Syria to Play a New Role in the Region?

Syria's status in Lebanon make it a key actor in the efforts to reach regional stability. A possible redefinition of existing relations between Syria and the US, on that background, may influence the regional balance of power

Any future arrangement reached in Lebanon is very likely to include substantial international involvement, though the definition of actors, mandate and nature of this involvement is yet unclear.

In this context, Syria is rising as a major component of any settlement reached in Lebanon, as it currently holds leverage and influence on Hizbullah, and plays a central role in the triangular ties between Hizbullah, Hamas and Iran.

Various commentators have asserted that there could be no resolution to the ongoing hostilities without Syria's cooperation.

Therefore, it seems that the US may be utilizing the new situation to devise a new strategy regarding Syria, aiming at weakening its relation with Iran, and to persuade it to use its influence to push the peace process forward.

achieving Syria's cooperation is a key component in any new arrangement made for regional stability. The Reut Institute contends that Israel must ensure that its interests are not compromised in the process of courting Syria's support.

In this aspect, it should be noted, that as a reward for Syrian cooperation, Israel may be pressured to negotiate on the Golan Heights, or waive its demand that Syria dismantles the Hamas infrastructure in Damascus.

Sources

  • Abdul Rahman A-Rashed, A-Sharq Al-awsat, 25/07/06, Full text.
  • Aluf Benn, Haaretz, 25/07/06, Full text.
  • Helene Cooper and David Sanger, The New York Times, 23/07/06, Full text.
  • Neil MacFarquhar, The New York Times, 23/07/06, Full text.