Gen. Allen: Syria gassing Israel would be ‘virtually a regime suicide’

The Jerusalem Post reports: “The US response to a scenario in which the Syrian regime was ‘gassing Israelis would result in a situation that he [Bashar Assad] could not even imagine,’ and be ‘virtually regime suicide,’ Marine Corps Gen. (ret.) John R. Allen told The Jerusalem Post.

Allen, one of the US’s leading voices on security issues, spoke to the Post last week and on Thursday, and discussed whether recent events made a Syrian chemical weapons strike on Israel more or less likely.

The former general was the Obama administration’s special envoy in fighting ISIS and on finding security solutions to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, US commander in Afghanistan, and is currently a distinguished fellow and chairman of security and strategy at the Brookings Institution.

The circumstances Allen was confronted with were the combination of the Assad regime’s recent use of chemical weapons against Syrian rebels and revelations that it may possess one to three tons of chemical weapons, along with the Trump administration’s military response.

He said straight out that recent events meant there ‘would be a lesser chance’ that Assad would launch such a strike against Israel. ‘Were Assad to lash out at Israel and the Israeli population with chemical weapons, it would be virtually a suicidal act for his regime. The enormity of the US response would be unprecedented.

‘People need to understand that. I don’t think Assad is stupid. I am careful to ascribe irrationality to any leader – most are rational within their own context,’ Allen said, predicting that the strength of the US respond to Assad would be manifested ‘in ways people can’t even begin to contemplate.’…”

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