Syria: The Hidden Power of Iran

(New York Review of Books) Joost Hiltermann - As my own trip to northern Iraq and northern Syria last month revealed, even as the international coalition makes major gains against the Islamic State, the region's crises are multiplying. ISIS is quickly losing ground. Its fighters are exhausted, its ranks depleted, but its remaining forces are clearly prepared to fight to the bitter end. Moreover, Islamic State ideology will remain attractive to Sunni Muslims as long as they feel politically excluded. Already, local ISIS recruits are blending in with civilians who are taking refuge in camps - lying low, waiting for more opportune times. The Iranian government wants to connect Iran to Hizbullah via Iraq and Syria with a land corridor running from its own borders to the Mediterranean. This is an aim that is acknowledged by Iranian analysts themselves, who describe it as a strategic necessity. It needs these routes to get arms to Hizbullah. That explains the importance of Iran's alliance with the Assad government in Syria, and also why Iran and Hizbullah were in such a hurry after 2011 to prop up the Syrian regime when it was threatened with imminent collapse.

2017-04-14 00:00:00

Full Article


Visit the Daily Alert Archive