The following is a Bloomberg News round-up of editorial comment across the Middle East as world powers debate whether to carry out punitive strikes against Syrian President Bashar Assad’s government for its alleged use of chemical weapons last month. Assad denies the charge.
• Syria: Baath
The state-run Baath newspaper said “aggressors” will be made to pay for any attack on Syria as the army is supported by the people and more united than ever.
The U.S. aggression on Syria “will fail before it starts,” the newspaper said. “The solution is for the West to withdraw the option of military aggression and work on going to Geneva.”
• Turkey: Hurriyet Daily News
“Ankara believes that Moscow has been and is going to act rationally if and when there is another U.S.-led operation,” Murat Yetkin, a columnist for Hurriyet Daily News wrote Friday. “Despite all the backing of the Assad regime, Russian top officials have made it clear that Russia would not get into a war over Syria.
“Once the U.S. makes its decision for the operation, Ankara believes that Russia and almost all other actors trying to stop such an intervention would step aside, perhaps with the exception of Iran and groups close to Iran.
“Will Turkey take part in an operation, even if it doesn’t totally match up with its political line? The answer is yes.”
• Saudi Arabia: Saudi Gazette
Without a foreign military strike on Syria “there will be further poison gas attacks. More bloodshed. More refugees,” editorialized the Saudi Gazette, which like other Saudi papers is privately owned and government guided.
The paper said it was “interesting” that at a time when the U.S. is preparing to act against Assad, its first concern was Israel’s safety.
“Does it imagine that the Damascus government will be launching a missile strike on Israel in revenge for the destruction of its own weaponry? And if it does, could this perhaps tell us something about the limitations of the U.S. attack plans for Syria?”
• United Arab Emirates
The Al Bayan newspaper called for a global conference on Syria as the United Nations is powerless is stop the bloodshed.
“For peace and security to return to Syria, which is the goal that the ineffective U.N. council has set for itself, there must be an agreement on fundamentals that buries all the sterile debate that’s dominated the political scene.”
The Abu Dhabi-based newspaper Al Ittihad editorialized: “Syrians and Arabs will be in pain to watch as the U.S. and Western powers launch airstrikes that may destroy what’s left of Syria. The only thing that will allow one to stomach the attacks are the events of the past two and a half years as a single man tries to stay in power and refuses to accept that the people who dared come out against him weren’t germs.”