U.N. envoy Lakhdar Brahimi warned the Syrian crisis will not remain inside Syria. And on Friday his words echoed when an explosion rocked the neighborhood of Ashafriyeh, a densely populated area in Beirut.
We do not need to guess that it is the work of the Syrian regime and its followers. In fact, we are sure of that. A day earlier, Saudi Border Guards nabbed infiltrators from the Revolutionary Guard, who came to the Eastern Province armed with weapons and equipment. They had a deliberate plan for sabotage, but were stopped just in time.
Even before Brahimi’s warnings, we were wary of the Iranian and Syrian regimes. We were aware that they intend to export the crisis abroad under a policy of threats and blackmail that is typical of them. Since the beginning of the crisis 20 months ago, we expected bombings and acts of aggression as the last resort in order to break the siege of the Syrian regime by the people’s revolution. Assad failed to extinguish or halt the progression of people’s revolt against him.
Syria and Iran are famous for the world’s sabotage operations for over 30 years. In Lebanon in 1980s, kidnappings, bombings and assassinations were order of the day and in the 1980s Iran was behind the first bombing in al-khobar city in Saudi Arabia. In the past 10 years, Syria was behind thousands of bombings in Iraq and dozens of bombings and assassinations in Lebanon.
Since his plan to rule Lebanon through terrorist operations failed, Bashar Assad and Iran’s Revolutionary Guard would also fail to stop the historic change in Syria. The Syrian and Iranian regimes believe that by carrying out bombings in Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and possibly other countries in the vicinity of Syria, they will impose a solution and save Assad.
But despite the campaign of intimidation and terror, the Syrian regime is bound to fall, and the fate of Assad is in the hands of the Syrian people, and what is happening outside its borders will not affect him.
Countries in the region must prepare for battle, which Brahimi warned us about. We may see more acts of terrorism and sabotage.
Just as we had thwarted sabotage attempts by Iran in Kuwait and in Saudi Arabia in the past, and thwarted the Iranian policy of extortion, we are now preparing for a new round that gives us no option but to face the two evil regimes.
The responsibility to rein in violence and put an end to Iran’s dream of saving Assad’s regime lies with the countries of the region, including Saudi Arabia. They should accelerate the support for the Syrian revolution and enable the rebels to eliminate the source of the devastation in the region.
This article was published on the Saudi-based Arab News on Oct. 21, 2012