Israeli Official Calls for US War in Syria: CIA Warns Al Qaeda Could Replace Assad
August 22, 2013
Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Barbara Opall-Rome / Defense News
With the ongoing civil war in Syria getting more and more complicated by the minute, Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon has issued a public call for US military involvement, saying it was vital for the US to stop Assad from retaining power. Ya'alon's position is in direct conflict with the CIA's own assessment, which put Syria's civil war as a "top threat" to US national security on the grounds that Assad losing and al-Qaeda taking over would be a disastrous situation.
Israeli Official Calls for US War in Syria
Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com
(August 14, 2013) -- With the ongoing civil war in Syria getting more and more complicated by the minute, Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon has issued a public call for US military involvement, saying it was vital for the US to stop Assad from retaining power.
Ya'alon went on to announce a new "axis of evil," which he described as including Iran, Syria and Lebanon, and insisted it was "forbidden" to allow them to win the civil war, which is being fought against an increasingly al-Qaeda-dominated rebellion.
Ya'alon's position is in direct conflict with the CIA's own assessment, which put Syria's civil war as a "top threat" to US national security on the grounds that Assad losing and al-Qaeda taking over would be a disastrous situation. Yet it's the one Israel is apparently shooting for.
The comments of the Israeli DM also reflect an obsession with Iran, as he declared "the Iranian regime is involved in every conflict in this region." It's a great soundbite for the Iran-obsessed hawks, but it is a bizarre comment as well, because a number of growing conflicts in the region, including the fighting in Egypt and Yemen's fight with al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), arguably the most high profile fights in the Middle East outside of Syria, don't even tangentially involve Iran.
Israeli DM Urges US Action in Syria; Warns of 'Axis of Evil'
Barbara Opall-Rome / Defense News
NEW YORK (Aug. 14, 2013) -- Warning of protracted, destabilizing conflict in Syria, Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon urged the visiting chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff to prevent Iran and its Lebanon-based Hezbollah proxies from prevailing on behalf of embattled Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad.
In the most publicly direct appeal to date for US support of anti-Assad rebels, Ya'alon told Gen. Martin Dempsey, "It is forbidden to allow the axis of evil -- Tehran-Damascus-Beirut -- to win this conflict."
According to a statement released after Ya'alon's Aug. 13 meeting with the senior-ranking US military officer, the Israeli defense minister said the two countries must be prepared for "a long conflict" within Syria.
Ya'alon flagged Iran as the source of much of the region's instability, insisting "the Iranian regime ... is involved in every conflict in this region."
A day earlier, on an Aug. 12 tour of Israel's northern border, Ya'alon said Assad still controls some 40 percent of the country. The bloodbath that has claimed more than 100,000 Syrian lives could continue indefinitely, the Israeli said.
Dempsey has repeatedly expressed concerns over the costs, benefits and risks associated with US military intervention on behalf of the loosely coordinated, disparate rebel groups battling to oust Assad and his Alawite minority rule of the country.
CIA Claims Syria Is Top ‘Threat,'
And US Policy Is Making It Worse
Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com
(August 12, 2013) -- Outgoing CIA Deputy Leader Michael Morrell raised more than a few eyebrows this weekend when in an interview he declared Syria to be the "top current threat to US national security," a spot usually reserved for someplace the US is directly militarily involved in.
The declaration is even more significant the deeper you get into Morrell's comments, as he makes clear exactly what about Syria the CIA sees as a threat, saying the risk is that the Assad government "collapses and the country becomes al-Qaeda's new haven."
That's a problematic admission for a US official to make, even one that is heading into retirement, because the US has made the collapse of the Assad government it's stated goal since the nation's civil war began.
Indeed, US policy toward Syria is centering on making the threat even greater, as the administration is poised to start arming rebel fighters who are openly cooperating with al-Qaeda to further their goal of ousting Assad, and setting up the exact Sunni-dominated Islamist government the CIA fears.
Morrell warned that a collapse of the Assad government had a similar risk for weapons proliferation as the NATO-imposed regime change in Libya did, and that violence was likely to spill-over into Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq. Of course the war is already spilling over to some extent in each of these cases, but it seems clear it will only get worse.
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