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

Analyst: Joint-Arab Military Force Poses Perilous Challenge

Although international forces are desperately needed to counter the threat of the Islamic State group, analysts say conflicting alliances could escalate fighting More

Asia’s Middle Class Changes Demand for Wheat Grain Exporters

Changes in tastes and diets are boon for wheat exporters such as Australia and the United States More

S. African Comedian Taking Over Popular TV Show

Mixed-race comedian Trevor Noah, who is loved for his edgy jibes about race and language, is taking the helm from Jon Stewart at The Daily Show in US More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadistsi
X
Greg Flakus
March 30, 2015 6:48 PM
At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video With Coalition Airstrikes, Iraq Entering 'Last Page' of IS Battle

American warplanes joined Iraq's battle against the so-called 'Islamic State' in northern Iraq late Wednesday, as Iraqi ground troops launched a massive assault on Tikrit. Analysts say the offensive could take the coalition a step further towards Mosul, the largest city held by Islamic State forces. Others say it could also deepen already-dangerous sectarian tensions in the region. VOA's Heather Murdock has more from Cairo.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Hi-tech Motorbike Helmet's Goal: Improve Road Safety

In cities with heavily congested traffic, people can get around much faster on a motorcycle than in a car. But a rider who is not sure of his route may have to stop to look at the map or consult a GPS. A Russian start-up company is working to make navigation easier for motorcyclists. Designers at Moscow-based LiveMap are developing a smart helmet with a built-in navigation system, head-mounted display and voice recognition. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video DOJ: Illinois National Guard Soldier Tried to Join ISIS

U.S. federal law enforcement agents arrested two suburban Chicago men accused of trying to join ISIS overseas, while also plotting attacks in the United States. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports from the Midwest state of Illinois, one of those arrested is a soldier of the Illinois National Guard.
Video

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Traditional push-rim wheelchairs create a lot of stress for arm, shoulder and neck muscles and joints. A redesigned chair, based on readily available bicycle technology, radically increases mobility while reducing the physical effort. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More