Yadlin: Syria protests could be good for Israel

Former IDF intelligence chief says "potential exists for regional development without Israeli intervention."

By JPOST.COM STAFF
January 26, 2012 10:34
1 minute read.
Syrians protest against Assad in Amude

Syrian protest 311. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
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The current events in Syria could have a positive impact on Israel, former IDF Military Intelligence chief Amos Yadlin said Thursday.

Pro-democracy protesters have been calling for the resignation of Syrian President Bashar Assad for over ten months. Assad has responded with a harsh crackdown on demonstrators, which has resulted in the deaths of more than 5,000 people, according to UN estimates.

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Speaking at a security conference, Yadlin said that the protests against the Assad regime "could yield a positive strategic outcome for Israel." He added that the Israeli defense establishment had "for years proposed to reach a peace agreement with Damascus, even at the expense of painful territorial concessions. Now the potential exists for regional development without Israeli intervention."

The situation in Syria is continuing to deteriorate, as many Arab states have withdrawn support for an Arab League monitoring mission. On Tuesday, the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) announced that it had decided to withdraw its monitors from the mission. The move followed a similar action by Saudi Arabia, which earlier in the week withdrew its monitors and called for "all possible pressure" on Damascus.

Critics of the Arab League mission say it has only bought more time for Assad to pursue a violent crackdown. Monitors are dependent on Syrian authorities for transport and security, compromising the Mission's independence in the eyes of critics. According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, over 450 civilians and 145 soldiers, including 27 deserters, have been killed since the monitors deployed.

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Reuters contributed to this report.

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