SYRIA WATCH- The “Arab Spring”: Heritage Foundation Recommendations http://www.heritage.org/Research/Reports/2011/04/Time-for-the-Obama-Administration-to-Support-Freedom-in-Syria
Syria is a key Arab state that has sought to gain leadership of the Arab world by adopting hard-line policies against Israel and the U.S. Although it has a faltering economy and meager oil resources, it exploited strategic ties to the Soviet Union and more recently partnered with Iran to assume a major role in the Arab–Israeli conflict, extend its lethal hegemony over Lebanon, and oppose Western influence in the Middle East. Assad’s regime is a major state sponsor of terrorism that has used a number of Palestinian extremist groups—including Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and secular factions—to indirectly attack Israel. It has conspired with Iran and Hezbollah to subvert Lebanon, where it has a long and bloody record of assassinating Lebanese politicians and journalists critical of Syria’s domination. Syria’s cold-blooded intelligence network is a prime suspect in the 2005 car bombing that killed former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and more than 20 others.
Increase international pressure on the Syrian nuclear issue. Syria has stonewalled the ongoing investigation by the International Atomic Energy Agency into the covert nuclear reactor that Israel bombed in 2007
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