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

By Andrew Korybko

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.


نتنياهو يستنفر لإبن سلمان: حلف الخاسرين


نوفمبر 3, 2018

ناصر قنديل

– كما ظنّ وروّج الكثيرون لمقولة إن روسيا لا تتخلى عن «إسرائيل»، في ذروة الكلام الروسي عن نشر صواريخ الأس 300 في سورية وتسليمها للجيش العربي السوري، معتقدين أنهم أساتذة يعلمون ما لا يعلمه سواهم، يروّجون لنظرية أن واشنطن لن تتخلّى عن سعودية إبن سلمان، وأن طلب «إسرائيل» بهذا الخصوص في واشنطن لا يُردّ، وهم يظنون أنهم أيضاً اساتذة يعلمون ما لا يعلم سواهم. وكما سقطت نظريتهم السطحية في فهم الموازين الاستراتيجية التي تحكم الدول التي تديرها عقول المؤسسات وحسابات المصالح في الحالة الروسية، ستسقط مزاعم ما يدعونه من عمق الفهم والتحليل وتظهر الحقائق الجديدة التي ترسم الحسابات والمصالح الأميركية.

– يبدو أن رئيس حكومة الاحتلال بنيامين نتنياهو أكثر مَن يستشعر خطورة الوضع، ويدرك وقوفه على ضفة الخسارة التي يقف عليها إبن سلمان بأن واشنطن دخلت مرحلة إعادة رسم الخرائط، وأن مكانة الحلفاء يُعاد تحديدها، وأن خطة صفقة القرن التي سقطت بصمود الشعب الفلسطيني ورفضه السماح لأي من قادته بالجلوس في مقاعد البازار المفتوح على مستقبل القدس، ستأخذ معها الوكيل الذي وقف وراء التورط الأميركي في الانسحاب من التفاهم النووي مع إيران وفي الخروج الأميركي من قيادة التفاوض حول القضية الفلسطينية وفق حل الدولتين، ولو كان تفاوضاً للتفاوض يستمر عقوداً بلا نتائج، فوجدت واشنطن نفسها بين خياري قبول الخسارة ودخول المعارك الفاشلة مع روسيا وإيران، أو دخول حرب كبرى لا قدرة لها على تحمّل تبعاتها، ولا مصلحة لها بفتح ملفاتها، وإلا فعليها أن تفعل ما تفعله الآن، وهو إعادة ترتيب خريطة الحلفاء ومن خلالهم خريطة المنطقة، وعلى أحد هؤلاء على الأقل أن يدفع فاتورة الأثمان التي تترتب على إقفال ملفات الحروب التي انتهت بهزائم، من اليمن إلى سورية وأوكرانيا وغيرها من إنصاف حروب في العراق ولبنان، وخصوصاً المواجهة مع إيران، وهي عشية جولة جديدة انتهت قبل أن تبدأ مع إعلان أميركي بإعفاء نصف زبائن النفط الإيراني من العقوبات.

– يتدخّل نتنياهو علناً ويسانده وزير خارجية البحرين، في إطلاق الدعوة لعدم سلخ الجلد السعودي كما تمّ سلخ جلد وجه جمال الخاشقجي، وهما ومَن معهما يدركون أن قضية جمال الخاشقجي ليست إلا الذريعة والعنوان، لكن كل شركاء الحقبة السعودية يتحسّسون رقابهم كي لا ينالهم بعضٌ من الفاتورة السعودية، وهم يعرفون أن وقف حرب اليمن بقرار أميركي ليس عقاباً للسعودية على قضية الخاشقجي، بل تموضع جديد عنوانه الاعتراف بالفشل في إقامة تحالف إقليمي وزان بوجه إيران في المنطقة، ركيزته صفقة القرن المقبورة، كما يعرفون أن صراخهم تحت عنوان طلب الرحمة بالسعودية، بعنوان أن الحفاظ على استقرارها وعبرها على استقرار المنطقة، دعوة لعدم رسم خرائط جديدة باشرت واشنطن بفتح ملفاتها، وخشية من أن ينالهم من شظايا التغيير في وضع السعودية فقدان الكثير من أوراق القوة، فيصير الصراخ تحت عنوان التضامن مع السعودية وطلب عدم تدفيعها ما لا تتحمّل دفعه، طلباً لتحييدهم عن الثمن الناجم عن الوضع الجديد للسعودية، وهو أمر يصعب التحكم به بالتأكيد.

– بين المتحدّثين من حلفاء السعودية وحده كلام نتنياهو له قيمة في واشنطن، أما الخليجيون المتحدثون من جماعة الفلك السعودي فيعرفون أن ساعتهم آتية، خصوصاً في البحرين واليمن والإمارات، ولو بنسب مختلفة. وأن قطر وعمان والكويت سينالون بعضاً من أثمان وعائدات التغيير، ونتنياهو يدرك خطورة اللحظة بعد سقوط مشروع صفقة القرن لجهة ما رآه من تأقلم أميركي مع الموقف الروسي الرادع لـ»إسرائيل» في سورية، كما يدرك أن التراجع الأميركي خطوة إلى الوراء عن صفقة القرن سيعني نيل «إسرائيل» جوائز ترضية بالتطبيع الذي يعنيها كثيراً، لكنه لا يجلب لها أمنها المفقود، لذلك يدخل على الخط الساخن مع واشنطن لمحاولة تعديل الخريطة بضمان بقاء المشروع على قيد الحياة ومنحه بعض الأوكسجين إن أمكن، بتسويات موضعية منفصلة لكل من الملفات، لكن يبدو أن ما كُتب قد كُتب، وقمة باريس بين الرئيسين الأميركي والروسي تفتتح مسار قمم تليها في واشنطن وموسكو، حيث سترسم الخرائط والمشاريع وتصنع التسويات، وتحدّد الأثمان والفواتير، ولو كان الدفع بشيكات مؤجلة منعاً للانهيارات التي تخرج عن السيطرة.

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Moscow changes the rules of the Israeli aircraft موسكو تغيّر قواعد حركة الطيران الإسرائيلي

Moscow changes the rules of the Israeli aircraft

أكتوبر 5, 2018

Written by Nasser Kandil,

Those who did not concern about the Russian successive statements regarding the fall of the Russian military plane in the Mediterranean but to wonder whether Israel notified Russia of the raid before its occurrence wanted to drive the attention away from the true meanings of what has happened and what will happen. It is not new that the Russians have announced that the engagement rules which they settled when their forces deployed in Syria in the fall of 2015 prevented the collision with the Americans and the Israelis in the Syrian airspace, through the prior notification of any movement in the Syrian airspace. Moscow’s commitment did not include any confrontation with America and Israel in Syria; it has determined one mission in Syria during it’s positioning; to support the Syrian country by restoring its unity and sovereignty in its confrontation of the armed terrorist groups. Syria has understood the course of the Russian mission, appreciated its importance, and it is ready to bear the consequences of the confrontation with America and Israel without beholding Russia any of these consequences.

Concerning the cause of the targeted plane which was shot down by the Syrian S-200 Sukhoi defense missile, The Russian Ministry of Defense talked about an Israeli ambush to shot down the plane. The ceiling of what was expected to announce by Moscow after the confirmation that the plane was fell by a Syrian missile was the fact that the confusion resulted from the Israeli raids which caused that incident, but Moscow announced that it was notified lately deliberately and it was not granted the needed time as agreed to evacuate the airspace from any planes that might be affected by any confrontation. The issue here is not about will Moscow notify Damascus of that or no? Every time the Americans and the Israelis notify Russia of their prior movement in the Syrian airspace, but the Russian accusation based on the factor of time which was not reached a minute before the incident, and it is based on the sheltering of the Israeli planes by the Russian fuselage due to the Syrian missiles, which the Russians know very well as an exporter of these missiles that they track the fuselage thermally and were not from the modern models which track multiple technical encodings in the flying target. The Russians accused the Israelis of making this incident deliberately to affect the relationship between Russia and Syria and spread the suspicions between them through this incident on one hand, and at the backdrop of creating suspicions by the political and media means which are close to Israel that Sochi understanding about Idlib is a deal made by Russia at the expense of Syria on the other hand.

The level at which the Russians raised their accusation is not intended to reach collision. It is enough that Moscow thwarted Tel Aviv’s attempt to affect its relationship with Damascus, so it drove away the responsibility of Syria, it put a new context entitled the movement of the Israeli aircraft in the Syrian airspace, which its final title was the Russian statement issued by the Kremlin, it described the Israeli movement for the first time, as an illegal violation of the Syrian sovereignty. This has led to a political intrigue that was not considered by the Israelis in drawing the future of their role in the region, after they had drawn their plans by considering that the red lines which obstruct their flight are those which they accuse Russia of their drawing through  developing the capabilities of the Syrian Air Defense, and which succeeded in making most of the Syrian airspace forbidden to the Israeli aircraft, with the exception of what can be reached from sixty kilometer from the sea or from the Lebanese airspace, knowing that this issue is under the discussion too. Russia intended to change the rules of movement in the Syrian airspace, in order to make it forbidden to any flight that is not allowed by the Syrian country.  If this led to new rules of engagement accepted by the Israelis, they would be on a date with Russian –Syrian ambush to pay the cost of all the foolishness which they already committed, including causing deliberate shooting down of the Russian plane.

From the beginnings, many people did not believe that the Russian positioning in Syria which is based on the seeking to avoid any collision with America and Israel will lead in itself to a political and military dynamism that restricts the American and the Israeli movement, to the extent that Moscow goes beyond the abidance by rebuilding the Syrian defense in a way that enables it to protect the borders of this sovereignty.

Translated by Lina Shehadeh,


موسكو تغيّر قواعد حركة الطيران الإسرائيلي

سبتمبر 19, 2018

ناصر قنديل

– الذين لم يهمّم من البيانات الروسية المتلاحقة حول سقوط طائرة النقل العسكرية الروسية في البحر الأبيض المتوسط، إلا التوقف أمام التساؤل حول إبلاغ «إسرائيل» لروسيا بغاراتها قبل حدوثها، أرادوا ذرّ الرماد في العيون وصرف الانتباه عن المعاني الحقيقية لما جرى وما سيجري، فليس جديداً أن يعلن الروس أن قواعد الاشتباك التي وضعوها يوم تموضعت قواتهم في سورية خريف العام 2015، قامت على منع التصادم مع الأميركيين والإسرائيليين في الأجواء السورية عبر التواصل المسبق للإبلاغ عن أي حركة في الأجواء السورية، ولم يكن في التزام موسكو يوماً أنها جاءت إلى سورية لفتح مواجهة مع أميركا أو مع «إسرائيل». وحددت موسكو مع سورية مهمة واحدة لتموضعها هي دعم الدولة السورية باسترداد وحدتها وسيادتها في المواجهة مع الجماعات الإرهابية المسلحة، وكان في حساب سورية دائماً التفهم لسياق المهمة الروسية والتقدير لأهميتها، والاستعداد لتحمّل تبعات المواجهة مع أميركا و»إسرائيل» دون تحميل روسيا أياً من هذه التبعات.

– في قضية الطائرة المستهدفة، التي تم إسقاطها بصاروخ دفاع جوي سوري حراري من طراز أس 200، تحدثت وزارة الدفاع الروسية عن كمين إسرائيلي محكم لإسقاط الطائرة، وكان سقف ما يمكن أن ينتظر من موسكو القول بعد التثبت من أن سقوط الطائرة بصاروخ سوري، أن التباساً نتج عن الغارات الإسرائيلية تسبّب بالحادث، لكن موسكو هي مَن فتح القضية وتحدّث عن إبلاغ متأخر متعمّد لعدم منح موسكو الوقت اللازم لإخلاء الأجواء من أي طائرات يمكن أن تتعرّض للأذى من أي مواجهة تنتج عن التحرّكات التي تتبلغها من الأميركيين والإسرائيليين قبل وقت كافٍ متفق عليه. وليست القضية هنا هي هل تبلغ موسكو دمشق بذلك أم لا؟ وهل كانت تفعل أم لا من قبل؟ وهذا ما يتهم الأميركيون والإسرائيليون موسكو بفعله في كل مرة يبلغونها بحركتهم المسبقة في الأجواء السورية، والاتهام الروسي مبني على عامل الوقت الذي لم يصل لدقيقة واحدة قبل الحادثة، لكنّه مبني على احتماء الطائرات الإسرائيلية بجسم الطائرة الروسية بوجه الصواريخ السورية التي يعرفها الروس جيداً، كمصدر لهذه الصواريخ، وهو كونها تتبع جسم الطائرة حرارياً، وليست من الطرازات الحديثة التي تتبع ترميزات تقنية متعدّدة في الهدف الطائر، ليصل الاتهام الروسي للإسرائيليين بتعمّد تصنيع الحادثة، بنية واضحة هي الإيقاع بين روسيا وسورية، وزرع الشكوك بينهما من جهة بداعي الحادثة، على خلفية زرع شكوك ذهبت إليه الأدوات السياسية والإعلامية غير البعيدة عن «إسرائيل»، نحو تصوير تفاهمات سوتشي حول إدلب كصفقة تقيمها روسيا على حساب سورية.

– المستوى الذي رفع إليه الروس الاتهام لإسرائيل، ليس مطلوباً منه بلوغ مرحلة التصادم، فيكفي أن موسكو أحبطت مسعى تل أبيب للإيقاع بينها وبين دمشق. ووضعت التحدّث عن مسؤولية سورية خارج البحث، ورسمت سياقاً جديداً عنوانه حركة الطيران الإسرائيلي في الأجواء السورية، كان عنوانه الختامي البيان الروسي الرسمي الصادر عن الكرملين الذي يصف الحركة الإسرائيلية للمرة الأولى بالانتهاك غير الشرعي للسيادة السورية. وهو ما يفتتح جولة تجاذب لم يحسب الإسرائيليون حسابها في رسم مستقبل دورهم في المنطقة، بعدما رسموا خططهم على اعتبار الخطوط الحمر التي تعترض طيرانهم هي تلك التي يتّهمون روسيا برسمها عبر تنمية مقدرات سلاح الجو السوري، والتي نجحت بجعل أغلب الأجواء السورية محرماً على الطيران الإسرائيلي، باستثناء ما يمكن بلوغه من مدى ستين كليومتراً من البحر أو الأجواء اللبنانية، ليصير هذا المدى نفسه الآن مطروحاً على بساط البحث، مع ما تعتزم روسيا الذهاب إليه في تغيير قواعد الحركة في الأجواء السورية، لتجعلها محرمة على أي طيران لا تأذن به الدولة السورية، وإن أسفر ذلك عن رسم قواعد اشتباك جديدة، يقبلها الإسرائيليون فسوف يكونون على موعد مع كمين روسي سوري ينتظرهم ليدفعوا ثمن كل الحماقات التي ارتكبوها من قبل ومن ضمنها التسبب المتعمّد بإسقاط الطائرة الروسية.

– منذ البدايات لم يصدق كثيرون، أن التموضع الروسي في سورية المبني على السعي لتفادي التصادم مع الأميركي والإسرائيلي سيتكفل بذاته بخلق ديناميكية سياسية عسكرية تقيد الحركة الأميركية والإسرائيلية، وصولاً لتتخندق موسكو عند حدود السيادة السورية بما يزيد عن الالتزام بإعادة بناء الدفاعات السورية ويمكنها من التصدّي لحماية حدود هذه السيادة.

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The new actual balance after the Russian-Israeli tension التوازن الفعلي الجديد بعد التوتر الروسي الإسرائيلي

The new actual balance after the Russian-Israeli tension

أكتوبر 3, 2018

Written by Nasser Kandil,

Some of those who pretend to be clever take some paragraphs from the Russian statement which beholds Israel the responsibility of dropping the Russian plane to cover the real issue which is Moscow’s first declaration; since the establishment of the occupying entity that the occupation entity is a source of threat to the security of the Russian forces. Despite the clear reassuring words provided to Tel Aviv by Moscow, it was appeared that Tel Aviv is an aggressor. Russian had done what it could to avoid a crisis and it has no explanation but the ill intention of Israel. The paragraphs which were interested to the Gulf media were about a Russian indication of the removal of the Iranian forces to one hundred and forty kilometers away from the borders of Golan and an Iranian pledge not to carry out any action that targets Israel.

It is known that Iran, Hezbollah and the resistance forces ensure everyday that they are in Syria to support the Syrian country in its war against the terrorism and to restore its sovereignty over its territories. They have no special calendar that transcends what is wanted by the Syrian leadership, they are ready to withdraw when they are asked by the Syrian leadership. It is known as well that the cohesion of the alliance between Russia, Syria, and Iran is a priority for the victory in the battle of Syria’s restoring of its full control over its entire geography. It is known too, that the main issue of America and Israel was and still to obstruct this victory, and that the alliance of the resistance has granted Russia the administration of this diplomatic battle to achieve this victory. As it is known that America and Israel know that everything will change after this victory, and the talk about the non- intentions to target Israel and the removal of the Iranian forces does not mean anything in the concept of the strategic security of Israel, because the one who has missiles does not need to be close. The actual intentions of the resistance axis do not need diplomatic messages to disperse the tension from the power of this axis, but the most important is that this battle diplomatically was under an American-Israel title, it is to remove Iran and Hezbollah from Syria, as a cost of the recognition of the Syrian-Russian victory, the coexistence with it, funding, reconstruction, and the acceptance of a political solution under Syrian-Russian conditions. The Russian response was the rejection and the sticking to the protection of the survival of Iran, Hezbollah, and the resistance forces as a necessity for winning in the war on terrorism and that it is a sovereign Syrian matter.

Certainly the issue is no longer where the Iranians or Hezbollah locate or the kind of the Russian reassuring diplomatic messages to Israel. The current issue is the fact that Iran and the resistance forces have managed skillfully the relationship with Russia in Syria towards a moment of Russian-Israeli clash that was made by the Israeli arrogance. The Russian-Israeli clash is growing despite the desire of the bullies. It is a strategic inevitable clash, entitled who has the high control on the Syrian airspace. The Syrian geography was on a date with a race between two clashes; a Russian clash with Iran and the resistance forces or a Russian clash with Israel. The title is the controls in restoring the Syrian sovereignty and the victory over terrorism. The Iranian- Syrian relationship with Russia succeeded in managing these controls by avoiding the clash, while Israel fell in its trap. Today the strategic clash is open with no retreat, thus it is a geostrategic transition that its importance is as the anticipated victory of Syria, and as the race in which the resistance axis won in Turkey.

Turkey has no return to the axis of the war on Syria, and Israel has no return to the open tampering in the Syrian airspace after the shooting down of F-16 by the Syrian Air Defense. Things became narrower; Israel has to choose between the retreat where Syria and the resistance forces can build their systems during the Israeli retreat or the continuation of provoking Russia to prevent the making use of the resistance forces of such a retreat. Therefore, the tension increases and the resistance forces get more chances of engagement and more chances to get qualitative weapons without exposing their relationship with Russia to risk.

Here is the S-300 !

Translated by Lina Shehadeh,



التوازن الفعلي الجديد بعد التوتر الروسي الإسرائيلي

سبتمبر 25, 2018

ناصر قنديل

– يُصرّ بعض المتذاكين على التنمّر باقتطاع فقرات من البيان الروسي الذي حمّل «إسرائيل» مسؤولية سقوط الطائرة الروسية، لتغطية القضية الحقيقية التي تقع بين أيدينا، وهي إعلان موسكو الأول من نوعه منذ نشأة كيان الاحتلال باعتباره مصدراً لتهديد أمن القوات الروسية. وبالرغم من أن سياق الكلام الروسي عن إجراءات الاطمئنان التي قدمتها موسكو لتل أبيب كان واضحاً، وهو الاستنتاج بان تل أبيب معتدية وناكرة للجميل، وبالتالي روسيا قامت بأقصى ما يمكن القيام به لتفادي أزمة ولا بديل أمامها إلا لتفسير مبني على سوء النية الإسرائيلية، واعتبار التفاهمات السابقة بحكم الساقطة. أما الفقرات التي يتلهى بها الإعلام الخليجي ومَن يريدون التنمر، فهي الإشارة الروسية إلى إبعاد القوات الإيرانية إلى ما وراء مئة وأربعين كليومتراً من حدود الجولان، والحصول على تعهّد إيراني بعدم القيام بأي عمل يستهدف «إسرائيل».

