Why the IDF and SDF will be Welcomed

How will the civilian populations react to a joint IDF-SDF liberation of Lebanon-Syria? 

The Syrian regime is profoundly unpopular in Syria even among the Alawites and there is no doubt that the feminist and now increasingly Arab SDF (Syrian Democratic Forces) of the AANES (Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria) will be greeted as liberators from Ba’athist totalitarian oppression. 

The Druze and the Alawites are all Median Jews who in the past decade by word of mouth have become aware of them being Jewish and have therefore developed Jewish communal Jewish identity. There is no doubt that the Druze and the Alawites of Syria and Lebanon will welcome the IDF (Israel Defense Forces) as liberators and will be quite happy about subsequent Israeli annexation of their regions.

The Christians of Lebanon will welcome Israel setting up a Christian Aramean state in parts of current Lebanon and a small part of Syria. Lebanon is a failed state and Lebanon being replaced by Aram is something that most Lebanese Christians (and in particular the Maronites) will welcome. 

Will the Sunni and Shia Muslims of Lebanon welcome the SDF? The SDF is quite experienced at dealing constructively with civilian populations and particularly in empowering women in civilian populations. During the months of Israeli occupation of Lebanon will Israel face a Hezbollah insurgency and this will no doubt continue against the SDF after the SDF takes over control once the IDF vacates most of Lebanon. The SDF is however still fighting against the ISIL insurgency. The SDF has imposed the draft in the AANES, something which has significantly expanded the volume of its forces. The SDF was once predominantly Kurdish but with the AANES draft in place is the SDF now increasingly Arab. The SDF is no doubt well prepared for cracking down on a Hezbollah insurgency as well. Since a growing proportion of SDF soldiers are Arabs will they not be perceived as foreigners by Lebanese Muslims.

This is as all wars a risky operation but the risks of inaction are far greater than those of action. Iranian entrenchment in the northern Levant, directly and through its proxies is unacceptable and the growing missile threat against Tel Aviv will if not dismantled one day pose an existential threat against the State of Israel. For the SDF is reaching the sea and liberating Syria and Lebanon a matter of survival considering the Ba’athist, Turkish and Iranian threats geared against it. 

This war has a clear and peaceful endgame with the diplomatic drawing of new borders between Beirut, Jerusalem and Damascus. The Hezbollah insurgency in Lebanon will not end quickly just as the ISIL insurgency continues but the SDF knows how to fight and crush the scourge of Jihadism.

Islamists would likely win elections in Syria were free and fair elections to be held and the AANES offer an enlightened feminist alternative as a new government in Damascus.

Published by Daniella Bartfeld

Daniella Bartfeld is the founding director of the Aliyah Organization

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