Saudi-led Aggression on Results Only in Failure, Hudaydah will be a swamp for invaders

 

Saudi-led Aggression on Hodeidah Results Only in Failure

June 17, 2018

hodeidah

The Saudi and Emirati aggression on Yemeni port of Hodeidah is resulting only in failure, with Yemeni Army and Popular Committees retaking initiative in the biggest battle since the war on Yemen started in March 2015.

Official in Ansarullah revolutionary group, Mohammad Al-Bakhiti, dismissed all reports that the Saudi-led forces have taken the airport of Hodeidah, stressing that the aggression powers sustain heavy losses.

“Yemeni forces completely retook initiative in western coast battle,” Al-Bakhiti said.

“Aggression forces have never secured any achievement in Hodeidah, morale of Yemeni Army, popular committees high,” the Yemeni official added.

Meanwhile, Yemeni sources confirmed that the Yemeni allied forces were still in control of the airport of Hodeidah, noting that Saudi-led media reports on capturing the airport aimed at diverting attention from the huge losses inflicted upon Saudi-led ground troops and mercenaries in several fronts across the port city.

In this context, Mohammed al-Sharif, deputy head of Yemen’s civil aviation, said images circulated online about the airport had been taken in October 2016.

“Yemeni forces are calling upon Saudi-led forces via speakers to surrender because they have no other choice. They are besieged from three sides with the fourth side is the sea,” Sabaa News Agency quoted a Yemeni source as saying.

“They are collapsing and the results of the battle show how they are in pure failure,” the source added.

The UAE, a key member of the Saudi-led coalition waging the war on Yemen, launched the Hudaydah assault on Wednesday despite warnings that it would compound the impoverished nation’s humanitarian crisis.

SourceAgencies

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THE SAKER: “CAN THE EU BECOME A PARTNER FOR RUSSIA?”

THE SAKER: “CAN THE EU BECOME A PARTNER FOR RUSSIA?”

Written by The Saker; Originally appeared at The Unz Review

The re-nomination (albeit somewhat reshuffled) of the “economic block” of the Medvedev government has elicited many explanations, some better than others.  Today I want to look at one specific hypothesis which can be summed up like this: Putin decided against purging the (unpopular) “economic block” from the Russian government because he wanted to present the EU with “known faces” and partners EU politicians would trust.  Right now, with Trump’s insane behavior openly alienating most European leaders, this is the perfect time to add a Russian “pull” to the US “push” and help bring the EU closer to Russia.  By re-appointing Russian “liberals” (that is a euphemism for WTO/WB/IMF/etc types) Putin made Russia look as attractive to the EU as possible.  In fact, the huge success of the Saint Petersburg summit and the Parliamentary Forum is proof that this strategy is working.

This hypothesis is predicated on one crucial assumption: that the EU, under the right conditions, could become a partner for Russia.

But is that assumption warranted?  I personally don’t believe that it is, and I will try to lay out the reasons for my skepticism:

First, there is no “EU”, at least not in political terms.  More crucially, there is no “EU foreign policy”.  Yes, there are EU member states, who have political leaders, there is a big business community in the EU and there are many EU organizations, but as such, the “EU” does not exist, especially not in terms of foreign policy.  The best proof of that is how clueless the so-called “EU” has been in the Ukraine, then with the anti-Russian sanctions, in dealing with an invasion of illegal immigrants, and now with Trump.  At best, the EU can be considered a US protectorate/colony, with some subjects “more equal than others” (say, the UK versus Greece).  Most (all?) EU member states are abjectly obedient to the USA, and this is no surprise considering that even the so-called “EU leader” or “EU heavyweight” – Germany – only has very limited sovereignty.  The EU leaders are nothing but a comprador elite which doesn’t give a damn about the opinions and interests of the people of Europe.  The undeniable fact is that the so-called “EU foreign policy” has gone against the vital interests of the people of Europe for decades and that phenomenon is only getting worse.

The Saker: "Can the EU become a partner for Russia?"

Welcome to Europe!

Second, the single most powerful and unified organization in Europe is not even an EU organization, but NATO.  And NATO, in real terms, is no less than 80% USA.  Forget about those fierce looking European armies, they are all a joke.  Not only do they represent no credible force (being too small, too poorly trained, under-equipped and poorly commanded), but they are completely dependent on the USA for a long list of critical capabilities and “force multipliers“: command, control, communications, intelligence, networking, surveillance, reconnaissance, target acquisition, logistics, etc.  Furthermore, in terms of training, force planning, weapon systems procurement, deployment and maintenance, EU states are also totally dependent on the USA.  The reason?  The US military budget totally dwarfs anything individual EU states can spend, so they all depend on Uncle Sam.  Of sure, the NATO figurehead – the Secretary General – is usually a non-entity which makes loud statements and is European (I think of that clown Stoltenberg as the prefect example), but NATO is not run by the NATO Secretary General. In reality, it is run by the Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR), who is the head of the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) and these guys are as red, white an blue as it gets.  Forget about the “Eurocorps” or any other so-called “European armies” – it’s all hot air, like Trudeau’s recent outburst at Trump.  In reality in the EU, as in Canada, they all know who is boss.  And here is the single most important fact: NATO desperately needs Russia as justification for its own existence: if relations with Russia improve, then NATO would have no more reason to exist.  Do you really think that anybody will let that happen?  I sure don’t!  And right now, the Europeans are busy asking for more US troops on their soil, not less and they are all pretending to be terrified by a Russian invasion, hence the need for more and bigger military exercises close to the Russian border.  And just to cover all its bases, NATO is now gradually expanding into Latin America.

Third, there is a long list of EU governments which vitally need further bad relationships with Russia.  They include:

  1. Unpopular governments which need to explain their own failures by the nefarious actions of an external bogyman.  A good example is how the Spanish authorities blamed Russia for the crisis in Catalonia.  Or the British with their “Brexit”.  The Swedes are doing even better, they are already preparing their public opinion for a “Russian interference” in case the election results don’t turn out to be what they need.
  2. Governments whose rhetoric has been so hysterically anti-Russian that they cannot possibly back down from it.  Best examples: the UK and Merkel.  But since most (but not all) EU states did act on the Skripal false-flag on the basis of the British “highly likely” and in the name of “solidarity”, they are now all stuck as accomplices of this policy.  There is *no way* they are simply going to admit that they were conned by the Brits.
  3. EU prostitutes: states whose only policy is to serve the USA against Russia.  These states compete against each other in the most abject way to see who can out-brown-nose each other for the position of “most faithful and willing loyal servant of the USA”.  The best examples are, of course, the three Baltic statelets, but the #1 position has to go to the “fiercely patriotic Poles” who are now willing to actually pay Uncle Sam to be militarily occupied (even though the very same Uncle Sam is trying to racketeer them for billions of dollars).  True, now that EU subsidies are running out, the situation of these states is becoming even more dire, and they know that the only place where they can still get money is the USA.  So don’t expect them to change their tune anytime soon (even if Bulgaria has already realized that nobody in the West gives a damn about it).
  4. Governments who want to crack down on internal dissent by accusing any patriotic or independent political party/movement to be “paid by the Kremlin” and representing Russian interests.  The best example is France and how it treated the National Front.  I would argue that most EU states are, in one way or another, working on creating a “national security state” because they do realize (correctly) that the European people are deeply frustrated and oppose EU policies (hence all the anti-EU referendums lost by the ruling elites).

Contrary to a very often repeated myth, European business interests do not represent a powerful anti-russophobic force.  Why?  Just look at Germany: for all the involvement of Germany (and Merkel personally) in the Ukraine, for all the stupid rhetoric about “Russia being an aggressor” which “does not comply with the Mink Agreements”, North Stream is going ahead!  Yes, money talks, and the truth is that while anti-Russian sanctions have cost Europe billions, the big financial interests (say the French company Total) have found ways to ignore/bypass these sanctions.  Oh sure, there is a pro-trade lobby with Russian interest in Europe. It is real, but it simply does not have anywhere near the power the anti-Russian forces in the EU have.  This is why for *years* now various EU politicians and public figures have made noises about lifting the sanctions, but when it came to the vote – they all voted as told by the real bosses.

