As a result, bouts of fighting between the Sunni and Alawite groups have been breaking out in
Lebanon’s capital city of Beruit. Both groups have accused each other of relatively small or nebulous offenses that have provoked this violence. It is hypothesized that Lebanoncould be the grounds for a proxy war of the Syrian Revolution, with a variety of powers taking sides to promote their own interests. Qatar (which also is a strong and public supporter of the Syrian rebels) and Saudi Arabiaare funding the Islamist groups in Lebanon, almost in a rivalry to have the most influence (BBC News), while Hezbollah backs the Alawites and, by extension, the Assad regime.
Throughout Assad’s revealed abuses and crackdown,
Iranhas remained a close ally and potential provider of direct aid to the regime. Throughout the recent decades, common enemies have forced the two governments to grow closer together. They shared opinions on Hussein’s Iraq, the Israeli occupation of Lebanon, and the presence of Americans in the Middle East, all of which brought them closer together. The United States has accused Iranof giving direct assistance to Assad, such as military advisors, riot gear, and surveillance equipment in order to enforce the crackdown. Because of this, the US has begun to take actions against Iran with sanctions on the general of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (a branch of Iran’s military meant to enforce Islamic law that has been sent to Syria to help enforce Assad’s rule). There have been a variety of claims that the IRGC is aiding Assad in his fight against his own people, though none can be proven. Most notably, Israeli newspapers and the Syrian opposition have been trying to prove that Iranian forces are in the country. The most promising evidence was a video interview with the head of IRCG’s overseas arm that stated that Iranians were there, but it was soon removed from Iran’s news agency, so it can no longer be used as evidence (BBC News). Because Iran’s presence cannot be proven or disproven, it is impossible to stop the use of Iranian troops and supplies by force.
Certainly the most tense and immediately threatening neighbor to
Syriais Turkey.Historically, the two nations have seen disputes and disagreements over Syria’s sponsoring of terrorism, water possession, and territorial matters, leading to an unstable base to hold their relations on. Recently, the situation has worsened because of the downing of a Turkish F4 Fighter Jet by Syrian forces. It is unclear what territory the plane was in and why it was so close to the border, but neither nation is willing to admit fault or apologize for the incident. The Turkish Prime Minister sent troops to the border with Syriain a military convoy as a “precautionary measure” (Huffington Post). Though the outbreak of war is not imminent, it is not to be entirely ruled out. On top of this crisis, refugees from the Syrian conflict have been fleeing to Turkeywhere they are being given refuge. Turkeyis outspoken in its opposition of Assad, directly condemning him and suspending all trade relationships with Syria.The condition of the relationship between the two is not a promising one, and the hostility seems to have no effect on Assad’s continuation of slaughter.
The effects of the Syrian revolution are not merely limited to
Syria- they spill out into the world. The Revolution’s success is tied strongly to the relations that Syria has to its neighbors, as much as it is tied to the people in Syriadriving the revolution and the government’s reaction to the revolution.
~ Rachel Smith