Posts Tagged ‘Bashar Al-Assad’

As the Syrian conflict approaches its 6th anniversary, there is a sense of optimism among pro-government supporters, with Russia stepping up military assistance and the prospect of Donald Trump cutting off support to the opposition.
Since the start of unrest in Syria, the US government has fixated on dislodging President Assad from office — using any means necessary.

However, there has been widespread speculation that Donald Trump will focus more on tackling groups such as Daesh, and could potentially be willing to work in conjunction with Assad’s forces and Russia.

Ahrar al-Sham is one of the most powerful groups fighting against the Syrian Army and its allies. Russia has attempted to designate this group as a terrorist organization but the US has previously protested the group’s innocence.
The US government has also criticized the Russian air force for attacking this group. Ahrar al-Sham has openly said that they want to impose Shariah law across Syria, and they have even collaborated with Fateh al-Sham, which was previously part of the al-Qaeda franchise.
Unlike Daesh, which seeks to establish a worldwide caliphate, Ahrar al-Sham has indicated that they are only interested in imposing Shariah law in Syria. This is already problematic, as many minorities will inevitably suffer from persecution.
Furthermore, if the group was to satisfy its objectives in Syria, they may expand their goals, potentially aiming to establish an Islamic State far beyond Syria’s borders. After all, groups like this thrive off violence, war and aggressive expansion. Therefore, by aiding this group, America is putting itself, and many other countries in unnecessary danger.
It is hard to imagine a scenario where Donald Trump will continue to support this group. In fact, many opposition fighters in Syria were deeply saddened when news broke out that Trump had emerged victorious over Hillary Clinton.
It appeared that Hillary’s foreign policy, especially on Syria, was in stark contrast to Trump’s. She was seemingly in favor of imposing a no-fly zone over Syria and providing more military support to the armed opposition. Russia has sophisticated military assets in Syria, including several fighter jets, and the S-300 and S-400 SAM systems. This puts them in a good position to deal with/prevent a no-fly zone.
Even with substantial support from their allies, rebels in Aleppo were unable to break the siege on eastern Aleppo. They were able to score some initial gains, especially in the al-Assad district, but pro-government forces were successful in reversing all their gains in a matter of days, with little air support. The pro-government forces in Aleppo are comprised of units from the Syrian Army, Liwa al-Quds (a Palestinian militia), SSNP fighters, Hezbollah, and Iraqi Shia militiamen.
Russia and Syria have given rebels and civilians the opportunity to leave Aleppo several times, but opposition fighters have prevented civilians from leaving the area. Recently, footage emerged showing protests in Aleppo, calling for the rebels to leave the area. Some of the footage reportedly showed armed men firing at protesters with live ammunition.
It remains to be seen what the newly elected President of the US will do, but it seems that he will cut off support to the rebels at the least. He may even be content with allowing Assad to remain in power, as a means of combating terrorism, and helping Syria return to normality. Even without further assistance from the west, Assad’s forces already have the upper hand at most battlefronts in Syria.
Some analysts have suggested that Trump may continue with America’s previous foreign policy — arming and backing the opposition, including Islamist groups such as Ahrar al-Sham.
Ultimately, it depends on whether he decides to give his advisers a large role in policy-making, while he takes more of a figurehead position or decides to implement his pre-election narrative.
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By Suliman Mulhem
According to circulating reports from Syria, pro-government forces have made significant advances in eastern Aleppo. The Syrian Arab Army, backed by allied militias and air support, has taken control of Hanano district and Jabal Badro in the space of around 48 hours.

The speed of the Syrian army’s recent gains in Aleppo are impressive, considering the urban battleground.

At the request of the Syrian government, Russian militarily intervened in the Syrian conflict in September 2015. Shortly before the arrival of Russian warplanes in Syria, the Syrian army suffered a string of defeats, most notably in Idlib province.

