News / Middle East

Israeli Strikes in Syria Pose Dilemma for Arab States

Israeli Strikes in Syria Pose Dilemma for Arab Statesi
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May 06, 2013 5:47 PM
The response to Israeli airstrikes against Syrian government targets highlights the intricate web of loyalties ensnaring neighboring Arab states. VOA's Elizabeth Arrott has more from Cairo.

Israeli Strikes in Syria Pose Dilemma for Arab States

Elizabeth Arrott
— The response to Israeli airstrikes against Syrian government targets highlights the intricate web of loyalties ensnaring neighboring Arab states.

The Arab League early on suspended the Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad, but has now rushed to condemn attacks attributed to Israel against his forces. Yet the rebuke of Israel comes as the Arab League tries to revive a decade-old peace plan envisioning regional recognition of the Jewish state.

There also is the sectarian factor. Most Sunni-majority states have sided with Syria's Sunni-led opposition, in part to thwart the reach of Shi'ite-led Iran into the Arab world. There is even quiet approval of Israel's determination not to let Iran create nuclear weapons.

Iranian ally Hezbollah has wide support in the region, however, precisely for its anti-Israel stance. Intelligence sources say the Israeli attacks were aimed at halting the transfer of Iranian-made missiles to the Lebanese Shi'ite group as they passed through Syria.

Syrian officials sought to capitalize on the confusion, tying Israel to Syrian rebel forces.

"[The Syrian military] has the right and responsibility to protect its country and people from any form of infringement either at home or abroad,” said Syrian Information Minister Omran al Zoubi.

For all the denunciations of the Israeli attacks, though, there appears to be little appetite for any military response.

When diplomatic efforts to end the Syrian conflict fell apart, the idea of Arab military intervention did not take its place. And Arab militaries have for decades shied away from confrontation with Israel, after defeat in previous wars.

As Israel appears to have taken an active military role in Syria, sectarian tensions spill across Syria's borders and the strain of more than a million refugees take their toll, the region cannot avoid being affected, one way or another.

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by: Tamo'shanter from: Australia
May 07, 2013 9:24 PM
Why is it that when Israel attempts to defend its citizens from terrorist entities the Arab world takes it as a mortal offence to their integrity and serious threat to their existence. So far they Arab league has been helpless and ineffectual in the face of the absurd situation in Syria. There will be no action taken on their part that would see resolve to this conflict. Indeed they are all standing by anxiously awaiting an outcome favourable to their best interests regardless of how many die in this conflict.


by: Takfir wal-Hijra from: Saudi Arabia
May 07, 2013 1:32 PM
Two of Syria's key regional rivals, the impotent Turkey and the corrupt Saudi Arabia, have both "condemned" Israel's air raids against Syria designed to staunch the flow of weapons from Iran to their dispensable slaves from the Hezbullah.
In a blatant sign of green envy and jealousy Turkey and, I am sorry to say, the Saudis asked the UN to condemn Israel... what a shame!! that act of cowardice is so shameful - Turkey, i understand - they are filth... but Saudi Arabia? my country? to say such a thing? Abdullah, you have brought shame on us... and that I canot forgive.

AFP quoted Turkey's prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan as saying: "No excuse can justify this operation."

The agency also reported the Saudi cabinet calling for "swift action by the UN security council to stop these incredible and efficient Israeli attacks on Syrian territories".


by: Bekepu John from: Nigeria
May 07, 2013 11:56 AM
It is only prayer for peace and diplomacy that will end this crisis. The Jews have a right to life and the Arabs also. Neither Iran nor Israel, has the solution, nor siding the shite against the sunni will give us what we need now; Peace. Innocent blood has been spilled and more will be spilled, while politicians, arm dealers, and religious bigots are having a field day. Please, let's save lives and stop this arms struggle.


by: MUSTAFA from: PAKISTAN
May 07, 2013 6:30 AM
No body can go in paradise if his hands full of human blood. Whether victim belive in GOD OR NOT. Whether victim accept pillars of ISLAM OR NOT but KILLER cannot enter paradise. IF some body belive that by killing INNOCENT people for the sake of JIHAD they will enter in paradise. They are living in dream world. If any body can prove with QURAN that killer will go to paradise because of these cruel acts i would be grateful if he increase my knowledge.


by: Ahl a-Sunnah from: Jihad
May 06, 2013 5:48 PM
hear now ya Bashar, Iran and Hezbullah... now you will feel the power of Ahl a Sunna the protectors of Ahl al Kitāb.


by: Imam Azam from: Syria
May 06, 2013 3:04 PM
what "dilemma"? Israel is the only country in the world to step in and save Sunni lives... the sword and shield of Sunna Islam will protect Israel for the end of time. We will ask forgiveness in God for our sins against His Chosen Beloved People. There is no dilemma. in the Middle east you have to prove that fear is not your master but your slave. Israel has proven - they are part of us now. the Ahl-Al-Kitab (the People of the Book) are in the protection of Sunna Islam. the Chosen People of the House of Israel are our brothers

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