The Widening Syrian Conflict
As if this cannot get any worse, it has and is. The rebel uprising that began in a quest for democracy has gradually turned into a regional power conflict with the usual cast of characters and a new one. As much as Obama as tried to stall and ignore the conflict to keep America out of it, Russia has been emboldened. Hezbollah and Iran are using it for their own gains. Everyone knows it has become a proxy war.
Russia is playing its S-300 card, the advanced missile systems that pose a problem for any adversary. Despite efforts to stop the shipment of hundreds of them, Putin is challenging the West claiming that the S-300 will be a stabilizing impact in the region because it will keep the West out of the war. By keeping NATO out of the conflict, things will be okay- sure, okay for Iran, Hezbollah and Russia, oh, and Syria. Putin states that there should be no outside interference in Syria, yet, all three of them are directly involved.
In other words, by sending the S-300 Russia is stating that Syria is our business. It is Iran's business and we have a right to intervene to save Assad. Everyone else is not invited.
Israel has already stated that if the missiles appear in Syria, they will know what has to be done- i.e., attack them. Hezbollah leaders have declared war, in a way, by sending thousands of its troops to help the Syrians and Iranians along key border areas to keep the supply route to Damascus open. The rebels are being pounded and they are losing unless the West does something besides eat sandwiches from Togos and watch from the sidelines.
The excuses about arming the rebels are old now. The arms embargo has been lifted and the UK and France stated they will resume by August. The Free Syrian Army is viable, yet small. It has some diverse groups within it but the West has no choice if they want to help them prevail. Because of the intervention of Russia, Iran and Hezbollah, Assad will win. Period. Why do they have the right to intervene?
Putin is standing up to America in a face-off by sending the missiles. This is a redux of the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962. The peace talks are already a joke- Russia demands that Iran be included and also Syria. America indicates Assad must go first and Iran be excluded. The rebels want Assad's head. There are no viable peace talks now or in the future. Assad has vowed and is now even more embolden to stay in power thanks to Russia and Iran.
Will Obama finally put a no-fly zone over parts of Syria? There is planning for it. I predict that once the missiles arrive, Israel will attempt to destroy them. That will greatly escalate the whole situation because Russian trainers man them. Hezbollah will once again attack Israel causing a widening of war geographically.
As the conflict spills over borders, more countries get involved until the quest for democracy in Syria has all but vanished. There is no question NATO will be dragged into it, just as Israel will be. It is all just a matter of time as the whirlpool spins faster and tighter.