Since Russia’s intervention, the tide has turned, and Assad’s forces advanced on several key fronts. They managed to retake the ancient city of Palmyra, and lift the siege of the Kuweires airbase in Aleppo.
Given the presence of Russian military assets in Syria, it is virtually impossible for any opposing group to retake all of Syria. The provinces of Latakia and Tartus are considered to be the safest areas in Syria, due to the presence of Russian facilities.
Pre-war, these provinces were primarily populated with Alawites, as well as many Christians. As of November 2016, more than 1.5 million internally displaced Syrians, mainly Sunnis from Aleppo, live in Latakia.
Based on Donald Trump’s previous comments and narrative, many expect him to cut-off support to opposition forces in Syria, and potentially cooperate with the Syrian government to tackle Islamist groups in Syria.
Furthermore, Russia has placed its advanced S-300 and S-400 SAM systems in Syria, giving them the power to down enemy aircraft. Therefore, it is unlikely that the armed opposition will receive any direct military support (against pro-government forces) from their allies, for example a no-fly zone.
 Victory in Aleppo is crucial to the long-term success of the Syrian Army’s operations. It will serve as a huge morale boost, as well as allowing for thousands of pro-government fighters to be deployed elsewhere.
Based on recent developments, it is clear that Assad’s government has the advantage. Their advantage could potentially be further accentuated by the involvement of Iraqi militias in Syria.
Earlier this month, Hadi al-Amiri, a leader in the Iraqi PMU, said that President Assad has requested support from his group.
It has been speculated that they will enter Syria, and battle Daesh in the province of Deir Ezzor, once they have liberated Mosul. Thousands of Syrian soldiers have been trapped in Deir Ezzor for several years. Breaking the siege would free-up these soldiers (including 4,000 soldiers from the elite Republican Guard), allowing to fight on other fronts.
In the past year, many countries have changed their position on the Syrian crisis in favor of Assad. For example, in December 2015, the Pakistani Foreign Minister said that his country opposed any attempt to topple Assad.
More recently, the President of Egypt, Abdel Fattah al-Sissi indicated his support for the Syrian government.
“Our priority is to support national armies, for example in Libya to exert control over Libya territory and deal with extremist elements. The same with Syria and Iraq,” al-Sissi said.
Syria and Egypt were part of a political union from 1958 until 1961, known as the United Arab Republic.
Although the war is far from over, it seems highly probable that the Syrian government will emerge victorious.

The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Uncloaked Precision/anthonychris82

In case of winning the US elections and becoming the US president, Hillary Clinton may ramp up the US involvement in the Middle East, causing Egypt’s destabilization and Syria’s defragmentation, member of the French National Assembly’s defense committee Nicolas Dhuicq told sources.
US Democratic presidential nominee Clinton on different occasions during her election campaign pledged to increase the US influence in the Middle Eastern region, to create safe zones inside Syria, increase pressure on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and boost support to the armed opposition.
“Clinton is disquieting because [US President Barack] Obama had taken lessons from Iraq and Afghanistan failures. Clinton knows it too… but she seems to be thinking in simplistic terms of religious identities and ethnicities to define her foreign policy. So I fear she could destabilize Egypt and try to favor a federal solution for Syria… which is a seed for endless wars between groups,” Dhuicq said.

During her tenure as secretary of state, Clinton voted for the US invasion of Iraq in 2003 and supported the idea of arming and training Syrian rebels in 2012. She was also a vocal supporter of operation in Afghanistan in 2009.

Clinton, who seems to favor use of force based on the list of her foreign policy priorities that imply possible use of US military, is much more dangerous to the world’s peace and security than her Republican rival Donald Trump, Alexander Neu, a member of the German parliamentary committee on defense told source.
“In my opinion, Clinton might be much more dangerous for the world peace and security than Trump. But both candidates are a mirror of the American society,” Neu said.
According to Clinton’s campaign website, in order to maintain the US military posture, provide national security and country’s influence abroad, the US army could be potentially involved in deterring Iran’s nuclear aspirations, defeating Daesh, countering China’s cybersecurity threat and containing Russian “aggression.”
The US presidential election is set for November 8 with Clinton and Trump being two major contenders for the presidency.
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By Finian Cunningham

 

We really have entered a macabre twilight zone when US-led warplanes are massacring civilians in several countries – and yet Washington and its allies condemn others for war crimes.

Of course, governments that act criminally cannot be expected to be honest. But what about nominally independent organizations like the United Nations and Western media? The collective deception is damning of systematic complicity.

What makes it more disturbing is that if criminality can be so capriciously covered-up by institutions that are relied upon for law and accountability then the world really is in a dangerous, dark place.

The latest atrocity involved US coalition aircraft reportedly killing 15 women and injuring 50 others when they hit a funeral procession near the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk on Friday.

American-led coalition warplanes, including from Britain, France, and Turkey, are bombing Iraq, supposedly to help defeat the Islamic State (Daesh) terror group.

