Yemen’s Ansarullah: Pause In Saudi Raids on Al-Hudaydah to Buy Time

Yemen’s Ansarullah: Pause In Saudi Raids on Al-Hudaydah to Buy Time

 

صنعاء تتهم التحالف السعودي بالترويج للتهدئة لترتيب أوضاع قواته المنهارة

 

قوات التحالف تقصف بالمدفعية كلية الهندسة في جامعة الحديدة بعد ساعات من شن طائرات التحالف غارة جوية على مزرعة في التحيتا جنوب الحديدة.

استشهد ثلاثة مدنيين وأصيب اثنان بغارة لطائرات التحالف السعودي استهدفت سيارة مدنية على الطريق العام الرابط بين مديرية كتاف ومنطقة الفحلوين

استشهد ثلاثة مدنيين وأصيب اثنان بغارة لطائرات التحالف السعودي استهدفت سيارة مدنية على الطريق العام الرابط بين مديرية كتاف ومنطقة الفحلوين

استشهد اربعة مدنيين يمنيين وجرح اثنان بقصف جوي للتحالف السعودي استهدف حافلة ركاب في مديرية المراوعة شرقي الحديدة.

قوات التحالف قصفت بالمدفعية كلية الهندسة في جامعة الحديدة بعد ساعات من شن طائرات التحالف غارة جوية على مزرعة في التحيتا جنوب الحديدة.

 أما في صعدة فاستشهد ثلاثة مدنيين وأصيب اثنان بغارة لطائرات التحالف السعودي استهدفت سيارة مدنية على الطريق العام الرابط بين مديرية كتاف ومنطقة الفحلوين.

المتحدث باسم القوات المسلحة اليمنية العميد يحيى سريع أكد أن التحالف السعودي مستمر في ارتكاب المجازر بحق الشعب اليمني، مشيراً إلى أن التحالف يسعى من وراء الترويج لتهدئة إلى كسب الوقت وإعادة ترتيب أوضاع قواته المنهارة.

أما وزير الدولة لشؤون الحوار والمصالحة في حكومة صنعاء أحمد القنع أكّد للميادين أن المقاتلين التابعين للتحالف السعودي لن يستطيعوا دخول الحديدة ولو حاولوا ذلك لسنوات.

ولفت القنع إلى أن دول التحالف صرفت أموالاً على الجانب الإعلامي أكثر مما صرفت على الجانب العسكري، مؤكداً أن انتصارات التحالف السعودي في اليمن هي انتصاراتٌ إعلاميةٌ وهمية.


مجلس الأمن الدولي يعقد اليوم جلسة تناقش الأوضاع الإنسانية والسياسية في اليمن

وفي السياق، يعقد مجلس الأمن الدولي اليوم جلسة تناقش الأوضاع الإنسانية والسياسية في اليمن وسط منع التحالف السعودي أربع سفن من إفراغ حمولاتها من الوقود بالرغم من الحاجة الملحة اليها محلياً.
الأمم المتحدة أعلنت أن ميناءي الحديدة وصاليف يعملان لكن دون طاقتهما.
وأشار المتحدث باسم الأمين العام للأمم المتحدة ستيفان دوجاريك إلى أن حكومة الرئيس هادي فرضت قيوداً على السفن التي تنقل الوقود.

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US, Britain Push Yemen Ceasefire as Tactic to Defeat Houthis

US, Britain Push Yemen Ceasefire as Tactic to Defeat Houthis

FINIAN CUNNINGHAM | 16.11.2018 |

US, Britain Push Yemen Ceasefire as Tactic to Defeat Houthis

At first glance, it may seem like a positive move. The Trump administration and London are both putting pressure on Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to implement a ceasefire in Yemen’s atrocious war. Washington and London are also calling for warring sides to enter into peace negotiations within a month.

What’s wrong with that, you may ask? Well, as Houthi rebels who took over Yemen at the end of 2014 are saying, the country has been under aggression for the past three years from a Saudi-led coalition supported militarily by the US, Britain and France. The unrelenting war on the poorest country in the Middle East has led to the world’s worst humanitarian crisis in decades, with over half of the population – some 14 million people – at risk of starvation, according to the UN.

Therefore, the appropriate legal and moral course of action now is not merely a ceasefire or talks. It is for the Western-backed Saudi, Emirati coalition to immediately halt its criminal aggression against Yemen. In short, stop the foreign interference in Yemen’s sovereign affairs.

US Secretary of State James Mattis and Britain’s Foreign Minister Jeremy Hunt appear to be impelled by humanitarian concern for the massive human suffering in Yemen with their recent calls for cessation of hostilities.

But a more nuanced reading of their exhortations suggest that the real concern is to burnish the blood-soaked image of the Saudi coalition that their governments support, and, secondly, to inveigle the Houthis into a negotiations framework that will result in undue foreign influence over Yemen’s politics.

Last week, Washington announced that it was suspending mid-air refueling flights for Saudi and Emirati warplanes that have been pounding Yemen since March 2015, which has resulted in a horrendous death toll among civilians. The indiscriminate killing of the Saudis and Emirati air strikes has been amply documented, albeit downplayed by Western media. The latter keep repeating a figure of 10,000 dead in Yemen – a figure which has bizarrely remained unchanged for at least the past two years. The real death toll from air strikes is unknown but likely to be near 50,000.

American, British and French military support for the murderous operations in Yemen should have stopped months, even years ago, if official humanitarian concerns were genuine.

The question is: why the sudden effort by Washington and London, as well as Paris, to call for a ceasefire and follow-on political talks?

One factor, no doubt, is the barbaric murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi by assassins linked to the House of Saud. Turkish authorities believe that Khashoggi was brutally murdered in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2, his body hacked to pieces and dissolved in industrial-strength acid. Audiotapes obtained by the Turkish authorities have implicated the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the murder plot against the dissident journalist.

The gruesome details of Khashoggi’s killing and the blatant lies that the Saudi rulers have issued to cover up their barbarity have heaped immense pressure on Washington, London and Paris over their close ties with the House of Saud. Public outrage has demanded that sanctions be imposed on Riyadh, such as cancelling multi-billion-dollar arms deals.

It seems significant that the acute disgrace over the appalling Khashoggi affair and the association of the US, British and French governments with such a despotic Saudi regime has in turn prompted these Western powers to mount a damage-limitation exercise in public relations.

This is where the Yemen war provides an opportunity for the Western powers and their Saudi clients to salvage their tarnished public image.

By pushing for a ceasefire in Yemen, Washington, London and Paris can claim to be “getting tough” with the Saudis for the sake of alleviating “humanitarian suffering”. By appearing to respond to the Western calls for a ceasefire, the Saudis can then also claim they are relenting out of humane concern.

However, such pleas have not stopped Saudi and Emirati-backed militia on the ground besieging the Yemeni port city of Hodeida on the Red Sea, for which 80-90 per cent of the entire population in the country rely on for food and other vital supplies. In other words, the Western-backed Saudi coalition is using starvation tactics to bring the Houthi rebels and the wider Yemeni population to their knees. That is a monstrous war crime.

What Mattis is calling for in terms of ceasefire is for all heavy weapons in Yemen to be put under the control of United Nations peacekeepers. Washington is also demanding that the Houthis rebels withdraw from the country’s border with Saudi Arabia, from where the rebels have mounted missile attacks which have gravely harassed the Saudis, including in the capital Riyadh. The Houthis have struck Saudi territory in response to the air strikes.

So, what the Americans, British and French are striving for is, firstly, a respite from the sordid publicity over the Khashoggi killing. If the “humanitarian appeal” over Yemen succeeds to placate Western public outrage, then these governments will be able to continue business-as-usual selling the Saudi regime lucrative weapons contracts.

Secondly, by drawing the Houthi rebels into “peace negotiations” that will also burnish the Western and Saudi public image, as well as – equally importantly – forcing the rebels into accepting a compromise on their revolutionary government. By entering negotiations with the Saudi-backed remnants of the exiled Yemeni leader Mansour Hadi, the Houthis will inevitably have to accept making concessions and allowing an accommodation with the ousted, discredited regime.

Mansour Hadi, who has been living in exile in Saudi Arabia since the Houthis seized power, was reviled by most Yemenis for his corruption and being a puppet of the Saudis and Americans. His exiled clique is routinely and mendaciously referred to by Western media as the “internationally recognized government of Yemen”.

When he fled the country in ignominy in early 2015, the Houthi rebels had succeeded in spearheading a popular revolt. The rebels profess a branch of Shia Islam, but there was every indication that they had a relatively democratic program for pluralist governance.

