Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A Threatened Assad May Attack Israel

Middle East expert Professor Eyal Zisser warned on Monday against a possible Syrian attack on Israel, if President Bashar Assad feels threatened by the anti-regime protesters.

In an interview with Arutz Sheva, Zisser said that in the short term there is no reason for particular concern, because a situation which is bad for Assad is good for Israel as this means that the Syrian president is preoccupied with his internal affairs and not with attacking Israel.

Zisser added that the concern is in the long run, because it is quite possible that a desperate Assad may decide to rally his people around a common enemy, namely Israel.

Referring to Defense Minister Ehud Barak’s comments on Sunday that the end of Assad’s rule is approaching and that it would be a “blessing for the Middle East,” Prof. Zisser said that these remarks do not have any special meaning for the Syrians as they do not pay attention to remarks made by an Israeli defense minister.

He also spoke of the interview Assad gave last week to ABC News, in which he told veteran journalist Barbara Walters that “no government in the world [would] kill its people unless it’s led by a crazy person.” Zisser explained that the interview is a direct continuation of an attempt by Assad’s men to show him as an enlightened person who is different from his father. This attempt, he said, has been ongoing since Assad took over power from his father. more