Not all EU Russophobia is US-generated, by the way.  We have clearly seen that these days when Trump suggested that the G7 (or, more accurately, the G6+1) needed to re-invite Russia, it was the Europeans who said “nope!”.  To the extend that there is a “EU position” (even a very demure and weak one), it is mostly anti-Russian, especially in the northern part of Europe.  So when Uncle Sam tells the Europeans to obey and engage in the usual Russia-bashing, they all quickly fall in line, but in the rare case when the US does not push a rabidly anti-Russian agenda, EU politicians suddenly find enough willpower to say “no”.  By the way, for all the Trump’s statements about re-inviting Russia into the G6+1 the US is still busy slapping more sanctions on Russia.

The current mini-wars between the US and the EU (on trade, on Iran, on Jerusalem) do not at all mean that Russia automatically can benefit from this.  Again, the best example of this is the disastrous G6+1 summit in which Trump basically alienated everybody only to have the G6 reiterate its anti-Russian position even though the G6+1 needs Russia far more than Russia needs the G7 (she really doesn’t!).  Just like the US and Israeli leaders can disagree and, on occasion, fight each other, that does not at all mean that somehow they are not fundamentally joined at the hip.  Just think of mob “families” who can even have “wars” against each other, but that does not at all mean that this will benefit the rest of the population whom all mobsters prey upon.

The Ukrainian crisis will only benefit anti-Russian forces in Europe.  There is a very high probability that in the near future the Ukronazi regime will try to reconquer Novorussia (DNR/LRN).  I submit that the outcome of such an attack is not in doubt – the Ukronazis will lose.  The only question is this: to whom will they lose:

  • Option one: they lose to the combined forces of the DNR and LNR.  This is probably the most likely outcome.  Should this happen, there is a very high probability of a Novorussian counter attack to liberate most of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions, especially the cities of Slaviansk and Mariupol.  Since past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior, we can be pretty darn sure of what the reaction in Kiev and in the West will be: Russia will be blamed for it all.  The AngloZionists will *never* admit that the Ukronazi regime lost a civil war to its own people because the Novorussians will never accept a Nazi regime ruling over them.  Thus, a Novorussian victory will result in more hysterical Russophobia.
  • Option two: the Ukronazis succeed in their attack and threaten to overrun Donetsk, Lugansk and the rest of Novorussia.  Putin simply cannot allow this to happen.  He has made that promise many times and he has recently repeated it during his “open line” with the Russian people.  If the Russians are forced to intervene, this will not be a massive ground invasion – there is no need for that.  Russia has the firepower needed in the form of missile and artillery strikes to destroy the attacking Urkonazi forces and to impose a no-fly zone over all of Novorussia.  If Kiev pushes on and launches a full-scale attack on Russia proper, the Ukrainian armed forces will be totally disorganized and cease combat in about 48 hours.  This scenario is what I call the “Neocon dream” since such a Russian intervention will not be imaginary, but quite real and the Kremlin will even confirm it all very publicly and probably recognize the two Novorussian Republics just like what happened in 08.08.08 when Saakashvili decided to invade South Ossetia.  So, AngloZionists will (finally!) have the “proof” that Russia is the aggressor, the Poles and Balts will prepare for an “imminent” Russian invasion and I think that there is a pretty good chance that NATO forces will move into the Western Ukraine to “stop the Russians”, even if the said Russians will have absolutely no desire (or even possible motive) to want to invade the rest of the Ukraine or, even less so, Poland, Sweden or the Baltic statelets.

I will admit that there is still a small possibility that a Ukronazi attack might not happen.  Maybe Poroshenko & Co. will get cold feet (they know the real condition of the Ukie military and “dobrobat” death squads) and maybe Putin’s recent not-so-veiled threat about “grave consequences for the Ukrainian statehood” will have the needed effect.  But what will happen even if this attack does not take place?  The EU leaders and the Ukronazi regime in Kiev will still blame Russia for the Ukraine now clearly being a failed state.  Whatever scenario you find more likely for the Ukraine, things there will only get worse and everybody will blame Russia.

The crisis in Syria will only benefit anti-Russian forces in Europe.  It is becoming pretty clear that the USA is now attempting a reconquista of Syria or, at least, a break-up of Syria into several zones, including US-controlled ones.  Right now, the USA and the “good terrorists” have lost the war, but that does not stop them from re-igniting a new one, mostly by reorganizing, retraining, redeploying and, most importantly, re-branding the surviving “bad terrorists” into “good ones”.  This plan is backed by Saudi money and Israeli firepower.  Furthermore, Russia is now reporting that US Special Forces are already working with the (new) “good terrorists” to – you guessed it – prepare yet another fake chemical attack and blame it on the Syrians.  And why not?  It worked perfectly already several times, why not do that again?  At the very least, it would give the USA another try at getting their Tomahawks to show their effectiveness (even if they fail again, facts don’t matter here). And make no mistake, a US “victory” in Syria (or in Venezuela) would be a disaster not only for the region, but for every country wanting to become sovereign (see Andre Vltchek’s excellent article on this topic here).  And, again, Russia will be blamed for it all and, with certifiable nutcasts like Bolton, Russian forces might even be attacked.  As I wrote already many times, this is far from over.  Just as in the Ukrainian case, some deal might be made (at least US and Russian military officials are still talking to each other) but my personal opinion is that making any kind of deal with Trump is as futile as making deals with Netanyahu: neither of them can be trusted and they both will break any and all promises in a blink of an eye.  And if all hell breaks loose in Syria and/or Iran, NATO will make sure that the Europeans all quickly and obediently fall in line (“solidarity”, remember?).

The bottom line is this: currently, the EU is most unlikely to become a viable partner for Russia and the future does look rather bleak.

One objection to my pessimism is the undeniable success of the recent Saint Petersburg summit and the Parliamentary Forum.  However, I believe that neither of these events was really centered around Europe at all,  but about the world at large (see excellent report by Gilbert Doctorow on this topic here).  Yes, Russia is doing great and while the AngloZionist media loves to speak about the “isolation” of Russia, the truth is that it is the Empire which is isolated, while Russia and China are having a tremendous success building the multi-polar world they want to replace the Empire with.  So while it is true that the western leaders might prefer to see a liberal “economic block” in the new Russian government, the rest of the world has no such desire at all (especially considering how many countries out there have suffered terrible hardships at the hands of the WTO/WB/IMF/etc types).

Conclusion:

The AngloZionist Empire is not based in the USA, or in the EU, or Israel, or anywhere else on the planet.  It is a trans-national entity with regional variations and which includes different interest groups under its umbrella.  You can think of it as a gigantic criminal gang racketeering the entire planet for “protection”.  To think that by presenting a “liberal” face to these thugs will gain you their support is extremely naive as these guys don’t care about your face: what they want is your submission.  Vladimir Putin put it best when he said “They do not want to humiliate us, they want to subdue us, solve their problems at our expense”.

However, if the EU is, for all practical purposes, non-existent, Russia can, and will, engage with individual EU member states.  There is a huge difference between, say, Poland and Italy, or the UK and Austria.  Furthermore, the EU is not only dysfunctional, it is also non-viable.  Russia would immensely benefit from the current EU either falling apart or being deeply reformed because the current EU is a pure creation of the US-backed Bilderberger types and not the kind of Europe the European people need.  In fact, I would even argue that the EU is the single biggest danger for the people of the European continent.  Thus Russia should use her resources to foster bi-lateral cooperation with individual EU member states and never take any action which would strengthen (or even legitimize) EU-derived organizations such as the EU Parliament, the European Court of Human Rights, etc.  These are all entities which seek to undermine the sovereignty of all its members, including Russia.  Again, Putin put it best when he recently declared that “either Russia is a sovereign country, or there is no Russia“.