– معلوم لدى الجميع أن إيران تؤكد كل يوم كما حزب الله وقوى المقاومة، أنهم موجودون في سورية لمؤازرة الدولة السورية في حربها على الإرهاب، ولاسترداد سيادتها على أراضيها، وليست لديهم روزنامة خاصة يعملون عليها تتخطّى حدود ما تريده القيادة السورية، وهم جاهزون للانسحاب عندما تريد منهم القيادة السورية ذلك. ومعلوم بالمقابل أن تماسك الحلف بين روسيا وسورية وإيران أولوية للنصر في معركة استرداد سورية لسيطرتها على كامل جغرافيتها، والمعلوم أيضاً أن قضية أميركا و«إسرائيل» الأساسية كانت ولا تزال عرقلة هذا النصر. وأن حلف المقاومة منح روسيا صلاحية إدارة المعركة الدبلوماسية لبلوغ هذا النصر. ومعلوم أيضاً وأيضاً أن أميركا و«إسرائيل» تعرفان أن ما بعد هذا النصر كل شيء سيتغيّر. وأن الحديث عن عدم وجود نيات لاستهداف «إسرائيل» وإبعاد القوات الإيرانية، لا يعنيان شيئاً في مفهوم الأمن الاستراتيجي لـ«إسرائيل»، فمن يبتعد اليوم يعُد غداً، ومَن يبتعد يملك من الصواريخ ما لا يجعله بحاجة للاقتراب. والنيات الفعلية لخيارات محور المقاومة لا تحتاج لرسائل دبلوماسية لتبديد القلق من قوة هذا المحور، لكن الأهم أن المعركة دبلوماسياً كانت تدور تحت عنوان أميركي إسرائيلي هو إخراج إيران وحزب الله من سورية كثمن للتسليم بنصر سوري روسي في سورية والتعايش معه وتمويل الإعمار وقبول حل سياسي بشروط سورية روسية. وأن الرد الروسي كان بالرفض والتمسك بحماية بقاء إيران وحزب الله وقوى المقاومة كضرورة للفوز في الحرب على الإرهاب مرة، وبالقول إن هذا أمر سيادي سوري مرات.

– القضية الآن بالتأكيد لم تعُد أين يتمركز الإيرانيون أو حزب الله، ولا طبيعة الرسائل الدبلوماسية الروسية المطمئنة لـ«إسرائيل». فالقضية الراهنة تقول إن إيران وقوى المقاومة أدارت بصورة مبدعة علاقتها بروسيا في سورية وصولاً للحظة صدام روسية إسرائيلية، صنعتها الغطرسة الإسرائيلية وتكفلت بفعل ما كانت قيادة محور المقاومة تتوقع بحدوثه، وصبرت وتحملت الكثير بانتظار حدوثه. فالتصادم الروسي الإسرائيلي رغم أنوف المتنمرين يكبر ولا يصغر، وهو تصادم استراتيجي كان حتمي الحدوث، وعنوانه لمَن اليد العليا في السماء السورية. وكانت الجغرافيا السورية على موعد مع سباق بين صدامين، صدام روسي مع قوى المقاومة وإيران أم صدام روسي إسرائيلي. والعنوان هو ضوابط معركة النصر في استرداد السيادة السورية والنصر على الإرهاب. ونجح التعامل الإيراني السوري مع روسيا في إدارة هذه الضوابط بتجنّب الصدام، بينما وقعت «إسرائيل» في فخه. وها هو يقع، والصدام الاستراتيجي مفتوح اليوم، ويصعب التراجع فيه، ولذلك يصير تحولاً جيواستراتيجياً يعادل بأهميته أهمية النصر المنتظر لسورية، مثله مثل السباق الآخر الذي فاز به محور المقاومة حول تركيا.

– لا طريق رجعة لتركيا نحو محور الحرب على سورية، ولا طريق رجعة لـ«إسرائيل» نحو اللعب المفتوح في ما تبقى أمامها من هوامش في الأجواء السورية بعد إسقاط الدفاعات الجوية السورية طائرة الـ«إف 16». والأمور إلى المزيد من الضيق، بحيث على «إسرائيل» الاختيار بين التراجع، وبالتالي تمكن سورية وقوى المقاومة من بناء منظوماتها في فترة التراجع الإسرائيلية، والمرشحة أن تطول إذا كانت هي الخيار الإسرائيلي، أو المضي في الاستفزاز لروسيا الغاضبة منعاً لاستفادة قوى المقاومة من التراجع، فيزداد التوتر، وتنال قوى المقاومة المزيد من فرص الاشتباك والمزيد من فرص الحصول على سلاح نوعي، من دون تعريض علاقتها بروسيا للخطر.

– ها هو الـ«أس 300» يدقّ الباب!

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Why did Russia refer to the Israeli role? لماذا أشارت روسيا إلى دور إسرائيلي؟

Why did Russia refer to the Israeli role?

أكتوبر 3, 2018

Written by Nasser Kandil,

Some bullies open a debate entitled the Russian-Israeli relationships trying to promote the priority of these relations over anything else in the Russian politics, they stem from the repercussions of the fall of the Russian plane off the coast of Syria, without informing us about the source of their knowledge that Israel caused the fall of that plane. They open a record of the Israeli raids in a way that is full of hostility to logic and truth. They say that Israel is roaming in the Syrian airspace before the Russian observation and satisfaction, ignoring that a year and a half ago Israel did not dare to enter the Syrian airspace, it was carrying out its raids from the sea or from the Lebanese airspace, because the Syrian Air Defense which was supervised by Russia has drawn a red line by a decision of the Syrian President since their dropping the first Israeli plane in the Syrian airspace.

Those who talk about the relationship with Israel that reaches holiness by the Russian leadership are asked to tell us about the source of their information regarding the Israeli role in dropping the Russian plane other than the Russian statements. The question is was Moscow obliged to announce that?, while everything can be dealt under the title of “friendly fire during a clash” which means that a Syrian missile has hit the Russian plane by accident, so why did Russia intend deliberately to refer to the Israeli role allowing for some bullies to make use of this Russian intention reversely, and to underestimate the minds of people by their claims and assumptions which are contrary to the main question which is why did Russia intend to refer to the responsibility of Israel without any clue,  since the dropping of the plane was not a result of Russian-Israeli collision?

No president in Russia needs to know that when the decision of the positioning in Syria under the title of restoring the Syrian country of its sovereignty was taken, it means an open collision with the sponsors of the project of destroying this sovereignty “Israel, Saudi Arabia, and America”. There is no need for a brilliant mind as the mind of the President Vladimir Putin, his security experience, and his understanding of strategies to know that, since the simplest challenge is to think about how to manage that conflict, which the winning in it forms the defeat of the American-Israeli-Saudi tripartite, that is wanted by Russia without shedding blood or the direct confrontation. The observation of the course of the three years of the Russian positioning proves that Moscow sticks to the concept of the Syrian sovereignty over the geography without any bargaining, and that the development of the sovereign content of the political discourse in favor of the Syrian country is clear in the Russian discourse dedicated to Washington, Ankara, and Tel Aviv, and that the development of the capabilities of the Syrian army in conformity with the sovereign presence of the country depends on a Syrian decision along with clear Russian support.

It is easy to conclude that Russia is aware that the end of the war with the armed and terrorist groups which means the end of the armed presence will raise the problem of the sovereignty over the Syrian airspace as an engagement line with Israel. So Moscow has to resolve this sovereignty in favor of the Syrian country. The conflict on the presence of some Syrian territory under the occupation of Israel will keep the tension. The position of Syria in the axis of the resistance and the Syrian-Iranian relationship as well as the relationship between Syria and Hezbollah will make the Israeli role more hostile, while leaving it controlling the formation of the military scene will mean raising the level of tension and reaction to the extent of exposing all the achieved goals in Syria to erosion and taking the risk of dismantling the internal military achievements and remobilizing the armed groups in new timing.

Because the Russian statements have notified us of the Israeli role in dropping the Russian plane, we have to ask about the reason of these statements which have one justification; the announcement of the fall of the previous cooperation to prevent any clash, and the preparation to resolve the flight over Syria in favor of the Syrian-Russian cooperation, to the extent of considering the Israeli movement off the Syrian airspace an aggressive action that must be repelled. It must be noticed that the issue of the S-300 missiles and their delivery to Syria has aroused many questions by the bullies, while the showing of their presence or not is an issue concerns the Syrian army alone, because in any forthcoming confrontation those bullies will emerge as they emerged before to ask where is the S-400. Maybe some silly people will consider the dropping of Israel plane is mere an agreed play for face-saving, as if the winning of Syria in the war was not the main defeat of Israel under Russian unequivocal support?

Translated by Lina Shehadeh,


لماذا أشارت روسيا إلى دور إسرائيلي؟

سبتمبر 22, 2018

ناصر قنديل

– يفتح بعض المتنمّرين جدلاً عنوانه العلاقات الروسية الإسرائيلية من باب التسويق لمقولة أولوية هذه العلاقات على كل شيء آخر في السياسة الروسية. وهم ينطلقون من تداعيات سقوط الطائرة الروسية قبالة الساحل السوري، من دون أن يبلغونا عن مصدر معرفتهم بأن لـ»إسرائيل» يداً في سقوط الطائرة لو لم تكن موسكو هي مَن قال ذلك، فيفتحون سجلاً للغارات الإسرائيلية بطريقة تنضح بالعداء للمنطق والحقيقة، وهم يقولون إن «إسرائيل» تصول وتجول في الأجواء السورية أمام الأعين الروسية وبرضاها، متجاهلين أنه منذ سنة ونصف لم تجرؤ «إسرائيل» على دخول الأجواء السورية، وأنها تنفّذ غاراتها من البحر أو من الأجواء اللبنانية، لأن الدفاعات الجوية السورية التي أشرفت روسيا على إعادة تأهيلها رسمت بقرار من الرئيس السوري خطاً أحمر منذ إسقاطها أول طائرة إسرائيلية في الأجواء السورية.

– نعود للسؤال، الذين يتحدثون عن أن العلاقة بإسرائيل تبلغ مرتبة القدسية بالنسبة للقيادة الروسية مطالبون بإبلاغنا بمصدر، غير البيانات الروسية، معرفتهم عن دور إسرائيلي في سقوط الطائرة الروسية، والسؤال هو: هل كانت موسكو مضطرة لهذا الإعلان، وكل شيء كان يسمح بختم الحادث تحت عنوان نيران صديقة في ظروف اشتباك، أي أن صاروخاً سورياً في حال اشتباك أصاب عن طريق الخطأ الطائرة الروسية؟ فلماذا تعمّدت روسيا فتح باب لم يفتحه عليها أحد عن الدور الإسرائيلي؟ ليبيح المتنمرون لأنفسهم استعمال هذا التعمد الروسي في عكس معناه الطبيعي، ويستهترون بعقول الناس ويستغبونها بادعاءاتهم وفرضياتهم المناقضة للسؤال الأصلي. وهو لماذا تعمدت روسيا الإشارة لمسؤولية إسرائيلية ليس لها من مستند إلا ما قالته موسكو نفسها، وسقوط الطائرة لم يتم بتصادم روسي إسرائيلي أصلاً؟

– لا يحتاج أي رئيس لروسيا لعقل جنرال في المخابرات ليعرف أنه عندما يقرّر التموضع في سورية تحت عنوان استعادة الدولة السورية سيادتها، فإنه يتموضع على خط تماس مفتوح مع رعاة مشروع تدمير هذه السيادة. وهم بالأولوية إسرائيل والسعودية وأميركا، ويكفي عقل رقيب في المخابرات الروسية لمعرفة ذلك، ولا حاجة لعقل الرئيس فلاديمير بوتين وخبرته الأمنية وفهمه للاستراتيجيات، وأبسط التحديات هو التفكير بالإجابة عن الاستعداد لإدارة هذا الصراع الذي يشكل الفوز فيه هزيمة للثلاثي الأميركي الإسرائيلي السعودي تريده روسيا من دون إسالة الدماء والتصادم المباشر معهم. ومراقبة مسار السنوات الثلاث للتموضع الروسي تقول بوضوح إن درجة تمسك موسكو بمفهوم بسط السيادة السورية على الجغرافيا لم تعرف المساومة، وأن تنمية المضمون السيادي للخطاب السياسي لصالح مرجعية الدولة السورية واضحة بقوة في الخطاب الروسي نحو واشنطن وأنقرة وتل أبيب، وأن تنمية مقدرات الجيش السوري بما يتناسب مع فرض الحضور السيادي لدولته يتمّ بقرار سوري، لكن بدعم روسي واضح.

– يسهل على عقل طبيعي أن يستنتج أن روسيا تدرك أن بلوغ نهاية الحرب مع الجماعات المسلحة والإرهابية، وما يعنيه من قرب نهاية الوجه المسلح للصراع سيطرح إشكالية السيادة على الأجواء السورية كخط اشتباك مع «إسرائيل»، وأن لا بد لموسكو من حسم هذه السيادة لصالح الدولة السورية، فالصراع حول وجود أراضٍ محتلة لسورية من قبل «إسرائيل» سيبقي حال التوتر، وموقع سورية في محور المقاومة والعلاقة السورية الإيرانية والعلاقة السورية بحزب الله ستجعل الدور الإسرائيلي أكثر عدائية، وتركه يتحكم بصياغة المشهد العسكري يعني رفع منسوب التوتر والفعل ورد الفعل وصولاً لتعريض كل الإنجازات المحققة في سورية للتآكل والاهتراء، والمخاطرة بتفكيك الإنجازات الداخلية العسكرية وإعادة استنهاض الجماعات المسلحة في توقيت جديد.

– لأن الإعلان الروسي هو مَن أبلغنا بدور إسرئيلي في سقوط الطائرة الروسية ورفعه لمستوى الدور المتعمّد علينا قبل التذاكي على الروس التساؤل عن سبب الإعلان. وهو له مبرر واحد، الإعلان عن سقوط آليات التعاون السابقة لمنع التصادم، والتمهيد لحسم الازدواج الجوي فوق سورية لحساب أحادية يمثلها التعاون السوري الروسي، وصولاً إلى اعتبار الحركة الإسرائيلية قبالة الأجواء السورية عملاً عدوانياً يستحق التعامل المشروع دفاعياً، ولا بد من الانتباه هنا إلى أن حكاية الصواريخ أس 300 وتسليمها لسورية صارت ممجوجة في تساؤلات المتنمّرين، بينما قضية تظهير وجودها من عدمه تخصّ الجيش السوري وحده، لأنها عندما تظهر غداً في أول مواجهة جديدة، سيخرج المتنمّرون كما خرجوا من قبل ليقولوا، وأين الـ»أس 400»؟ وربما تبلغ السخافة ببعضهم حد اعتبار إسقاط طائرة إسرائيلية مجرد مسرحية متفق عليها لحفظ ماء الوجه، وكأن فوز الدولة السورية في الحرب لم يكن هو الهزيمة الأصلية لـ»إسرائيل»، وقد تمّ بدعم روسي لا لبس فيه؟

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Will London, Paris And Tel-Aviv Be Sanctioned By Moscow And Washington?

