by Jamshed Abbas (News & Analysis, Crescent International Vol. 42, No. 9, Dhu al-Hijjah, 1434)
The foreign conspirators—the US-Wahhabi-zionist trio—trying to destroy Syria have suffered a humiliating defeat. Their backing of the cannibalistic opponents of the regime has exposed their sponsors and caused global revulsion.
After the launch of the foreign-instigated and supported brutal civil war in Syria in 2011, the external players — the US, Saudi Arabia and Israel — were initially ecstatic. American news outlets regularly trotted out “experts” who predicted the downfall of the Bashar al-Asad regime in a few months. Saudi Arabia activated its vast network of takfiri fighters and along with Qatar funded thousands of foreign al-Qaeda linked militants in Syria. Israeli officials could barely contain their delight. Then things began to fall apart. Syria did not cave in and the Syrian army started to regain ground. In a fatal mistake, takfiri elements attacked Hizbullah towns and villages in and around Lebanon, prompting Hizbullah to join the fight in a limited but effective manner.
Then, the strategic town of Qusayr, a vital supply link with the Lebanese city of Tripoli and capital of the province of Homs was recaptured by Syrian forces. Things got desperate. Initially, Israeli officials were given strict orders to remain silent. As it became apparent that events in Syria were not going as planned, Israeli discipline began to fray. Tel Aviv repeatedly bombed Syria under the pretext of stopping arms shipments to Hizbullah in hopes of turning the tables in favor of the rebels. Israeli President Shimon Peres assured an increasingly worried public that the US would definitely strike Syria.
Former Israeli ambassador to the US, Michael Oren caused a stir when he admitted in an interview that the Zionist State preferred al-Qaeda to Hizbullah. In the lead-up to the war that never was, over 250 AIPAC officials descended on Capitol Hill to pressure the US Congress to vote for a war resolution. As it became clear that America would in fact not attack Syria as first thought and instead accepted a Russian brokered deal, Israeli-Saudi anger erupted and spilled over into the public domain.
It is no secret that US-Saudi-Israeli interests were aligned and in sync when the foreign-instigated civil war was launched in Syria in March 2011. The word “were” in the sentence above is indicative of the fact that this is no longer the case. Nothing causes more discontent among allies than a humiliating defeat. And defeat is exactly what the trio are faced with in Syria today. The primary goal was never the improvement of life of the Syrian people, however many crocodile tears the Americans and their partners may shed. Instead, the goal was to undermine and eventually break up the resistance movements Hamas and Hizbullah, which have been a major thorn in the side of Israel and have now emerged as formidable forces.
The defeat of the Zionist entity at the hands of Hizbullah in 2006 and Hamas in 2012 have made this point very clear. In the former, Israel’s deterrence doctrine was forever shattered beyond repair, and in the latter Hamas managed to hit Tel Aviv and gain back land that it would never have gotten in a “peace deal.” Both Hamas and Hizbullah are supported by Syria. Seyyed Hassan Nasrallah’s comment that Syria is the “backbone” of the resistance against Israel was not hyperbole. Even Hizbullah’s staunchest enemies admit that Seyyed Nasrallah is not prone to exaggerations much less lying.
In 2010, American officials visited Damascus to discuss Hamas, Hizbullah and Iran with Bashar al-Asad.1 As little as three months before the start of Syria’s brutal civil war, al-Jazeera was despondent that the chances of an “Arab Spring” in Syria were rare, given the fact that Syria did not have the kind of poverty that Egypt does.2 Syria was and is different from other Arabian dictatorships. A lot of Sunnis in Syria were prosperous. The demonstrations in Aleppo against al-Qaeda (the demonstrators were reportedly shot at by rebel forces, a supreme irony), the assassination of senior Syrian Sunni ‘ulama and other incidents demonstrate that the civil war in Syria is not sectarian as some are led to believe. There is no doubt that when the protests first began in Deraa in March of 2011, the Syrian forces overreacted. Syria is a dictatorship; Syrian government actions were oppressive.
Then Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Seyyed Hassan Nasrallah both urged the Syrian authorities, at the outset of the protests, not to crack down on protestors demanding their God-given rights. The Syrian authorities, by their own admission, made the mistake of suppressing peaceful demonstrations. But within the first few weeks, things began to change. The Syrian situation developed contours that deviated from what was happening in the rest of the Arab world.