The Saudi and American sponsors of the ousted Mansour Hadi reacted to the overthrow of their puppet by launching an air war on Yemen in late March 2015 – a war which has continued unremittingly ever since, with Britain and France also joining the profitable slaughter by suppling warplanes and missiles.

Another lie told by Western media is that the rebels are proxies of Iran, a lie which is used to “justify” the Western-backed criminal war against the country. Iran supports the Houthis diplomatically, but there is no evidence of arms supplies. Even if there was, so what? That wouldn’t justify aerial bombardment of the country and its people.

The devastation inflicted on Yemen and its people has largely been ignored by Western news media. Despite the lack of coverage, the Western public have nevertheless become aware of the horror and their governments’ complicity. Harrowing images of skeletal children dying from starvation and lack of basic medicines have shamed Washington, London and Paris into taking some action, however despicably inadequate and long overdue.

The recent impetus for a ceasefire and talks in Yemen coming from the US and its Western allies is not due to humanitarianism. It’s a cynical PR exercise to whitewash bloodied images – both theirs and that of their Saudi client regime. The Yemen war has been shown to be a sickening charnel house in a futile bid for Western regime change against the Houthi revolution. By forcing the Houthis into negotiations, the Western powers hope to achieve their regime change objective by another tactic – and gain PR capital at the same time.

If Washington, London and Paris were really serious about ending the suffering in Yemen, they would simply demand that the aggression stops immediately, so that the Yemenis are allowed to determine their own political future without foreign interference. But the Western powers will not do that because their interference in Yemen, along with the Saudis, is the very reason why this criminal war of aggression started and grinds on.

Journalist Throws Shoe at Dissident Yemeni Minister during Press Conference in Riyadh: Video

Journalist Throws Shoe at Dissident Yemeni Minister during Press Conference in Riyadh: Video

November 11, 2018

The dissident information minister in the Yemeni salvation government Abdol Salam Jaber was surprised by one of the journalists throwing his shoe at him while attending the former’s press conference in Riyadh.

It is worth noting that the Yemeni government had appointed the chairman of SABA news agency Dayfallah Al-Shami in substitution of Jaber.

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HOUTHIS: AL-HUDAYDAH BATTLE SHOWS YEMEN IS ‘GRAVEYARD’ FOR SAUDI-LED FORCES

 

Houthis: Al-Hudaydah Battle Shows Yemen Is 'Graveyard' For Saudi-led Forces

Source

10.11.2018

On November 9, a senior Houthi official, Mohammed Abdulsalam, said Yemen will be a “graveyard” for aggressors as Saudi-led coalition forces are developing their advance on the port city of al-Hudayah.

Our people, with their full-scale defense of Hudaydah, once again have proved that Yemen will be a graveyard for the aggressors,” the official announced via Twitter.

Abdulsalam also claiemd that the “agressors” had failed to achieve any of their objectives due to the “exemplary steadfastness” of the Yemeni people. He also accused the Saudi-led coalition of cooperating with ISIS and al-Qaeda.

The American-British-Israeli coalition, along with domestic and foreign mercenaries and terrorists groups, including Daesh [ISIS] and al-Qaeda … have failed to achieve any of their objectives after four years of aggression, due to the exemplary steadfastness of the nation,” he said.

Earlier on the same day, coalition forces made another attempt to develop their advance on al-Hudaydah. Pro-coalition sources claimed tha over 100 Houthi fighters had been killed and  coalition forces had advanced towards the northern and the western flanks of the port city.

Pro-Houthi sources denied these claims. Furthermore, according to their version of the events, Saudi-backed forces had already lost over 500 fihters since the start of their new push on al-Hudaydah.

However, sources on the ground and videos released show that coalition forces had indeed achieved some gains. If the Houthis are not able to prevent the encirclement of al-Hudaydah by coalition forces, they will face a real threat of losing the battle of al-Hudaydah. On the other hand, coalition forces positions are overstretched east of the city and the Houthis may exploit this for counter-attacks.

The situation is developing.