Shamefully, the Western news media, which have been blaring allegations of war crimes against Russia over its military operations in Syria, were largely silent on the massacre near Kirkuk.

Only days before that barbarity, there were several other mass atrocities committed by American allies elsewhere in the Middle East.

In Syria, two F-16 fighter jets belonging to NATO member Belgium killed six civilians in the village of Hassadjek, near Aleppo.

Within hours of that murderous assault, warplanes from Turkey, another NATO member, were responsible for killing some 150 Syrian civilians in multiple air raids also in Aleppo countryside, according to Syrian state media.

Meanwhile, in Yemen, the US-backed Saudi air bombardment continued its slaughter of innocents despite cynically declaring a non-entity ceasefire earlier in the week. Three farmers were killed in Saudi air strikes in Saada province – almost a week after American and Saudi warplanes massacred 140 people attending a funeral ceremony in the capital Sanaa. Another grotesque “anti-terror” operation.

Washington and its allies are now openly bombing sovereign countries without any legal mandate. As such, these actions constitute the crime of aggression – the most grave violation of international law. This is a redux of 1930s fascist banditry by Western states who haughtily pontificate to Russia.

In Syria, the US-led coalition including Britain and France have been carrying out air strikes on that country for over two years, killing hundreds of civilians – all in the name of “fighting terrorism”. Three months ago, in late July, US and French warplanes murdered over 100 civilians, including women and children, in and around the town of Manbij, near Aleppo, in wave after wave of bombings.

Occasionally, the Western news media do give reports on such crimes. But, generally, their duty is to minimize, by describing such incidents as unfortunate “collateral damage”, if not to willfully cover-up, as in the latest atrocity near Kirkuk.

Nevertheless, the entire hideous Western charade is gradually being exposed.

In Syria, for nearly six years the Arab country has been almost completely destroyed by a US-led covert war for regime change. To achieve this illicit objective, Washington and its NATO and regional allies funded, armed and directed a proxy army of the most vile terror groups.

When Russia and Iran intervened last year to help their Syrian ally against this international criminal conspiracy, the country was brought back from the brink of devastation. The terrorist proxy army supported by Washington, London, Paris, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, has been routed from hundreds of towns and villages.

Syria is being liberated from a scourge unleashed in March 2011 by US-led insurgents under the guise of a “pro-democracy uprising”. That narrative has always been absurd for anyone with critical thinking. Head-chopping jihadists for democracy? Sword-wielding Saudi and Qatari despots advocating pluralist elections?

Besides, Syria already had a relatively robust democracy under President Bashar al Assad. Before the US-led war for regime change, Syria enjoyed a reputation for religious freedom, peaceful coexistence and benign social development.

The Western media, in the service of promoting their governments’ geopolitical agenda, have grossly distorted events in Syria. Instead of investigating a Western-backed criminal subversion involving state-sponsorship of terrorism, the media have violated honest, independent journalism with outright lies and fabrications. The Western public have been told that Washington and its allies are bombing a (sovereign) country to “defeat terrorism” when in fact any genuine, critical inquiry shows the opposite to be the case.

In the northern city of Aleppo, the Syrian army supported by Russia is liberating tens of thousands of civilians who have been held under siege, against their will, by the West’s terror proxies since 2012.

Western media coverage on Aleppo is a diabolical sham. The US, British and French governments, as well as other Europeans, are jumping up and down with accusations of war crimes against Russia and its Syrian ally.

Scarcely any evidence is presented to substantiate these unhinged Western claims of what is happening in Aleppo. Virtually all the information that the West relies on for its allegations is sourced from Western and Saudi-funded organizations such as the so-called White Helmets and Aleppo Media Center, both of whom are embedded with proscribed terror groups like Jabhat al Nusra and Ahrar al Sham.

The Western capacity for denial is astounding. The vast majority of Aleppo residents – some 1.6 million people – are living willingly under the protection of the Syrian army. Yet the Western media never report this. Rather they focus on a minority district besieged by terrorists whom they lionize as “heroic rebels”.

Even when verifiable live broadcasts in Aleppo, set up at the humanitarian aid corridors established by Russian and Syrian authorities, demonstrate beyond doubt that the truces are flagrantly violated by the Western-beloved “rebels”, still the myth-making continues. During three days of humanitarian pause to help vacate civilians, the militants were seen shelling neutral transport arrangements and of holding people as human shields.

However, Western media vaguely and mendaciously report on “lack of security” hampering aid delivery.