Whatever the ideology and slogans, all empires are inherently evil and inherently dangerous to any country wanting to be truly sovereign.  If Russia (and China) want to create a multi-polar world, they need to gradually disengage from those trans-national bodies which are totally controlled by the Empire, it is really that simple.  Instead, Russia needs to engage those countries, political parties and forces who advocate for what de Gaulle called “the Europe of fatherlands“.  Both the AngloZionist Empire and the EU are undergoing the most profound crisis in their history and the writing is on the wall.  Sooner rather than later, one by one, European countries will recover their sovereignty, as will Russia.  Only if the people of Europe succeed in recovering their sovereignty could Russia look for real partnerships in the West, if only because the gradually developing and integrating Eurasian landmass offer tremendous economic opportunities which could be most beneficial to the nations of Europe.  A prosperous Europe “from the Atlantic to the Urals” is still a possibility, but that will happen only when the current European Union and NATO are replaced by truly European institutions and the current European  elites replaced by sovereignists.

The people of Russia, EU and, I would argue, the United States all have the same goal and the same enemy:  they want to recover their sovereignty, get rid of their corrupt and, frankly, treacherous elites and liberates themselves from the hegemony of the AngloZionist Empire.  This is why pushing the issue of “true sovereignty” (and national traditional values) is, I believe, the most unifying and powerful political idea to defeat the Empire.  This will be a long struggle but the outcome is not in doubt.

The Saker

PS: just as I was sending this article away I came across this article by Paul Craig Roberts “Is Europe Too Brainwashed To Normalize Relations With Russia?” – make sure to also check it out!

What Was Achieved in Singapore

16-06-2018 | 10:04
All eyes were on Singapore this week where world-class showman and US President Donald Trump took the stage for what was undoubtedly the most important performance of his life.

What Was Achieved in Singapore

In a meeting with his North Korean counterpart Kim Jong-un that lasted just over 40 minutes, Trump reportedly managed to hammer out an agreement to denuclearize the entire Korean peninsula “very quickly”.

He then described his new relationship with Kim as a “special bond” and said that “people are going to be very impressed” by what the pair achieved.

Sure, it’s a far cry from Trump’s “fire and fury” days when he was threatening the North Koreans with total annihilation.

It’s also a departure from suggestions by Trump’s National Security Advisor John Bolton to apply the not-so quick “Libyan model” in the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.

But some things have not changed. Sticking to the on-again, off-again approach when it comes to his diplomatic episodes with Pyongyang, Trump told reporters after the summit that he trusts Kim but may later say he “made a mistake”.

In substance, the summit communiqué is equally ambiguous. It is little more than a list of very generalized commitments and nothing that Pyongyang has not already agreed to over the past thirty years.

It offers no timetable or a definition of denuclearization – a term that was previously characterized by North Korea and the US in very dissimilar ways.

The National Director at the ANSWER Coalition Brian Becker, who attended the Singapore summit, believes that Pyongyang is “prepared to carry out the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula but only in exchange for a new policy from the United States.”

“Right now the world sees that North Korea was willing to make many efforts – four unilateral concessions in a row, including a moratorium on these nuclear missile technology tests. They are now waiting for reciprocation from the United States,” Becker adds.

Although the vague declaration does in theory pave the way for further negotiations, any long-term settlement between Washington and Pyongyang requires a painstaking years-long process.

That process would have to address a long list of issues, including the reunification of the two Koreas and the withdrawal of tens of thousands of American troops from the region.

To what extent Trump, his administration or anyone in Washington is truly willing to broach such matters is pure speculation.

But tensions along the Korean Peninsula are a prefect example of a decades-long geopolitical problem that cannot be solved without the participation of all key players including China and Russia.

Washington’s escalating trade war with China and growing tensions with Russia suggest that the Americans are not interested in any such overtures.

The dishonest broker

Unlike the vague pledges in Singapore, the 2015 Iran nuclear deal was the product of 18 months of negotiations between seven nations and included specifics on denuclearization and verification.

Both were ‘historic’ events, and both played out before the lenses of the world media.

Unfortunately for all involved, Washington’s nuclear deals never last longer than one presidential term.

Trump ripped-up Barack Obama’s Iran deal. Obama killed Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi, who signed a nuclear disarmament deal with his predecessor George W. Bush. And Bush brings us back to North Korea, tearing up Bill Clinton’s nuclear deal with Kim Jong-un’s late father.

Journalist and political commentator Shobhan Saxena says that the “North Koreans have to be careful”.

“They should know whom they are dealing with because the Americans have proven again and again that they are not honest brokers of peace and they have failed time and again to keep their word,” Saxena explains.

In essence, all these agreements were little more than short-term strategies in Washington’s quest for hegemony.

Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Iran deal and ratchet up tensions with Tehran also implies that the Americans will have to direct more recourses towards the Middle East.

As such, a temporary easing of tensions on the Korean Peninsula would certainly go a long way in guaranteeing that the US avoids a struggle on two fronts at a time when its power and influence are on the decline.

The domestic angle

The optics of the Singapore summit feed the narrative of a major diplomatic victory for the Trump Administration.

Trump, who desperately needs a win, will undoubtedly use the Kim meeting for domestic consumption.

His Republican Party is preparing for midterm elections, and the president needs them to retain their majority in Congress or he risks increasing his chances of being impeached.

Naturally, while waiting for the dust to settle, Trump will also be eyeing a second term in office.

With every White House policy decision being scrutinized, the incumbent will have his work cut out.

And having talking points about a ‘historic’ meeting – the first between a sitting US president and a North Korean leader – certainly helps.

Source: Al-Ahed News

See also: قمة ترامب كيم

Yemeni Tochka Missile Hits Saudi Mercenaries on Western Coast: Dozens Killed or Injured

yemen_missile

June 15, 2018

The Yemeni rocketry forced fired on Friday a Tochka missile onto the gatherings of teh Saudi-led invaders and mercenaries, killing or injuring scores of them.

The strike, which caused a panic amid the ranks of the aggression forces, had been based on accurate intelligence reports detected by drones.

Yemen has been since March 2015 under a brutal aggression by Saudi-led coalition, in a bid to restore power to fugitive former president Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi.

Tens of thousands of Yemenis have been injured and martyred in Saudi-led strikes, with the vast majority of them are civilians.

However, the allied forces of the Yemeni army and popular committees established by Ansarullah revolutionaries have been heroically confronting the aggression with all means, inflicting huge losses upon Saudi-led forces.

The Saudi-led coalition – which also includes UAE, Bahrain, Egypt, Morocco, Jordan, Sudan and Kuwait – has been also imposing a blockade on the impoverished country’s ports and airports as a part of the aggression.

Source: Al-Manar Website

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العقدة يمنيّة لا سوريّة

 

 

يونيو 15, 2018

ناصر قنديل

– بمثل ما أن الانسحاب الأميركي من التفاهم النووي مع إيران بقي على حافة عدم السعي لإلغاء التفاهم تفادياً لذهاب إيران نحو التخصيب المرتفع لليورانيوم، ومواجهة خطر امتلاكها مخزوناً يكفي لتصنيع أول قنبلة نووية حتى لو لم يتم هذا التصنيع، وهو ما كان التفاهم هو الطريق الوحيد لتفاديه طالما الحرب تسرّع بهذا التصنيع وليس بالإمكانية النظرية لحدوثه فقط، فإن العلاقة الأميركية بإيران التي نتجت عن اختبار القوة الذي جرى عام 2013 بإرسال الأساطيل الأميركية تحت عنوان الحرب الحاسمة ضد سورية، وعودتها بلا حرب، وفتح التفاوض بعدها حول الملف النووي الإيراني، لا تزال محكومة بالقواعد ذاتها، تفاوض وعقوبات ولا حرب، وسعي لتفادي عودة إيران للتخصيب المرتفع منعاً لمواجهة الخيارات الصعبة.

