Due to the weakness of the Syrian forces, a number of regional and international powers have warned against sealing a peace deal in Syria that parties who support the regime and Iran, can benefit from. This is what Israel said as it believes that any plan to end the war there must not allow Iran to stay in Syria as a military power; otherwise, it will view this as a threat to its security. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu talked about this and said he will inform Russian President Vladimir Putin of this message considering he is the godfather of the Syrian solution. Netanyahu said that Israel does not object to the arrangements of a solution in Syria but it strongly opposes the possibility of military presence by Iran and its proxies in Syria.
Truth be told, Iran and its proxies’ military presence poses a threat to other countries as well. Allowing Iran and its Lebanese, Iraqi and other militias to stay in Syria will threaten regional balance and affect the security of Turkey, Iraq, Jordan and the Gulf. It’s not unlikely for Iran to finally be convinced of reaching agreements with Israel and end the role of its agents which threaten Israel, like Hezbollah in Lebanon or Hamas in Gaza. However, their threat on other countries will remain for years.
According to some official statements, it’s unlikely that Israel will accept any reassurances made by Iran or by a party that reflects its stance, such as the Syrian government, if they intend to keep thousands of fighters and experts for a very long time without a regional solution in which Iran and Israel are part of.
So why has Israel begun to voice its opinion regarding the Geneva negotiations when it has been silent during the past six years of war? It’s probably because the aspects of a political solution have become clearer. Israel has since the beginning been against any change in Damascus because it had co-existed with the regime for almost half a century. Despite their disagreements and estrangement, Israel thought its neighbor Syria was more secure and restrained than Egypt and Jordan which it has peace deals with.
Weakness shines through
The Syrian regime’s military capabilities are weak and Iran wants to compensate for that by providing its own forces and militias. This alters the security and political formula in the entire region and not just in Syria.Abdulrahman al-Rashed