Our New Friend Syria

Written by JINSA.org



JINSA Report #: 917 August 19, 2009

American relations with Syria have been frosty, if not downright icy for decades. Starting with Syrian involvement in the 1976 Lebanese Civil War, the subsequent occupation of Lebanon and arming of Hezbollah - with attendant complicity in the 1983 Hezbollah bombing of the Marine Barracks in Beirut; the 1982 destruction of Hama by Hafez Assad, killing an estimated 10-25,000 people; the UN finding of Syrian involvement in the car bomb murder of Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and 22 others; al Qaeda and related insurgent organizations grouping in eastern Syria and infiltrating Iraq; and the open housing of Hamas and other terrorist groups in Damascus.

Not to mention Syrian-North Korean cooperation on missiles and building a nuclear facility (since destroyed), and Syrian-Iranian economic, political and military relations including public approval by Bashar Assad of the "re-election" of Iranian President Ahmadinejad in June.

Now the thaw: 

But why? 

And by the way, while all this was going on, Japanese intelligence learned that Iran, Syria and North Korea secretly test-launched in southern Syria a new, jointly developed short-range ballistic missile. JINSA confirmed with a source in Japan both the test and the failure of the missile.

It is clear what Syria hopes to gain from the U.S. determination to "wean" Damascus away from Tehran. Less clear is what's in it for us.


 JINSA has a Two-Fold Mandate:

1. To educate the American public about the importance of an effective U.S. defense capability so that our vital interests as Americans can be safeguarded; and
2. To inform the American defense and foreign affairs community about the important role Israel can and does play in bolstering democratic interests in the Mediterranean and the Middle East.


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