Expert says US unlikely to strike Syria as congressmen seem unconvinced

Azerbaijan, Baku, Sept. 10 / Trend, S. Isayev

While it is difficult to know for sure, it is unlikely that the U.S. will strike Syria, observer of Middle Eastern affairs and research scholar at The University of Texas at Austin, Saif Shahin told Trend.

The expert was commenting on the latest happenings in Syria.

"There There is very little international support, nor do US Congressmen seem convinced," he said.

"President Obama has failed to explain how aerial bombing, which is what he plans, will achieve anything more than kill more Syrians," Shahin underscored. "In fact, the last few days have seen little talk of the planned bombing achieving anything worthwhile."

He said that the only justification now being offered for a strike is that Syrian president Bashar Al-Assad crossed a "red line" and he needs to be punished for that.

"Sensing the lack of support, John Kerry has already started scaling down his belligerence, saying Assad can prevent the strike if only he hands over his supposed chemical arsenal," Shahin noted.

Iranian officials have previously stated on numerous occasions that foreign intervention in Syria wouldn't be limited only to country's borders, and that it could spread all over the region, damaging stability and security of other countries as well.

It is while U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Monday that if one does not conduct a military operation in Syria, several years may be required for political settlement of the crisis.

Some Western countries as well as Turkey have already supported intervention in Syria following another escalation of the situation. On August 21, media outlets reported a large scale deployment of chemical weapons near Damascus by Syrian Government Troops. Over 600 people became victims of the attack.

The clashes between the government forces and armed opposition have been continuing in Syria for over two years.

According to UN statistics, the total number of victims of the conflict in Syria is more than 100,000. The Syrian authorities say they are opposed by well-armed militants.

"If the strike does take place, Iran is unlikely to intervene directly on Assad's behalf," Shahin said. "Iran will wait for the strike to be over, but move swiftly after that to fill in the power vacuum that Assad's departure will create."

He went on to note that Iran's IRGC (Revolutionary Guard) will get involved in the situation more directly, "but Hezbollah will be the key".

"Iran will draft the organization fully into the civil war, aided by the remnants of the Assad regime, to ensure that the new power structure is pliant to Tehran," Shahin said. "It won't be easy, but the rebels are deeply divided."

"The situation will be Iraq redux, except without the presence of US ground forces, and Iran has already shown it can manipulate such a situation successfully," he underscored.

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