The Syrian popular revolt took all concerned international players by surprise, including Iran and Turkey as well as the Syrian regime itself. As far as the Syrian President Bashar al Assad was concerned, Syria was an exceptional case, as its position of resistance to Israel and foreign hegemony meant that it would be insulated from public discontent, and its people would not rebel against their government. As he stated in an interview with the Wall Street Journal on January 31, 2011, the regime and its politics were "close to the people", thus ensuring that there would be no protests within Syria.
Yet the Syrian people did eventually rise up against their government, and constituting a turning point for the governments in both Turkey and Iran, and brought to the forefront the discord between their regional agendas . The reactions of these two countries towards and towards each other, have served to corroborate an oft-quoted statement: that the idea of Turkey joining Iran, Hizbullah and Syria in a single camp is simply a smokescreen for another reality: that of the other parties containing Turkey's growing influence in the region, and putting a stop to how Turkey can be used to counter Iranian influence as well as Israeli intransigence. The pace of progress has set such ambitions aside, showing them to be mere "fantasies", and placed Turkey and Iran on opposite ends of a conflict, and have heightened tensions between both sides: the future of the Syrian regime will be a decisive factor in determining how this conflict unfolds, with the ultimate fate of the Syrian regime likely to impinge negatively on one or the other of the two sides (being Turkey and Iran).
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