Tag Archives: syrian opposition

Saudi-Backed Salafists Returning To Iran’s Border?

31 Oct

The Iranian government and the Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps in particular are paying a price with the lives of Iranian soldiers inside Iranian territory for their support of Bashar al-Assad in Syria.

This seems to be the gist of the statement from Jaish al-Adl, which killed 14 Iranian border guards on the 26th of October.

My latest article explains:

http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2013/10/sp-iran-saudi-salafists-javedanfar.html

Syria and Russia at the UNGA

19 Sep

Everyone is focusing on Iran at the upcoming UN General Assembly meeting.

But what about Syria?

And Russia?

Assad recently received a major boost when the US and Russia reached an agreement over the fate of his chemical weapons. So he will be forgiven for having a spring in his step. The same goes for the Russians, especially Putin.

This will make the Russian and Syrian speeches at the UN also very interesting.

It will be interesting to see how Putin’s success re: Syria has impacted his position at home.

Also, is it just me or did you also notice how silent Hamas was when the idea of attacking Syria was being addressed by the Americans? Well, when Assad is bombarding Palestinian refugee camps in Syria, who can blame Hamas for not caring if Assad gets bombed?

In fact they could have been as disappointed as Israel when Assad was saved from America’s cruise missiles and fighter jets.

Inside Story : Will Syria give up its chemical weapons?

12 Sep

This debate on Al Jazeera English is a must watch.

As Obama considers Russia’s non-military proposal for Syria, we ask if a diplomatic solution is still feasible. Inside Story, with presenter Dareen Abughaida, is joined by guests: Amy Smithson, a senior fellow at the James Martin Center for Non-proliferation Studies; Dieter Rothbacher, the operations director at Hotzone solutions who helped train UN chemical weapons inspectors in Syria; and Elliot Ackerman, a military analyst and founder of the Syria Research and Evaluation Organization.

On Iran and US: don’t forget the Saudis

3 Sep

King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia is much an enemy of the Iranian regime as Netanyahu, if not bigger

Increasing number of pundits and experts are calling for the inclusion of Iran in talks to resolve the current Syria crisis.

In theory, its a good idea.

But in reality, something that is being overlooked is the opposition of the Saudis to such an idea.

I can even see Obama being willing to entertain such an idea, but the Saudis? I just don’t see it.

While the Iranian regime obsesses about Israel and AIPAC, they seem to be overlooking the quiet work which the Saudis have been doing behind the scenes and continue to do so in almost every imaginable area in order to undermine Iran. Although they are not as loud and proud as Israel and her allies, they do as much damage if not more.

And when it comes to Syria, it seems to me that they do not want to see Iran involved.

After witnessing the Iranian regime ally Hezbollah assassinate their ally Rafik Hariri in Lebanon in 2005, plus Iran’s role in Iraq and what the Saudis see as Iran’s influence over Shiites in Bahrain, the Saudis want Iran weakened and excluded from Syria more than ever before. To reach this goal they were even willing to to cut a deal with the Russians to keep Iran out.

Bottom line: the Saudis see Iran sinking in Syria with Assad. They’d be loathed to see Obama save them by reaching a deal with Iran over Syria. Expect maximum resistance and protestation from the Saudis in DC. Obama could find them difficult to ignore.

My latest contribution to Al Jazeera re: #Iran , #Israel and #Syria

1 Sep

On Saturday I took part in the Al Jazeera program “Inside Syria” where the topic of Syria was discussed. 

My contribution to the program was with regards to the implication of a possible US attack against Syria for the security and interests of Israel and Iran.

Iran to send more troops to Syria?

25 Jul

Today I read an interesting analysis by Shimon Shapira, which was published at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs

According to the findings of its report, entitled “Iran’s Plans to Take Over Syria“:

In mid-April, Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah paid a secret visit to Tehran where he met with the top Iranian officials headed by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and Gen. Qasem Suleimani, the commander of the Quds Force of the Revolutionary Guard Corps. Suleimani prepared an operational plan named after him based upon the establishment of a 150,000-man force for Syria, the majority of whom will come from Iran, Iraq, and a smaller number from Hizbullah and the Gulf states.

I think this is not all bad news for Israel.

Just imagine the scenario: a Chemical weapon goes missing in Syria. Between Al Qaeda and Hezbollah forces in Syria, who would Israel prefer to take the weapon? Although not a good choice (in this region we usually don’t have the luxury of having good choices), Hezbollah is far more balanced and deter-able than Al Qaeda.

Now of course there are those in Israel who don’t like Hezbollah and Iran – with good reason.

Nevertheless, in the short term, what is going on in Syria is good for Israel. How can it not be? Al Qaeda and Hezbollah are killing each other.

But in the medium to long term, instability in Syria will be bad for Israel. Which is why Israel needs to reach a deal with the PLO in order to prepare itself diplomatically for what is to come in Syria.

Israel must learn that its not enough to be prepared militarily for a future conflict. It also needs to be diplomatically prepared too.

Iran Starts Recruitment Drive for Syria

6 May

A public recruitment drive has started in Iran to send volunteers to Syria. 

Volunteers are being asked to contact local telephone number 2617201 0251 or to send an sms to 3000282860 to register.

According to Mohammad Saleh Jokar, member of the Iranian parliament’s Commission for National Security and Foreign Policy, Israel has started a war against the Islamic world.

“We must not abandon the people of Syria at a time when the EU is collecting weapons and bringing it to Syria and constant help from Qatar and Turkey is being given to terrorists. The treacheries are continuing and there is no longer a justification to stand still, those who are volunteers have to go and start helping”.

He then emphasized:

“Today our main war front is against the Zionist entity. This front has to be strengthened and the Zionist entity must be destroyed in the region”.

My Take:

On the surface, this is quite a serious development. The main page for the recruitment drive is on a site belonging to the supreme leader’s supporters. It also has the logo of the Hezbollah on it.

Whether these people will actually be sent to Syria is not clear, or sure as the Iranian regime has been very careful not to leave its finger prints there.

Furthermore, during the 2009 Israel – Gaza war, hard-line regime supporters who volunteered to help the people of Gaza were never allowed to leave Iran.

However if Khamenei does go ahead, these volunteers will most probably be used to fight the opposition forces. It’s very unlikely that they will be used to attack Israel, unless they belong to the IRGC’s Quds force. Even then it’s not clear that the Iranian regime would want to risk losing its top soldiers in Syria for the sake of Assad. This is a real risk as fighting Israeli soldiers who are much better trained is more dangerous than fighting the Syrian opposition forces.

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