News / Middle East

Kerry Discusses Syria Regional Fallout in Israel

Kerry Discusses Syria Regional Fallout in Israeli
X
November 06, 2013 5:52 PM
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met Wednesday in Jerusalem and discussed several topics, including the fallout from the civil war in neighboring Syria. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on how the fighting in Syria affects Israeli security.

Kerry Discusses Syria Regional Fallout in Israel

— U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met Wednesday in Jerusalem and discussed several topics, including the fallout from the civil war in neighboring Syria and how the fighting affects Israeli security.

Fighting in Syria has broad security and humanitarian implications for its neighbors - an instability that shows no sign of fading.

Kerry told Netanyahu the international community understands those risks to regional stability, including Israel's security.

"The impact of Syria on this region cannot be overstated. Massive numbers of refugees, enormous violence, now the potential of disease - polio - a breakdown of the health system - perhaps even if we don’t succeed, the destruction of the state of Syria with all of those dangerous implications," said Kerry.

Mired in its civil war, the Syrian government has done little to antagonize Israel. Syria's army knows the might of Israel's military force, said Cato Institute analyst Doug Bandow, so it is not looking to open a second front with Israel.

"I think the issue for Israel much more is simply collapse [of Syria]. It's a question of al-Qaida," said Bandow. "It's a question of terrorism. In many ways the worst case for Israel is for the rebels to win because they're much less controllable. They're multiple factions. My guess is there wouldn't be a unified government."

Still, there also is the issue of Iran's support for Syrian forces and for the Lebanon-based, anti-Israel, militant group Hezbollah. Israel reportedly has struck several Hezbollah targets ferrying arms inside Syria.

American University professor Akbar Ahmed said  Israel is watching Hezbollah closely. "Iran can not simply abandon the field, as it were. It also supports Hezbollah. Hezbollah is very closely allied with the government in Syria and has a major presence in Lebanon. And because of the Lebanon situation, Israel gets involved."

Especially at a time when Israel is concerned about Iran's nuclear ambitions and what it fears is a new willingness by international mediators to strike a deal over easing sanctions. Netanyahu says that would be a dangerous mistake.

"I think that this attitude buttressed by a policy of terror worldwide supporting Hezbollah, Hamas, and all the forces that are against peace participating in a mass murder in Syria - I think such a regime must not have the world’s most dangerous weapons," said Netanyahu.

Israeli concerns about Syrian instability also include the political crisis in neighboring Egypt and a broader breakdown in alliances...  as the United States has suspended the delivery of major weapons systems to Egypt's military-backed civilian government.

"Egypt swinging away from its traditional role as a close ally of the United States, especially in the context of the geopolitics of the region, brings in Israel, brings in Saudi Arabia," said Ahmed.

As fighting continues, Syrian peace talks that had been planned for later this month may now not happen before the end of the year-- as Israel has made clear its willingness to continue striking targets inside Syria to prevent the rearming of Hezbollah.

You May Like

Video On the Scene: In Gaza, Darkness Brings Dread and Death

Palestinians fear nighttime raids, many feel abandoned by outside world, VOA's Scott Bobb reports More

African Small Farmers Could Be Key to Ending Food Insecurity

Experts say providing access to microloans, crop insurance, better storage facilities, irrigation, road systems and market information could enable greater production More

University of Michigan Wins Solar Car Race

Squad guided its student-designed solar-powered vehicle to fifth consecutive time victory in eight-day bi-annual American Solar Challenge More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid