Political Power Struggles In Syria

Posted By Horizon Staff February 5th, 2013 in Opinions & Editorials : 0 COMMENTS

Ashley Estebo
Guest Writer

On January 30th, there was an attack made by an Israeli jet on a Syrian convoy along the Lebanese-Syrian border. The convoy had apparently been loaded with weapons. Because of the long-time friction between Israel and her neighbors, especially those neighbors who assist Hezbollah, Israel did not want to take any chances with this convoy. Syria has been known to aid the anti-Israeli group in the past, so to Israel, Syria is an enemy.

The trucks that were struck were holding SA-17 missile parts that were Russian-made, a medium-range delivery system, and other weapons that could have been used against Israel. The convoy was headed toward an area in Lebanon where Hezbollah members are known to reside. Interestingly enough, when Syria was given the news about the attack, they dismissed it and, instead, tried to focus on the fact that Israel had targeted a missile facility near Damascus killing two people. As for Hezbollah, they later broadcasted a claim that the Israeli attack on the convoy was “barbaric.” Hezbollah complains that even though the world frowns upon Israel’s actions, no one tries to stop Israel when it is the aggressor.

In the past, Syria has given Scud missiles to Hezbollah that are capable of carrying chemical warheads. As Syria faces issues with the security of its chemical arsenal and a possible collapse of its government, the United States has offered over $200 million in humanitarian to help the people remove their president, Bashar al-Assad, from power. The United States has also urged al-Assad’s opposition to establish a government structure so that when al-Assad’s government is overturned, there will be a new, established government prepared to take its place.

Because of the tension within Syria, many believe that the weapons-filled convoy was meant to supply Hezbollah in case of al-Assad’s overthrow. Syria has been a supplier of weapons to the terrorist regime, so if the president of Syria is forced to resign, Hezbollah would lose much of its aid.

Though the United States has given $200 million to aid the Syrian humanitarian cause, the U.S. has made it clear that they want to keep the Syrian people’s best interest in mind. Obama even approved another $155 million to be given to the cause. The U.S. is also concerned with how the neighbors of Syria, including Israel, will react if the Syrian president were to lose power. The United States is circumspect about its involvement in this matter because they want to make sure that all parties involved are protected and benefit from future decisions.

This conflict in Syria has led to the loss of over 60,000 people. While the U.S. is aiding the Syrian people, NATO has been in communication with al-Assad, urging him to stop the fighting and to facilitate an easy transfer of power. For the time being, al-Assad is biding his time until he is forced from his position of power, all the while continuing to supply weapons to Hezbollah. When this struggle for power and Syria’s involvement in terrorist activities will end is still up in the air. But in the meantime, relations between Israel, Syria, and their neighbors remain fragile and unstable.

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