Who Cares About Syria?
There are several major players in the Syrian crisis on both the regional and international scene, each with its own interests and objectives concerning Syria in the geo-political, military, and economic realms. While many of these actors are allied with one another, be it military pact or an alliance of convenience, it does not mean that their interests are the same, and as such one must examine the interests of each actor on an individual level.
The United States
The United States has its concerns with Syria that are primarily linked to Iran and terrorist organizations. In April 2010, the US government acknowledged that Syria “continue[d] to support Hamas and Hezbollah” and had financial relations with Iran as Iranian companies “invested in concrete production, power generation, and urban transportation.” At that time, such involvement with Iran was viewed as a problem for US interests due to there being the possibility of an Israeli strike on Iran.  The Syrian-Iranian alliance would potentially prove a problem for the US and Israel if a strike had occurred as it could have allowed the Iranians to wage an effective retaliation on Israel, thus harming America’s interests by damaging a main regional ally. Today, the unease concerning the Syria-Iran alliance remains.
As of the recent civil war in Syria, the US seems to be hoping for the ousting of the Assad regime, stating that were the rebels to be found victorious in the civil war, “a more democratic Syria may seek to broaden its relationships with Western democracies and could choose to reduce its dependence on its current alliance with Iran.”  Yet, while the US may want a rebel victory, they are worried about infiltration of the Syrian opposition by terrorist groups, namely Al Qaeda.
The Americans have been worried about the Syrian opposition being infiltrated for quite some time, with US officials stating this year that “the violence and disorder paralyzing Syria appears to be creating opportunities for Al Qaeda operatives or other violent Islamist extremists to infiltrate the country and conduct or plan attacks,” and that “Sunni extremists have infiltrated Syrian opposition groups, which may be unaware of the infiltration.”  Yet, this infiltration of Sunni extremists becomes rather interesting when one acknowledges that the US knows Al Qaeda is in the Syrian opposition and that the US is supporting the opposition. Director of Intelligence James R. Clapper acknowledged Al Qaeda’s presence in the Syrian rebel groups in February when he said that “Members of al-Qaeda have infiltrated Syrian opposition groups, and likely executed recent bombings in the nation’s capital and largest city.”  Most recently, it was reported that the CIA was giving arms to the Syrian rebels.  Thus, not only is the US aiding to arm elements of Al Qaeda, but also the US and Al Qaeda are (however indirectly) working together to dismantle the Assad regime. What peculiar bedfellows this situation is making!
The final interest that the US has in the Syrian crisis is taking out a major Iranian ally. As was stated earlier, a Syrian-Iranian alliance deeply troubles the US and taking Syria out of the picture would aid America in its quest to isolate Iran on a regional level. If the Assad regime were to fall, it would “cut off Iran’s access to its proxies (Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza) and visibly dent its domestic and international prestige, possibly forcing a hemorrhaging regime in Tehran to suspend its nuclear policies.”  Furthermore, with the Assads gone, it would result in Iran having no Middle East ally and being fully isolated, which would make it easier to invade or attack, seeing as how regime change in Iran is not off the table either.
Regarding the Assad situation, Israel is in a rather unenviable situation of essentially having to choose between an enemy it does know or siding with an unknown group that may be even more hostile to Israel.
Israel may choose to deal with the Assad regime, but not due to any fondness for it. It should be acknowledged that “Syria fought Israel directly in October 1973 and via proxy in Lebanon between 1982 and 2000. Since 2000, Syria has continued to support Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza.”  Yet, while Israel is no fan of the current government, they do realize that “the Assad regime will not attempt to repossess the Golan Heights by military force and will meet with Israeli leaders to negotiate for peace, which occurred in 1991, 1995-1996, 1999-2001, and 2008.”  Thus, while Assad may not be the friendliest neighbor, they are better than the alternative.