– معالم الاستراتيجية الأميركية التي رسمت تلك اللحظة الدراماتيكية مع عودة الأساطيل الأميركية حكمت المنطقة، رغم كون العلاقة مع إيران العنوان الأبرز فيها، لكن عناوينها الأخرى تمثلت في السير نحو تسليم متعرّج بخسارة فرص الفوز بسورية، وخسارة فرص عرقلة نصرها، الذي لم تحُل دونه عملية استيلاد داعش صيف العام 2014، بينما عزّزته عملية التموضع الروسي المباشر في نهاية عام 2015، والتسليم هنا بنصر سورية يسير على حافة مقتضيات الرؤية الإسرائيلية لهوامش الخيارات المتاحة في التعامل مع هذا النصر، ويبدو واضحاً أنه كلما تحقّقت حلقة جديدة وحاسمة في الطريق إلى هذا النصر. كما هو حال تحرير حلب ثمّ دير الزور والبوكمال وصولاً للغوطة، واقتربت فرص النصر من الجنوب، حيث المصالح الإسرائيلية المباشرة تتطلع واشنطن نحو تل أبيب لرسم الخطوة التالية، من دون أن يبدو أن هناك مصالح أميركية منفصلة عن أولوية تلبية التطلعات الإسرائيلية نحو أمن مهدّد، وكيفية بناء الجدران بوجه مخاطر تقدّمه نحوها أكثر.

– يعبر الاستعداد الأميركي للتفاوض على تفكيك قاعدة التنف والانسحاب منها، إذا كان ذلك ضمن تسوية تمنح «إسرائيل» اطمئناناً مؤقتاً تحت شعار عدم تقدّم وحدات المقاومة والوحدات الإيرانية نحو الحدود، وعلى قاعدة التسليم بانتشار الجيش السوري وتفكيك الجماعات المسلحة، عما هو أبعد وأعمق. فما يطبّق في الجنوب هو نموذج صالح للتكرار في الشمال، ولذلك قال الأميركيون إن الأفضل هو ربط الحلول المرحلية الأمنية بالحل السياسي الذي كانوا يرفضونه دون وضع مصير الرئاسة السورية بنداً منه بنوده فوق الطاولة. فارتضوا مؤخراً بالعنوان المقبول سورياً، وهو حكومة في ظل الرئيس الأسد تضمّ المعارضة وممثلي الأكراد وتمهّد لدستور جديد وانتخابات. وهذا يعيد التذكير بما فعله الأميركيون في تلك اللحظة الدراماتيكية مع سحب أساطيلهم وبدء التفاوض مع إيران، عندما منحوا حلفاءهم بعد عام على بدء التفاوض والتثبت من أن لا خيارات أخرى في الأفق، فرصة الإمساك بأوراق قوة تمكنهم من التأقلم مع المرحلة التي كانت قد بدأت للتوّ.

– منذ مطلع العام 2015 حاول الإسرائيليون استثمار الفرصة الممنوحة لهم أميركياً. وكانت عملية القنيطرة أولى المحاولات الجادة لرسم خطوط حمراء في الجنوب السوري، وجاء الرد عليها بعملية نوعية للمقاومة في مزارع شبعا، لتليها محاولات متعددة لرسم معادلات جديدة، كانت تُمنَى كلها بالفشل، فحُرموا من التحليق في الأجواء السورية في العام 2016، وتم إطلاق الصواريخ على طائراتهم في الأجواء اللبنانية حتى أسقطت لهم طائرة الـ «إف15» في مطلع العام 2018، وتبعتها ليلة الصواريخ في الجولان، حتى صار على الإسرائيليين التسليم بلا جدوى الرهان على اللعبة العسكرية، وخطورة المضي في اختبارها، وارتضاء التعايش مع انتصار سورية، مقابل إقامة جدار دولي على حدود الجولان وصولاً لجنوب لبنان ومزارع شبعا، ولو اقتضى الأمر الانسحاب من هذه المزارع، كما ورد في عرض التفاوض الأميركي الجديد للبنان.

– الطرف الثاني المعنيّ بالفرصة الأميركية في تلك اللحظة الدراماتيكية كانت السعودية التي بادرت في ربيع عام 2015 ببدء الحرب على اليمن وفي حسابها حسم الحرب خلال أسابيع، ثم شهور، وها هي تمتدّ للسنة الرابعة، وتبدو السعودية أمام اللحظات الحاسمة التي تُختبر فيها آخر الرهانات الهادفة لبلوغ مخرج مشرّف عبر انتصار جزئي دون توهّم النصر الحاسم، وتشكل معركة الحُدَيْدة آخر فصول هذه الحرب، ليتمّ ترسيم خطوط التفاوض على أساسها، سواء فاز السعوديون بالحُدَيْدة أم فشلوا، وقد باتت ثابتة لهم وللأميركيين استحالة التملص من تسوية طرفها الثاني هم أنصار الله في اليمن الذين يشكلون قوة فاعلة في محور المقاومة، والذين لا يمكن الرهان على كسرهم وإلغاء حضورهم، طالما أن الفوز بالحُدَيْدة، وهو صعب الحدوث، لن ينهي سيطرتهم في صنعاء وصعدة، والمعارك في كلتيهما تحتاج أربع سنوات أخرى، إذا كان الفوز بعدن والحديدة قد استهلك أربع سنوات.

– إيقاع التفاوض في ملفات كثيرة ينتظر الأيام القليلة المقبلة لاستنفاد الفرصة السعودية سلباً أم إيجاباً، أو بالخروج بحل تفاوضي في منتصف الطريق حول الحُدَيْدة يشكّل بداية التفاوض الشامل حول مستقبل اليمن.

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قمة ترامب كيم

يونيو 13, 2018

ناصر قنديل

– تشكّل القمة التي جمعت الرئيس الأميركي دونالد ترامب والزعيم الكوري الشمالي كيم جونغ أون حدثاً دولياً تاريخياً، يكاد يشبه تطبيع العلاقات الأميركية الصينية، قبل أربعة عقود، مع زيارة الرئيس الأميركي الأسبق ريتشارد نيكسون لبكين، ومثلما تمنح الوثيقة التي وقعها الرئيسان قيمة خاصة، تمنحها التعرّجات التي شهدتها والسياقات التي ولدت فيها تفسيرات ومعانيَ، فالعنوان الذي حملته الوثيقة المشتركة يشبه اتفاق الإطار الذي ولد حول التفاهم النووي الإيراني ومهّد لودلاته الناجزة بعد شهور، لجهة التزام إيران بعدم السعي لامتلاك سلاح نووي والالتزام الأميركي بفك العقوبات عنها. وفي كوريا ضمانات أميركية أمنية واقتصادية مقابل شبه جزيرة كورية خالية من السلاح النووي.

قمّة «سنغافورة»... كيف قوبلت في إسرائيل؟

– العنوان الأول الذي يطرحه اللقاء وما نتج عنه هو أنّه بقدر ما يمثل تأكيداً للرغبة المتبادلة بالوصول لحل سلمي للأزمة، فهو يؤكد أنه لو لم تكن لدى كوريا ترسانة نووية تهدّد أميركا لما استحقت من الرئيس الأميركي، الذي يستخفّ بحلفائه ويعاملهم بغطرسة وعنجهية، وأغلبهم من الدول العظمى، كفرنسا وبريطانيا، هذا الاهتمام وهذه اللغة الناعمة والودودة، وهذه الرسالة ربما تكون موضع قراءة في إيران التي التزمت بعدم امتلاك سلاح نووي وطبّقت التزامها بشهادة وكالة الطاقة الذرية الدولية ولم تلقَ إلا التنكّر للالتزامات، وبالمثل ستكون المعاملة الأميركية لإيران موضع عناية كورية لجهة مصير التعهّدات عندما يزول تهديد السلاح النووي الكوري لأميركا.

