Daily Israel Report

NATO Not Mulling Involvement in Syria or Iran, Says Commander

Admiral James Stavridis: We're not planning to intervene in either Syria or Ian.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 1/25/2012, 1:12 AM

NATO is not considering any involvement in Syria or Iran, the alliance’s top commander in Europe said on Tuesday.

“In terms of Syria, I can tell you from a NATO perspective, we are not conducting any planning, we are not doing any detailed analysis, we are simply monitoring the situation,” Admiral James Stavridis, NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander in Europe, was quoted by AFP as having told a panel discussion in Berlin.

He added, “It seems to me that before NATO would even consider involvement, it would require United Nations action, Arab League action.”

“I don't see that it’s trending in that direction, so at the moment NATO’s role is simply one of monitoring a situation that is close to the borders of the alliance,” Stavridis said.

The Admiral also addressed Iran and said NATO “is not as an organization focused on potential engagement in Iran at all.”

NATO’s efforts in Libya assisted the rebels there in fighting former strongman Muammar Qaddafi and eventually capturing him and killing him.

AFP noted that earlier this month, Russian Security Council secretary Nikolai Patrushev claimed that NATO members and some Arab states, using lessons from Libya, “intend to turn the current interference with Syrian affairs into a direct military intervention.”

Russia has come to the defense of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, warning Western nations not to intervene in Syria with military forces. Russia is a major arms supplier to Syria and has a heavy investment in Iran’s nuclear facilities.

Last week, Russia also warned Israel and the West that an attack on Tehran would be considered an attack on Moscow.