What is going on in Syria?25/06/2012 18:44
NATO-USA, EU and Israeli intelligence experts discuss possible actions on how to change the Syrian regime without more bloodshed.
By Roni Alasor
BRUSSELS, June 25 (AKnews) - Violence, terror and bloody massacres have been continuing in Syria since the beginning of 2011. The international community represented by UN, NATO, EU and other international organisations is trying to find a solution, but they are not united in possible ways out of the crisis.
Meanwhile, the killings against the civilian opposition and the militants require an urgent reaction to the situation. What will be the most appropriate answer promoting democracy and regional stability in the Middle East? Western countries are decided to remove the Syrian regime, but how can they put an end to this without risking more human lives?
The situation became more sensitive after shooting down a Turkish military flight by Assad’s military forces. Turkey called on NATO for emergency talks. But does the North Atlantic Treaty Organization have an action plan now? Western-NATO-EU and Israeli military and intelligence experts are discussing possible solutions and action plans.
EU and Israeli experts discussed these and other questions in a meeting organised by the Centre for European Studies (CES) in Brussels.
Just before a Turkish-NATO war plane was shot down by Syria last Friday, NATO-USA, EU and Israeli intelligence experts and sources in Brussels were more careful for a complete military solution in Syria’s crisis: But how can any new decisions be taken after the situation become more sensitive between Syria and NATO country Turkey.
According the high level military intelligent experts, at the first stage, other solutions could prove to be more effective before the implementation of a full military action plan. Some initial measures could include for example the military movement and exercise in Syrian air/sea territory and the borders, NATO military aircraft movements in Syrian seacoast-Eastern Mediterranean, Turkish-NATO military exercises at the border between Turkey and Syria, the control of Syrian air space. The establishment of no fly zone in some areas can also be a military step, which can be used at the first stage.
One other discussion topic in the NATO and EU capital city Brussels is the threatening, disturbing, weakening and destroying of all kind of strategically important places, as for example the Syrian 4th armoured division, which is in charge of protecting Assad’s family and regime. All of those questions are high-level discussion topics right now between NATO members. NATO will make its position more clear tomorrow during the emergency meeting in Brussels.
On the other hand, experts believe that the reconciliation process in Syria, especially between Sunni and Alawites, becomes more and more difficult over time. There is a very big hatred between Sunni and Alawites, as well as other ethnic-religious groups. While the Kurds, an important ethnic minority of 2.5-3 million people, are not opposed to the current regime right now, Alawite Muslims, who are the main regime supporters and other religious minorities like Christians, Arameans, Armenians and Druzi are against a Sunni-Muslim dominated regime in the future.
The Syrian Muslim Brotherhood, supported by Saudi Arabia and Turkey and accused for having links to al-Qaida, pretends to have a growing influence among the opposition in Syria and could also bring new risks to the regional stability and peace. Those are the points that strengthen the regime’s position, strongly backed up by an Iranian mullah regime.
Position of EU
According EU sources and diplomats, who work closely with the Middle East affairs and who do not want to be named, the situation in Syria looks more like a bloody massacre, than a civil war. EU supports UN-Kofi Annan and Arab league mission, but it does not give much hope for a quick solution.
Economic, financial and oil sanctions towards the regime, as well as humanitarian help for the civil society should be among the priority steps in solving the Syria crisis. According to experts, the regime is not only Assad’s family, but a much larger group that has to be removed from power.
Israel is careful
Israeli sources and analysts believe that a new and democratic regime in Syria will contribute to stability in the whole region. But at the same time, Jerusalem tries to keep away and not be involved in the internal Syrian conflict. They are afraid that the regime will call every opposition group and individuals with classic accusations as “Zionist agents”. But they are ready to help with medical treatment and other humanitarian projects.
Sanctions provoke economic collapse and investors fleeing
Experts underline that Syrian economy is collapsing. The corruption is very high, there is no tourism and there is a big public deficit. The oil and financial sanctions imposed by the international community have been so long effective. But the sanctions have to be stepped up and tightened more to press harder on the regime. The economic situation is also unstable concerning investments. The investors are fleeing Syria. Investments mainly from Turkey, Kuwait, some Arabic/Emirate countries have nearly stopped and most probably not any big country or company will invest in Syria in the present situation. The regime has to be isolated and prevented from buying arms.
Iran continues to support terrorist groups in Middle East
Western experts strongly believe that Iran is playing a negative role in the Middle East by using Syria to support terrorist groups in Lebanon and in the Middle East. The Iranian Mullah regime, which is taking advantage of Syria as an important bastion, is supporting Assad’s regime. A change of the regime in Syria will also facilitate the weakening of Iran. A new Syria will never be the same. Such development / changes mean end of the Iranian influence in the regime, which destroys the democratic developments and the peace process also via current Syrian regime. It’s very important to cut all influence of Iranian regime, especially in the Middle East.
Russia loosing face in Arabic-Islamic world
Russia, which has been a supporter of many dictator regimes in the Middle East/Arabic world for many decades now, is trying to change its policy, since it also brings “hate” and negative reactions from the whole Arabic region.
Russians are losing hopes to keep the Arabic world. All those regimes, which have been supported by Russia for many decades until now are going away one by one. From Saddam regime to Kaddafi, Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen and now Assad’s regime is accounting its last days.
The message to Russia is to stop selling weapons to Assad and dictator regimes in the Middle East and not play a negative role in the development of democracy and human rights in the region.
Western intelligent services and experts do believe that the current position of Russia in the Middle East and support to the Iranian Mullah regime can be risky for Russia but also for China. Namely the hatred from citizens of the dictators regimes and Islamic organisations is just growing.