– العنوان الثاني الذي سيتحوّل سؤالاً عملياً، هل ستزيل واشنطن ضمن مفهوم نزع السلاح النووي من شبه الجزيرة الكورية ترسانتها منها، وضمناً صواريخ الثاد الاستراتيجية التي تقلق الصين. وبالمقابل هل ستسلك كوريا طريق تفكيك سلاحها وتدميره أم طريق إيداعه خارج كوريا، وبالتالي لدى الصين وروسيا؟ وبالتتابع هل سيكون من ضمن الضمانات التي تطلبها كوريا ضمان روسي صيني لحمايتها من أي عدوان، مقابل إيداع السلاح النووي لديهما، أم ستقبل المخاطرة بالاكتفاء بضمانات أميركية تدرك سلفاً أنها قابلة للتحوّل مجرد كلمات يمكن التنكّر لها عند أول منعطف؟ وكيف سيكون للصين وروسيا شراكة في الضمانات بدون شراكة في الشعور بالأمن بالتزام أميركي بنزع الصواريخ المقلقة من كوريا الجنوبية؟

– العنوان الثالث في الاقتصاد، فكوريا ليست إيران البلد النفطي والصناعي والزراعي الذي لا يحتاج إلا فك العقوبات كي ينطلق اقتصادياً، فما تحتاجه لتنمية اقتصادها أكبر من مجرد فتح الأسواق وإلغاء العقوبات. وهي بلد يحتاج لمئة مليار دولار على الأقل لإطلاق مشروع تنمية شاملة بعد سنوات من المعاناة والتقشف وصولاً حدّ المجاعة. وقد أنفقت كل ما بين يديها على مشروعها النووي لتقايضه يوماً ما بهذه المليارات، وكيف يمكن الحصول عليها من دون كوريا الجنوبية واليابان والصين، وربما أوروبا أيضاً، وهل يمكن أن يتحقق ذلك بدون شراكة كل هؤلاء في صناعة الحل المتكامل، فيما الرئيس الأميركي يعامل الجميع بمن فيهم شركاؤه اليابانيون والكوريون بلغة لا تشعرهم بأنهم شركاء؟

– قد يسهل على الرئيس الأميركي تمييز الحالة الكورية عن الحالة الإيرانية، لجهة عدم التداخل بينها وبين الملفات الشائكة التي تهم أميركا كأمن «إسرائيل»، والهيمنة على أسواق النفط والغاز، وحروب سورية واليمن، ومستقبل العراق، لكن في نهاية المطاف يعرف الكوريون والأميركيون أن تدويل المفاوضات والتفاهمات حاجة متبادلة لا يمكن تفاديها، والتدويل طريق للربط بالملفات الدولية الأخرى لا للانفكاك عنها.

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EXCLUSIVE interview with Syria’s President Bashar Assad

 

President Assad’s Al-Alam TV Interview, June 13, 2018.

H.E. President Bashar Al-Assad gave the following interview to the Iranian Al-Alam TV:

Question 1: Mr. President, there are many issues which we will talk about, but in the light of the victories you have achieved, the main focus remains the south of Syria. What’s happening exactly, or what is the nature of what is happening in the south of Syria?

President Assad:  To put it simply, after the liberation of al-Ghouta, it was suggested that we should move south. We were faced with two options, as is the case in all other areas in Syria: reconciliation or liberation by force. At this point, the Russianssuggested the possibility of giving reconciliation an opportunity, similar to what happened in other areas, in order to restore the situation that prevailed before 2011. In other words, for the Syrian Army to be deployed in that area, which is an area of confrontation with the Zionist enemy. And of course the terrorists should leave the area. This proposition suits us. Up till now, there are no concrete results for a simple reason which is Israeli and American interference; for they put pressure on the terrorists in that area in order to prevent reaching any compromise or peaceful resolution. That is how the situation stands now.

Question 2: So, it hasn’t been decided whether to move towards a military operation or towards reconciliation?

President Assad:  No, contacts are still ongoing between the Russians, the Americans, and the Israelis, while nobody is communicating with the terrorists, because they are mere tools, and they implement what their masters decide ultimately. This is what happened, i.e. there was an opportunity to reach reconciliation, but the American and Israeli interference prevented that possibility.

Question 3: Of course, this is the reality there. But on the other hand, there are those who talk about many things taking place in the south. Mr. President, is there a certain deal, what is the price? Is there really a price for concluding this deal in the south? Let me talk frankly about the issue of getting the Iranians to leave the southern region in return for al-Tanf, for example. What did the Americans demand, or let’s say, what was the price the Americans asked to approve the reconciliation process in the south?

President Assad:  For the Americans, there is a general principle they follow in dealing with any problem in the world. The only price they ask for is absolute hegemony, regardless of the issue and the place. Of course, we shall never provide that price; otherwise we wouldn’t have fought this war for years. We have been fighting for the independence of Syrian decision-making, for the Syrian homeland, and for the unity of Syrian territory. As for Iran in particular, let me be very clear: the Syrian-Iranian relationship is a strategic one not subject to a deal in the south or in the north. This relationship, in terms of its implications and results on the ground, is linked to the present and future of the region. Consequently, it is not subject to the price tags of the international bazaar. Neither Syria nor Iran has floated this relationship on the international political bazaar for it to be subject to haggling. The proposition was made by the Israelis with the objective of provoking and embarrassing Iran. At the same time, this comes in line with the international propaganda campaign launched against Iran regarding the nuclear file. It is not a separate issue; for everything happening now is linked to Iran in order to create an international position against it. As for us in Syria, the decision concerning our land is an exclusively Syrian decision. We are fighting the same battle, and when we have a decision concerning Iran, we will talk about it with the Iranians and not with any other party.

Question 4: Of course, we will talk more about Iran and in more detail, but since we are talking about the southern front, let’s explore it further. Practically, in the same context, there is the MOC which hasn’t stopped its operations since the beginning of the war on Syria about eight years ago. It is working and is still active, and is directly linked to the Israelis. But we have noticed recently that it has been reactivated, and there are more communications. Mr. President, does this mean that the Syrian state is practically moving towards a military decisive action in the south regardless of the consequences, whether things reach a stalemate or not? Is a decisive action in the cards for the Syrian leadership?

President Assad:   No, MOC has nothing to do with this decision. MOC has been linked to the presence and the role of the terrorists since the beginning of the war on Syria. That’s why it existed: in order to lead them militarily. Consequently, the continued existence of this operations room means the continuation of the role given to these terrorists, i.e. they are equipped and prepared to carry out more terrorist acts. MOC is linked to the terrorists and not to the role of the Syrian state. Our role has nothing to do with it. Our decision has been clear from the beginning: we will liberate all Syrian lands. As to when to move south, north, east, or west, this is a purely military issue. But regardless of MOC, we have moved towards the south and we are giving the political process a chance. If that doesn’t succeed, we have no other option but to liberate it by force.

Question 5: But there is a confrontation in the south, and the issue is not limited geographically to Syria in the larger political sense. There are the Americans, the Russians, the Iranians, the Israelis, and Hezbollah. All these parties are there in the area. What does that mean? How are you going to deal with this?

President Assad:  You are talking about two axes: one supporting terrorism, and represented by the US, Israel, and some flunkies in the region including some Arab and non-Arab states, and an anti-terrorist axis. The first axis supports terrorism and seeks hegemony, while the second axis seeks independence. So, there can be only one result for this confrontation, i.e. the victory of one of these axes. At least, as far as the anti-terrorist axis is concerned, it will not give up the process of cleaning Syria and the region of terrorism and will not give up on the unity of Syrian territory.

