WASHINGTON — Israel, in a stunning public reversal, said it supports and wants the end of the current Syrian government regime led by Bashar al-Assad.
Israel sees the defeat of Iranian-backed Assad as a positive development in the region, as Iran continues to breathe out threats against the Jewish state. Saudi Arabia, which is not known as friendly toward Israel in the past, has also teamed up with Israel to oppose Iran in the region.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had said that Israel would not enter the civil war on anyone’s side, but this statement changes things.
Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren said the following:
“We always wanted Bashar Assad to go, we always preferred the bad guys who weren’t backed by Iran to the bad guys who were backed by Iran…the greatest danger to Israel is by the strategic arc that extends from Tehran, to Damascus to Beirut. And we saw the Assad regime as the keystone in that arc”
Oren said that some of the anti-Assad rebels were not as radical as the al-Qaeda-affiliated Islamists, some of whom have aired gruesome execution videos for the world to see.