The West has known about support for Hezbollah, but its passive support for al Qaeda may be most troubling:
Since, for obvious reasons, Syria cannot [conduct] a confrontation through direct resistance, it has opened [its] border with Iraq to all the resistance fighters of Al-Qaeda, even though it does not share their ideology. [As for Hizbullah, Syria] supports it because it is the only resistance [force] that is present in Lebanon, in the area closest to Israel…”
In addition, Sukariyya has stated that without Hezbollah, the Syrian capital would fall within hours of a prospective Israeli attack. In addition, he claims that rockets fired at Israel during its 2006 war with Hezbollah were Syrian.
Syria, still run by the Ba’ath Party, is a pariah state, even by Middle East standards.
Its alliance with Iran, Hamas, and Hezbollah and cooperation with al Qaeda have made it a worthy inheritor of Iraq’s former aggressive stance.
Bashar Assad believes that he can play both games: be friendly enough with the US to gain respect from the Obama Administration, while expansionist enough to support attacks against Israel and Iraq.
Iraq has been tougher on Assad, and considering memories of the Ba’ath National Socialist Party’s rule of Iraq, it is easy to see why. Prime Minister Maliki appears unwilling to take Syrian aggression, causing an increase of regional tensions. On the other side of Iraq, Iran is supporting attacks, as well.
Source: World Threats