Washington and its European allies, primarily Britain and France, as well as UN chiefs Ban Ki-Moon and Staffan de Mistura, the special envoy to Syria, are a disgrace. So too are the Western corporate news media who have lied all the way to conceal the real criminals in Syria.

In this mayhem and madness, it might seem perhaps counterintuitive to be optimistic. But good reason for optimism is that Western governments and their servile media are exposing themselves for the criminals and liars that they are.

The rogue-state behavior of Washington and its allies has become so rampant it is no longer possible to hide.

The public anger and disdain for this murdering cabal is fueled not only by what they see in Syria and the region. People all around the world are making the connection that US-led warmongering and dirty wars are rooted in the same murdering and plundering capitalist system that is killing their own societies and communities.

People are realizing more than ever that the high and mighty Western leaders who presume to sit as judges casting condemnations on others are actually the lowest, most despicable criminals.

Washington’s Russia policy has failed, US experts note, adding that whether one likes it or not the US “has no better option than to keep trying to work with Russia” in Syria.
Washington’s Russia policy has largely failed, Thomas Graham, managing director at Kissinger Associates, and Matthew Rojansky, the director of the Wilson Center’s Kennan Institute, state in their article for Foreign Policy magazine.

“By any number of measures, Washington’s Russia policy has failed. While ostensibly suffering from diplomatic and economic isolation under a US-led international sanctions regime, Moscow has succeeded in challenging a wide range of American interests, most notably in Ukraine, Syria, and cyberspace,” Graham and Rojansky emphasized.

The scholars argued that the US leadership, both Democratic and Republican, have misread Russia in the last three decades. At the root of Washington’s misconception about Russia lies the belief that it can be either defeated or involved in the US’ fold.
“The next president needs to accept that Moscow cannot simply be defeated or contained in the emerging multipolar, globalized world order. It must be engaged through a comprehensive balance of cooperation and competition,” the US scholars stressed.
Instead of futile attempts to defeat or transform Russia, “a new US approach should deal with Russia as it really is,” they note, adding that it is still “a major power on the world stage.”
The scholars continued that the next US administration will have to convince Moscow to cooperate on issues like preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), recognizing the fact that Russia still has its own geopolitical interests which seldom overlap entirely with those of Washington.
“The goal should involve constructing a web of interactions, both cooperative and competitive, that yields the most beneficial balance for our [the US’] national interests,” Graham and Rojansky highlighted.
As for Syria, whether one likes it or not, the US “has no better option than to keep trying to work with Russia,” the US scholars believe.
They explained that Moscow has the wherewithal to maintain a longstanding military presence in Syria with Damascus, Iran and “perhaps even” Turkey supporting Russia’s Syrian operation.
The scholars noted that the much-discussed no-fly zone in Syria, championed by some of US policymakers, should be dismissed as unrealistic, since it bears the risk of igniting an all-out war with Moscow “in the region and elsewhere.”
At the same time Graham and Rojansky insisted that US-Russian discussions on Syria would have a greater chance of success if they were linked with the Ukraine crisis issue and the broader issue of European security.
Enea Gjoza of the Harvard Kennedy School of Government echoes Graham and Rojansky. The US academic believes that it is time for Washington to return to “smart diplomacy” while dealing with Moscow.
“A return to the smart, interest-based diplomacy that characterized US foreign policy during the Cold War is essential for making progress on intractable problems,” Gjoza emphasized in his op-ed for The National Interest.
“Particularly in dealing with other nuclear powers, coming to terms through diplomacy is the only way to safeguard our interests while preserving peace,” he added, referring to the situation in Syria.
In reality, the US and its European allies have no leverage on Russia, according to Moscow-based political analyst Irina Alksnis.
The West’s inability to influence Russia in Syria prompts Washington and Brussels to issue empty threats, such as to refer the situation in Syria to the International Criminal Court and hold Damascus and Moscow responsible for “war crimes,” she noted in her article for Russian online newspaper Vzglyad.
While there are no legal preconditions for bringing Moscow and Damascus to trial, the West’s intention to exert pressure on Russia and the Syrian government could be rephrased as the following: “We can’t defeat Russia and Syria either politically or militarily, so they ought to surrender themselves to us so that we can punish them for their behavior that we don’t like,” Alksnis remarked with a touch of irony.
The political analyst stressed that behind the hawkish rhetoric of some Western policy-makers lies their irritation with Russia coupled with their inability to swing the balance in the West’s favor.
Although the Obama administration has repeatedly signaled that it is considering military options in Syria, including arming the opposition and launching direct air strikes against Bashar al-Assad’s Syrian Arab Army, it appears that Pentagon and NATO war planners are not really ready to provoke a direct conflict between Russia and the US, Alksnis underscored.
That means, the political analyst suggested, that Moscow and Damascus will continue their counter-terrorism campaign in Syria while waiting for the West to adopt more cooperative and negotiable stance on foreign policy issues.
The so-called “moderate” rebels turned off the water to 1.5 million civilians living in West Aleppo in retaliation for a Syrian Army airstrike on East Aleppo that allegedly left 250,000 residents without water setting the stage for an unprecedented humanitarian catastrophe.
The city of Aleppo is “dying” according to United Nations officials after a fierce wave of bombing last night by the Syrian Army in an attempt to break the stalemate in what once was the economic capital of the country but is now left to rubble after years of combat between the Assad government and rebels.