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اليمن سيبقى مصدر الكلمة الفصل

نوفمبر 10, 2018

ناصر قنديل

– خلال عشرة أيام ماضية تزامن الحديث الأميركي عن وقف النار في اليمن في مهلة أقصاها نهاية الشهر الحالي، مع خطة عسكرية وضعها الأميركيون وقدموا كل مستلزماتها اللوجستية والاستخبارية للجيشين السعودي والإماراتي للسيطرة على مدينة الحديدة ومينائها، لتكون ورقة القوة التي تبرّر الذهاب للتفاوض من موقع مختلف. وخلال الأيام العشرة تلقت مدينة الحديدة وما حولها آلاف الأطنان من المتفجرات، ودمرت فيها المباني والجسور، وقتل فيها المئات من الأبرياء، وأحرقت صوامع الغذاء والمحروقات، وتقدّمت وحدات النخبة في الجيشين السعودي والإماراتي على مجموعة من المحاور وحققت في بعضها تقدماً جدياً. وبدأت الاحتفالات بالنصر في قيادة حلف الحرب على اليمن.

– من الزاوية الاستراتيجية بات قرار السيطرة على اليمن من أضغاث الأحلام وصار السقف تفاوضياً بوضوح في خطة الحرب الأميركية السعودية الإماراتية، ومن الزاوية السياسية الدولية والإقليمية في ظل ما يطال السعودية من مستقبل رسم الدور، في ضوء سقوط الرهان على صفقة القرن بغياب الشريك الفلسطيني الموعود، لا أمل بمواصلة الحرب على اليمن، وهذه الجولة هي آخر الجولات. ويجب مع نهاياتها ترسيم التوازنات قبل الذهاب للمفاوضات، وبعدها سيكون حجم السعودية والإمارات بحجم المنجزات، أو الخيبات، خصوصاً مع الارتباط العضوي بين مواصلة العقوبات على إيران وبين قدرة السعودية على تشكيل ركيزة لرسم توازن خليجي متين بوجه إيران يشكل ركناً من أركان سياسة العقوبات بعدما سقط الرهان على دور إسرائيلي عسكري يستهدف إيران في سورية، وسقط الرهان على صفقة القرن والحلف الخليجي الإسرائيلي المعادي لإيران تحت رايات السلام في فلسطين.

– تدرك القيادة اليمنية كل هذه الحقائق، ولذلك هي تتصرّف على قاعدة أن هذه الجولة ستقول الكلمة الفصل في الكثير من معادلات المنطقة، وخصوصاً في رسم مستقبل الدور السعودي والإماراتي وحدوده، كما في مستقبل التوازنات التي ستحكم المفاوضات المقبلة حول مستقبل اليمن، كما تدرك القيادة اليمنية أهمية الساحل الغربي في هذه المعادلة وفي قلبه مدينة الحديدة ومينائها، لكن القيادة اليمنية تدرك أيضاً حجم ما تمّ حشده من مقدرات لهذه المعركة الفاصلة، وما أعدّ لها من خطط قتل ودمار، لذلك تصرّفت القيادة اليمنية بقلب حار وعقل بارد مع تطورات الأحداث، فشككت بصدق الحديث الأميركي عن وقف الحرب منذ البداية ووضعت شروطها بفك الحصار أولاً، ولذلك أعادت القيادة اليمنية نشر قواتها وترتيب وضعياتها بما يخفف الخسائر في الأيام الأولى للجولة العسكرية في الساحل الغربي، لكنها أعدّت خطط الكمائن والاستدراج والفخاخ ولاحقاً الهجوم المعاكس.

– ليست المرة الأولى التي يختبر فيها اليمنيون جولة مواجهة في الحديدة، رغم أن الجولة السابقة كانت تمريناً بالقياس لضراوة الجولة الراهنة، إلا أنها كانت أيضاً تمريناً لليمنيين لفعالية تكتيكاتهم، وقدراتهم على المناورة الحربية. قبل يومين وبعدما بلغ الهجوم السعودي الإماراتي ذروته وبدأ التقدم البري، بدأت الكمائن اليمنية بالظهور، وبدأت الفخاخ وعمليات الاستدراج إلى نقاط الرمي الصاروخي المركز، وبدأت أرقام القتلى بالمئات بين المهاجمين بالظهور، وبدأت التراجعات العشوائية للمهاجمين هرباً من الموت بالتكرار من محور إلى آخر، وخلال أيام يظهر الهجوم المعاكس الذي يفرض معادلاته الجديدة كما في المرة السابقة.

– وضع اليمنيون خطتهم على ساعة التوقيت التي أعلنها وزير الدفاع الأميركي جيمس ماتيس، بحيث سيجعلون الشهر الذي حدّده بوقف الحرب شهراً إلزامياً لوقف الحرب بالنتائج التي سيحققونها، وليست تلك التي كان يأمل أن يحققها مع حلفائه.