As to the other axis, will it change as a result of the reality on the ground? Let’s wait and see. But in terms of substance and convictions, it will not change, while in terms of the political practices dictated by reality and the facts on the ground, it might.

Question 6: Will the Americans leave al-Tanf?

President Assad:  The Americans say they are ready, but everyone knows that the Americans are historically professional liars in politics. So why should we believe them? Also, we have to wait and see.

Question 7: Mr. President, what’s happening now in Jordan? Is it linked to what’s happening on the southern front in particular, i.e. is it linked to what is being plotted in that region, in your view?

President Assad:  In fact, the only information we have is what we hear in the media. In any case, we wish Jordan stability, not chaos, because the latter will have a negative impact on us.

Question 8: Since we are talking about the south, let’s close this file. Mr. President, what would make the Israeli occupation agree to the return of the Syrian Army to the borders, i.e. a return to the situation which existed at the beginning of 2011, after seven years of repeated Zionist attempts, directly and indirectly, to undermine the Syrian state, the regime in Syria, and stability in Syria. Why would it agree now to the return of the Syrian Army to the borders and to the occupied Golan?

President Assad:  Certainly, neither conviction, morality, nor international law means anything to the Israelis. Since the beginning of the war, particularly when it started to have a clear military nature on the southern front in particular, the Israelis used to shell Syrian forces continuously, and consequently provide direct support to the terrorists. Israeli artillery and aircraft are the terrorists’ artillery and aircraft. That applies to Jabhat al-Nusra of course. Nothing is going to change this Israeli approach. As far as we are concerned, Israel’s approval had no role at all. Despite Israeli support to the terrorists, we have been doing our job, and the Syrian Army is fighting its way towards the southern front, and has liberated a number of areas within the limits of its capabilities. So, with or without its approval, the decision is a Syrian one, and this is a national duty we shall carry out.

Question 9: So, a return of the Syrian Army is better than having resistance in the Golan, for instance?

President Assad:  For the Israelis?

Journalist: Yes.

President Assad:   I think the two options are bad for the Israelis. Both of them are bad. Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah has repeatedly talked about Syria’s relationship with the resistance and a Syrian role in the resistance. So, how would the Israelis choose between two bad things for them?

Question 10: As you said, Mr. President, Israel has financed, supported, and more dangerously was capable of enlisting a large number of Syrians, some of whom were treated inside occupied Palestine. They talked about it. In the future, how would you deal with this large number of Israeli agents? Maybe some of them were misled and Israel might have exploited the financial and living conditions of some; and some have chosen to side with the Israelis. How would you deal with them in the future?

President Assad:  This is true; we cannot put everyone in the same basket. There are different reasons for moving in this wrong direction; and these people have wronged the homeland and every Syrian citizen. Ultimately, they are the children of this homeland, and we all bear responsibility for this problem, not only those who have done wrong. When crime, for instance, becomes widespread in a certain country, the whole society bears responsibility for this crime, not only the security agencies or the criminals themselves. The first thing that should be done is to accommodate these people. Second, we need to address the root causes which led to this case of weak patriotism. The causes here are many and complicated, and the scope of this interview doesn’t allow for all of them to be mentioned.

Question 11: In the same context, while you are talking about restoring the Syrian air defense systems and confronting the Zionist occupation, statements have been made by leaders of the Israeli entity that they will strike at the depth of Syrian territory. How would you deal with that situation, particularly that balance has been achieved recently, i.e. balance between Israeli aggressions and Syrian responses?

President Assad:  Basically, we haven’t stopped responding. First of all, we haven’t stopped fighting terrorists, and at the same time we haven’t stopped responding to Israeli aggression within the capabilities available to us, militarily and technically. Moreover, the more these capabilities improve; the response will be better and higher. But in fact the strongest response to Israel now is to strike the Israeli army existing in Syria which consists practically of the terrorists.

Journalist: You consider them an Israeli army?

President Assad:  Of course, for they are acting clearly and starkly in Israel’s interest. The first acts they carried out were attacks against the air defense systems. What is the link between air defense systems and the terrorists acting as infantry on the ground? This was an Israeli order. It was an Israeli-American order because it is the same thing. So, they are Israel’s army inside Syria; and the first strike against Israel, politically, militarily, and in every other area, is to strike Israel’s terrorists inside Syria, whether they belong to ISIS, al-Nusra, or the other groups linked to the Israeli plan and strategy.

Journalist: If Israel escalates, are you prepared to respond more forcefully?

President Assad:   This is what’s happening. It is escalating, and we are responding. Ultimately, we are fighting the war within the capabilities available to us, and we are doing our best within these capabilities. A response does not need a political decision. I stress that responding or not responding is not a political decision. It is a national decision, and it was taken from day one. But implementing this decision depends on what we can do militarily and not politically.

Question 12: In terms of capabilities, there is one issue in the media which we are always following, i.e. the S300 Russian missiles. Russia says, “We will deliver these missiles”, and then says, “We will not deliver them”, which means that the issue is not clear. What is happening exactly? Why this Russian hesitation, in your view, in delivering the S300 missiles to Syria, while some other countries have been seeking S400, i.e. they are ahead of us in this regard.

President Assad:  You know that military action and military considerations are part of political considerations. Consequently, a statement, even if it is of a military nature, carries at the same time political messages. So, why did the Russians say that they want to send or not send? This is a statement that the Russians should be asked about because it might be part of their political tactics. As to the military aspect of the statement, which concerns Syria, it’s not our custom to talk about the weapon which will be delivered or not delivered. The evidence was that the weapons used in response to the last two aggressions, the tripartite aggression and after that the Israeli aggression, were not announced by Syria. We traditionally do not announce cases of a technical military nature.

Journalist: So, even the nature of the response is not linked to the issue of the S300 missiles?

President Assad:  No. The same applies. Even if the S300 missiles will be provided or not provided, we will not say that they were delivered to Syria. A weapon is used when it must be used.

Journalist: Is there a possibility that you have developed certain weapons?

President Assad:  This remains a possibility. In any case, the result is the same: weapons shouldn’t be talked about until they are used. Weapons announce themselves only when they are used.

Question 13: Mr. President, let’s return to the political aspect, since we are talking about the southern front. Regarding the general situation, in light of all that has been achieved on the Syrian arena today, the most prominent actor is the tripartite alliance, or what is being called the tripartite alliance. I mean Syria, Iran, and Russia. What is the nature of this alliance? Is it a temporary alliance, in the sense that it is linked to fighting terrorism or to certain developments on the Syrian arena? Recently, we have started to see – or let’s say some have focused on certain points in order to show – a certain fracture in this alliance. What is your take on that and what is the actual reality of this alliance?

President Assad:  If we talk first about the Syrian-Iranian part, for 40 years, and in the different conditions that the Middle East region has gone through, this alliance remained solid. So, there is no reason to say that it is temporary or otherwise. The new element in the war on Syria is the Russianelement, and that’s why this tripartite alliance came into existence. Our relationship with Russia is now about seven decades old. Despite the fluctuations and the fall of the Soviet Union, the rule of President Yeltsin, and the deterioration of these relations to a large degree for us, it has never reached the stage of reversing this relationship with Syria. Russia continued to deal with Syria as a friendly state, and we have imported everything from Russia, including weapons, during the different stages of the sanctions imposed on Syria. It is not in the nature of the Russians to build temporary or self-serving alliances or to sell out on relations in order to get deals done. The relationship is definitely a strategic one, but the political statements allowed for these speculations.

