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MK: U.S. Intervention Needed in Syria

MK Yitzchak Herzog believes that U.S. intervention in Syria is needed; American officials disagree.
By David Lev
First Publish: 8/22/2013, 8:45 AM

hospital in Syria
hospital in Syria
AFP file

In a Facebook posting, Labor MK Yitzchak Herzog wrote that the U.S. needed to intervene in Syria. Writing in the wake of the alleged chemical attack that killed hundreds of people in a suburb of Damascus Wednesday, Herzog wrote that “the pictures from Syria are frightening. Those who know my position for that past two years on this know that I advocated for American intervention from the beginning. Had this occurred, the terrible human suffering that is taking place in Syria could have been averted, and the country might have moved to a democratic period.

“Now after several years of fighting, the Jihadist forces have entered the picture, and the picture is more complicated, to the point where there seems to be no way out,” Herzog added.

In a letter revealed Wednesday, U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Martin Dempsey said that he was opposed to U.S. military intervention in Syria. In a letter to New York Congressman Elliot Engel earlier in the week, Dempsey wrote that “Syria today is not about choosing between two sides but rather about choosing one among many sides. It is my belief that the side we choose must be ready to promote their interests and ours when the balance shifts in their favor. Today, they are not,” he wrote.

Speaking on Israel Radio, Labor MK Binyamin Ben Eliezer said that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad had crossed a red line. “There is a mass murder going on in Syria, and the world just sits back and watches. The world that condemns us for every little action has nothing to say about Syria.”

Ben Eliezer said that Assad had long ago gone beyond the realm of conventional warfare, and that if he was not stopped he would end up transferring chemical weapons and other weapons of mass destruction he may have possess to Hezbollah, his allies, or lose them to Al Qaeda, which is fighting against him.

MK Ayoub Kara, who communicates regularly with rebel groups in Syria, said that it appeared that Assad was planning to intensify his campaign to eradicate the opposition. The alleged chemical attack that killed hundreds of people in a suburb of Damascus Wednesday could be the first of many to come, said Kara, and could portend even worse attacks.

Speaking to Arutz Sheva, Kara said that Assad was fighting for his survival. “Assad still has other weapons he can use,” Kara said. “He will get even more cruel as he fights to the last drop of blood to stay in power.”

Kara expressed hope that Hezbollah would be badly hurt in the fighting. “A defeat for Hezbollah would also be a sign for Iran” that they, too, could be defeated, he said. “Hezbollah is setting the tone in Syria, and is largely responsible for the catastrophic atmosphere there.” With that, Kara said, Israel was not involved in the war, and was not taking sides in the fighting.