Israeli Minister: Assad May Prevail in Syrian Civil War

by | Jun 10, 2013 | Israel & Jewish Roots, Standing With Israel

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, backed by Iran and Lebanon’s Hezbollah, may prevail in the more than two-year-old uprising against him, Israel’s intelligence minister said on Monday.

Though the assessment was quickly disavowed by others in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition government, it reflected the difficulties facing Israel and Western countries in predicting Syria’s destiny and weighing intervention.

Yuval Steinitz, minister for international affairs, strategy and intelligence, was asked at a briefing with foreign journalists whether recent successes by Assad’s forces against outgunned rebels might herald victory for the Syrian leader.

“I always thought that it might be the case that at the end of the day Assad, with a very strong Iranian and Hezbollah backing, might gain the upper hand,” Steinitz said.

“And I think that this is possible and I thought that this is possible already a long time ago.”

Steinitz, who is not a member of Israel’s security cabinet but does have access to intelligence updates as well as Netanyahu’s ear, said Assad’s government “might not just survive but even regain territories” from the rebels.

He declined to comment further on a possible Assad victory, citing Israel’s policy of not meddling publicly in Syria.

‘Misinformed’

The defense and foreign ministries received Steinitz’s remarks coolly.

“This is Steinitz’s personal informed—or rather, misinformed—position,” said one Israeli diplomat who asked not to be named.

Netanyahu spokesman Mark Regev said Steinitz was speaking for himself and that the Israeli government did not have a formal position on Assad’s prospects.

In June 2011, only three months after the Syrian uprising began with peaceful protests, then-Defence Minister Ehud Barak, the lone centrist in the previous government also led by Netanyahu, forecast Assad’s fall “within weeks”.

Months later, after a full-fledged insurgency had developed, a senior Israeli official said Barak had been trying to “jump the gun” and encourage Assad’s foes to hasten his overthrow—an outcome that Israel viewed as inevitable at the time.

Yet the current Netanyahu government appears more cautious, given the four decades of stability Assad and his father before him had maintained on the Syrian-Israeli frontline.

Israel does not want chaos there, especially as it estimates that one in 10 of the anti-Assad rebels are radical Islamists.

Government officials also say privately they have urged Western counterparts to consider any aid to Syrian rebels carefully, lest the weaponry end up being used against Israel.

Israel has carried out at least three air strikes on Syrian sites that intelligence sources described as advanced weaponry in transit to Hezbollah. Israeli forces on the occupied Golan Heights have occasionally fired in response to Syrian gunfire when troops and rebels battle near the frontlines.

Alluding to Israel’s superior military might, Steinitz said: “It is in his (Assad’s) interest not to provoke us so that we get involved.”

(Editing by Jeffrey Heller and Alistair Lyon)

© 2013 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.

CHARISMA NEWSLETTERS

Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


MORE FROM CHARISMA

Troy Black Shares A Message to Help You Fight For Faith Again

Troy Black Shares A Message to Help You Fight For Faith Again

Young, old, rich or poor—nobody is immune to the feeling of brokenness. Jesus' life, death and resurrection on earth is a constant reminder that death no longer has a sting. Fear and hopelessness lurk throughout the earth trying to find an opportune moment to consume...

Kevin Sorbo’s Transformative Encounter as a Teen with Billy Graham

Kevin Sorbo’s Transformative Encounter as a Teen with Billy Graham

Actor Kevin Sorbo is known today for his roles in faith-based movies, like "God's Not Dead" and "Left Behind," but the iconic "Hercules" star's Christian roots took form at an early age. Sorbo recently told CBN's "Faith vs. Culture" he first read the prophetic book of...

7 Forms of Functional Cessationism

7 Forms of Functional Cessationism

In this article, cessationism refers to the doctrine, practice or belief that the ascension ministry gifts and the manifestations of the Holy Spirit ceased with the early church and do not function in the present church age (Eph. 4:11-16; 1 Cor. 12: 4-11). The...

Practical Tips to Maximize Your Time

Practical Tips to Maximize Your Time

We all have the same amount of time—four hours a day, seven days a week. And the longer I live, the more I discover that time is too valuable for us to waste any of it. That’s why it is so important that we learn to live on purpose, for a purpose. The truth is if you...

Enter the Courts of Heaven with Rabbi Curt Landry

Enter the Courts of Heaven with Rabbi Curt Landry

This article was first released by Curt Landry Ministries. Note: This is the first of a two-part series of articles. When you enter heaven's courtroom to do spiritual warfare, you are asking that the will of God, what is written in His books, be released from heaven...

The Spiritual Awakening of Buffalo, New York

The Spiritual Awakening of Buffalo, New York

Monday night, Jan. 2, 2023, God drew our nation to prayer as Bills player Damar Hamlin experienced cardiac arrest on live tv. Could this have been the largest spontaneous prayer meeting in the history of our nation—beginning with players on the field, spreading to...

RECENT ARTICLES

Mario Murillo: ‘What I Have Said About Kat Kerr and Robin Bullock Stands’

Perhaps you read my previous blog entitled "Mario, where have you been?" I went through a fiery ordeal before I obeyed God and wrote it. I thought, "Why should I wade into such controversy and incur...
Dr. Don Colbert: How This Every Day Ingredient is Killing Your Brain

Dr. Don Colbert: How This Every Day Ingredient is Killing Your Brain

Read Time: 4 Minutes 43 Seconds Of the many artificial sweeteners out there, such as aspartame, sucralose (Splenda), saccharin (Sugar Twin and Sweet’N Low) and neotame (NutraSweet), aspartame is one of the most common. How common? Aspartame is an ingredient in more...

Messianic Rabbi: The Problem with Paul

Messianic Rabbi: The Problem with Paul

Read Time: 3 Minutes 36 Seconds I cannot tell you the number of conversations that I have participated in, or the number of sermons or Bible studies I have heard, where someone made the statement, “The problem with Paul is…” and then the person made a definitive...

Pin It on Pinterest