Tel Aviv: “Axis of Evil” Cannot Be Allowed to Win in Syria
By: Yahya Dbouk
It is perhaps one of those rare times that Israel openly clarifies its position regarding the Syrian crisis, and from the mouths of high-ranking officials: the Resistance cannot be allowed to win.
Tel Aviv is increasingly worried about the developments taking place in Syria. They want the West to be more involved, particularly as Washington seems less certain about how far it should go in supporting the opposition there.
This prompted Israel’s minister of war Moshe Yaalon to make his concerns known to his visitor from Washington, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey, for all the media to hear: “The axis of evil, which extends from Tehran to Damascus and Beirut, cannot be allowed to win in the ongoing war in Syria.”
After explaining that the most important thing happening in the region is the change sweeping through many Arab countries, he asked Dempsey to consider Iran’s role and the threat it poses to Israel’s security.
“The lack of stability in the region,” Yaalon insisted, “is due to many reasons, at the top of which is the Iranian regime and its involvement in all the crises taking place in the Middle East.”
According to Israel Defense magazine, the minister said that he believed the Syrian crisis would continue for a long time and would not end even if Bashar al-Assad falls, noting that “there are bloody accounts to be settled between the Alawis and Sunnis, in addition to other minorities engaged in the fighting.”
Yaalon repeated statements he had made after the Syrian opposition’s defeat in Qusayr, that Syria is going through a period in which the state is breaking up, suggesting that the Assad regime, contrary to what recent developments suggest, is weakening.
“I don’t see a change [in the regime’s favor],” the minister maintained, “because in Syria there are many places where the opposition is hitting the regime hard, as in Aleppo and the Latakia area, in addition to the Golan. This suggests that the opposition controls more territory than before.”
In the same vein, a high-ranking Israeli official criticized the US administration’s policy, and the weakness it has shown in handling a number of files in the region. On the occasion of Dempsey’s visit to Israel, the official told Yedioth Ahronot that Washington’s hesitation “will only increase Russia’s influence in the area.”
“Israel is very worried about America’s position regarding the region,” the same source added. “The Russians are taking advantage of America’s weakness, and they are waging their battles like a superpower, therefore proving to the countries of the region and President Assad that they can be relied on, while the Americans abandon their allies and partners.”
Of more concern to the source is that the US’ weak stand extend to its confrontation with Iran, asking Washington not to fall into the trap of the country’s new president, Hassan Rouhani, and “to squeeze Iran until it surrenders.”
The source explained that Israelis are generally comfortable with what is going on around them, despite the upheaval taking place in Egypt: “We can work with the Egyptians, Jordanians and other countries, for we have common interests with many parties in the region, and Israel is the one holding up the tent these days.”