Last night’s airstrikes according to early reporting by the United Nations left 115 dead as hostilities have intensified following the collapse of the ceasefire earlier this week resulting in large part from a US-led coalition airstrike on a Syrian Army base in Deir Ez-Zor that left 62 dead and hundreds injured “paving the way” for a major offensive by Daesh (ISIS) terrorists and over 300 ceasefire violations by the rebels.

The rebels signaled in the day before the ceasefire that they would not comply with the agreement brokered by the United States and Russia with the second largest rebel group Ahrar al-Sham even saying that it was “impossible” for the group to breakaway from al-Nusra Front terrorists (formerly Syria’s al-Qaeda affiliate prior to a rebranding effort) because the two groups had become too entangled fighting under the common banner of the Army of Conquest.
With hopes for peace on hold Syrian airstrikes have escalated which the rebels claim undermined attempts to repair a water pump supplying rebel-held districts in East Aleppo with water allegedly blocking the flow of the vital resource to some 250,000 residents.
In an act of reprisal, the rebels switched off the Suleiman al-Halabi pumping station that provides water to 1.5 million Syrian civilians in government controlled West Aleppo raising the possibility of an unprecedented humanitarian crisis in what has already turned into the largest displacement of civilians in human history.
Kieran Dwyer, spokesman for the UN Children’s Rights & Emergency Relief Organization (UNICEF) explained that the Bab al-Nairab pumping station supplying rebel-held parts of Aleppo was allegedly damaged on Thursday and subsequent strikes rendered repairs impossible.
“Then in retaliation for that attack a nearby pumping station that pumps water to the entire western part of the city – upwards to 1.5 million people – was deliberately switched off,” said Dwyer.
 UNICEF fears that families in West Aleppo will be forced to use contaminated liquid carrying waterborne diseases to which children are particularly vulnerable as a result of the intentional act of terroristic sabotage by the rebels in contravention of international humanitarian standards.
“Aleppo is slowly dying, and the world is watching, and the water is being cut off and bombed – it’s just the latest act of inhumanity,” said UNICEF Deputy Director Justin Forsyth.
Hawks in the US foreign policy establishment appear to have succeeded in their effort to rip the Russian-US Syrian ceasefire agreement to shreds. However, according to independent political observer Albert Naryshkin, the ‘war party’ should remember the proverb ‘be careful what you wish for…’, because Moscow and Damascus aren’t backing down.
Last Saturday, just over a week after Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and US Secretary of State John Kerry succeeded in hammering out a comprehensive Syrian ceasefire agreement, US-led coalition jets struck Deir ez-Zor, a government-controlled city in eastern Syria which has been besieged by Daesh terrorists for nearly two years. The attack left over 60 Syrian servicemen dead, and wounded over 100 more.

More than anything, Syrian and Russian officials were incensed by the fact that immediately after the airstrikes took place, Daesh began an offensive. Lavrov made sure to highlight this amazing ‘coincidence’ in his speech before the UN Security Council on Wednesday.

