By Ehud Barak The Telegraph Click Here for Article
7:59PM BST 30 May 2013
The price will be high, but the key to Syria’s civil war
lies in Vladimir Putin’s Moscow
The Russians have invested a lot in President Bashar al-Assad – but they know his regime is doomed
Talk about a tough neighbourhood. The unfolding tragedy in Syria has claimed more than 75,000 lives and created more than two million refugees; the Assad regime has used nerve agents against its own people; and Syrian rebel groups have videotaped executions and even engaged in cannibalism in the name of God. Lives have been lost and red lines have been crossed. Yet there seems to be no end in sight.
Besides the human cost to the people of Syria, the failure to address the crisis carries three main risks to all who have an interest in preserving peace and stability in the Middle East. First, the fires of tribal and sectarian
blood-feuds are not easily doused in our region. The longer this conflict goes on, the greater the chances that a post-Assad Syria will end up a Somalia – a failed state of constantly warring factions.
Second, the more often chemical weapons are used, even on a small scale, the greater the chances that they will be employed en masse. So too, with each passing day, the prospects grow that these weapons will fall into terrorist hands. Israel is acutely aware of this danger and is committed to doing whatever is necessary to prevent Hizbollah from obtaining Syria’s lethal arsenal.
Third, the Syrian crisis, dangerous as it is, detracts leaders from effectively tackling a problem whose risks are far more acute – a nuclear-armed Iran.