U.S. Warns of Grave Consequences If Assad Retakes Southwestern Syria
The above video is my latest PressTV interview regarding Israeli minister’s claim that the Trump administration plans to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan in a matter of months.
The U.S. has engaged in yet another extraordinary breach of all previous foreign policy norms by (not so) tacitly threatening Syria’s Pres. Assad with severe consequences if he commences an expected offensive in the southwest to retake territory long-ceded to al-Nusra Islamist rebels allied with Israel. Keep in mind that whatever we may think of Assad (not much), he is the recognized ruler of Syria. His forces have recently retaken large swaths of territory formerly held by Islamist rebels. In other words, he rules Syria. The idea that a foreign power would tell such a figure that he may not take control of his own territory is astonishing by almost any measure.
Add to this that our country is implicitly weighing in on this matter on behalf of our vassal state (or are we the vassals?), Israel; and you have one strange set of circumstances–and dangerous ones at that. Israel, as it’s done previously in southern Lebanon and the Occupied Territories, has forged alliances with local forces which carry out its objectives in circumstances in which Israel cannot rule territory directly. So it’s supplied intelligence, military aid and other forms of support to al-Nusra and Druze militants occupying villages on the Syrian side of the Golan armistice line. The purpose is to create a buffer between Israeli territories and its enemies.
By peeling off local Arab forces and setting them against Assad, Israel weakens its enemy. The result is that al-Nusra fights Assad and neither turn their guns on Israelis. To do all this, Israel in effect extends a sphere of influence far outside its own territory (a good deal of which it previously conquered from these same Arab forces, cf. southern Lebanon, the Golan, etc.). For some reason, hardly anyone in the international community actually objects to this hegemonic strategy. So it works well for Israel.
The current U.S. warning of “firm action” against Assad sets up a potential confrontation among the Syrian president and his Russian, Iranian and Hezbollah allies on the one side, and the U.S. and Israel on the other. If Assad does confront Israeli Islamist allies in the southwest would Israeli forces invade en masse to protect the enclave it has carved out? Would Israel risk direct military conflict with Syrian government forces on Syrian soil? If so, would the world stand by and do little or nothing as it has during previous Israel invasions of Arab states like Lebanon and Palestine?
Many observers have warned increasingly vigorously about the threat of direct conflict between Israel and Iran; a conflict that might play out not just in Syria, as it has for months with regular Israeli air attacks on Iranian bases there–but in Iran itself. And of course, any such attack would rain fire on Israel itself, as Iran’s allies would certainly not stand by as it was pounded into the ground by Israel air strikes on its homeland. This could easily draw in the U.S. on behalf of its strategic ally. Where that could lead no one knows. But we can surmise.
What’s especially odd about this is the U.S. threat comes on the heels of Trump’s virtual promise that he would be withdrawing the 2,000 U.S. special forces troops currently stationed in Syria, alongside their Kurdish allies. How would the U.S. force Assad to back off this offensive? Certainly not with boots on the ground. Perhaps by summoning U.S. air power to strike Assad’s forces during their offensive. This too promises a major escalation in the conflict. The U.S. has until now restricted its operations to attacking ISIS forces in the countries northeast. To now take after Assad himself would be a serious change in American strategy. It’s hard to imagine that Russia, playing a major role as Assad’s military backer, would take kindly to such an intervention. Do we really want to set up a potential direct confrontation between U.S. and Russian forces?
18 thoughts on “U.S. Warns of Grave Consequences If Assad Retakes Southwestern Syria – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم”
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‘… So it works well for Israel…’
There’s some consolation in the fact that it DOESN’T work well for Israel — at least, it hasn’t in the past.
It was this sort of cleverness that brought about both Hamas and Hezbollah. I wonder what exciting new friend Israel will make for herself this time?
…there is a kind of trite moral satisfaction in watching Israel destroy herself in this way. If only she respected her neighbors more and actually sought good relations with them, this wouldn’t happen. But then, if Israel behaved like that, she wouldn’t be Israel, would she?