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On 17 September 2018, France, Israël and the United Kingdom carried out a joint operation against Syrian targets. During the brief moments of combat, a Russian reconnaissance plane was brought down by Syrian ’friendly fire’. Study of the recordings shows that an Israëli F-16 had flown hidden behind the Ilyushin Il-20 in order to confuse the Syrian Air Defences.

The destruction of a Russian military aircraft by the fault of Israël, during a joint operation by the United Kingdom, France and Israël, caused consternation in all the chancelleries. Since the start of hostilities in Syria seven years ago, if there were a ’red line’, it was that the different protagonists should never endanger Russian, US, or Israëli forces.

We are sure about very little of what actually happened, except that :

- a British Tornado took off from Cyprus to land in Iraq. During the flight, it violated Syrian air space in order to scan the Syrian defences and make the allied attack possible.
- less than an hour later, four Israëli F-16s and a French frigate, L’Auvergne, fired on targets in the Syrian governorate of Lattakia. The Syrian air defences protected their country by firing their S-200s against the French and Israëli missiles.
- During the battle, an F-16 used a Russian Ilyushin Il-20 as a shield. The Ilyushin was flying a surveillance mission over the area, localising jihadist drone launch sites. The Syrian defences fired a missile, aiming for the thermal signal of the Israëli aircraft. Theoretically, therefore, it could have destroyed the Russian plane by mistake.

This is, however, implausible, because S-200 missiles are equipped with a reconnaissance system able to distinguish between friendly and enemy targets, which the Russian Minister for Defence successively confirmed, then denied. In any case, the Ilyushin was destroyed, without our knowing for certain how, or by whom.

The cowardice of the British and French leaders led them to censor all information concerning their responsibility in this operation. London made no comment, and Paris denied the facts. Neither the BBC, nor France-Television dared to mention the subject. For these two countries, more than ever, the reality of external politics is excluded from the democratic debate.

Immediate interpretation of the events

We do not know if the destruction of the Russian aircraft (causing the death of the 15 men on board) can be blamed on the Israëli pilot – which seems highly unlikely – on the Israëli army, or on the alliance which carried out the attack.

Russian aircraft  Ilyushin Il-20

On the answer to this question hangs the possibility of conflict between four nuclear powers. The situation is therefore extremely serious. It has no precedent since the creation of the Russian Federation, at the end of 1991.

The British-French-Israëli aggression is the response by these three countries to the Russian-Turkish agreement signed only a few hours earlier at Sotchi. It came into play after the US refusal, at the beginning of September, to bomb Syria under false pretences, and the sending of a US delegation into the Arab world in order to express its disagreement with the British-French initiatives.

The Sotchi agreements were signed by Turkey under intense pressure from Russia. In Teheran, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had refused to sign the Memorandum concerning the withdrawal of the jihadist and Turkish forces in Idlib. This had not pleased President Vladimir Putin, who answered first of all by reaffirming the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria and, furthermore, by underlining for the first time the illegitimacy, under international law, of the Turkish military presence in the country. Ten days later, a very unsettled Mr, Erdoğan accepted an invitation to Russia.

The Sotchi agreement, while distancing Turkey a little further from NATO with its energy contracts, forced Ankara de facto to withdraw from a part of the territory that it occupies, allegedly to better protect the pseudo-« rebels » gathered in the governorate of Idlib. Besides this, Turkey only has one month in which to confiscate the heavy weaponry of its friends from Al-Qaïda and Daesh in the demilitarised zone.

This agreement was obviously unacceptable for London, Paris and Tel-Aviv :

- in the end, it plans for the disappearance of the jihadists as an army, while London has been supervising, training and manipulating them for decades;
- the end of the dream of a French mandate over Syria and of the creation of a new French colony in the North of the country, under the phoney name of Kurdistan (Kurdistan is legitimate only within the frontiers which were recognised by the Sèvres Conference, in 1920.) In other words, not in Iran, nor Iraq or Syria, but only in what is now known as Turkey).
- the end of the regional domination of Israël, faced with a stable Syria under Russian protection.

Mid-term interpretation of the events

The British-French-Israëli military alliance has not entered into action since the Suez Canal crisis in 1956.

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At that time, Anthony Eden, Guy Mollet and David Ben Gourion joined their forces in order to humiliate the Arab nationalists, particularly the Egyptian Gamal Abdel Nasser, and to re-establish the British and French colonial empires (« Operation Musketeer »).

This is exactly what happened with this new attack : as was confirmed by the Secretary General of Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah, none of the targets under attack were linked in any way to Iran or Hezbollah. This British-French-Israëli action had nothing to do with the international struggle against the jihadists in general and Daesh in particular. It also had no connection with the overthrow of the Syrian Arab Republic or its President, Bachar el-Assad. Its main objective was to kill military scientists, in particular the rocket specialists from the Institute of Technical Industries in Lattakia.

This is therefore the resumption and continuation of the policy of targeted assassinations waged by Israël for the last twenty years, successively against the Iraqi, Iranian, and now Syrian scientists. It is one of the pillars of colonial policy : to prevent the submitted populations from attaining the same level of education as their masters. In former times, the Westerners forbade their slaves from learning to read under pain of death. Today, they eliminate their scientists.This policy was relaunched with the British-French-US bombing of 14 April 2018, in which the only target destroyed was the Scientific Research Centre in Barzeh, then with the breakdown of the 5+1 agreement with Iran (JCPoA) which forced the country to close its nuclear physics faculties (May 8, 2018).

It was a joint initiative : the jihadists destroy the past, the Westerners destroy the future.

Long-term interpretation of the events

Since the deployment of Russian troops in Syria, on 13 September 2015, to help Syria in its fight against the terrorists, the allies of the United States have understood the impossibility of carrying out the US plan without risking a world war. With the arrival of Donald Trump at the White House, they have progressively questioned their war objectives, abandoned the plans of the « Friends of Syria » and fallen back on their respective historical strategies.

It is this logic that led them to reform the alliance which provoked the Suez crisis, and it is this same logic which pushed Germany to distance itself from them.

At the beginning of the First World War, the British, French and Russian empires decided on the partition of the world which they would implement as soon as they had gained victory. The treaty was negotiated by Mark Sykes, Georges Picot and Sergueï Sazonov. During the course of the World War, however, the Tsar was overthrown by the Bolcheviks, which meant that the areas of the world originally reserved for the Russian empire were once again up for grabs. Finally, at the end of the World War, only the part of the plan relative to the Middle East was applied, under the name of the « Sykes-Picot » agreement.

The return of Russia to the international game obviously brings into question the British-French colonial sharing of the Middle East. The foreseeable clash has just occurred, either accidentally or deliberately, with the destruction of the Ilyushin Il-20 during the joint British-French-Israëli military operation.

How to react

The bewilderment of the international community in the face of this brutal awakening of a century-old conflict can be measured by the Twitter silence from the White House.

