- Posted March 29, 2014 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Why President Obama Keeps Getting It Wrong
For months now, a vicious civil war has engulfed Syria on Israel’s northeastern border—leaving countless Syrian civilian casualties in its wake. What is not widely understood is that this bloody conflict is essentially a war-by-proxy between Shiite Iran and Sunni Saudi Arabia.
Iran has a reliable ally in Syrian President Bashar al-Assad—a member of Syria’s “Alawite” Shia minority. Meanwhile, most of the numerous factions and militias fighting to overthrow the Assad regime arise from Syria’s Sunni majority. Some are closely affiliated with Al Qaeda.
The Saudis would like to see Assad replaced by a Sunni majority government in Syria, thereby shifting the balance of power in the Middle East away from Iran.
While the Israeli government has officially been neutral in the conflict up to this point, security and defense officials there have been quietly hoping that Assad would remain in power—being the lesser of two evils. Israel believes it has a good understanding of the threats posed by Assad. A chaotic, fragmented Syria run by rival Sunni militias and Al Qaeda warlords would pose a very different set of problems for Israel’s security and America and generally the world at large.
Israel’s preference has been to deal with the devil it knows in Assad.
According to Western intelligence sources, roughly 10,000 foreign Shia fighters are currently operating in support of the Assad regime. Among these are several thousand elite Hezbollah fighters. These also include trained, battle-tested Shia military units from Iraq.
In addition to hardcore Hezbollah and Iraqi Shia fighters, there are several hundred foreign fighters from Shia communities in Bahrain, Yemen, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and even some from Azerbaijan.
This build up of zealous, militarized Shia fighters in Syria has coincided with a series of escalating attacks and incidents along Israel’s border with Syria in the Golan Heights in recent weeks.
All of this means Israel may face serious security threats from the north no matter which side prevails in Syria’s civil war.
Assad id more inclined to listen to some degree Sunni Al Qaeda is hell bent on US destruction and that of the Holy Land
On Friday President Barack Obama met with Saudi King Abdullah, one of the sons of King Abdul Aziz, in an attempt to patch things up.
Why In recent months the normally hyper-discreet Saudis have gone on the record about their dissatisfactions with the Obama administration.
In December, Prince Turki al-Faisal, the former Saudi intelligence chief and ambassador to Washington, took the higly unusual step of criticizing President Obama’s administration "We've seen several red lines put forward by the president, which went along and became pinkish as time grew, and eventually ended up completely white...When that kind of assurance comes from a leader of a country like the United States, we expect him to stand by it."
It's inconceivable that Prince Turki, whose brother is the Saudi foreign minister, would make these public comments without approval from the highest levels of the Saudi government.
Why are the Saudis going public with their dissatisfaction with the Obama administration? The laundry list of Saudi complaints most recently is that the United States didn't make good on its "red line" threat to take action against the Bashar al Assad regime in Syria following its use of chemical weapons against its own population.
Syria is a close ally of Saudi Arabia's archrival, Iran, and the Saudis are also growing apprehensive that the United States will not take a firm line on Iran's nuclear program -- which the Saudis see as an almost-existential threat -- now that the U.S.-Iranian relations have recently thawed.
The Saudi were also puzzled by the fact that the Obama administration seemed willing to let a longtime U.S. ally, Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak, be thrown overboard during the "Arab Spring" of early 2011. What did that say about other longtime U.S. allies in the region?
Egypt became so chaotic with the Muslim Brotherhood the Army had to retake the country.
A few days ago The Lebanese town of Yabrud fell into the hands of the Syrian regime army, and with its fall a large number of militants from the factions fighting President Bashar al-Assad fled into adjacent Lebanese territory to the west. Most of them went to the Lebanese town of Arsal. . Based on the on-the-ground details, it became known on Saturday night/Sunday morning (March 15-16) that the Syrian army had tightened its control over the town of Yabrud, putting an end to the last armed opposition presence in the Qalamoun region.. The latter is a large region that stretches from northern Damascus to the west of the city. This also secured the route linking the Syrian capital to the northwest, passing through Homs and reaching up to the Syrian coast.
Leaders lead…Mr. President you have made a mess of the Middle East by not taking a stand.