The audacity: asymmetry in Zionist Syrian strike

TEHRAN, Feb. 9 (MNA) – This is an ironclad pledge which says that the United States will provide whatever support is necessary for Israel to maintain military superiority over any state or coalition of states, as well as non-state actors. -U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta.

In an air assault staged by Israel and approved in advance by the White House, Zionist warplanes struck the Jamrayah military complex on the outskirts of Damascus on Wednesday 30 January killing two workers and injuring five others. Sources indicated that U.S. President Barack Obama gave the green light on 22 January for the “surgical strike” on a site alleged by Tel Aviv and Washington to be of strategic importance to the so-called Iran-Syria-Hezbollah Axis. In a veiled admission of responsibility, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak conceded that the raid was “another proof that when we say something we mean it.” 

Israeli Jets bombed a scientific research center claimed to be a chemical weapons plant, a warehouse suspected of containing high-tech weaponry, and trucks supposedly carrying Russian-made SA-17 missiles bound for Hezbollah. These targets were chosen specifically by the Western powers to disrupt what they claim to be regional military cooperation between Iran, Syria and Hezbollah, as well as to pressure Iran into making further concessions concerning its peaceful nuclear program. Both Washington and Tel Aviv frequently have expressed their common belief that Damascus is supplying chemicals and sophisticated weaponry to Hezbollah. 

This is not the first time that Tel Aviv has attacked its Syrian neighbor, either. In September 2007, U.S.-supplied Zionist jets bombed a Syrian Gas Company facility alleged to be a nuclear installation at al-Kibar in northern Syria near Deir el-Zor, reportedly killing 10 of the plant’s workers. In November 2012, Zionist tanks destroyed a Syrian mobile artillery launcher stationed near the Golan Heights, Syrian territory that has been under occupation since 1967 and was annexed by Tel Aviv in 1981. Fearing retaliation, the Zionists even sought permission from neighboring Jordan before attacking suspected chemical weapons sites in Syria, but Amman declined to give its blessing.

Threatening justifiable retaliation, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad accused Tel Aviv of seeking to subvert Syria and that the raid “unmasked the true role Israel is playing, in collaboration with foreign enemy forces and their agents on Syrian soil, to destabilize and weaken Syria.” Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian said that the Israeli attack “displayed the common goals of the terrorists and the Zionist regime,” and warned that it “will have grave consequences for Tel Aviv” Indeed, the stern warning issued by Iran may have motivated the U.S.-vetted Syrian rebel leader Sheikh Ahmad Moaz al-Khatib, who just happens to be a former petroleum geologist for Shell subsidiary Al Furat Petroleum (AFPC), to open a line of communication with Damascus, since he now has declared his willingness to engage in direct talks with the Assad government.

Noteworthy is the conspicuous lack of condemnation of this latest act of Israeli terrorism by the Syrian “opposition” leader, which tends to validate charges that the rebel groups and their [Persian] Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Arab state backers are accomplices with the Zionists in the Western-led Syrian regime-change scheme. The GCC, which is made up of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Qatar and Kuwait, already declared al-Khatib’s National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces, also known as the Syrian National Coalition (SNC), to be the “legitimate” representative of the Syrian people at a meeting in Doha, Qatar in November 2012. Also of interest is that the “nuclear” facility at Deir al-Zor bombed by Israel in 2007 was connected to al-Khatib’s former employer, Al Furat Petroleum, which incidentally produces some 100,000 barrels per day from its 38 producing oil fields. 

Further evidence of al-Khatib’s collaboration with the West was exhibited at a recent security conference in Munich, Germany, when he met separately with U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, who after praising al-Khatib for his personal courage and leadership of the “Syrian Opposition Coalition” (SOC - apparently what the U.S. calls the SNC), referred to the SOC as the “legitimate representative of the Syrian people” and reiterated calls for toppling the Assad government. This is while at the same conference, Biden said, “It will remain America’s view that sovereign states have the right to make their own decisions and choose their own alliances. All that remains the U.S. position; it will not change.” Obviously, this official view does not apply to Syria, but perhaps when Biden said “sovereign states,” his intention was “colonial hegemons,” for later in the same speech he affirmed, “President Obama and I and nearly all of our partners and allies are convinced that President Assad…must go.” 