During the Suez crisis, the Israëli troops engaged were twice as numerous as all the British and French forces together. The total number of coalition forces was about 250,000 men. This was therefore a very large-scale operation compared to that of Lattakia. But it remains true that the two sequences work from the same diplomatic logic, and may lead to the same developments.

During the Suez crisis, in the middle of the Cold War, the Soviet Union threatened the United Kingdom, France, and Israël with a nuclear riposte if they refused to withdraw from Egypt. At first, NATO supported the Europeans in threatening Moscow with a World War, before changing its mind. In the middle of the Cold War, therefore, the United States temporarily supported the USSR in order to halt the European folly.

For Washington, allowing the Europeans to pursue their plans was the equivalent of pushing all the Arab nations into the arms of the Soviets. Apart from that, it simply was not feasible to accept the French-British intervention at the same time as they were denouncing the repression of the Hungarian revolution by the Warsaw Pact.

President Dwight D. Eisenhower and Vice-President Richard Nixon launched a monetary attack against the pound sterling, sent their naval and airborne forces to interfere with the British-French-Israëli complex, and forbade the use of French military material financed by US funds.

International peace was preserved thanks to certain third parties such as the Secretary General of the UNO, Dag Hammarskjöld (who was assassinated three years later, and was posthumously awarded the Nobel Peace Prize); the Canadian Minister for Foreign Affairs Lester B. Pearson (who also received the Nobel Peace Prize); and the leader of the non-aligned nations and Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru.

The Suez crisis profoundly upset not only international political life, but also the national reality of the United Kingdom, France and Israël.
- Circumventing the European vetos at the Security Council, the UNO General Assembly called for the withdrawal of the invaders and created the first United Nations intervention force.
- In the United Kingdom, the House of Commons demanded the end of colonial politics to the profit of the promotion of the economic interests of London via the Commonwealth.
- In France, the Communists, the Gaullists and the Poujadists (including Jean-Marie Le Pen) united against the Centrists and the Socialists; a configuration that has never been seen since. Six years later, President De Gaulle considered that by recognising the independence of Algeria, he would put an end to military collaboration with the colonial state of Israël and restore the policy of friendship and collaboration with the Arab peoples, which had always characterised France, apart from its colonial period.

The position of the Western powers concerning the aggression on Lattakia is all the more difficult because, in violation of their agreement with Russia, the Israëlis only informed Moscow of their operation a long time after it had begun, and only one minute before they began firing. As for the Pentagon, they affirmed that they had not been warned at all. But let us not forget that the Israëli-Russian mutual non-aggression pact in Syria only exists because Israël is the US arsenal for the Middle East, housing (with Italy) the stocks of US weaponry for the entire region. If Israël truly did not inform the Pentagon of its actions in advance, then it can not benefit from US protection, and consequently the mutual non-aggression pact may be called into question by Russia.

The Russian response depends on the position of the White House, which we do not know for the moment. It must be guided by a desire to lessen tension, if possible, and also to maintain dissuasion by punishing the guilty party or parties as soon as the Kremlin names them. It is not necessary for Russia to make this sanction public as long as the chancelleries concerned are informed.

The Russian response

Russia has the choice of seeing in the destruction of their aircraft nothing more than a mistake by an Israeli pilot, or by the Israëli army, or again, by all three of the states implicated (the United Kingdom, France and Israël). The Russian Minister for Defence, Sergueï Choïgou, telephoned his Israëli counterpart, Avigdor Lieberman to inform him that he held Israël responsible for the accident, and reserved the right to riposte. A little later, President Putin declared « This is a series of tragic events, because our plane was not shot down by an Israëli aircraft ». He was careful to distinguish this situation from that of the deliberate destruction of a Sukhoï 24-M by Turkish fighters in November 2015. We are therefore heading towards the public designation of Israël as the sole responsible and a secret sanction against the three states involved.

The Israëli chargé d’affaires in Moscow, Keren Cohen Gat, was summoned by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, while in a knee-jerk reaction, Israëli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attempted to shovel the responsibility for the accident onto Iran. An Israëli delegation, led by the Chief of Staff of the Air Force, General Amikam Norkin, rushed off to Moscow with unprecedented haste. They contested the claims of the Russian Minister for Defence, affirmed that Israël was innocent, and that all the blame belonged to the negligence of the Syrians.

General Amikam Norkin in Moscow
Moscow, 20 September 2018 – the Chief of Staff for the Israëli Air Force, General Amikam Norkin, arrives in a hurry to present his version of events. Once these proofs were checked and compared with other recordings, it transpired that Israël was lying straight-faced.

President Donald Trump, a great admirer of Richard Nixon’s foreign policy, was thus provided with the perfect occasion to finish with the British-French-Israëli support for the US deep state. However, in the middle of his election campaign, he can not afford to give the impression of supporting the Russian rival while he beats up his allies. He is therefore seeking a way of presenting his internal public with this major change of direction. From this perspective, during an interview with Hill TV, he condemned the US engagement in the Greater Middle East which was decided by his predecessor George Bush Jr after the attacks of 11 September 2001.

On 23 September, the spokesman for the Russian Ministry of Defence, General Igor Konashenkov, presented the synthesis of Russian intelligence and the information transmitted by Syria and Israël.

- He accused the Hebrew state of having deliberately violated the mutual non-aggression agreement of 2015 by not giving Russia advance notice of its attack and by lying about its targets.
- He accused it of having endangered civilian flights present in this zone of the Mediterranean, and of being responsible for the destruction of the Ilyuchin Il-20.
- He denounced its non-assistance to the Russian soldiers when their plane stalled.
- He also accused General Amikam Norkin of lying by pretending that the Israëli jets had already returned to Israël when the Russian plane stalled and crashed.
- Finally, he deflected the accusations of amateurism laid at the door of the Syrian Anti-Air Defence System.

However, he abstained from publicly blaming the United Kingdom and France, who were nonetheless just as concerned by his remarks against Israël.

In case the White House should find an acceptable narrative of the facts for its electors, Russia could forbid the United Kingdom, France and Israël from making any intrusion into the maritime, terrestrial and aerial space of Syria without the authorisation of Damascus. London and Paris would have to cease their threats of bombing under whatever pretext at all (false chemical weapons) and withdraw their special forces. This measure would be valid for all protagonists in general, except for the United States and, in Idlib, for Turkey.

Source: Voltaire Network

Russia’s Military Operation in Syria: Three Years On

Russia’s Military Operation in Syria: Three Years On


Russia’s Military Operation in Syria: Three Years On

Russia’s military operation in Syria was launched on September 30, 2015. Over 63, 000 servicemen, including 26,000 commissioned officers and 434 generals, have seen combat there to receive invaluable experience. Russian forces have used 231 new types of advanced weapons, including aircraft, surface-to-air systems, and cruise missiles. It’s interesting to note that the representatives of arms-producing companies are in place to assess the systems’ performance. The Syrian experience is to be taken into account as new weapons are developed.

All in all, the Russian Aerospace Forces have conducted 39,000 sorties or over 100 flights daily on average, destroying 121,466 targets and killing more than 86,000 militants, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu reported. The service has launched 66 long-range cruise missile strikes. The operations have been supported by A-50 and Tu-214R early warning and control aircraft as well as Il-20M1 electronic warfare (EW) planes. It should be noted that the Aerospace Forces group has not been large, with estimated 30-50 combat aircraft and 16-40 helicopters deployed at any given moment.