Israel pays great respect to her peaceful Egyptian and Jordanian neighbours.
As far as Israel’s neighbour to the north, Lebanon, it was Hezbollah that attacked Israel from Lebanese territory in 2006, starting a bloody, cross border war.
Compared to Russia, Iran, Turkey, the United States, Saudi Arabia, and Great Britain and France, Israel’s involvement in Syria is limited; limited to preventing Hezbollah from expanding an operational front on the Golan.
Israel’s only other involvement in Syria, is to protect the Syrian Druze community from terrorist organisations like
“..it’s hard to imagine that Russia, playing a major role as Assad’s military backer, would take kindly to such an intervention”
Russia has already launched an unprovoked attack on United States forces and United States allies in eastern Syria.https://nypost.com/2018/02/13/russians-attacked-american-troops-on-putins-orders/
@ PhillyFreeze: Ah, yet another hasbarist has arrived bearing his first class ticket just off the flight from Ben Gurion.
Israel has no respect for anyone or anything unless it can further its interests. It likes dictators hence its good relations with junta leader al Sisi and the Jordanian king.
Hezbollah attacked Israel because it continues to occupy Lebanese territory and hold Hezbollah prisoners.
Israel’s intervention is Syria is NOT limited. It is flagrant and continual. There have been well over 100 Israeli attacks on Syrian targets in recent years. Not to mention its intense support for Islamist groups like al Nusra. You are a total idiot. You claim Israel is protecting Druze from al Nusra. IT is supporting the latter directly!
You’re going to have to step up your game considerably here or you’ll be eaten alive. You seem to be a hasbara retread. I don’t know why Hasbara Central can’t send us better specimens…
What are you talking about?
What is ‘Hasbara Central’? I googled it, but came up blank.
Anyway. Israel has provided humanitarian aid to Syrian rebels with the proviso that the stay away from Israel’s border and that the rebels do not harm Syrian Druze.
Israeli Druze so hate al Nusra, that they stopped an ambulance on the Golan Heights last year and lynched two wounded rebels that they thought were al Nusra fighters.
Why would Israel risk antagonising her loyal Israeli Druze by giving material aid to a terror group like al Nusra? A terror group that thinks Druze are heretics.
Israel is protective of her Druze citizens, and the spiritual leader of the Israeli Druze community has publicly asked for Israel to protect Druze brethren living in villages in Syria.
As far as Israel’s limited involvement in Syria, which of the countries I’ve name is less involved in Syria than Israel. Not Russia. Not Iran. Not Turkey, Saudi Arabia the United States or Great Britain. The Saudis were the chief arms suppliers to the Syrian rebels and the United States, Great Britain and France have flown thousands of sorties over Syria.
You really shouldn’t call commenters to your website ‘idiots’. That’s uncivil, and it hurts your credibility.
You’re mixing up the Druze in the Galilea who indeed are Israeli (second-class) citizens and the Druze in the Israeli-ocupied Syrian Golan, they are not Israeli but Syrian citizens, and they were the ones who stopped the ambulance (Richard has written articles on the subject).
Oh hasbaroid of little brain…
Not true. These are not rebels. They are al Nusra Islamist fighters allied with al Qaeda. Nor do they stay away from the border. The IDF liaises with them regularly at or even inside the armistic line (note it is NOT “Israel’s border” since it has no recognized border).
Gee, I don’t know. You’ll have to ask former defense minister Yaalon and the IDF generals who’ve acknowledged this is precisely what Israel has done. Please read this blog and find the posts documenting what you claim doesn’t happen before exposing your ignorance.
Nope, not limited. As I’ve already written over 100 air attacks on Syria plus regular invasion of Syrian territorial sovereignty by Israel’s own army forces.
Regarding calling commenters “idiots,” you have to sorely provoke me for me to feel it necessary to do that. So next time don’t provoke me with your propaganda or ignorance or both.
