The Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim Jaafari has just issued a statement warning against any US strikes on the Syrian Arab Republic. Jaafari said,
“If you strike Syria, it is a disaster, a loss of all considerations, and a danger to all of our countries”.
Earlier, Turkish officials including the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and President Erdogan warned against both US strikes and possible Russian counter-strikes. Since then President Erdogan has spoken with both the US and Russian Presidents in attempts to de-escalate the situation and avoid any missile strikes.
Lebanon’s President Michel Aoun has condemned an illegal “Israeli” airstrike against Syria that took place on the 9th of April, while Aoun and his associates have chastised any further strikes against the legitimate government of Syria. Shortly thereafter Lebanon’s Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil condemned any acts of aggression against any Arab country, with a clear emphasis being on Syria. Meanwhile, Jordanian government has been characteristically quiet about the entire matter, although many in Jordan privately fear that their country could be destabilised by US strikes on Syria. Jordan has in fact been working to quietly repair incredibly strained relations with Syria and even recently attempted to send a trade delegation to Damascus, before being postponed due to the recent crisis.
The only neighbour of Syria that has shown its support for anti-Syrian strikes is of course, “Israel”. While “Israeli” official media and politicians continue to clamour for the downfall of their longtime rival in Damascus, privately, even in “Israel” many officials are growing tense about the repercussions of a US strike on Syria.
With Russia chastising its “Israeli” partner for its airstrikes against Syria on the 9th, by publicly calling them “destabilising”, “Israeli” regime leader Benjamin Netanyahu initiated a phone call with the Russian President in what appears to be an attempt to mediate against a wider Russo-American war in the region. While “Israel” remains a sworn enemy of the Syrian Arab Republic, officials in Tel Aviv are well aware that a wider world war breaking out next door could cause blow-back into occupied Palestine and that furthermore, with Iran promising retaliation against “Israel”, pro-Islamic Revolutionary forces in the region including the Lebanese Resistance Hezbollah could take the war directly to “Israel” should major global hostilities breakout.
In this sense, while Tel Aviv is hedging its bets to be sure, if the possibility of anything more than a limited and generally symbolic strike is conducted by the US and its European client states against Syria, Tel Aviv may find themselves in a unique position of trying to restrain their western partners, not out of any love for Syria and her Iranian ally, but out of pure self-preservation.
Because of this, even an aggressive regime like the one in Tel Aviv is using its good relations with both Russia and the United States to try and calm tensions. Turkey is of course playing a similar role, albeit in a much more prominent and public fashion.
While the US, UK and France salivate at attempts to re-impose neo-colonial rule over Syria, for the governments surrendering the Syrian Arab Republic, many of whom have vast disputes with each other – they are all nevertheless united in a combination of public and private opposition to a further aggravation to the conflict in Syria, whether it is a limited strike that could unleash terrorism or a wider strike that could unleash a conflict between superpowers in which no regional nation would be safe.