Curbing Iran’s devastation in the region is a must
Last week, a strike was launched by the US, the UK and France against the Bashar Assad regime in Syria. The strike was below the expectations of many parts of the world, which were that the strike would make a difference and end the seven years of suffering of the Syrian people. If the attack was not to change the regime but only to punish Assad because he used chemical weapons, the least we were hoping for was 50 strikes to equal the number of times he has used chemical weapons against his people, according to US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley.
From another viewpoint, people were saying such air strikes would not change a great deal, especially the situation on the ground. Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir said this week that Saudi Arabia is ready, willing and able to deploy troops in support of any US-led effort to stabilize Syria. Of course this offer from Saudi Arabia is not new because a proposal was made to the Obama administration that, if the US was to send forces, then Saudi Arabia would, along with other countries, do likewise as part of a coalition. Surely this is the right way to free Syria from the terrorists, and it would counter terrorism using correct methods.
Syria today is full of terrorist activity, beginning with the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, all the way to the militias that, like Hezbollah in Lebanon, are connected to Iran.
Dr. Hamdan Al-Shehri
Syria today is full of terrorist activity, beginning with the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, all the way to the militias that, like Hezbollah in Lebanon, are connected to Iran. There are also militias from Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan — as well as Daesh — and other groups from around the world. So what is the best way to fight terror in Syria and avoid sinking deeper and deeper into this quagmire? Is the solution to use terror to fight terror, as the Russians and Iranians are doing today? Using sectarian militias will produce more extremism and using militias that are not controlled by their countries, like Hezbollah and the Iraqi militias, or militias brought from failed states, will lead to chaos, not stability. The Iranians are telling the world that they are facing Daesh and Al-Qaeda, but who believes them if neither Daesh nor Al-Qaeda has even attacked Iran? The country is, on the contrary, a safe haven for them.
Eradicating the problem at its roots is needed today more than ever. If we refuse to face the origin of terror, it will be present forever. Countering Iran and its militias will bring stability not only to the region but to the whole world. Stopping Iran’s projects is the only right way. Curbing its devastation is absolutely necessary — in Syria, Yemen, Iraq and Lebanon.
Saudi Arabia is not asking the international community to operate alone without contributing itself, as the Kingdom plays a major role in attempting to restore stability to the region. It is a member of an international coalition fighting against terrorism; is a leader of the Arab coalition for deterring Iranian projects in Yemen; and is the head of the Islamic coalition for fighting terrorism that has perverted the meaning of Islam. We will find Saudi Arabia in every arena where terror is fought and stability is being sought. This is the way for all those who really want to put an end to terrorism and the suffering of innocent civilians.
• Dr. Hamdan Al-Shehri is a political analyst and international relations scholar.