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September 29, 2016 / 26 Elul, 5776
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In Shift, Israelis Now Believe Assad Could Prevail In Syrian Civil War


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Syrian President Bashar al-Assad

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad



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

Combined News Services

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