Officially, Washington has denied foreknowledge of the Zionist raid. When asked by a reporter during a press briefing on 30 January about the regime’s latest Syrian sortie, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney denied any knowledge and said, “I'd refer you to the government of Israel for questions about deliberations or actions that they may or may not have taken.” The next day when questioned about the attack, expectations of Syrian response and concerns over escalation, the Press Secretary reaffirmed, “Again, I would refer you to the Israeli government on matters like that.” However, Obama has openly revealed his desire for regime change. “The Assad regime will come to an end,” he declared in a recent video message, adding, “The Syrian people will have their chance to forge their own future. And they will continue to find a partner in the United States of America.” 

To fully expose the asymmetry of U.S.-sanctioned Zionist aggression, let us take a moment to explore a hypothetical scenario. We first note that Iran, like Syria, is on the U.S. hit-list for regime change for its refusal to submit to Washington’s demands or to recognize the legitimacy of the Zionist occupation of Palestine. After years of military threats by both the Tel Aviv and Washington regimes, being targeted by Mossad and CIA- sponsored terrorists, being besieged by the Pentagon’s cyber weapons, witnessing the assassination of some of her best scientists by Mossad, and mourning the loss of 290 of her sons and daughters when the U.S. Navy shot down an Iran Air passenger jet, let us suppose that Iran justifiably came to the decision that a “preemptive strike” against the dangerous duo was necessary for its own defense. 

Let us further speculate that the tactical plan chosen might include a limited number of “surgical strikes” on strategic U.S./Zionist interests in the Middle East. Logical targets would probably be oil pipelines and storage terminals such as the 1760 km. Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline, the Dolphin Energy pipeline linking Qatar’s North gas field to al-Fujairah, the 1200 km. East West Crude Oil pipeline linking Abqaiq to the Red Sea and supplying 4.5 million barrels per day, the Jebel Ali Liquid Natural Gas terminal in Dubai, the 254 km. Eilat Ashkelon Crude Oil pipeline with Ashdod and Haifa refineries, or the Saudi reserve oil tankers off the coast of Al-Fujairah. Of course prior to these strikes, the Iranian Navy would most likely initiate a closure of the Strait of Hormuz to prevent passage of oil shipments to the West. 

Continuing our hypothetical exercise, Iran would most likely execute an “Osirak style” preemptive strike against the nuclear-armed regime’s Negev Nuclear Research Center (NNRC) at Dimona, possibly specifically targeting the underground Machon 2 plutonium extraction facility, carefully planned at a time that would minimize “collateral damage” among technical personnel and adjacent facilities. Incidentally, such speculation may not be so far fetched since the Zionist military home guard has itself run a simulation of a missile attack on the Dimona reactor albeit under the pretext of preparedness following Japan’s Fukushima nuclear catastrophe and concern due to the similarity of reactor design. 

Now, let us ask ourselves if Iran were to take such fully warranted measures in self-defense as hypothesized above what would be the Western reaction? Would not the U.S. and its Anglican ally shriek loudly and sanctimoniously for immediate retaliation by the “international community?” Could we not safely assume that at a minimum, the U.S. would launch cruise missiles at Iranian targets, military bases and nuclear facilities from its strike force in the Persian Gulf? Certainly, if Tehran ever were to take even one of the above defensive military steps, would not the U.S. promptly invoke the “Carter Doctrine” and use all available means to muster support for a NATO invasion of Iran? 

We can be certain that if Iran executed a “preemptive strike” as does the Zionist regime regularly, neither would the U.S. president insist that Iran has a “right to defend itself” nor would the White House press secretary tell journalists to contact the government of Iran “for questions about deliberations or actions that they may or may not have taken.” Unfortunately for the sovereign nations of the world, the right of aggression with its privilege of audacity still remains the exclusive possession of the U.S., the Zionist regime, and their “allies and partners.” 

Yuram Abdullah Weiler is a freelance writer and political critic who has written dozens of articles on the Middle East and US policy. A former engineer with a background in mathematics and a convert to Islam, he currently writes perspectives on Islam, social justice, economics and politics from the viewpoint of an American convert to Shia Islam, focusing on the deleterious role played by the U.S. in the Middle East and elsewhere. 
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