26 May, Saturday

“The USA will not let anyone to decide for them how Syrian policy should be realized” - Israeli expert-Exclusive


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Eyal Zisser, vice rector of Tal-Aviv university and the head of the Yona and Dina Ettinger Chair of Contemporary Middle Eastern History gave exclusive interview to Eurasia Diary regarding the USA missile strike against Syria.

Eurasia Diary: The USA has carried out missile attack against air base in Syria in response to suspected chemical weapons launch on rebel-held town.  From your opinion,  is the United States right in punishing Assad regime?

Eyal Zisser: It is difficult to reply this question accurately. On the one hand, there should be red lined that should not be crossed. We can debate why this is a red line and other tragedies and atrocities around the world should not be allowed. But it’s a good idea for the international community to implement such red lines. Now, the ideal thing is to carry out such punishment, in the frame work and in accordance with the international law (following a decision taken by the Security Council). But we know that there is a deadlock in the council, because of the American-Russian tension.  If the government representatives of the USA were sure that the Syrian regime used chemical weapons, I think they did the right thing, but they should seek international approval for such actions in the future.

Eurasia Diary:  From point of your view, will attempt of the Trump administration enhance confrontation between the USA and Russia in the Middle East?  

Eyal Zisser:  No, I think that they will not be confronted each other. However, there are  shocking pictures of the died children as a result of the chemical attack, urged USA to act. But I think that the Trump administration will try to work with Russians. It is not in the interest of anyone to get into a confrontation, and, Trump and Putin will do well till lately.

Eurasia Diary: Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Israel have supported missile attack of the United States against Syria.  Do you regard, will Syrian policy of the Trump administration invigorate three regional countries to promote military intervention in Syria?  

Eyal Zisser: These countries will not send troops into Syria.  The USA will not let anyone to decide for them how Syrian policy should be realized and these countries will not be allowed by the Trump administration to intervene in Syria militarily. Moreover, the Trump administration know well that it is  complicated to engage in war with Syria for Israel, Saudi Arabia and Turkey, because they will carry out such operation alone. European countries also have been indicating diplomatic support and symbolic participation in any future American move.

Eurasia Diary: Now, it is impossible for Russia to come with the USA and other western countries under coalition in order to fight against international terrorism. In your opinion, would increase of tension between West and Russia encourage numerous terrorist groups to continue massive crimes against humanity?

Eyal Zisser: Everyone is against terrorism, but Russia see all the rebels against the Syrian regime as terrorists while the USA see some of them as not terrorist organization. The White House consider Syrian regime as a source for problems in the Middle East and as a source for terrorism while for Russia, keeping Bashar al-Asad in power is part of the solution to the Syrian crisis.

Eurasia Diary: What kind of way is sustainable for peace and prosperity in the Middle East? 

Eyal Zisser: Problems are internal and there is lack of positive challenges- such as economic growth, eliminating corruption, political openness, and prevailing over religious radicalism. As long as,  Arab societies will not find a way to overcome their domestic problem. I am concerned that very little can be done in order to stabilize the region.

by Yunis Abdullayev

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