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Washington Post Publishes Article of Yemen’s Houthi Leader

Head of Yemen’s Revolutionary Committee, Mohammad Ali Al-Houthi

Washington Post Publishes Article of Yemen’s Houthi Leader

November 10, 2018

The Washington Post published on Friday the first article of the head of the Supreme Revolutionary Committee, Mohammad Ali Al-Houthi.

“Houthi leader: We Want Peace for Yemen, But Saudi Airstrikes Must Stop”

The continued escalation of attacks against the port city of Hodeida in Yemen by the U.S.-Saudi-Emirati coalition confirms that the American calls for a cease-fire are nothing but empty talk. The recent statements are trying to mislead the world. Saudi leaders are reckless and have no interest in diplomacy. The United States has the clout to bring an end to the conflict — but it has decided to protect a corrupt ally.

Any observer of the crimes committed in Yemen by Saudi Arabia — a campaign that has been accompanied by disinformation and a blockade of journalists trying to cover the war — can offer an account of the indiscriminate killing thousands of civilians, mostly through airstrikes. Their attacks have led to the greatest humanitarian crisis on earth.

The brutality of the Saudi regime was reflected in the murder of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi. And it can be seen in the military escalation and airstrikes in Hodeida and other cities, in  defiance of all international warnings.

The blockade of the port city is meant to bring the Yemeni people to their knees. The coalition is using famine and cholera as weapons of war. It is also extorting the United Nations by threatening to cut their funds, as if it were a charity and not a responsibility required under international law and Security Council resolutions.

The United States wants to be viewed as an honest mediator — but it is in fact participating and sometimes leading the aggression on Yemen.

We are defending ourselves — but we don’t have warplanes like the ones that bomb Yemenis with banned ammunition. We can’t lift the blockade imposed on Yemeni imports and exports. We cannot cancel the air embargo and allow daily flights, or end the ban of importing basic commodities, medicines and medical equipment from any place other than the United Arab Emirates, as it is imposing on Yemeni business executives.

And the list goes on. These repressive practices are killing and destroying Yemen.

Yemen was not the one who declared the war in the first place. Even Jamal Benomar, the former United Nations envoy to Yemen, said we were close to a power-sharing deal in 2015 that was disrupted by the coalition airstrikes. We are ready to stop the missiles if the Saudi-led coalition stops its airstrikes.

But the United States’ calling to stop the war on Yemen is nothing but a way to save face after the humiliation caused by Saudi Arabia and its spoiled leader, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who has ignored Washington’s pleas to clarify Khashoggi’s murder.

Moreover, Trump and his administration clearly prefer to continue this devastating war because of the economic returns it produces — they drool over those arms sales profits.

We love peace — the kind of honorable peace defended by our revolution’s leader, Abdulmalik al-Houthi. We are ready for peace, the peace of the brave. God willing, Yemenis will remain the callers of peace and lovers of peace.

SourceWashington Post

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The Reopening of The UAE Embassy Might Signal Syria’s Pivot to The GCC

By Andrew Korybko
Source

It would be foolish to believe that the uber-wealthy UAE needs war-torn Syria more than the reverse, so the reported reopening of the Emirati Embassy more than likely signals a significant change in policy on Damascus’ behalf and not Abu Dhabi’s, the ramifications of which could be far-reaching for the entire region and especially Iran.

Planning A Pivot

Al-Masdar Al-‘Arabi (“The Arab Source”, also known as AMN), an Alt-Media website that basically functions as an unofficial outlet for the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) or at least a faction of it, dropped a bombshell report on Wednesday about how the planned reopening of the Emirati Embassy in Damascus is part of Syria’s reconciliation with that country and its GCC allies in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. Considering how close AMN is regarded as being to some of the people in Syria’s military-intelligence community (which forms part of its “deep state”), this exclusive information shouldn’t be treated lightly, nor as “disinformation” from an “unfriendly source”. Rather, there’s every reason to believe the report and analyze the far-reaching regional ramifications that it could have if this actually comes to pass. So as not to be accused of misportraying its contents, here’s the entirety of what AMN revealed to the world on Wednesday:

“The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Syrian Arab Republic are working through back channels via the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to reach a political reconciliation, a source in Damascus said on Wednesday. According to the source, the Syrian government has been in discussions with the UAE, Bahrain, and Saudi Arabia regarding political reconciliation. The source said that the Syrian government and the Gulf nations have been in discussion about the Muslim Brotherhood’s presence in the region and their need to defeat their ideology. The first step in this reconciliation was the reopening of the UAE embassy in Damascus after closing more than six years ago. When asked about Syria’s relationship with Iran, the source said that the Persian Gulf nation was not involved in the talks. With the war winding down in Syria, Damascus is hoping for the Arab League to lift their suspension and resume efforts to champion the peace settlement.”