These statements also aim at sending messages in different directions. Maybe, sometimes the language or the choice of particular terminology might not be helpful and might take the statement in a different direction at odds with the content of the statement. This happens from time to time. However, these statements shouldn’t be taken out of context: the Russian view of the relationship with Iran is a strategic one. As for Syria, the Russians do not interfere in Syrian affairs. If they have a certain opinion, they raise it with us and say that in the end, the decision is that of the Syrian leadership and the Syrian people. This is a constant principle for Russia. Therefore, the alliance is a strategic one, and if there are differences, such differences happen within the Syrian state, and you see differences within the Iranian state and within the Russian state. It is natural for us to differ on daily tactical details, for why conduct a dialogue if we agree on everything? We meet extensively in order to reach agreement.

Journalist: So, this tripartite alliance is being consolidated.


President Assad:Of course. This is dictated by reality, interest, and international changes that make it necessary for this alliance to be consolidated. As long as the other axis supports terrorism, and as long as we, together with Iran and Russia, feel the danger of terrorism, not only in Syria, but also on all these countries and on the whole world, and as long as Syria, Iran, and Russia realize the importance of abiding by international law, these facts make the existence of this alliance necessary.

Question 14: But there are those who say that Syria will get a price if the Iranians leave Syrian territories. Is there a certain political, moral, or military price in this regard?

President Assad:  As I said in the beginning, as long as this relationship is not floated in the bazaar, they cannot offer a price, and the answer will be clear. That’s why they don’t dare suggest this price. This issue was raised by different countries, including Saudi Arabia for instance, at the beginning of the war, and not only at the beginning, but at different stages. The proposition was that if Syria cut its relationship with Iran, the situation in Syria will be normal. This principle is basically rejected by us.

Journalist: So, there were initiatives, so to speak, made in this regard by Saudi Arabia.

President Assad:  During the war?

Journalist: Yes.

President Assad:  Of course, more than once, and in a clear manner.

Journalist: Directly?

President Assad:  Directly. The relationship with Iran was the basis for every proposition; and Saudi Arabia’s position on this subject is public. I’m not revealing a secret.

Question 15: An issue is raised, whether in Syria, Iran, or Lebanon, about the nature of Iranian presence in Syria. Some call them Iranian advisors. Even the Syrian Foreign Minister used the same term. At the same time, we notice that there are Iranian martyrs. Frankly, Mr. President, what is the nature of Iranian presence in Syria now?

President Assad:  The term adviser is sometimes used in a broad manner, i.e. these advisers have been with us, through the longstanding relationship with Iran, even before the war, because the military relationship is close. When a military formation moves to a fighting position, the adviser becomes a fighter. So, the word can be used in different senses. There are certainly Iranian advisers in Syria, and there are groups of Iranian volunteers who came to Syria, and they are led by Iranian officers. Iran has fought with and defended the Syrian people. It offered blood. That’s why when we say “advisers” this is a generic term, but this doesn’t mean that we are ashamed of any Iranian presence, even if it is official. But we use the word “advisers” because there are no regular Iranian fighting units in Syria.

Journalist: Full formations.

President Assad:   Exactly. There are no battalions, or brigades, or divisions. First, we can’t hide them, and then why should we be ashamed of that? When we invited the Russians legally to come to Syria, we were not ashamed of that. And if there were an Iranian formation, we would announce it, because such relations need agreements between the two states endorsed by parliaments. Such relations cannot be concealed.

Journalist: And you invited Iranian advisers to come?

President Assad:  Of course, from the beginning we invited the Iranians, and then we invited the Russians. We needed the support of these countries, and they answered the call.

Journalist: Mr. President, you said more than once that there are no Iranian bases in Syria.

President Assad: That’s correct.

Journalist: Why there are no Iranian bases, while we notice that there are a number of Russian bases?

President Assad:   There’s nothing that prevents the existence of such bases as long as Iran is an ally as is Russia.

Journalist: This means that if Iran requested the existence of such bases, you would agree?

President Assad: If we ask. We will ask them to agree. I mean that we could ask for the existence of such forces to support us. Iran has never asked and does not have an interest except in fighting terrorism. But the evolution of the war made it necessary to develop the nature of this presence.

This happened as far as the Russians are concerned. In the beginning, Russian support, like Iranian support, was different from what it is today. The support for terrorism has developed internationally and globally when the Syrian Army confronted those terrorists, and with that Russian and Iranian military presence developed. At a certain stage, we found – with the Russians of course – that the existence of air bases was necessary to provide air support to the Syrian Army. And now, if we find, in cooperation, coordination, or dialogue with the Iranians, that there is a need for Iranian military bases, we will not hesitate. But now, Iranian support in its present form is good and effective.

Question 16: Why haven’t you visited Iran so far, although you visited Russia more than once?

President Assad: That’s correct. In fact, there was a scheduled visit to Iran a few months ago, and it was postponed and not cancelled. It was postponed because of an emergency in Syria related to the development of battles. There is certainly no reason which prevents such a visit, and I’ll visit Iran hopefully soon on the earliest opportunity. This is natural, but the issue is logistic, no more, no less.

Question 17: Mr. President, I move to another file. Last week, it was the Jerusalem International Day, and the Palestinian cause is going through its most difficult stages. We are talking about the “deal of the century”, and moving the American Embassy to occupied Jerusalem. What do you have to say about Palestine? Is Syria still capable of supporting the Palestine cause? Basically, wasn’t one of the most important objectives of the war on Syria to get Syria out of the axis of resistance and to prevent it from supporting resistance, whether in Lebanon or Palestine?

President Assad: The Palestine context, since 1948 up till now, has been a complicated one, because the regional context is complicated. Of course, it is complicated because the colonial West, which is particularly supportive of Israel, has always created elements which aim at one single thing. First, to drive to desperation the Arab citizen who is historically attached to the cause of Palestine and who has always considered it a pan-Arab cause that touched him even on the national level.

The other objective has been to distract the Arab peoples together with states or societies in general to marginal causes so that they do not have time to think about Israel. And they have succeeded to a great extent, most recently through the so-called Arab spring which has aimed at destroying the political, military, and psychological infrastructure of Arab societies.

Nevertheless, recent development have proven that the Arab people is still conscientiously attached to the cause of Palestine. As for Syria – since it has been part of these plots to undermine the Arab condition in general – first, for Syria to support the cause of Palestine, it should first of all destroy the Israeli army in Syria. Restoring stability in Syria, striking terrorism, and foiling the Israeli plot in Syria is certainly part of supporting the cause of Palestine. The support might be indirect with direct consequences, but these direct consequences are linked to the internal Palestinian condition. We shouldn’t forget that the Palestinians are divided between groups which resist Israel and are genuinely linked to the cause of Palestine, and other groups which are against the resistance and support surrenderist and defeatist peace, while there are other groups which use resistance as a title in order to achieve their political objectives under the slogan of religion. This is of course the Muslim Brotherhood’s approach.

Question 18: Are you prepared to offer whatever the resistance asks of you, whether in the form of political, military, or any other form of support?

President Assad:  Politically, we haven’t changed. The Palestinian question for us is still as it was ten years ago and decades ago. It hasn’t changed. As to what we can offer, this has to do with two things: first, Syria’s current capabilities; and there’s no doubt that the priority is given now to cleaning Syria of terrorism. Second, it has to do with the Palestinian condition and the parties with which we can deal within the Palestinian arena.

Question 19: Since we are talking about resistance, there is the other side. In addition to some countries which stood beside Syria in fighting terrorism, there was also a role played by the resistance in Lebanon, particularly Hezbollah, which provided a great deal and contributed to fighting terrorism. What do you say, Mr. President, to resistance fighters and families of martyrs and the wounded?

President Assad: When all these groups of resistance get together to defend Syrian soil and Syrian citizens, including the Lebanese resistance and the brothers who came from Iraq some of whom reproached me for not mentioning them by name, I take this opportunity to stress that there are brothers from Iraq to whom we give the same weight of any resistance fighter who came from any other country.

