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 Obama to Send 3,000 Troops to Liberia in Ebola Fight

At Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, President says US will take leadership role for a global response to deadly Ebola virus that is ravaging West Africa More

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

Muslims in Kunming say that they condemn the violence, it is not a reflection of the true beliefs of their faith More

Humanitarian Aid, Equipment Blocked in Cameroon

Move is seen as a developing supply crisis in West Africa More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Spacei
X
September 17, 2014 4:20 AM
The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid