Iranian Official to U.S.: Strike Against Assad Would Be “Suicidal”
Ali Akbar Velayati, a senior foreign affairs adviser to Iranian leader Ayatollah Khamenei, said Sunday that the U.S. would be unwise to launch a military assault on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
“If the Americans take military action in Syria, it will be a suicidal action,” said Velayati.
Quoted by an Iranian state newspaper, Velayati said that America could look forward to its third straight military “defeat” in the Middle East if it chose to confront the Assad regime and its Russian/Iranian allies.
After cease-fire negotiations between the Obama administration and Russia deteriorated, the world has been on edge waiting to see where the crisis goes from here. Only international cooperation will end the carnage in Aleppo, where Russian and Syrian forces are locked in a violent battle with rebels. But, unable to make a deal, Obama is reportedly thinking about U.S. military intervention of some kind.
Perhaps not coincidentally, reports surfaced last week that Russia had implemented a brand new missile defense system in Syria. Experts noted wryly that rebel forces did not possess cruise missiles.
Iran has been Russia’s primary strategic ally in the war to save the Assad regime, which has become little more than a puppet dictatorship controlled by Moscow. The Islamic Republic has poured millions of dollars into the battle, and their Revolutionary Guard soldiers are on the ground. They are also indirectly supporting Hezbollah fighters who are backing the regime against Western-supported rebels.
Russia’s direct involvement in the region began last year under the pretenses of fighting terrorist groups like ISIS and al Nusra. But the Obama administration says that Putin’s airstrike campaign has spent less time focusing on terrorists and more time focusing on rebel groups supported by the U.S. and nearby Arab countries.
The entire situation has put the U.S. in a tight predicament with no easy solutions. To join forces with Russia would mean betraying our allies in the Middle East, to say nothing of Europe. It would not only mean preserving the Assad regime (in a way), it would strengthen Iran and promote Russian expansionism.
But…it would almost certainly bring about the destruction of ISIS.
If we stay the course, hundreds of thousands of Syrians may die by the time it’s all said and done. And there’s no guarantee that Obama’s “course” will ever defeat ISIS.
If we strike the regime – and, by extension, Russia and Iran – all bets are off. Best case scenario, they scatter. Their bluff called, they retreat back to their respective corners. Worst case scenario: World War III.
That’s a hell of a gamble.
Beyond the political blame game, we’re looking at a highly combustible situation. Pray that our leaders – be they Republican or Democrat – tread cautiously.