There are also the families of resistance fighters who came from Iran and sacrificed their blood in Syria. We should put all these in the same basket next to the Syrian martyrs, fighters, and their families. To those I say that all the letters, the words, the sentences, and the whole of literature are much less than a single drop of blood. Therefore, words are of a much lesser value than what they have offered. What’s more important is what history will write about them.

In fact, when we talk about writing history, we need to highlight that history needs a strategy and needs tactics, but the fact remains that strategy without implementation on the ground has no value. It remains mere thought which we might include in books and essays. But the reality is that these individuals in these countries, this group of resistance fighters, not politics, write history. I would like to use the answer to this question to express to them all my love, respect, and appreciation, and my reverence to the fighters, the wounded, and martyrs, and to all their families who are courage incarnated and who sent these individuals to Syria to defend it and fight terrorism, so that these families become models of morality and principles for present and future generations.

Question 20: Have you asked Hezbollah to leave Syria? A few days ago His Eminence Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah talked about this issue and said that nobody can get us out of Syria unless the Syrian leadership asked us to do so.

President Assad: The battle is long and ongoing. When we talk about this tripartite alliance – and if we consider it a quadruple alliance when we add Hezbollah, we talk about the tripartite alliance in terms of the states included, but in the end Hezbollah is a basic element in this war – the battle is long, and the need for these military forces will continue for a long time. When there is a need, and when Hezbollah, Iran, or others believe that terrorism has been eliminated, they will tell us that they want to go home. As Sayyed Hasan said, they have families and daily interests, which is normal, but it is still early to talk about this subject.

Question 21: Up till now, there are still areas under the control of terrorism and areas under occupation. At the same time, regretfully, some Arab countries, and here I am talking particularly about Saudi Arabia, announced that it is ready to send forcers to Syria. On the other hand, a few days ago popular tribal units were formed to resist occupation. Are these really popular resistance units? Do they receive support from the Syrian government? Does this mean that the army cannot liberate those areas, and that’s why it is asking for the help of the tribes? What is the nature of this issue?

President Assad: There are different forms of this resistance which appeared a few years ago. In the beginning they were fighting ISIS before they started to fight the occupiers. They were against ISIS in the central and eastern regions, and there were cases where they appeared in other regions which were not given media coverage and about which we hear sometimes through information and indications.

Now, this situation has started to expand. So, it’s not one single case. There are a number of cases which might be individual sometimes, or in the form of small groups not affiliated to an organization. In any case, our position as a state has been from the beginning to support any act of resistance, whether against terrorists or against occupying forces, regardless of their nationality, i.e. American, French, Turkish, or Israeli. We support these resistance forces based on our national role as a government.

Question 22: What about Saudi Arabia and sending Saudi forces to Syria?

President Assad:  First, when we talk about a state, we should assume that such a state can take decisions independently. That’s why we will not talk about the role of Saudi Arabia. You better ask me about the American decision on this issue.

Question 23: On the other hand, there are a number of Arab countries which we talk about and which had a role or contributed to the role or to the destruction of Syria. These countries are now trying to get to Syria through the reconstruction process. What do you say in this regard, particularly that these countries are the ones which have capital and huge financial power? How are you going to deal with that?

President Assad: Reconstruction in Syria is not a cause for concern for us. It needs two factors: first, the human factor which is more important than the financial factor. When a country like Syria possesses the human factor, the financial cost will be less when it comes to reconstruction. This is self-evident, and we possess all these factors despite the fact that many competent and qualified Syrians have immigrated because of the war.

But we still have the capability to start reconstruction. And the evidence is clear now, for the state is moving forward and reconstruction has begun. As to money, the Syrian people have financial capabilities, capital, most of which is not in Syria, but outside Syria. But there is capital waiting for reconstruction to begin, so it will begin investing. On the other hand, there are the friendly countries which have capabilities and have the desire; and we have the desire to have them participate in reconstruction, so that they benefit and we Syrians benefit from this process. In the end, we do not need those countries and we will never allow them to be part of reconstruction.

Journalist: Never?

President Assad: Absolutely.

Journalist: Not even if there was a need in this regard, I mean in terms of financial resources?

President Assad: Financial resources are not everything. As I said, this is available. There are different sources in the world and in Syria for capital.

Question 24: With these tough years, we are talking about the legendary steadfastness of the Syrian Army, the Syrian people, the Armed Forces. If you wanted to talk about two cases, the most difficult case or incident that you have encountered during these years, and on the other hand the best and most beautiful case.

President Assad: It is natural, at the heart of the military battle, for the best and worst cases to be linked to the development of the military battle. If I say that the worst cases were when terrorists used to control a certain area, this is self-evident, but it is related more to specific battles, particularly when the area is strategic or the city is big with a large population. Consequently, the impact will be much greater psychologically and in terms of morale.

But there was an ongoing situation which we are still living and we must think about: when a martyr or a group of martyrs fall, and this is ongoing on a weekly basis for us, we must think that a family lost a dear one who cannot be compensated. He might be compensated by achieving victory at a certain stage, but on the family, psychological and human level, you cannot compensate a dear one lost to a certain family, or maybe a friend. This is a very painful situation which we have lived and continue to live. This will not stop until the war itself stops. But there were painful cases at the beginning of the war, when you see this huge lack of patriotism. They were perhaps a minority, but a large minority, of individuals who were prepared to sell the homeland and trade it together with their principles, if they had ones, in return for money or a certain interest, in addition to a certain percentage of extremism.

On the other hand, there were victories, particularly when victories started in the city of al-Qsair in 2013, and culminated in the city of Aleppo in 2016, that was the beginning of the major victories. That was followed by Deir Ezzor, and today we are living the joy of liberating Damascus and its countryside. This is a situation we have all lived through, and you were with us, and I am sure you feel the same joy.

Question 25: Have you felt tired at a certain moment? Have you felt hesitant at a certain moment, in light of all the decisions you have taken, have you ever, even for a moment, thought of leaving? Haven’t you said to yourself: let me save my family and resign, as some people did at a certain point in time?

President Assad: This question might be raised in a personal manner. When I am faced with a personal situation as an individual, I might feel despair after a few months. I might feel tired or bored or I might want to move to a different situation, or give up. That is possible.

Journalist: As an individual?

President Assad:  Of course, as an individual, but the case you are proposing is not personal, it is national. Imagine yourself in a different condition, perhaps building something on your own. You feel tired, but when you see a large number of people helping you build it and share the same determination, you forget the tiredness.

Now we are in a national situation. We are talking about millions of Syrians. When you see a shell striking and victims falling anywhere in Syria, you feel frustrated. But when you see life being restored to the same area after one hour, your psychological condition changes. When you see that the electricity worker, the oil worker, the teacher, the employee, are moving side by side with fighters, moving without despair and without tiredness, how can you feel tired? This is a collective condition not related to me as a person. It has to do with our human condition when we are together as a society. How do we live? This defines whether you are tired or not. Would the Syrian society have arrived at this stage of despair and surrender, I would certainly have been with it. I would have surrendered because I do not have the necessary elements for steadfastness. This is self-evident.

Journalist: Thank you very much, Mr. President, for giving us this opportunity, and for your candidness in answering these questions. Thank you very much.

 

Dr. Mohamad Abdo Al-Ibrahim

Editor-in-Chief

alibrahim56@hotmail.com

https://www.facebook.com/Mohamad.Abdo.AlIbrahim

http://www.presidentassad.net/

 

  

   President Al-Assad Interview with the Iranian Khabar TV, October 4, 2015.

President Bashar Al-Assad’s Interview with Iranian TV, June 28, 2012

PRESIDENT ASSAD/ IRANIAN TV INTERVIEW (September 17, 2008)

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