Breeding Salafis in Syria is the Worst Mistake

05 March 2012 | 10:49 Code : 1898693 Middle East.
The West and Arab regional powers are playing a dangerous game by supporting anti-Assad extremists.
Breeding Salafis in Syria is the Worst Mistake


(Photo source: The Nation)

By: Shayesteh Asadi


As days go by, the situation in Syria becomes more and more precarious. The Syrian dilemma has put the security of many regional countries at stake-- particularly Iran, Iraq and Lebanon that have frequently expressed their concerns with ongoing violations and the oppositions’ armed insurgence.


In a recent comment, Iraqi PM Nuri al-Maliki has unveiled a truth horrifying even for the West and those Arab countries that are striving to topple Bashar Assad. According to Maliki, alQaeda is flocking towards Syria from Iraq-- just the last thing the region could wish for, as the situation in Syria is already complex.


What may come to mind at first is that the terrorists’ wave of immigration could relieve the pressure on the Iraqi government and its citizens. But if that were true, Maliki would not benefit from warning about the trend. Turkey, Libya and Saudi Arabia on the other hand, are throwing their weight behind the armed resistance. All the while, the West is also enjoying Bashar Assad’s attenuating control over domestic security, not even bothering to remember that the same Jihadi radicals who have turned Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan into their zone of terror are now active in Syria.


Basher Assad and his supporters insist that a major portion of the opposition is led by extremist groups who are abusing the political dynamics to promote their own version of radical Salafi Islam in Syria, and to hold a grip on power. That scenario will result in a happy ending neither for the West nor for Israel, or even for the tyrannical Arab regimes.


In their endeavor to overthrow Assad’s regime, the Arab League and the Western powers are cutting off their noses to spite their faces. Arabs-- particularly Saudi Arabia and Qatar-- and the Western powers think that by toppling Assad’s regime, or by balkanizing the country, they can root out the resistance axis formed by Iran, Syria and Hezbollah, bring security to Israel, and relieve their own worries. But they are pushing themselves into a quagmire which might never be subject to a diplomatic solution. It could merely create another stalemate in the Middle East, and open a new front against Israel.


The opposition guising as a pro-democracy force in Syria, and backed by human rights groups in the West and pan-Arab nationalists, will not lay down arms even after victory, and holds a relentless potential to bring dark days for Israel. As long as no moderate alternative takes the helm of the opposition, betting on the anti-Assad forces is doomed to fail.


Today, the Baath regime of Assad is an excuse for jihad, and tomorrow will bring its own excuses. It seems that even Turkey, besides its Western friends, has forgotten about this totally, or at least lacks any solution for its control. Even Iraq and Afghanistan have failed to tackle the problem of terrorism despite the rule of West-friendly politicians. The rise of radical Islamists to power in Damascus would encourage their fellow extremists in Egypt and Libya to quest for a larger share of power. Will Turkey, the Arab League and the West continue to move on this dangerous path, or will they take the correct turn?