By MG Paul E. Vallely

The current SUA assessment of the situation in Syria, including analysis of the (SUA translated) speech delivered by Al Qaeda (AQ) chief, Ayman Zawahiri (here in Arabic), we must stress that the content of his remarks are very dangerous because they may come true if the proper, and immediate steps are not taken to prevent their end game.

The AQ program intends to fully realize the grand Islamic Caliphate, by adding another piece to aid in the completion of the ‘Arab Spring’ through assimilation of all that is Syria with “Beit Al Muqaddas” (One of many Arabic names for Jerusalem) as its capital and then toppling the pro-western regimes in Arab lands to include the Arabian peninsula and Jordan.

By delivering this speech, he is attempting to hijack the dynamics of the Syrian Revolution and match it up with AQ doctrine.

What the United States and others need to do is to engage Syria along two parallel security objectives:

  1. Engage the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and support the collapse of the al-Assad regime which is an extension of Iran and its puppet Hezbollah to take a clear stand against the AQ program (shown here), with its Islamic domination, and
  2. Squash the current AQ leadership, as it happened with previous leaders like the Saudi born Al Khattab of Chechnya, Osama Bin Laden, Anwar Awlaki, Sheikh Abdallah Azzam, Sayed Qotb, Abu Musaab Zarqawi, and now Sheikh Ayman Zawahiri.

Zawahiri has been pushing the Islamists in Syria to seize power, refuse US and western support, and march on Jerusalem afterward to liberate the land of Islam from the Sikes/Picot accords of 1916.

For instance, if the United States does not engage the Syrian Revolution, it will  provide the opportunity and open access for AQ to recruit 18 million Sunnis into their movement and achieve their ultimate goal. This will induce great damage and turmoil to the region and seriously impair both short and long term relations with the US and the West.

America and other democratic nations need to understand the dynamic of the current Syrian situation and cultivate the FSA to be the legal force of the future. Then, we must stay engaged with this new entity to prevent the establishment of AQ in Syria.

1916 Sykes/Picot Accord map of the breakup of the Ottoman Empire

The USA should prevent the possible fragmentation of the country which will involve at least three of the following four possibilities and support a free secular Syria:

  1. an Alawite enclave in the north western part,
  2. a Sunni district in central Syria that includes Alleppo, Hama, Homs, and Damascus,
  3. a Kurdish zone in North Eastern Syria (Hassaka region),
  4. and a Druze section in Jabal Sweidah. (next to the Golan)

SUA suspects Iran (and Russia) will try to use AQ fundamentalism to destabilize the rest of the pro-western Arab regime allied to the US “oil strategy” in the Middle East, and hijack Syria to cultivate the potential of adding 18 million Sunnis in their efforts against all US and/or western goals.


MG Paul E. Vallely US Army (Ret.) is Chairman and Founder of Stand Up America

Edited by Scott W. Winchell