Western Intervention in Syria Hampered by Jihadists

Feb 14, 2013, 12:36 ET from World Review

LIECHTENSTEIN, February 14, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --

The West's initial, enthusiastic support of the Syrian rebels may have backfired. Supporting the revolutionaries may inadvertently back up jihadists in the region, according to Charles Millon, former French Ministry of Defence and World Review author.

Islamic fighters from outside Syria's borders have joined the conflict, causing concern in the West. "It is in part because Islamist fighters have joined the fray that Western powers are now reluctant to intervene," writes Mr Millon in the World Review website. (http://www.worldreview.info).

"The enthusiasm of the West and Islamist revolutionaries concerning the impending downfall of the Assad family's tyrannical regime has now been superseded by doubt over the opposition's motives and, increasingly, over its ability to win the fight."

Deep divisions within the rebel groups means they are no longer able to launch victorious attacks, whilst Assad's regime still counts on support from over half the Syrian population. The regime's military is also vastly superior to other Arab countries, something the United States has taken stock of.

"The West's aversion to the regime of the Assad family runs deep, but its involvement in a general war against jihadists, whether it be France's engagement in Mali or that of the US in Afghanistan, puts it in a poor position to then support jihadists in Syria," says Mr Millon, adding that it would be dangerous policy for the West to assist in spreading a fundamentalist Sunni arc all round the Mediterranean.

Meanwhile the civil war rages on, with no end in sight. President Assad will maintain his position as long as there is no international intervention.

"It is unlikely that President Assad will be able to win, but it is equally certain he will be unwilling to lose," says Mr Millon.

The full World Review report can be accessed here: http://www.worldreview.info/content/syrian-rebel-victory-could-see-spread-radical-islam-around-mediterranean

Information for the editor

World Review author Charles Millon is a French politician who served as France's Minister of Defence from 1995 to 1997 in Alain Juppe's government and French Ambassador to the United Nations from 2003 to 2007.

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