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    Netanyahu is in Deep Trouble, Assad is About to Make Strategic Mistake – Analyst

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    Opinion
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    Ekaterina Blinova
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    Israel's resumed efforts to crack down on Iran could be fueled by Benjamin Netanyahu's looming bribery investigation, geopolitical analyst Gilbert Mercier told Sputnik. As tensions are escalating between Ankara and Damascus over Afrin, Mercier suggested that it would be a strategic mistake on the part of President Bashar Assad to protect the Kurds.

    "It seems that time is up for Bibi [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu]," geopolitical analyst Gilbert Mercier told Sputnik. "In the post-Netanyahu era coming soon, perhaps Israel will understand that stability in Syria, which was secured for decades with the strong rule of the Assads is  far from being perfect, but that it is better than endless war."

    Israeli PM's 'Wag-the-Dog Stunt'

    Mercier, the author of "The Orwellian Empire" and editor-in-chief of News Junkie Post, referred to the recent international Munich Security Conference which took place from February 16-18, 2018.

    While delivering his speech Netanyahu showed off a piece of metal, which he claimed was a part of the Iranian drone, as evidence of the alleged Iranian intrusion, and rebuked the Islamic Republic with a warning saying that "the tyrants of Tehran should not test Israel's resolve," the author recalled.

    "We will act, if necessary, not just against Iran's proxies, but against Iran itself," the Israeli PM added.

    However, according to the analyst, "the revival of this tough rhetoric towards Tehran from Netanyahu is not about the drone episode and not even specifically about Syria."

    "Beyond the theatrics, there are two real issues: firstly, a desperate push by Tel Aviv with the support of the Trump administration to cancel the 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran; secondly, a classic wag-the-dog stunt from an Israeli PM who could, at any given time, be indicted by the Israeli police on the charge of corruption and accepting bribes for political favors," Mercier explained.

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu holds up a remnant of what he said was a piece of Iranian drone which was shot down in Israeli airspace during his speech at the Munich Security Conference, Germany February 18, 2018
    © REUTERS / Lennart Preiss/MSC Munich Security Conference
    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu holds up a remnant of what he said was a piece of Iranian drone which was shot down in Israeli airspace during his speech at the Munich Security Conference, Germany February 18, 2018

    Netanyahu is in Political Trouble

    The crux of the matter is that Netanyahu is in political trouble, the analyst pointed out, adding that "for politicians in history, it has been a standard operating procedure to foster conflicts abroad, often artificially, when their political situations become precarious on the home front."

    Still, the author believes that "Netanyahu's push, with the assistance of the Trump administration, to scrap the 2015 international nuclear agreement with Iran, will be a no go."

    The analyst slammed the Israeli delegation's attempt to compare the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, commonly known as the Iran nuclear deal, to the disastrous 1938 Munich agreement "that was signed by Western powers and Adolf Hitler on the incredible premise to avoid war."

    "Unfortunately for Netanyahu and Trump, the other signatories to the nuclear deal, which are France, Britain, Germany, Russia and China, think that the agreement is working fine and do not want to renegotiate it," Mercier highlighted. "For his part, at the 2018 Munich Security conference and in blatant contradiction to the Trump administration, former US Secretary of State John Kerry defended the deal he had helped to broker and categorically dismissed Netanyahu's assertions."

    Iran-Israeli Détente is 'in the Interest of the Jewish State'

    The geopolitical analyst similarly underscored that  Israel needs to understand "that a detente with Iran is ultimately in the interest of the Jewish state."

    Mercier insists that "people in Israel, just like the populations of other regional powers, and that is especially true for their temporary allies the Kurds, must understand that in the Middle East the notion of Pax Americana is worse than a myth — it is a grotesque lie."

    The author emphasized that "the interest of the United States of America, an empire run by and for the military-industrial complex, is permanent wars, not peace."

    "In Syria, if peace finally comes along after seven years of hell it will be Pax Russiana," Mercier highlighted.

    Servicemen are seen here at the Russian air base in Khmeimim during a military parade marking the 72nd anniversary of Victory in the 1941-45 Great Patriotic War. File photo
    © Sputnik / Dmitriy Vinogradov
    Servicemen are seen here at the Russian air base in Khmeimim during a military parade marking the 72nd anniversary of Victory in the 1941-45 Great Patriotic War. File photo

    The Second Front: Syria and Turkey's Potential Collision Over Afrin

    Meanwhile, news emerged that Damascus has agreed upon a plan to allow Syrian government forces into Afrin as the Turks promised to lay siege to the city in the coming days.

    As Peter Ford, former UK ambassador to Syria, told Radio Sputnik's Loud & Clear on Tuesday: "What the Syrian government is doing in Afrin is a lesson, a lesson to the Kurds in who they can count on when the chips are down."

    In response, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu stated that "no one will stop [the Turks]" even the Syrian Arab Army (SAA).

    "Now the question is — will the forces of the regime [of Syrian President Bashar Assad] enter Afrin or not? And if they enter, then for what purpose? If they come to clear it from the YPG, there are no problems. If they support terrorists, no one will stop us," Cavusoglu said, as aired by the NTV broadcaster.

    According to Mercier, "the fact Bashar al-Assad's army could join them against the Turkish forces is extremely troubling."

    "Considering that the Kurds are the foot soldiers of the Americans in Syria, it would be a huge strategic mistake on the part of Bashar al-Assad, who has so far been remarkably resilient and shrewd," he suggested. "Assad has been warned by Erdogan not to intervene, and it is likely that Russia and Iran will put pressure on Damascus not to join the Kurds in Afrin."

    The geopolitical analyst emphasized the role and the integrity of the coalition on Assad's side, "which includes Turkey."

    He bemoaned the fact that while a few months ago a "cease fire was within reach, under the impulse of Russia, Iran and Turkey," "the mayhem is back: the bombs are falling again, and the guns are blazing."

    "A complete country, which was part of Mesopotamia, known to be the cradle to civilization, has been reduced to rubble for the sake of a perverse geopolitical game where most Syrians are just collateral damage," the author underscored.

    However, "if the coalition of Russia, Iran, and Turkey remains intact and agrees, in the context of a Pax Russiana, that Bashar al-Assad deserves a chance to rebuild his country, then peace could come," the geopolitical analyst believes.

    "Once upon a time, Bashar al-Assad's destiny was to be a medical doctor specializing in ophthalmology. Could Assad progressively stabilize Syria and then help his people to heal from all this unbearable pain? If this can be achieved, then in due time, Bashar al-Assad will surely want to reclaim Syria's national sovereignty and will ask all foreign troops to leave his country," Mercier concluded.

    The views and opinions expressed by Gilbert Mercier, Ekaterina Blinova are those of the contributors and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

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    Tags:
    Syrian Kurds, confrontation, war, Syrian Arab Army, Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), Mevlut Cavusoglu, Bashar al-Assad, John Kerry, Donald Trump, Benjamin Netanyahu, Afrin, Iran, Israel, China, Turkey, Syria, United States, Russia, Middle East
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