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Syria’s Stakes in the Israel-Gaza War

Analysis: The war is helping Assad emerge from pariah status, but Israel’s bombing and the threat of expansion pose serious threats.

The government led by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has high stakes in Israel’s ten-week-old war on Gaza, which has already spilled into Syria.

Israel has bombed the Damascus and Aleppo airports, as well as outposts in Syria’s rural areas under the pretext of deterring Iran and regional militias backed by Tehran from using Syrian territory and infrastructure to potentially attack Israel amid further escalation.

Ultimately, the conflict in Gaza advances, but could also set back, Damascus’s interests at a time when Assad’s regime is trying to recover from more than a decade of brutal warfare inside Syria. Damascus must carefully navigate the fallout from Israel’s bombardment and ground invasion of Gaza.

“While the war in Gaza bolsters Assad’s efforts to escape his pariah status, especially among Arab states, it also poses threats”

Assad’s opportunities

The Assad regime committed serious war crimes and other abuses in its efforts to maintain power since the 2011 Arab Spring.

Just last month a French court issued an international arrest warrant for Assad and others in the Syrian government and military for alleged use of chemical weapons. Yet Damascus is trying to capitalise on the outrage across the Islamic world and much of the Global South by Israel’s bloody military campaign in Gaza and the seemingly unconditional support it has received from the United States. 

“The major benefit that Syria is likely to see from the Gaza war is the damage it will do to America’s prestige and standing in the Arab world,” said Joshua Landis, director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma, in an interview with RS. “Biden’s unflinching aid to Israel in its effort to kill Palestinians in Gaza will diminish Washington’s ability to rally Arab and Muslim countries against Syria and Iran,” he added.

Source : The New Arab