On January 30th Israel engaged in an air strike upon Syrian soil, targeting what was claimed to be a convoy of carrying advanced weaponry. It is believed these arms were intended for the Israeli opposition group, Hezbollah. This aggression points to the diffusion effect in the Middle East as a result from the Syrian conflict. While Syria and Israel have long been in a state of war they have maintained years of peace along their armistice line. As violence within Syria has escalated, it has resulted in masses of fleeing refuges, projected to number at one million people today.
This current situation in Syria is something the whole world should be concerned with due to the catastrophic nature of the problem and the interconnected nature of this conflict to the surrounding NEMA region. “Regional stability is at stake(Guterres)”. If aid and intervention are not further pursued situations such as Jordan’s economic unrest, the age old Palestinian/Israeli conflict, the strait of Hormuz may all spark off due to neighboring Syria’s civil conflict (Guterres). Refugees continue to strain Turkish and Jordanian resources, exemplifying the spill over costs that Syria’s neighbors must endure. The weapons convoy was targeted under the assumption that if the Syrian revolution topples Assad, Hezbollah will at least have these destructive resources(Barnard, Rudoren), a reason for alarm for the U.S. and Israel
This wave of violence and the potential for a more widespread conflict can be explained by the diffusion effect, in which both external and internal factors have lead to it becoming a priority interest for many states, such as Israel as demonstrated by their recent air attacks. Grievance has caused the internal population to demand reform due to political repression and economic inequalities within Syria, the timing as a result of the Arab Spring and western support for Libya.
This has become a difficult issue for policy makers due to the rebels lack of a central and unified command, the rebels lack of a conventional military, and the rebels ineffectiveness at capturing major cities. The lack of a unified and cohesive rebel body detracts from their legitimacy thus rendering outside political, and military aid confused and useless. In order for the outside community to provide effective solutions, outside sanctions will need to be implemented, similar to those used in Libya. In order to overcome preference falsification rebels will need to become more centralized and unified in order to offer specific recommendations for the situation as well as provide informative and accurate situational updates.
Barnard, Anne, and Jodi Rudoren. "Syria Says It Has Right to Counterattack Israel." New York Times 31 Jan 2013, n. pag. Web. 6 Mar. 2013. <http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/01/world/middleeast/syrias-confirmation-of-airstrike-may-undercut-israels-strategy-of-silence.html?_r=0>.
Kershner, Isabel, and Michael R. Gordon. "Israeli Airstrike in Syria Targets Arms Convoy, U.S. Says." New York Times 30 Jan 2013, n. pag. Web. 6 Mar. 2013. <http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/31/world/middleeast/syria-says-it-was-hit-by-strikes-from-israeli-planes.html>.
Guterres, Antonio. "One Million Syrian Refugees." New York Times 05 Mar 2013, n. pag. Web. 6 Mar. 2013. <http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/06/opinion/global/one-million-syrian-refugees.html>.