One can only imagine the outcry if Iran had started arming Bahraini supporters after their initial suppression by the minority regime or if Egyptian protestors took up RPGs and Kalashnikovs against General al-Sisi. International condemnation would have been swift. In Syria, nothing was said about the takfiri elements that beheaded Sunnis, Shi‘is and Christians. The rebel fighter who cut out and ate the internal organs of a government soldier was presented in the Western media as “disturbed.” The portrayal was one of a man so destabilized by war that his actions were understandable. In short, the US-Saudi-Israeli hypocrisy on Syria was evident to anyone with a functioning brain.
The implications of the US-Saudi-Israeli defeat are huge. Military fatigue, economic decline and political bickering that have beset the US all contributed to its decision to not attack Syria. The Pentagon was privately lobbying for avoiding any more wars. American military commanders were well aware of the risk that an attack on Syria posed. The military deterrence of Iran and Russia cannot be underestimated. Russia is no longer the weak country it was during the Yeltsin era. In part buoyed by a strong oil market, Russia has made great strides as a military power. It has upgraded its armed forces and is in the process of changing its conscription system from mandatory to a more professional, voluntary army not unlike the American system of recruitment. Iran’s military strides are nothing short of remarkable given the pressure it has faced over the past 30 years.
In 2003, the Pentagon conducted war games, price tag $250 million, in which Iran’s military preparedness was tested. It found that Iran could attack and wipe out 16 US Navy warships including one aircraft carrier in 5–10 minutes if US forces were to stage an attack in the Strait of Hormuz. The New York Times quoted a senior military officer, Lt. Gen. Paul K. Van Riper, a retired Marine Corps general who served in the war games as commander of a Red Team force representing an unnamed Persian Gulf military. Riper said, “The sheer numbers involved overloaded their (US) ability, both mentally and electronically, to handle the attack,” He added, “The whole thing was over in 5, maybe 10 minutes.”
All of these factors led to the American decision not to attack Syria. As a result, an increasingly angry Saudi Arabia is acting out, not unlike a child having a temper tantrum. In an unprecedented move, the tribal and hereditary kingdom refused to take its coveted two-year term position at the UN Security Council. Member states were left scratching their heads: the Saudis had for months reportedly bribed officials with huge amounts of cash to get a seat on the prestigious body. Prince Bandar, the Saudi intelligence chief, is reportedly furious with the US’ sudden change of heart in regard to attacking Syria. When US Secretary of State John Kerry requested a face-to-face meeting in Saudi Arabia, he was told that Bandar would meet him briefly at the airport because he was on his way out of the country. The Americans were not amused. The Saudis are also threatening to buy Russian military hardware. No one really takes them seriously, since it is well known they could not survive a month without the US military umbrella. Saudi forces have all the latest gadgets and shiny weapons, but their forces are so poorly trained they are a laughing stock of the world. Lightly armed Yemeni tribesmen routed the best Saudi troops in December 2009 whose military preparedness is such that the now-deceased Iraqi tyrant, Saddam Husain used to make them quake in their boots.
The Israelis are also angry. They are worried that a weak US, its empire days behind it, is no longer willing to serve as the Zionist State’s protector. In turn, US officials are not pleased with their Israeli counterparts or their Saudi puppets. American disenchantment with Israel began with its humiliating defeat at the hands of Hizbullah in 2006. George W. Bush, a staunch evangelical Christian (according to some reports, he has since converted to Catholicism), is quoted as saying that he was “disappointed” with the Zionist army’s performance. The Americans are reportedly furious at Israel’s repeated attempts to sabotage negotiations with Iran. The Americans are also upset at what they perceive as Saudi ungratefulness. Saudi behaviour is seen as increasingly rude and belligerent.
The Syrian defeat does not bode well for the US-Israeli-Saudi trio. It is another incident in a long line beginning in 2006 that threaten all three. The relationship between the three was never about ideological compatibility. America is a capitalist state, Israel a socialist apartheid state and Saudi Arabia a tribal monarchy that has nothing to do with Islam since it condemns all forms of monarchy and dictatorship. Saudi Arabia considers the Muslim Brotherhood, who, for all their faults, are truly desirous of an Islamic system that represents the will of the people, as an existential threat, as does Israel. It is not surprising that the Syrian defeat has caused deep strains within this political ménage à trois. What the future holds no one knows. What is certain though, is that we no longer live in a unipolar world, where America calls the shots. Those days are behind us, and 100 years from now, historians will cite the humiliating defeat of the US-Saudi-Israeli alliance in Syria as a major milestone that contributed to the end of American dominance.
1. Lutz, M., Syria’s Assad seems to suggest backing for Hamas negotiable, leaked cables say. (L.A. Times, December 2, 2010); retrieved from
2. Wikstrom, Cajsa, Calls for weekend protests in Syria. (Al-Jazeera.com, February 4, 2011, ); retrieved from