“What is ‘Hasbara Central’? I googled it, but came up blank.”
“As far as Israel’s limited involvement in Syria, which of the countries I’ve name is less involved in Syria than Israel. Not Russia. Not Iran. ”
Russia and Iran are in Syria by invitation of the Syria government. Israel, Saudia Arabia and the US support terrorists trying to destroy the Syrian government and Syria. See the difference?
Please try harder.
“Interestingly” ISIS holds still in Syria three areas. One is in the middle of the desert surrounded by Syrian Army, which is actively trying to destroy that “nest”. The second is on Iraqi border “surrounded” by US “friendly Syrian forces”. And the third is – suprise – in Golan, bordering to Israeli “side”. Seems that the Israeli and US ISIS areas are under their patrons protection – no attacks against ISIS forcesreported there. Hilariously Israel is whining constantly about Iranians near Golan, but Israel is “protecting” Druze by helping with all possible ways ISIS on Golan.
Actually, Sumo, you forgot to mention that the ISIS enclave in South West Syria has a larger border with Jordan than this enclave’s border with Israel. So is Jordan an ISIS patron too?
Richard requests cites from hasbaroid idiots like me.
Please provide a cite that Israel or the United States are ISIS patrons. My belief, and practically everyone else, is that the United States is at war with ISIS and has helped shrink the Islamic State to almost nothing.
BTW, ISIS in the Sinai Peninsula has already attacked Israel, and would probably continue attacking her except that ISIS is battling the Egyptian Army in Sinai.
@FullyFreeze: when referring to other commenters take the trouble to actually refer to them properly by spelling their name fully and correctly. Thus, “SimoHurtta.”
Israel supports, arms and funds al Nusra, an al Qaeda affiliate. This is widely reported and does not need a cite. I’ve written about that here and many other media outlets have as well. I don’t think however that it’s appropriate to say Israel supports ISIS since al Qaeda is not ISIS. But it does support another Islamist radical violent insurgency.
Al Nusra hasn’t been affiliated with Al Quaeda for nearly 2 years: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-36916606
@ Pea: You mean al Nusra hasn’t acknowledged being affiliated with al Qaeda for two years. THey can say anything they want, that doesn’t make it true. In fact, I’d guess that Israeli pressure to make this disavowal may’ve been the cause for it since it embarrasses Israel more than al Nusra to be publicly associated with al Qaeda. Find me an independent credible analyst or observer who confirms their claim. In fact, at the time media published stories questiong whether this was a sincere change of policy by al Nusra or window dressing.
Well Pilli explaining it is easy. The ISIS Golan area has existed on the Israeli border for many years. Israel has given to them weapons and medical help. The ISIS area on the Irak border has also enjoyed of peace and US protection for a longer time, that is the reason it still exists. Before Russians started bombing ISIS in serious ways the US coalition did let ISIS grow and sell oil through Turkey without interfering in real military ways for years. ISIS has been a very useful tool for Israel and its client state in destroying states of the region.
[Comment deleted: I already directed you to use other commenters’ full, proper handle. You seem to want to follow your own rules. Not here.]
As Arabs refuse to sign a peace treaty, have refused already for some 80 years, is Israels policy some how surprising?
@ Jouko: Now here I thought because of SimoHurtta’s progressive views that all Finns shared his views. But I can see there are some still stuck in the dark ages of hasbara. But what distresses me is that their views are so devoid of knowledge or facts. So sad…
And Israel’s combined use of force and diplomacy has begun to yield results on her border with Syria.
Deterrence, through strength, forestalls aggression and leads to a long lasting peace.
@ Silly Freeze: Using Jerusalem Post in the presumption it is a credible source is like believing that castor oil is jet fuel. That rag knows as much about Iran and Syria as I know about interplanetary space travel.
Stop with the fake zio-nostrums and aphorisms. They’re about as convincing as a Donald Trump tweet.