IN HIS recent interview with the Time Magazine, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said: “America’s presence in Syria is the only way to stop the Iranian influence from expanding in the region, and Bashar Assad is staying with the hope that he will not become a ‘puppet’ for Iran.”
With that, the Crown Prince put his finger on the wound.
Undoubtedly, the rational position taken by the second in command in Saudi Arabia closes the Syrian issue in a more realistic manner; considering that fighting has continued for seven years in the country and it has not yielded any result.
In fact, this war cemented the presence of Syria’s current regime and made it stronger; thus, the continuation of its misery means further pushing this Arab country into the hands of Iranians and Russians who took advantage of the situation to enforce their plans after the Arabs deserted this country.
The rationality, which Crown Prince Mohammed bin Sultan is talking about, should permeate through Arab leaders in terms of solving problems that some Arab countries are facing.
This is due to the fact that getting rid of ‘IS’, ‘Hezbollah’ and other extremist groups entails elimination of motives from their hands to stop them from investing in attracting supporters.
It is necessary to understand that any vacuum in any Arab country will be filled by a greedy external force which will affect the security of remaining countries.
Therefore, we said it in the past that toppling Bashar Assad was not possible because he enjoys a significant rate of support from his people, in addition to support from the military and security agencies.
Some people made Syrians believe that the crisis will end within two weeks and it will not exceed two or three months.
However, the past years proved that these people were hasty in their calculations in the same manner they pushed the Palestinians in 1948 and told them their displacement will not exceed several weeks and that they will return to their homes soon.
It is now the 70th year and the displaced Palestinians have not returned. Scattered refugee camps have been transformed into their alternative homes. Actually, their return is no longer a condition for solving the Palestinian plight.
Bashar Assad is claiming that he is fighting against terrorist groups, majority of which are part of the US terror list. As a result, this claim has been internationally accepted, but it is challenged by mutual obstinacy which exacerbated the problem.
Despite the Syrian opposition’s inability to change balance on the ground, countries supporting this opposition continued their military support so the latter does not admit defeat; whereas Assad’s regime continued to enter Iranian hands and its militias, and later, the hands of Russia for Iran not to admit its defeat as well.
All this led to the displacement of millions of Syrians and death of hundreds of thousands; as well as the destruction of cities, towns and infrastructure. War continues and there is no sign of winners and losers.
This miserable situation should not be left for Iran which is aggressively trying to dominate Syria and cement its existence in the aspects of economy, military and population.
This situation should not be left for Russia which tied the hands of Syria with military agreements for the next 10 years; hence, the American presence will form balance in confronting both sides in conflict.
In order to avoid becoming a permanent occupation, the US Army should not leave Syria at a time the Arab countries are trying hard to regain Syria from the Iranian hands in a bid to prevent its regime from becoming Tehran’s puppet.
The outcome of this reality is the rationality of today’s victor. The rational language that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman used is waiting for the future of the region with certainty, since his statement was not based on illusion. His vision sees the futility of the war and its negative impact on the Arab World.
By Ahmed Al-Jarallah – Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times