Robert M. Danin

Middle East Matters

Danin analyzes critical developments and U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East.

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Voices From the Region: Syria, Egypt, Turkey, Iran, and Israel

by Robert M. Danin
June 21, 2013

A Free Syrian Army fighter smokes a cigarette during his break near the frontline in the Al-Sakhour neighborhood of Aleppo, June 21, 2013 (Salman/Courtesy Reuters).


“What we’ve asked for is not weapons but U.S. leadership.” –a senior Arab official whose government helps fund the Syrian rebels

“When George W. Bush had a 22 percent approval rating, Americans didn’t talk about early presidential elections.” –an aide to Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi

“Everybody knows we do not have the weapons we need to defend ourselves. But we have the will, and we have humble means, and we have tools.” –Abu Trad, a commander of the Saraqib Rebels Front in Syria

“The EU needs Turkey more than Turkey needs the EU…If we had to; we could tell them ‘Get lost.’” –Turkey’s EU minister Egemen Bagis

“They want an Islamic state, but most of us want a civilian state…We’re afraid they’re going to try to rule by force.” –A Syrian boy in the town of Raqqa talking about Jabhat al-Nusra

“The key to fixing the economy is resolving the nuclear stand-off and having sanctions lifted.” –Kamran, a middle-class Iranian businessman

“Just like the Chinese protected themselves and defended themselves with the Great Wall, so we will continue to defend ourselves on the southern border, the Golan Heights and on all fronts.” –Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu while on official visit to China

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