Topic:

Syria

Russia’s Unlikely Withdrawal from Syria

| November 7, 2017

Moscow’s intervention in the Syrian civil war boosted the reputation of the Russian military, afforded it valuable training, and enhanced Moscow’s political clout in both the conflict zone itself and the Middle East more generally. With that said, Syria threatens to become a quagmire for Russia, and Moscow is looking for an exit. This will be difficult to pull off as Russia faces considerable geopolitical constraints.

Russia’s Air Defenses in Syria: More Politics than Punch

| October 18, 2017

As a result of Moscow’s geopolitical considerations in Syria, chief among them the desire to avoid direct confrontation with the US and Israel, Russia’s air defenses in the region have assumed the tasks of political intimidation and reassurance. The Kremlin has issued warnings to both Israel and the US-led anti-ISIS coalition not to strike forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad, but Russia is unlikely to attempt to engage Israeli or coalition aerial assets unless its own forces are attacked or the assets approach Russian military installations too closely. Even then, intercepting them will be no easy task. While Russia’s modern air defenses in Syria are formidable, they are not “game-changers.”

The Militia Option in Syria

The war in Syria has focused attention on the role of the militia forces. Although we may see the phenomenon as entirely negative, it also has positive aspects and reflects a genuine need that affects our lives as well.

The Ebbing of Warfare in Syria Will Spell Catastrophe for Europe

Europe, reeling from successive waves of refugees and migrants, desperately needs the end of the Syrian civil war, which for the first time seems in the offing. But the emerging peace will only increase the emigration.

What’s On a Muslim Refugee’s Mind?

| September 10, 2017

Almost all the “poor” illegal migrants on the Greek islands want to go to Germany, where they have heard from friends and relatives that they will be the best paid for being refugees. The cliché “the-poor-souls-are-fleeing-war-in-their-native-country” is becoming less and less convincing by the day. True, most Syrians fled to Turkey after the start of civil war in their country. But is flight from war their motivation as they proceed onwards to Greece, Serbia, Hungary, and Austria?

The Hezbollah-Fath al-Sham Ceasefire: A New Regional Equilibrium?

| August 31, 2017

According to a recent Lebanese press report, a ceasefire agreement has been signed between Hezbollah and the insurgent group Fath al-Sham. This pivotal agreement may serve as an opportunity for both sides to widen the ceasefire into a full agreement that will end the Syrian civil war, which would enable Hezbollah to redirect its efforts towards Israel. Israel must address these developments and implement a new strategy to meet the new era.

Defying Syrian Employment of Chemical Weapons: An Outstanding American Move

Thanks to concrete intelligence attained in real time, the US was able to warn Syria, publicly and decisively, about repeated employment of chemical weapons. This unusual development is meaningful on several levels, and mirrors the delicate geopolitical balance that exists in Syria and beyond.

Assad Is Bad News

| June 3, 2017

Arguing that the continuation of Assad’s brutal regime is a vital Israeli interest does not make strategic sense. A Syria embroiled in a civil war has much less energy and means for hurting Israel than a strong Syria. Nor is the Syria of today able to wage an effective diplomatic and/or military campaign aimed at the return of the Golan. Above all, the survival of the Assad regime is a victory for Iran – the main source of trouble in the Middle East and Israel’s arch-enemy. Expressing support for the Assad regime, which is responsible for hundreds of thousands of casualties, for using chemical weapons, for ethnic cleansing, for massive destruction, and for creating waves of millions of refugees, is also morally reprehensible.

Trump’s Air Strike on al-Tanf: No to the Shiite Crescent

| June 1, 2017

The two recent US air strikes on a Syrian convoy heading to the al-Tanf military base in the southern Syrian Desert a few miles from the Jordanian-Syrian border have major strategic importance. The attack signaled for the first time since the Syrian civil war broke out in 2011 that the US would not countenance the reemergence of the Iranian-controlled Shiite crescent that Iran had created through Teheran, Baghdad, Damascus, and Beirut after the US exited Iraq in 2010.

Assad’s Survival Is in Israel’s Best Interest

| May 25, 2017

Despite the Assad’s regime’s longstanding pretense to raise the banner of all-out war against Israel, since the October 1973 War the Syrian-Israeli border on the Golan Heights has been conspicuously quiet. Today, as Syria no longer capably functions as a sovereign state, a strong Syrian president with firm control over the state is a vital interest for Israel.