Turkey and Saudi Arabia Cheer US-led Attack on Syria, Iraq Criticizes Move

Iraq FM sees strikes as threat to regional stability

There was a mixed reaction across the region after the US-led attack on Syria Friday night. The reaction split roughly down the line of which nations favored regime change, and which do not. Iraq and Egypt are the primary US allies who are opposed to the move.

Turkey’s President Erdogan

Iraq’s Foreign Ministry issued a statement warning that the strikes not only posed a threat to regional stability, but would give terrorist groups another chance to establish themselves in Syria. Iraqi officials see this greatly weakening Syria.

Egypt echoed this, saying they fear the strikes represent a military escalation, and threaten previous agreements to curb tensions. Jordan, who hosted some of the attacking forces, didn’t object to it, but reiterated support for a political solution.

Turkey’s President Erdogan praised the attack, saying it should’ve happened “long ago,” and proved the West wouldn’t allow massacres in Syria. Saudi Arabia offered full support fo the attack, saying it “represents a response to the regime’s crimes.”

Erdogan’s response represents his ongoing interest in expanding Turkish control of northern Syria. He may also see a shift in the US-led coalition toward fighting Syria as a shift away from their alliance with the Kurds, who Syria supported in resisting the Turkish invasion.

Israel’s response was more tepid, with defense officials avoiding comment. Some Israeli officials believe that the US-led attack could lead to changes in Russian and Iranian policy that would curb Israel’s ability to attack sites within Syria.

Israel’s interests within the region, including Syria, are to keep its neighbors too weak to pose a military threat. Syria’s successful interceptions, and the increased support Syria’s allies have shown since the attack, has Israel openly fretting that this is a “win” for Assad.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.