Israel's "Syria Option" Was Never One

(Guardian-UK) Jonathan Spyer - Advocates of the "Syrian option" saw Syria's strategic alliance with Iran as an uncomfortable fit for the non-Islamist rulers of Syria and assumed that President Assad was looking for a way out if it. They backed a process whereby Syria would receive territorial concessions from Israel in return for a strategic realignment away from Iran and toward the U.S. Yet Syria's alignment with Iran and its backing of local paramilitary and terrorist clients such as Hizbullah and Hamas are not flimsy marriages of convenience. Through it, Damascus has magnified its local and regional influence, and obtained an insurance policy against paying any price for its activities. The Syrian dictator is currently getting away with slaughtering large numbers of his people because of Western fear of Iran and its proxies. Syria's resurgence under the protective tutelage of Tehran would prove that membership in the Iranian alliance provides a handy guarantee for autocratic rulers hoping to avoid the judgment of their peoples.

2011-05-06 00:00:00

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