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CAIRO, August 31 (Itar-Tass) - The Syrian foreign opposition fears that possible U.S. and NATO missile strikes will strengthen the positions of the Damascus ruling regime. The pan-Arab newspaper Al Hayat writes that representatives of the National Coalition of Opposition and Revolutionary Forces residing in London have warned Western governments about that. Sources quoted by the newspaper believe that President Bashar al-Assad and his entourage will use even a limited military action to their advantage and will try to raise the nation’s patriotic feelings.
A member of the National Coalition of Opposition and Revolutionary Forces has said that a direct foreign interference in Syria will substantially decrease chances for a political settlement.
An Arab expert, Ibragim Hamidi, has great doubts that U.S. air and naval strikes at Syria will pursue only military purposes.
"This is going to be a punitive action with clear political overtones, which according to the Western concept, should shake the regime, split the Syrian top leadership and make a new group of functionaries flee Damascus. In short, it is expected to open the way to Syria’s transition to democracy,” the expert said.
The West hopes to teach the Syrian government a good lesson and make it more cooperative in future. New U.N. experts will arrive in Syria to dismantle chemical weapons. The question is how Iran is going to react to even a “symbolic punishment” of its ally and can a 24-hour-long military operation evolve into a regional conflict affecting neighboring countries.
Another Arab analyst warns that the reaction of the Arab street to the NATO-American aggression will definitely be negative and the Arab public opinion will never accept a foreign military interference in the region.
Egypt has spoken resolutely against a new military scenario in the Middle East. Jordan has warned in advance that it will not allow using its territory as a bridgehead for aggression.
In the meantime, Damascus is waiting for an armed attack by the West that may start any time. A Syrian security source told the Al-Mayadeen television channel on Saturday that Syria would not leave an unjustified aggression without response.