What’s particularly interesting about this report is that it specifically alleges that Iran wasn’t involved in these talks, suggesting that this might have been done truly independently of Syria’s military ally and representative of a sort of pivot at its perceived (key word) strategic expense. After all, the UAE and Saudi Arabia are infamously bombing Iran’s “kindred spirits” in Yemen and Riyadh even dispatched an emergency military force to Bahrain in 2011 to quell an uprising by Iran’s fellow co-confessionals there, so entering into talks with this overtly anti-Iranian alliance would understandably perturb Tehran. That said, it’s Syria’s sovereign right to conduct its diplomacy however it feels fit to pragmatically advance its national interests, and “rebalancing” towards the GCC wouldn’t be surprising when bearing in mind that Damascus used to be particularly close to the bloc before 2011. In fact, President Assad even received the prestigious “Order of King Abdulaziz” in 2009 that was also bestowed upon Putin, Obama, and Trump.

Required Reading

Before going any further, it’s very likely that the typical Alt-Media consumer is totally taken aback by what AMN reported because of how heavily they were indoctrinated over the years into believing simplistic dogma about International Relations, such as the supposed impossibility of Damascus ever entering into a rapprochement with some of the very same countries that were responsible for the Hybrid War of Terror on Syria in the first place, let alone at the perceived (key word) strategic expense of its Iranian ally that solidly stood by its side this entire time. The fact of the matter is that global affairs are infinitely more complex than how they’re usually presented to the masses, especially by websites that stay in business by catering to their readers’ wishful thinking and earning advertising revenue from their repeated visits, to say nothing of the donations that they receive from people who are basically paying to keep their preferred “echo chamber” a “safe space”.

For those who are interested in getting a grip on the nitty-gritty strategic details of what’s really been going on in Syria over the past year, the author strongly recommends reading or at least skimming through three of his most recent analyses:

* “Chaos Theory, Hybrid War, And The Future Of Syria

* “Strategic Assessment Of The War On Syria In Fall 2018: Idlib & The Northeast

* “Russia’s Reshaping Syria’s “Deep State” In Its Own Image

The main idea being conveyed is that Syria is truly at a political crossroads right now that’s much more profound than how many have portrayed it. Although the kinetic (military) phase of the country’s conflict is drawing to a close, the non-kinetic (political) one is rapidly heating up as all sides compete to influence the ongoing constitutional reform process that will determine “the rules of the game” for decades. The three most important points of contention are the post-Daesh rivalry between “Israel” and Iran in the Arab Republic, the enormous task of funding the country’s reconstruction, and the question of “decentralization”, all of which are currently being managed through Russia’s adroit “balancing” act between all players but which nevertheless need a definite solution one way or the other as soon as possible. The present state of affairs cannot carry on indefinitely, so Syria’s possible pivot to the GCC might be Damascus’ envisioned way out of this dangerous impasse.

“Inconvenient” Context

It’s not popular to say, but Syria cannot realistically continue to rely on Iran’s military assistance forever. As a sovereign state, Syria naturally wants to reacquire the ability to ensure its own security with minimal foreign assistance, and Iran’s military intervention there at the democratically elected and legitimate government’s request has pretty much already fulfilled its official anti-terrorist purposes. That’s also why AMN recently reported that the SAA is preparing to discharge thousands of troops who performed more than five years of service “as the military attempts to shift to post-war Syria, which will rely more on police units and less on infantry and armored personnel.” That’s understandable for both practical “peacekeeping” reasons and the very likely possibility that Iranian funds to the SAA are expected to dry up after the US’ reimposed sanctions begin to affect its target’s economy, so it’s better to begin the decommissioning process now while there’s still time to execute it in an organized fashion.

