Will Israel Pursue Same Policy In Syria As Ethiopia’s In Somalia?

Syria is getting out of control. With the Bashar Al-Assad regime collapsing, it is dragging the entire region into this collapse. Bombs rocked Turkey; there is growing violence in Lebanon… If the current situation goes on like this much longer, Syria will most likely turn into a second Somalia in the heart of the Middle East.

Syria is getting out of control.

CUMALI ÖNAL

Haberler

Syria is getting out of control. With the Bashar al-Assad regime collapsing, it is dragging the entire region into this collapse. Bombs rocked Turkey; there is growing violence in Lebanon… If the current situation goes on like this much longer, Syria will most likely turn into a second Somalia in the heart of the Middle East.

The Somalization of Syria would serve the interests of two countries in the region: Israel and Iran. Both are aware that a democratic and stable Syria would not serve their interests. Iran may try everything to destabilize Syria in an attempt to ensure that stability and democracy in this country do not benefit other countries.

However, all eyes should be turned to Israel on the Syrian issue. We can see how uncomfortable Israel is with newly elected President Mohammed Morsi, who is taking control in Egypt. The Israeli media continually publishes reports referring to this state of unease and dissatisfaction.

What policy will Israel pursue from now on? We could offer an answer to this question by taking a look at Ethiopia‘s longstanding policy vis-à-vis Somalia.

Ethiopia, which holds control over parts of Somali territory, interfered with the domestic affairs of the country after the collapse of the Said Barre administration in 1991.

Evidence shows that Ethiopia was responsible for the inter-communal conflicts in Somalia in which thousands of people were murdered. Ethiopia made sure that no single tribe maintained control in Somalia so that the civil war could not end.

The most typical example of this pattern and policy was observed in the early 2000s, when the Islamic Union of Courts seized control of the country. Shortly after the group took control of most parts of the country, including the capital Mogadishu, Ethiopia, backed by the US, conducted an operation in Somalia, causing the collapse of this administration, which Ethiopia accused of having ties with al-Shabab, an al-Qaeda cell. Now that Somalia has taken some major steps towards stability; Ethiopia’s actions and responses to these steps are to be expected.

As for Syria, if opposition groups in this country fail to reach an agreement, Israel may take control. And in this case, clashes may be provoked between tribes, groups and members of different religions and sects.

Israel benefits from the disagreements between Palestinian groups. Israeli authorities have disseminated strong propaganda to the world following Hamas’s firing of missiles into Israel from Gaza after a break of many months. Tel Aviv is able to pursue the same policy in Syria.

An unstable Syria would have a lot to offer Israel.

First, as Syria remains in turmoil, regional powers, including Turkey, will focus on the developments in this country; and they will not consider Israel’s actions. The world will not be interested in the Palestinian issue.

Second, an unstable Syria would mean that Israel could continue to maintain control of the Golan Heights, internationally recognized as Syrian territory. The Tel Aviv administration is well aware that a strong central government in Damascus would be more decisive than the Assad regime in taking the Golan Heights back from Israel.

Third, the separation of a predominantly Alawite and Druze area from the central administration in Syria would be a golden opportunity for Israel. In this case, the area could serve as a buffer zone between Israel and the Sunni Arab world to the north. In Lebanon, Hezbollah is preferable to Sunni Arabs for Israel.

The genie is out of the bottle in Syria. The question is, who will be the genie’s master? If it is Israel or Iran, there will be no stability in the region for a while. But if the groups reach consensus and settle their disagreements, agreeing on a central government or authority, the vicious plans of third parties for the region will be foiled.

Source: Haberler

SomaliSwiss@hotmail.com

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