In recent months, there have been noteworthy talks, mostly by people and sources considered credible across the world, about the reason- or reasons- behind the Syrian war and the time when the decision to wage a war on Damascus was made.
For example, Robert Fisk, the prominent journalist and analyst at the British daily The Independent, talks about documents suggesting that after assassination of former Prime Minister of Lebanon Rafic Hariri on October 21, 2004, Saudi Arabia decided to remove from power the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, whom Riyadh blamed for assassination of Lebanon’s prime minister. Fisk’s documents also suggest that plans to launch a war against Syria were fixed some seven years before the war itself started, adding that the conflict began in 2011 after organization of the Syrian opposition and anti-Assad forces earlier.
President Assad and a couple of Syrian military officials, even now, are held responsible for murder of Hariri. However, Robert Fisk says in a note that he was by the Syrian president when the news of Hariri assassination came out and “President Assad was so surprised to hear the news.” But such a large-scale event was enough for Riyadh regime to squeeze the Syrian president. The kingdom, initially, went to great lengths to get the Syrian military forces- present in Lebanon since some 29 years earlier- pull out of the Lebanese territory just against the terms of Taif Agreement, which was reached to push the political process and end the civil war in Lebanon. With its withdrawal from Lebanon, Damascus showed that it was vulnerable to pressures and the strains since then set to build up on it.
The Hariri Tribunal, launched by the International Criminal Court, never ceased putting strains on the Syrian president, however, the prosecution process was put aside after the terror war started to strike against Damascus government in 2011.
Sometime earlier, the former Qatari Prime Minister Jasim Bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani in his interview with a European media reveled that even five years before assassination of Lebanon’s Hariri, Saudi Arabia had decided to attack Syria. Bin Hamad also elaborated on the details in the interview.
What Robert Fisk, Jasim bin Hamad and others said on the reasons of Syria war could be a mix of the reality and an intellectual analysis, but all of them share an indispensable point: the Syrian security developments are not an outcome of an internally designed plan and in response to what is called the government’s cruel treatment of the citizens.
Perhaps it is theorized that the Saudi regime’s leaders funded the conflict in Syria while pushed by their personal drives, and in fact because they were very stubborn and retaliatory they supported the war against Damascus. Similarly, in talk of Libya’s developments, some suggest that Muammar Gaddafi was a victim of his insulting of the former Saudi king Abdullah bin Abdulaziz during a summit of the leaders of the Arab League.
However, once we delve into the details of the Syrian war and look at the countries participating in the conflict, we come up with noteworthy results. A short time after conclusion of Israeli-Hezbollah 33-Day War of 2006, in which Tel Aviv received a big loss from the Lebanese group, an investigation committee, dubbed Winograd Commission, was formed by the Israelis. The committee finally issued its report, suggesting that the major reason behind victory of Hezbollah was Syrian government’s unsparing weapons supply and effective support for the Lebanese group. It was after this conclusion that Tel Aviv decided to wage a war- though indirectly- against Damascus to make it fall apart.
Some analysts in the beginning of the Syrian crisis suggested that Tel Aviv preferred President Assad’s stay in power to his removal. But many reports are available, indicating that the Israeli regime had started training of the Syrian opposition fighters since late 2007. It was in those days that the Israeli newspapers came against political negotiations between Syria and the Israeli regime on Golan Heights, occupied by Tel Aviv since 1967 during the Six-Day Arab-Israeli war. An Israeli politician even said that Syria was dead and talks about Golan Heights had no use for a dead Syria.
We should not hold the notion that Riyadh and Tel Aviv separately and without coordination have supported the war on Syria. Should we flash back to the 2004 and 2005 press archives, we can see the Israeli military commanders regularly talk about Israeli-Saudi cooperation. They made it clear that the bill of the Israeli aggression on Lebanon in 2006 had been paid by Saudi Arabia before its launch. The 22 and 8-Day Wars on Gaza also started after Saudi Arabia provided the money, bombs and missiles for the Israeli regime.
Well, why should not Tel Aviv and Riyadh join forces against Syria while they stood in the same front against Lebanon’s Hezbollah in 2006?
The Syrian war is the filthiest war the region has ever witnessed, because in the war people are subject to an array of damages while they are not economically and socially able support themselves.
However, the war on Syria just against the will and calculations of Saudi Arabia, the Israeli regime and their loyalists did not bring Damascus to its knees. Iran’s effective support, which initially was advisory, as well as backing by Hezbollah and also Afghan and Iraqi forces, within Fatemyun and Zeynabyun Brigades respectively, have saved Syria from an emphatic fall to the terrorists. The task was accomplished at a huge expense, outstandingly the human expense.
Everybody knows that Iran is not as wealthy as Saudi Arabia and, unlike Tehran, Riyadh faces no problems in its arms supply lines to Syria. But if we focus on the war conditions in Syria we can have our say on the winner of the Syrian conflict. The Syrian people are engaged with half of the world and also half of the region. The people’s resistance and their persistence have called the global attention. This gives rise to a question: what could happen if the Saudi people and government were subjects of these assaults and damages instead of the Syrians?
In the war, the pro-Syrian government forces fight the terrorists and wait, all to build the future Syria. In the opposite front, there are at least two sides which only seek revenge on Syria. How could we be convinced that between the two opposing sides the avengers are the winners?
Syria war is inclusive, and it is very difficult to manage a war once it takes a series of international sides. In a larger extent, the war, as is also well known, in Syria was launched to cut Iran’s growing regional power.