WASHINGTON (JTA) — Walid Moallem, the foreign minister of Syria, blamed Israel in part for the American hands-off approach to fighting in Syria.
"I can see the American foreign policy in the Middle East has to take in its account and priority the Israeli interest," Moallem told Al Monitor, a Middle East news website, in a rare interview conducted during last week’s United Nations General Assembly in New York. "And the Israeli interest today is to continue this violence in Syria as long as it’s Syrian killing a Syrian, as long as the country infrastructure is destroyed. For that we don’t see any American initiative to end this violence."
The Obama administration is under pressure from congressional Republicans, anti-Syria groups and its ally, Turkey, to intervene against the Syrian government through helping to set up a no-fly zone, among other proposals.
Israeli officials also have said they would favor the removal of the Assad regime in part because of its Iran ties, although they also fear an Islamist takeover.