web analytics
August 22, 2014 / 26 Av, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat (L) visits the JewishPress.com booth at The Event. And the Winners of the JewishPress.com Raffle Are…

Congratulations to all the winners of the JewishPress.com raffle at The Event



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.”

Assad’s survival might not be an entirely bad thing, according to Shlomo Brom, a senior research associate at Tel Aviv University’s Institute for National Security Studies. Even a limited Assad regime, he said, would help prevent Syria from becoming a power vacuum in which jihadists could attack Israel. And it would give Israel “an address on the other side” with which to negotiate.

Assad’s survival also would be a victory for Hizbullah, which openly committed itself last month to fighting for Assad and drove his victory last week in Qusair, a key city between the Lebanese border and the rebel stronghold of Homs.

“It will be a victory for Iran, Hizbullah, the enemies of the West,” said Ephraim Inbar, director of Bar-Ilan University’s Begin-Sadat Center. “He helps Hizbullah to hurt Israel.”

But Hizbullah also could find itself hurt by Assad’s survival. The organization, which has long commanded respect in the region for fighting Israel, may find its reputation damaged by turning its guns against fellow Muslims.

Hizbollah, Brom said, has shown itself as “a foreign body in Lebanon that serves foreign interests.”

— Israel Hayom (via JNS) and JTA

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.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Photo: Rotter.net / Tikonist
Live Updates: Ashdod Shul Hit by Rocket (Latest Update: 5:28 pm)
Latest News Stories
Photo: Rotter.net / Tikonist

5:33pm Shabbat Shalom from Israel. It should be a peaceful Shabbat. 5:28pm Kerem Shalom 5:26 pm Kerem Shalom 5:22pm Nachal Oz 5:13pm Erez, Miflasim 5:13pm Gaza perimeter/Sderot, Erez, Miflasim 5:13pm Gaza perimeter/Sderot 5:02pm Erez, Miflasim 5:02pm Gaza perimeter/Sderot, Erez, Miflasim 5:02pm Gaza perimeter/Sderot 4:04 pm Sdot Negev, Shaar Negev 4:00 pm Sdot Negev, Shaar Negev […]

Living in Israel is an open ticket against intermarriage. Above: MK Tzipi Hotovely and Or Alon at their wedding last year.

If you are worried about your child marrying a non-Jew, and you should be, then move to Israel.

It is believed that this is a photo from the Friday afternoon execution outside a Gazan mosque.

Hamas publicly executed 21 people they accused of collaborating with Israel. Unlike ISIS, they didn’t behead them.

Kurdish women have take up arms to join the war against ISIS Islamic State terrorists.

One woman fighter is enough to scare away 72 virgins.

Israel remains a lone outpost for those who know that talking to liars is not a diplomatic solution.

Obama, who is sure the “peace process” will make Hamas safe for democracy, now has crowned himself an expert on radical Islam.

There were soldiers inside the attacked Hebron building, but they managed to get out in time.

On Thursday, the Israel Air Force hit a motorcycle transporting 2 terrorists in Rafah.

Temple University’s SJP claims the pro-Israel Jewish student harassed and provoked them into assaulting him.

The White House has unblocked the weapons shipment to Israel that they had recently blocked.

10:58pm Negev 10:32 pm Eshkol 9:38 pm Ashdod, Ashkelon, Ashkelon Coast 8:47 pm Modiin-Maccabim-Reut, and area. Iron Dome Interception. 8:46 pm Beit El 20:00 pm  Iron Dome downs two rockets over Be’er Sheva; three others explode in open areas. 19:42 pm     Two warnings of rockets in Be’er Sheva, warnings of rockets Hatzerim , site […]

The IDF readies what it does not want unless there is no alternative – a deep ground invasion of Gaza. Hamas also is ready.

If “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself,” Diaspora Jews are in big trouble.

The security cabinet authorised Thursday the emergency call-up of 10,000 IDF reservists. Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said Israel would continue to pursue Hamas leaders anywhere and at any time, and added that the current campaign would “take time.” Ya’alon called on the Israeli public to display patience and strength while the army deals with the […]

The Jewish community in Belfast, Northern Ireland is bracing for violent backlash as the city prepares for an appearance by radical British MP George Galloway on Saturday night. Last month, Palestinian supporters smashed windows twice at the Belfast Hebrew Congregation following a pro-Palestinian demonstration in the city. Now, representatives for Galloway say the 1,000-seat Ulster […]

More Articles from Combined News Services
Extra police protection set up near Jewish centers, school, synagogues for the 25.000 Jews in the Belgian city of Antwerp, after the recent terrorist attack in Brussels. A man shot and killed three and seriously wounding one, at the Jewish museum in Brussels, Belgium a few days ago.

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

Pope Francis prays at the Western Wall accompanied by the Kotel Rav, Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovitz.

“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.

Former Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon was laid to rest Monday at his family’s ranch in southern Israel following a state funeral that drew international dignitaries – Vice President Biden represented the U.S. – and scores of Israeli officials.

“Today is a day of joy to our people, our families and our hero prisoners who’ve achieved freedom,” Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas declared Monday night as he personally greeted 18 terrorists released by Israel.

“They wanted ransom. They dropped him off in international waters in the Pacific, and now he is in an undisclosed location. But still a lot is unclear, and I’m still waiting to talk to my father.”

Israel’s peace talks with the Palestinians remain mostly shrouded in secrecy, but one thing is certain: The Palestinian prisoner release that paved the way for their resumption is increasing tensions in Israel’s governing coalition.

    Latest Poll

    Do you think the FAA ban on US flights to Israel is political?






    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

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: