Obama’s efforts to engage Syria continue to produce evidence that Syria wants not to be engaged by us, but to move ever closer to the rising power in the region — Iran. This report explains:
Iran has sent Syria a sophisticated radar system that could threaten Israel’s ability to launch a surprise attack against Iran’s nuclear facilities, say Israeli and U.S. officials, extending an alliance aimed at undermining Israel’s military dominance in the region.
The radar could bolster Syria’s defenses by providing early warning of Israeli air-force sorties. It could also benefit Hezbollah, the Iran-backed militant group based in Lebanon and widely believed to receive arms from Syria. …
The increased sophistication of the weapons transfers and military cooperation among [Iran, Syria and Hezbollah] signal an increased risk of conflict on Israeli’s northern border. U.S. officials worry any new fighting would be more likely to include Syria, which hasn’t directly engaged Israeli in combat since 1974.
The radar transfer could potentially violate a 2007 United Nations Security Council resolution that bans Iran from supplying, selling or transferring “any arms or related materiel.”
You will recall that Syria has already tested our resolve and found it wanting when it comes to rearming Hezbollah — also in violation of the UN resolution. So Syria and its senior partner continue to exploit American weakness and Obama’s overeagerness for engagement. The Syria-Iran-Turkey alliance has figured out there is no price to be paid for threatening Israel.
The recent frolic in Damascus now looks even more absurd:
The radar report is likely to place greater pressure on the Syria strategy of the Obama administration, which has aimed to tamp down tensions with Syria as it tries to rebuild diplomatic ties. U.S. officials including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who sent a high-level trade delegation to Damascus in June, continue to argue that Washington has the best hope of altering Syrian President Bashar Assad’s behavior, and weakening his alliance with Tehran, through diplomatic dialogue.
At some point will the Obami concede that the effort to “pry” Syria away from Iran with concessions and obsequiousness is a failure? Hard to say — no facts to date have made any impression on them.