The Su-35S is a brand-new air superiority fighter, which has proven to be a formidable weapon. Dave Majumbar, a leading military expert and defense editor of The National Interest, believes that “It is only a matter of time before the Russians manage to sell more of these jets around the world—especially to those nations that either do not want to or are unable to buy Western aircraft”. The Su-34M frontline bomber is the workhorse to bear the brunt of the work. And it is doing it with flying colors. The plane is equipped with the SVP-24 Tefest special computing subsystem to provide for enhanced accuracy. The GLONASS satellite navigation system is used to constantly compare the position of the aircraft and the target and measure the environmental parameters. The information from datalinks allows computing an “envelope” (speed, altitude, and course) inside which a gravity bomb is automatically released at the precise moment to strike with the same accuracy as cutting edge smart munitions do. Even if GLONASS were jammed, the sensors would do the job. Fire-and-forget guidance allows the pilot to concentrate on detecting threats and targets. The weather conditions or time of the day play no role. Su-35s and Su-30SMs also have contributed to air-to-surface operations though their prime mission is air cover. The MiG-29 SMT came to Syria in September 2017 for testing.

Tu-160 and Tu-95MS strategic bombers as well as Tu-22M3 long range bomber, accompanied by Su-30SMsSu-35s and Su-27SM3s, saw combat for the first time. The strategic bombers used the brand new Kh-101 and Kh-55 cruise missiles with conventional warheads contained inside the body of the planes.

The successful performance in Syria prompted the decision to renew the production of Tu-160 bombers upgraded to the M2 version. On Nov. 17, 2015 two Tu-160s launched 16 Kh-101 missiles to knock out the targets with the aircraft returning to the Engels air base in Russia.

The operation in Syria is the first time Russia demonstrated its ability to launch massive long-range high-precision strikes, including the satellite-guided Su-24M and Su-34 have used Kh-29L laser-guided air-to-surface missiles as well as Kh-25ML lightweight missile with a modular range of guidance systems and a range of 10 km. Russian media have reported that Su-34s use the upgraded Kh-35U turbojet subsonic cruise anti-ship missile with a range of 300 km (160 mi). Two Su-57 fifth generation jets have gone through a two-day testing period in Syria. Il-76 and An-124 have conducted 2,785 flights to provide the forces with the logistical support they need.

The Mi-28N and the Ka-52 attack helicopters of Army aviation saw their first ever battle tests, liberating the cities of Palmyra and Aleppo. Both use Ataka anti-tank missile systems. Mi-24Ps support the forces on the ground.

During the three-year period 86 surface ships, 14 submarines and 83 auxiliary vessels have taken part in the operation. Admiral Kuznetsov, the only Russian aircraft carrier, was in the area in the period Nov.2016-Jan. 2017. Su-33s and conducted 420 sorties, including 117 at night time, to hit 1252 targets. Ka-52K and Ka-31SV (Ka-35) naval aviation reconnaissance and combat helicopters have made their first flights in combat conditions. Bastion and Oniks coastal anti-ship missile systems protect the naval group near the Syria’s shore. Naval Kalibr cruise missiles, installed on surface ships as well as submarines, are able to precisely strike land targets at a distance of 2,600km. They have been used 13 times to deliver 100 strikes. The ability to fire long-range sea and air-launched cruise missiles has ushered Russia into the club of the chosen. It no longer has to rely exclusively on nuclear weapons.

Buk-M2s and Pantsir-S1 were the first systems deployed in Syria. The latter has proven to be the most effective weapon against drones. It is defending the Hmeimim base from UAV attacks daily with no drone having penetrated the Pantsir-protected space. The S-400 has been deployed in Hmeimim to protect the skies over a large part of Syria since November 2015 to be later joined by S300V4. air defense missile systems are protecting the Tartus naval base where Russian Navy ships are anchored. The Krasukha-4 mobile electronic warfare system was delivered to Hmeimim on Sept.25 to boost the air defenses. The system can jam communications systems, disable guided missiles and aircraft, and neutralize Low-Earth Orbit spy satellites and radars (AWACS) at the ranges of 150-300km.

Hmeimim is well guarded by Army, SOF and Marines supported by T-90A and T-72B2 MBTs and Msta-B 152mm towed howitzers. The Uran-6 mine clearing robot was used to demine Palmira and Aleppo. Its operations were supported by Scarabey and Sfera reconnaissance robotic systems. The Uran-9 tracked Unmanned Ground Vehicle, or a remote-controlled tank, has coped with the most difficult missions in combat conditions.

The new Tigr 4×4, multipurpose, all-terrain infantry mobility vehicle, is widely used for a broad range of missions across the country, including the support of military police missions. The Typhoon-U mine-resistant assault vehicle used by paratroopers is also in Syria having gone through tests there before entering service.

Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have conducted over 25, 000 sorties to detect 47,500 targets. Roughly 70 drones were carrying out missions daily. The overall flight time of ForpostOrlan-10Aileron and Zala drones is equal to 140, 000 hours. The situation is monitored round the clock.

In 2017, the Terminator tank support fighting vehicle saw combat as a unique system destined for urban warfare. The first batch of the systems that have no analogues in the world entered service with the Russian Army in March.

The Kornet anti-tank system with air defense capability has proven to be a reliable and very deadly weapon. The system’s portable-transportable launcher can be installed on wheeled and tracked vehicles. The Solntsepyok heavy flamethrower has become indispensable for striking enemy in mountainous areas and underground tunnels and bunkers.

Russian military advisors also trained and advised soldiers of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA), while developing relationships with pro-government militias. Russia managed and funded the Fifth Corps in 2016. The force, which consists of volunteers, is deployed alongside other SAA units. Russian high-ranking officers and generals on train, advice and assist missions have often led Syrian troops to victories sharing their experience and expertise.

In 2015, Russia was predicted to plunge in a protracted conflict with no end in sight, which would be sapping its resources without any positive results achieved. Western experts believed Russia was to sustain a long-term deployment far from its borders. It has turned out differently.

Since the start of Russia’s operation, the Syria’s government has gone from the brink of collapse to near victory, with its control established control over the larger part of the country. It is firmly in power. Aleppo has been cleared of terrorists and control of Palmyra regained. This century, Russia’s victory in Syria is the only example of successful military operation achieved in a short period of time with positive results, paving the way for a negotiated solution, with the focus shifting to a political process. The time has come for diplomats, not guns, to talk.

Russia has become the key actor in Syria and its post-conflict reconstruction. On Sept. 17, Moscow and Ankara agreed to a diplomatic solution for Syria’s northern Idlib province. The Russia-initiated Astana peace process has made progress, such as the establishment of de-escalation zones among other things, unlike the UN-brokered talks. Post-war reconstruction has started in many areas.

Three years on, it is safe to say the success in Syria has reaffirmed Russia’s status as a global superpower with power projection capability. Moscow has become the key stakeholder in the Middle East. Its global political clout has grown immensely as the world is shifting from a unipolar pattern to multipolar configuration.

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