Syria – A Crisis Of Many Moving Parts
Britain Moving Cautiously Toward Approval Of Strike While many obstacles remain, the united Kingdom released its legal justification for militarily striking Syria. But any plans face enormous opposition within the government, international community, and among Britain’s public.
Arab League Blames Syria For Chemical Weapons Attack On Wednesday, the Arab League said the regime of Bashir al-Assad was “fully responsible” for an alleged chemical weapons attack and suggested the United Nations Security Council should affirm the “necessary resolutions against the perpetrators of this crime.”
Arab League Secretary General Nabil el Araby did not directly mention Assad, but said the attack was a “flagrant violation of international humanitarian law.”
Al-Arabiya reports Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal has called for “decisive and serious” position against the Syrian regime.
“The rejection of the Syrian regime of all serious and earnest Arab efforts …. requires a decisive and serious standby the international community to stop the humanitarian tragedy of the Syrian people,” Prince al-Faisal said.
Iranian Reaction Is Factor In Decision To Strike Syria
The Daily Beast’s Eli Lake reports that the potential reaction of Iran to military strikes on Syria have loomed over discussions among Obama foreign policy staff. In particular, officials were increasingly concerned about Iran’s willingness to launch terror attacks outside of the Middle East.
“One U.S. official said the Iranian willingness in 2011 and 2012 to launch terrorist attacks outside the Middle East was a surprise. ‘We never thought their analytics would bring them to the conclusion that a strike inside the United States would not raise our significant ire,’ the official said. ‘We had to change our calculus about what they think our red lines are,'” Lake writes.
Iran remains an important actor in recent developments as they are an essential part of the triad of nations continuing to back Assad’s regime. China and Russia are the other two.
Holly Yan writes that for Iran Syria has been a loyal ally, but also share a common religious thread – both are dominated by members of Shi’ites.
“For Iran, Syria is also a strategically key ally. It’s Iran’s main conduit to the Shiite militia Hezbollah in Lebanon, the proxy through which Iran can threaten Israel with an arsenal of short-range missiles,” she adds.
Former Weapons Inspector Says US, Europe Have No Mandate For Action
Former UN nuclear weapons inspector Hans Blix writes in The Guardian that regardless of whether Assad used chemical weapons, Europe and the US do not possess a mandate to act. Neither does the UN Security Council, says Blix.
Rather, he suggests, the Security Council should “seek to achieve not just an end to chemical weapons use but an end to all weapons use, by a ceasefire. As was planned not long ago by the US and Russia, the council must seek to bring about a conference at which relevant parties and states can form an interim authority. The alternative is continued civil war in Syria and worsening international relations.”