I think they are cowards terrorists.

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
18,000 Iranian Centrifuges
Netanyahu Warns Iran-Yemen-Nuclear Deal Axis ‘Dangerous to Humanity’ [video]
Latest News Stories
18,000 Iranian Centrifuges

The Prime Minister told the Cabinet the deal in the works is even worse than feared.

John Kerry stuck in Lausanne for more talk with Iran.

Don’t expect Iran to sign anything before the last minute, if not afterwards, and if at all.

Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) and Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu meet in the Kremlin, Nov. 20, 2013.

With “congratulations” like these, who needs a punch in the stomach?

Child looks on as Houti rebels' truck passes with weapons.

The Iranian-backed rebels also threaten suicide bombing attacks as they approach the Saudi border.

The discovery would be a death blow the PA claims that Tel Aviv is “Palestinian” if it weren’t for the fact that that Arafat was born in Egypt.

Who is Horowitz? He’s Netanyahu’s eyes and ears. He’s very close to him, literally his personal representative everywhere…

“The US negotiating team are mainly there to speak on Iran’s behalf with
other members of the 5+1 countries and convince them of a deal.”

Saudi Arabia withdraws personnel from Aden. Iran calls Saudi strike a “strategic mistake.”

“The tone of #US officials’ background comments on #Iran talks is getting progressively more dreary, like the weather in #Lausanne,” Associate Press reporter Matt Lee tweeted Saturday night. Lee is a veteran journalist who has a keen eye and ear that cuts through the double talk and dishonest smiling faces of American diplomats. If he […]

It is a long tradition in the Muslim world never to agree to anything at an agreed time.

Hamas test fired a rocket on Saturday, the rocket landed within the Gaza Strip.

Israel was aware of the report’s impending release and did not object.

The PA hasn’t changed anything on their end, so why did Netanyahu suddenly change his policy?

Obama’s “two-state” phobia shows how much he and his experts do not understand the Middle East.

Kosher for Passover? Depends who you ask.

More Articles from Combined News Services
U.S. House Speaker John Boehner

Boehner criticized President Obama for failing to take the threat of terrorism and the Iranian nuclear threat seriously.

L-R: Generals Omar Bradley, George Patton, and Dwight Eisenhower inspecting art stolen by the Nazis.

World Jewish Congress President Ronald Lauder welcomed the museum’s decision to discover which pieces were looted by the Nazis and to work to restitute them.

“We want the residents of Gaza to live in dignity and prosperity, rebuild their homes and return to normal life,” Yaalon said. “But we are very worried. Just yesterday Hamas representatives said they intend to reconstruct the infiltration tunnels, instead of rebuilding the homes of Gaza’s residents.”

“When the Metropolitan Opera incites violence you can’t know what will happen,” Wiesenfeld said at the protest.

Nemmouche became a radical jihadist while serving a sentence in France in 2009 for armed robbery, TF1 reported.

“Never again, Lord, never again,” the pope implored. “Here we are, Lord, shamed by what man, created in your own image and likeness, was capable of doing.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Abbas must choose between peace with Israel or Hamas.

“We stand at the gate of hell on earth,” MK Yariv Levin (Likud-Beiteinu) said. “The visit by a delegation of the parliament of an independent and strong Jewish state, together with survivors who were here, symbolizes Israel’s total commitment to the protection of the Jewish people.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/israel/in-shift-israelis-now-believe-assad-could-prevail-in-syrian-civil-war/2013/06/12/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: