Syria: Time to Reformulate the Rules of the Game

(Institute for National Security Studies) Udi Dekel - The Western powers, led by the U.S., are not willing to pay the price needed to dismantle the Islamic State's military capabilities and to replace the Assad regime. Furthermore, at this point the U.S. and its allies are not eager to attack the Islamic State with the required effectiveness because its collapse could result in increased power for Assad. In practice, Syria is already divided into areas under the influence of external powers. As the Russians deploy, the coastal region will all but come directly under their control. Northern Syria, especially the Kurdish region, is under Turkish influence. The central axis of Syria - from Damascus to Homs and Aleppo - and the Syrian-Lebanese border are, with Hizbullah's help, under Iranian influence. Eastern Syria is the battlefield for the war by the U.S.-led international coalition against the Islamic State. The only area not claimed by an outside force as a critical interest is southern Syria, including the Golan Heights. It is critical that Israel retain operational freedom of action in this sector and in Lebanon. Brig. Gen. (ret.) Udi Dekel, managing director of INSS, was head of the Strategic Planning Division in the Planning Directorate of the IDF General Staff.

2015-10-01 00:00:00

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