“And here an amazing thing happened,” Naryshkin noted, in his analysis for PolitRussia. “The US, which never apologizes for anything or to anyone, suddenly expressed regret, and apologized for the death of Syrian troops.”
Soon afterward, US media began buzzing that the Pentagon was “furious over the fact that someone was apologizing and officially calling its actions mistaken or regrettable.” But at that moment, the journalist added, the situation evolved further, widening the rift between Washington on one side and Moscow and Damascus on the other.
“On the one hand,” Naryshkin recalled, “after the meeting between Lavrov and Kerry at the UN General Assembly, we didn’t hear anything to the effect the truce agreement was ruined, or that the US would abandon its commitments. However, other events allow us to characterize the current status of the treaty as nothing more than a ‘phantom’.”
This comes down to three facts, according to the journalist. First and foremost, it stems from the brazen attack on Deir ez-Zor, which was not only a violation of the truce, but proof that there are at least elements in the US political establishment who are “ready to revive the idea of direct military operations against Assad’s forces.”
Secondly, there is fact that some militants, including Jabhat Fateh al-Sham (formerly known as al-Nusra) never had any intention of halting the fighting. Finally, Naryshkin noted, there was the Syrian Army’s decision to withdraw from the ceasefire, which its high command justified by pointing out that militants had violated the truce over 300 times in a single week. The Russian General Staff soon declared it support for the decision, stating Monday that it made no sense for the Syrian Army to observe the ceasefire if militants were not willing to reciprocate.
In other words, “the Pentagon seems to have achieved its goal, and dealt serious damage to the agreement reached at Geneva. Even if it has not been formally announced, the agreement has already been violated and is not being adhered to, and its future looks tenuous. But this was the Pentagon’s step – how will Moscow and Damascus respond?”
The answer, Naryshkin noted, is quite simple: the two countries aren’t going to give up to US military pressure.
“Damascus began its response with a show of force. The Syrian Army and allied militias launched a massive offensive in northern Hama province, where militants [from the Jund al-Aqsa, a subunit of al-Nusra] are holding on to a small enclave. Knocking them out of the suburbs of Homs, the Syrian Army would be able to ensure safety in three major urban settlements: Damascus, Homs and Hama.”
“Fighting is now taking place near the village of Koukab, with advance units moving toward Taibat al-Imam…Before that, the Syrian Army returned to the positions from which it had previously withdrawn to respond to attacks by the terrorist forces that had refused to comply with the truce.”
Moscow, for its part, “decided to raise the stakes, and to send the Admiral Kuznetsov carrier cruiser to the Mediterranean Sea. The ship will join the group of Russian ships in the eastern Mediterranean.”
 “Currently, the Russian naval group in the eastern Mediterranean comprises six warships and three to four support vessels from all of Russia’s fleets. In order to strengthen the combat capabilities of the group, we plan to include a naval aircraft carrier group with the Admiral Kuznetsov cruiser in its composition,” Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu explained.
Aircraft aboard the Admiral Kuznetsov will carry out strikes against the jihadists between October and January.
In effect, Naryshkin noted, the Syrian and Russian military response to the Pentagon’s provocation means failure for the hawks’ attempt to squeeze Moscow and Damascus into submission.
But at the same time, the journalist emphasized that waiting for an even ‘tougher’ response, absent another provocation from Washington, is not worth it, either. “Moscow will continue calmly supporting Syrian troops as they finish squeezing [militants in] Aleppo, and cleaning out the suburbs of Hama and Homs,” but will not escalate.
“In this way, Russia demonstrates that it will not reject peace initiatives — nor will it close the door for the implementation of the signed agreements, which can always be returned to; at the same time, Moscow shows that every provocation will be met with a serious operation inside Syria itself. And this will very quickly deplete the Pentagon’s ‘arsenal’, since it will force it to make a choice about whether to engage directly in an open military confrontation with Assad and Russia – something they vowed not to do, and wouldn’t be allowed to do.”
This is especially true given the fact that President Obama’s term is almost up, and lame duck presidents generally can’t afford to risk launching major new military operations.
Ultimately, Naryshkin suggested that even if individuals like Secretary of State Kerry could be counted on for having the good sense to stick to agreements signed with Moscow, Russia cannot sit back and hope that the president and the Pentagon will have the same wisdom. Moscow requires a ‘new strategy’ in Syria – one which it has been implementing in recent days.
According to the journalist, that strategy consists of always leaving the door open to peace negotiations, while demonstrating the will “to clear the terrorists out of Syria entirely…Washington only made concessions and agreed to talks because the opposition was beginning to run out of steam. And if the US does not want to or cannot participate in a peaceful solution, the conflict will continue to be resolved as it has over the past year, when consistently, one after another, hundreds of settlements and militia groups signed on to our proposal for a truce, while the government liberated large areas of territory, and surrounded Aleppo in a ring.”