Sects, such as Shia in the Gulf States and Sunnis in Iran have not been successfully integrated within Islam itself. The central argument the present thesis seeks to examine is how equal citizenship (equal access for political, educational, social and economic institutions of the country) can be delivered for the Kurds in the four countries. In order to achieve this, the legal status of the Kurds needs to be changed via reforming and amending the constitution and penal codes of the four states. Recognition of the legal rights of the Kurds and abolishing the discriminatory laws are the cornerstone of a healthy civil society and the key to pluralism and peace in the region.
In addition to this, if a new regime is established that has more popular support than the current government (last checked, Assad had the support of 55% of the population ), it would allow for the Syrian government to position its military resources to external threats, namely the Jewish state. Thus, from an Israeli security standpoint it is better for the Syrian government to be tied up in suppressing rebels rather than potentially threatening Israel.
Just like the Americans, the situation regarding Iran is also at the front of the minds of the Israeli government, however it may not be for the reasons that one would assume. While governments and the media have been stating for years now that Iran is attempting to get nuclear weapons, in reality, Israeli (along with American and European) intelligence has acknowledged that “ Tehran does not have a bomb, has not decided to build one, and is probably years away from having a deliverable nuclear warhead.”  (emphasis added) Thus, if Iran is “years away from having a deliverable nuclear warhead,” much less building a nuclear weapon, this leads one to wonder what the real reason is that Israel is so worried about Iran possibly attaining nuclear weapons? The real reason is that Israel is worried about losing its nuclear monopoly in the region and security risks that come with it.
Israel’s real fear — losing its nuclear monopoly and therefore the ability to use its conventional forces at will throughout the Middle East — is the unacknowledged factor driving its decision-making toward the Islamic Republic. For Israeli leaders, the real threat from a nuclear-armed Iran is not the prospect of an insane Iranian leader launching an unprovoked nuclear attack on Israel that would lead to the annihilation of both countries. It’s the fact that Iran doesn’t even need to test a nuclear weapon to undermine Israeli military leverage in Lebanon and Syria. Just reaching the nuclear threshold could embolden Iranian leaders to call on their proxy in Lebanon, Hezbollah, to attack Israel, knowing that their adversary would have to think hard before striking back. (emphasis added) 
Thus, Israel does see Iran as a threat but much more to its regional military hegemony than rather a threat to its very existence.
Finally, both the current Assad regime and Iran come into play with Israel’s final regional interest, Hezbollah. Israel is worried that they may gain non-conventional weapons if the Assad regime fell. Most likely, Israel is concerned about Hezbollah coming into chemical and biological weapons as they are already rehearsing drills for if such a situation were to occur.  Such an occurrence would empower the terrorist group and by extension its financier, Iran, as well as become a potential security concern. The Israeli government realizes that “The outcome of the internal conflict in Syria will have a decisive impact on Hizbullah’s strength and behavior, as well as on the political and security situation in Lebanon generally, and on Israel’s relationship with Lebanon,”  and this are keeping a close eye on the situation in Lebanon and how what occurs in Syria affects their northern neighbor
The process of decolonisation has led to the emergence of a number of ethnically complex states in the Middle East. The present thesis addresses the Kurdish minority in Turkey, Iraq, Syria and Iran, investigates and analyses the nature and structure of these four states. The nature of the four states is complex in terms of their population; each one contains more than one faith, ethnicity, and language. One ethnicity, faith or sect may dominate the state which may not necessarily reflect the majority of the population, for example, the minority of Alawis dominating Syria, or the constitution, penal code and political system may be biased to a majority sect (Shia in Iran). The present study investigates, compares and contrasts the twenty-first century policies of Turkey, Syria, Iran and Iraq towards the Kurds, it examines whether the concept of equal citizenship does exist or not in the four states. The minority rights including the Kurds are the key to pluralism and peace in the Middle East. Over the last 50 years, many Middle Eastern and North African minorities have been oppressed or have struggled to survive, national groups (Berbers, Kurds, Turkmens, etc.), religious communities (Christians, Zoroastrians, Baha'is, etc) or both (Armenians, Jews, etc.).
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