Another point to keep in mind is that “Israel” ramped up its rhetoric against Syria over the past week by threatening to strike it once again on the alleged basis that the IRGC and Hezbollah are carrying out activities there against its “national” interests (e.g. building missile factories, etc.), even going as far as hinting that it would attack the S-300s if they target its jets irrespective if Russian servicemen are present at the time. As “politically incorrect” as it is to say, Russia and “Israel”are still allies even in spite of the tragic spy plane incident that transpired in mid-September, as proven by their continued military coordination with one another, ongoing free trade talks with the Eurasian Union, and even Russia finalizing an agreement to allow “Israelis” to adopt its children (a privilege that it wouldn’t ever grant to a “hostile” entity). It’s therefore inconceivable that Russia would stand in “Israel’s” way the next time that it chooses to bomb Syria on its alleged anti-Iranian and -Hezbollah pretexts and escalate regional tensions, so Moscow’s preferred “solution” is obviously to “encourage” Syria to remove those said pretexts.

President Putin’s unofficial peace plan for Syria aims to have Damascus request the “phased withdrawal” of Iranian and Hezbollah forces from the country on the “face-saving” basis that they’re leaving as heroes following the successful conclusion of their anti-terrorist mission, which would satisfy “Israel’s” “security concerns” and could also see Russia’s new Saudi and Emirati partners moving in to “fill the void”. The GCC’s leaders might also importantly provide much-needed reconstruction aid to the country that Iran is incapable of granting, and Russia could have even clinched a deal with the UAE to play a more important role in its Soviet-era “sphere of influence” over South Yemen in exchange for facilitating the Emirates’ entry into Syria and possibly getting Damascus to “decentralize” control over the Gulf-influenced Northeast. Furthermore, as noted in AMN’s original report, the GCC might help Syria eliminate the last ideological remnants of the Turkish-backed Muslim Brotherhood, which is in their collective interests.

Concluding Thoughts

While the reopening of an embassy might not ordinarily seem like much, the case of the UAE’s plan to reportedly do just that in Damascus is actually much more important than the casual observer might think, particularly after the Syrian “deep state”-connected AMN revealed that this might be the opening stage of a much larger pivot to the GCC countries. While appearing at first glance to be against Iran’s interests, the opposite might be true if one accepts that Tehran cannot continue indefinitely funding its military mission to the Arab Republic under the US’ sanctions pressure and that its post-Daesh presence there is “provoking” Russia’s ”Israeli” ally to escalate the situation to the point of possibly reversing all the stabilizing gains that were made in the country over the past three years. The argument can be made that it’s better for Syria to request Iran’s “phased withdrawal” under the “face-saving” pretext of leaving as heroes than to bear the consequences of keeping its forces in the country after their original mission has been completed.

Iran cannot afford the military and economic costs of fighting a lopsided proxy war with “Israel” in Syria even if it serves the political purpose of temporarily distracting its population from the predicted worsening of their living conditions throughout the course of the US’ reimposed sanctions regime, nor does Damascus even want this conflict to take place on its territory precisely at the point when so much has been achieved over the past few years and a so-called “political solution” is finally within sight. Syria isn’t “betraying” Iran because the two already signed a military deal over the summer and will continue to cooperate in a “normal” capacity, but it’s just that Damascus might have reached the conclusion that the reconstruction assistance that it could obtain from the GCC is worth downscaling that specific facet of its strategic partnership with the Islamic Republic if it was already proving to be “troublesome” as it is. Simply put, this potentially Russian-brokered pivot might save Iran money, lead to a windfall of aid for Syria, and enduringly “stabilize” the situation.

There are also multisided “balancing” strategies at play here too, provided that Syria does indeed pivot towards the GCC like AMN suggested. Just as Russia is proving itself to be a masterful “balancer” in bringing together and managing a diverse set of actors in ways that always work out to its own benefit, so too might Syria be following in its main “patron state’s” pioneering footsteps by seeking to emulate this Hyper-Realist interests-driven “balancing” strategy. Damascus would be diversifying its international partnerships beyond its erstwhile binary “dependence” on Moscow and Tehran, following the former’s lead in downscaling the military dimension of its ties with the latter in order to court generous reconstruction aid from the GCC and position itself to more effectively counter the Turkish-backed Muslim Brotherhood’s influence that still remains in the country. By its very nature, and being careful not to present this as being anti-Iranian in any shape of form, this pivot would open up plenty of post-war strategic options for Syria and is probably why it’s being pursued.

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