World View: Iran Pledges Undying Support for Syria's al-Assad Regime

This morning's key headlines from

  • Iran pledges undying support for Syria's al-Assad regime
  • Ankara strongly condemns Iran's threats against Turkey
  • Greece and Israel form a 'strategic' relationship
  • Plans for military action in Mali reflect change in Tuareg alliances

Iran pledges undying support for Syria's al-Assad regime

Saeed Jalili (PressTv)
Saeed Jalili (PressTv)

Describing the Syria conflict as "a conflict between the axis of resistance on one hand, and the regional and global enemies of this axis on the other," Saeed Jalili, a senior aide to Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei met with Bashar al-Assad in Damascus on Tuesday and pledged to continue Iran's support for the al-Assad regime, and warned that its enemies would be the next to shed blood. By the "axis of resistance," Jalili meant Syria, Hizbollah, Iraq and Iran. By the "regional and global enemies," Jalili meant the U.S., Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar. Things have been going badly lately, for both al-Assad and for Iran. The al-Assad regime is being plagued by repeated defections by Sunni officials, leaving only al-Assad's small Alawite minority in control. And Iran is trying to deal with the kidnapping of 48 Iranian tourists over the weekend by Syrian rebels who claim that they're not tourists at all, but members of Iran's Revolutionary Guards. So Iran's pledge can be viewed as either a sign of desperation, or a pledge to do better. Al-Jazeera

Ankara strongly condemns Iran's threats against Turkey

Turkey's Foreign Ministry issued a strongly worded rebuke to Iran's threat of violence against Turkey:

"We strongly condemn statements full of groundless accusations and exceptionally inappropriate threats against our country by some Iranian officials. It is unacceptable and irresponsible that Iranian officials in various posts continue to target our country through their statements, although Turkey's principled foreign policy is known to everyone."

The Syrian conflict has been the worst nightmare for Turkey and its Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. When Erdogan took office several years ago, he promised a policy of "zero problems" with his neighbors. The Gaza flotilla incident, in which nine Turkish citizens were killed in a confrontation with Israeli forces, caused a rift between Turkey and Israel, who weren't really very close to start with. (From June, 2010: "1-Jun-10 News -- Wide condemnation of Israel over Gaza flotilla") But al-Assad and Erdogan WERE very close at one time, and friendship has now turned to enmity. Erdogan had hoped to have a strong trading relationship with Iran. That relationship was never really close because the two countries were competing for influence over the Arabian peninsula. But now that relationship has turned to enmity as well. Zaman (Ankara) and Ynet

Greece and Israel form a 'strategic' relationship

The Speaker of Greece's Parliament referred to the deepening ties between Greece and Israel as a "strategic choice":
"The cooperation between our two countries is not a product of circumstances; it is a strategic choice for peace in the region, for the use of the natural wealth they have and for cooperation in energy, tourism and culture."

In the USA, a Congressman has formed the Congressional Hellenic-Israeli Alliance, a new caucus to focus on the relationship between the United States, Greece, Israel and Cyprus. Kathimerini

Long-time readers of Generational Dynamics are aware that for the last six or seven years, I've been talking about the prediction, derived from generational theory, that in the coming Clash of Civilizations world war, China, Pakistan and the Sunni Muslim countries would be on one side, with the West, India, Russia, Iran and Israel as the "allies" on the other side. The last three stories all demonstrate a trend that supports this prediction.

Plans for military action in Mali reflect change in Tuareg alliances

Officials from the African Union, European Union and United Nations are meeting in Bamako, the capital of Mali, to make final plans to deploy a military force to Mali, where al-Qaeda linked Islamists have taken full control of the north, about two-thirds of the country. The current situation in Mali has been a major unintended consequence of last year's intervention in Libya. The military intervention against Muammar Gaddafi transformed Libya into the world's largest source of illicit weaponry, following Gaddafi's collapse. Battle-hardened ethnic Tuaregs, who had fought in support of Gaddafi, took possession of these weapons and came back to Mali after the war and took control of the north, calling it the independent state of Azawad. But the Tuaregs were overpowered by the Islamist terror group Ansar Dine (Defenders of Faith), linked to Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), who are now extremely well armed, thanks to Libya. Furthermore, Ansar Dine has betrayed moderate Muslims by destroying historic shrines in Timbuktu and other big cities. The Tuaregs have now recanted their claims for an independent state of Azawad, and are agreeing to ally with the regular Mali army and the incoming military force. Morocco and France are leading the fight to get agreement on a military intervention, as they believe they're the most likely targets of terrorist attacks by Ansar Dine and AQIM. VOA and Foreign Policy in Focus and The Africa Report

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