News / Middle East

Israeli Strikes in Syria Pose Dilemma for Arab States

Israeli Strikes in Syria Pose Dilemma for Arab Statesi
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.

You May Like

NASA: Pluto Has Blue Sky

New photos also reveal the presence of water ice More

Report: US to Sail Warships Near Disputed S. China Sea Islands

Move will signal nonrecognition of Chinese territorial claims over area, Financial Times reports, citing senior US official More

Study Describes Ancient Deltas, Lakes on Mars

Research builds on recent NASA announcement that water flows on red planet today More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
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.

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

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Syrian Village Community Faces Double Displacement in Lebanoni
John Owens
October 08, 2015 7:32 PM
Driven by war from their village in southwestern Syria, a group of families found shelter in Lebanon, resettling en masse in a half-built university to form one of the biggest settlements of its kind in Lebanon. Three years later, however, they now face being kicked out and dispersed in a country where finding shelter as a refugee can be especially tough. John Owens has more for VOA from the city of Saida, also known as Sidon.

Video Syrian Village Community Faces Double Displacement in Lebanon

Driven by war from their village in southwestern Syria, a group of families found shelter in Lebanon, resettling en masse in a half-built university to form one of the biggest settlements of its kind in Lebanon. Three years later, however, they now face being kicked out and dispersed in a country where finding shelter as a refugee can be especially tough. John Owens has more for VOA from the city of Saida, also known as Sidon.

Video Bat Colony: Unusual Tourist Attraction in Texas

The action hero Batman might be everyone’s favorite but real bats hardly get that kind of adoration. Put more than a million of these creatures of the night together and it only evokes images of horror. Sarah Zaman visited the largest urban bat colony in North America to see just how well bat and human get along with each other.

Video Device Shows Promise of Stopping Motion Sickness

It’s a sickening feeling — the dizziness, nausea and vomiting that comes with motion sickness. But a device now being developed could stop motion sickness by suppressing certain signals in the brain. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.

Video Making a Mint

While apples, corn, and cranberries top the list of fall produce in the US, it’s also the time to harvest gum, candy, and toothpaste—or at least the oil that makes them minty fresh. Erika Celeste reports from South Bend, Indiana on the mint harvest.

Video Activists Decry Lagos Slum Demolition

Acting on a court order, authorities in Nigeria demolished a slum last month in the commercial capital, Lagos. But human rights activists say the order was illegal, and the community was razed to make way for a government housing project. Chris Stein has more from Lagos.

Video Self-Driving Cars Getting Closer

We are at the dawn of the robotic car age and should start getting used to seeing self-driving cars, at least on highways. Car and truck manufacturers are now running a tight race to see who will be the first to hit the street, while some taxicab companies are already planning to upgrade their fleets. VOA’s George Putic has more.

Video TPP Agreed, But Faces Stiff Opposition

President Barack Obama promoted the Trans-Pacific Partnership on Tuesday, one day after 12 Pacific Rim nations reached the free trade deal in Atlanta. The controversial pact that would involve about 40 percent of global trade still needs approval by lawmakers in respective countries. Zlatica Hoke reports Obama is facing strong opposition to the deal, including from members of his own party.

Video Clinton Seeks to Boost Image Before Upcoming Debate

The five announced Democratic party presidential contenders meet in their first debate next Tuesday in Las Vegas, Nevada. Former secretary of state Hillary Clinton continues to lead the Democratic field, but she is getting a stronger-than-expected challenge from Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.

Video Ukranian Artist Portrays Putin in an Unusual Way

As Russian President Vladimir Putin was addressing the United Nations in New York last month, he was also being featured in an art exhibition in Washington. It’s not a flattering exhibit. It’s done by a Ukrainian artist in a unique medium. And its creator says it’s not only a work of art - it’s a political statement. VOA’s Tetiana Kharchenko has more.

Video South Carolina Reels Under Worst-ever Flooding

South Carolina is reeling from the worst flooding in recorded history that forced residents from their homes and left thousands without drinking water and electricity. Parts of the state, including the capital, Columbia, received about 60 centimeters of rain in just a couple of days. Authorities warn that the end of rain does not mean the end of danger, as it will take days for the water to recede. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Russia’s Syria Involvement Raising Concerns in Europe

European nations are joining the United States in demanding that Russia stop targeting opposition groups other than the Islamic State militants as Russian warplanes continue to conduct raids in Syria. The demand came in a statement from Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States Friday. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video Nano-tech Filter Cleans Dirty Water

Access to clean water is a problem for hundreds of millions of people around the world. Now, a scientist and chemical engineer in Tanzania (in East Africa) is working to change that by creating an innovative water filter that makes dirty water safe. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.

Video Demand Rising for Organic Produce in Cambodia

In Cambodia, where rice has long been the main cash crop, farmers are being encouraged to turn to vegetables to satisfy the growing demand for locally produced organic farm products. Daniel de Carteret has more from Phnom Penh.

Video Botanists Grow Furniture, with Pruning Shears

For something a bit out of the ordinary to furnish your home, why not consider wooden chairs, crafted by nature, with a little help from some British botanists with an eye for design. VOA’s Jessica Berman reports.

VOA Blogs