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Israel trying to save al-Assad! - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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What is now clear from the Israeli military response – even if this is a limited one – against the al-Assad forces in the Golan Heights is that Israel is trying to save Bashar al-Assad and is working to drown the region in an ongoing state of chaos. This is 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.

Since the outbreak of the Syrian revolution, we have seen the possible scenarios regarding al-Assad’s response – which are completely expected and contain nothing new – including setting fire to Lebanon, drowning Turkey in refugees, attempting to exploit Turkey’s Alawite community, as well as embroiling Jordan in the crisis and drowning it in refugees, dragging Iraq into the crisis via the gateway of sectarianism, and before all else, playing the sectarian card in Syria itself. However last but not least, we now see al-Assad involving Israel. Of course, it is the al-Assad regime that is responsible for all this; it tried to provoke Turkey but failed, in the knowledge that if the Turkish army took action and reached the heart of Damascus it would find Arab support and cover. Al-Assad tried, and continues to try, to provoke Jordan, but Amman, for its part, continues to practice self-restraint. Al-Assad did what he did in Lebanon, whilst Beirut remains steadfast, however what is strange is that with the first al-Assad provocation towards Israel, Tel Aviv took action and responded!

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.

Therefore, it is imperative for there to be an effective diplomatic Arab stances towards the Israeli actions, as well as on the part of the international community, particularly the US and Britain. This is in order to see a similar position taken as that taken by George Bush Senior towards Israel during the Iraqi occupation of Kuwait. Israel must not be allowed to “shuffle” the cards of the Syrian revolution and allow al-Assad the opportunity to extend the life of his regime whose collapse is inevitable.

Tariq Alhomayed

Tariq Alhomayed

Tariq Alhomayed is the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat. Mr. Alhomyed has been a guest analyst and commentator on numerous news and current affair programs, and during his distinguished career has held numerous positions at Asharq Al-Awsat, amongst other newspapers. Notably, he was the first journalist to interview Osama Bin Ladin's mother. Mr. Alhomayed holds a bachelor's degree in media studies from King Abdul Aziz University in Jeddah. He is based in London.

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