Repercussions of Europe’s “Terror” Designation of the IRG

 January 24, 2023

Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Hossein Baqeri and Syrian Defense Minister Ali Mahmoud Abbas

Iran’s highest-ranking military commander called for plans to hold a joint war game with Syria, which he hailed for being at the forefront of supporting Palestine against the Zionist regime.

In a meeting with Syrian Defense Minister Ali Mahmoud Abbas, held in Tehran on Monday, Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Hossein Baqeri lauded Syria for its resistance and supporting Palestine from the outset of occupation of the Palestinian territories by the Zionist regime.

The senior commander stressed the need for staging a joint military exercise between Iran and Syria.

Major General Baqeri also condemned the recurrent Israeli acts of aggression against the Arab country that has violated international law.

He noted that Iran has provided advisory support for the Syrian Army so far, expressing the Islamic Republic’s readiness to help the Syrian military forces in restructuring, training, and supplying equipment.

For his part, the Syrian defense minister highlighted the close interaction between Damascus and Tehran in the fight against terrorism and the common enemy.

Praising the Islamic Republic for backing his country during the crisis and for standing against the Israeli regime, Abbas said Syria will continue to fight against the Zionist regime and stand with the nations seeking independence.

In July 2020, Iran and Syria signed a comprehensive agreement to enhance their cooperation in the military and defense sectors.

Iran began providing Syria with advisory military assistance after numerous countries, at the head of them the US and its Western and regional allies started funding and arming militants and terrorists with the aim of deposing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government in 2011.

Despite initially losing considerable expanses of territory to Daesh (ISIL or ISIS) and other terror outfits, the country, however, rallied with the help of Iran and Russia, another ally of Damascus, and reversed the balance in favor of itself on the battleground.

Source: Agencies

Israel National Security Research Institute: Iran represents the most dangerous threat to “Israel”

RELATED ARTICLES

Saudi Crown Prince Defies the US Policy against Syria

Posted by INTERNATIONALIST 360° 

In November 2022, Saudi Arabia formally changed its stance on Syria. Saudi Arabia is the political powerhouse of the Middle East, and often shares positions on foreign policy and international issues with the UAE, which has previously re-opened their embassy in Damascus.

“The kingdom is keen to maintain Syria’s security and stability and supports all efforts aimed at finding a political solution to the Syrian crisis,” Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan told the November Arab League summit in Algeria.

Syria was suspended from the Arab League in 2011 following the outbreak of conflict instigated by the US, and portrayed in western media as a popular uprising of pro-democracy protesters.

Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit said, “The developments in Syria still require a pioneering Arab effort. It is necessary to show flexibility from all parties so that the economic collapse and political blockage can be dispelled. Syria must engage in its natural Arab environment.”

The next Arab League summit will be held in Saudi Arabia, and there is a possibility of Syria once again taking its seat at the round table.

On January 16, the Syrian Foreign Ministry agreed to resume imports from Saudi Arabia after over a decade of strained relations, and Syria planned to import 10,000 tons of white sugar. This development signals a new beginning between the two countries.

Saudi and the Syrian tribes

The Arab tribes in the north east of Syria have traditionally had strong ties with Saudi Arabia, and have received support from the kingdom. The tribes have opposed the ethnic cleansing and forced displacement of Arab villages which the US-led YPG militia has conducted for years. Even though Saudi Arabia has been viewed as a US ally in the past, this has changed since the US military has supported the Marxist YPG who have oppressed Syrians who are not Kurdish.

The US occupied oil wells in north east Syria may come under attack by Arab tribes who are demanding their homes, farms and businesses back from the US-supported YPG.  Some analysts foresee the US troops pulling out of Syria after the Kurds find a political solution with Damascus.

Turkey and Syria repair relationship

Turkey and Syria have begun steps to repair their relationship, which ended after Turkey supported the US-NATO attack on Syria for regime change, and hosted the CIA operations room funneling weapons and terrorists into Syria, under the Obama administration.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad demanded recently the withdrawal of Turkish troops from Syria to begin to repair the relationship.

Russia is brokering the reconciliation between Erdogan and Assad, which began with the Moscow hosted meeting of the three defense ministers, and a meeting between the three foreign ministers is upcoming.

The developments between Turkey and Syria are being watched by Iran. Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian said his country was “happy with the dialogue taking place between Syria and Turkey.” Amirabdollahian will travel to Damascus on Saturday for talks with Syrian Foreign Minister Mekdad.

Iran is looking to establish a new role in the recovery process in Syria. President Ebrahim Raisi will visit both Turkey and Syria soon, his first visit to Turkey since taking office two years ago.  While analysts see Saudi Arabia and Iran as antagonists, some feel the kingdom will ultimately realize they have to work with Iran in Syria and Lebanon.  Iran is part of the region and can’t be excluded from the geo-political sphere.

Saudi Arabian reforms 

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) said on April 27, 2021 that the country was undergoing a sweeping reform which would restructure the role of religion in Saudi politics and society.  The process began a few years before he became crown prince, but under his leadership it has accelerated. Islamic institutions in the Kingdom have seen changes in procedure, personnel, and jurisdiction.  All of these reforms are in line with the future vision of the country.

Some analysts feel the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood in the 1960s eventually gave rise to support for domestic religious institutions, and eventually led to funding of religious activities abroad, while religious leaders at home wielded power over public policy.

Vision 2030

Saudi King Salman, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, and his son, MBS have a plan for the country which is known as Vision 2030.  MBS is also Prime Minister and Chairman of the Council of Economic and Development Affairs.

The days of unlimited oil and markets are in the decline. Education, training, and employment opportunities are the stepping stones to building a thriving country and MBS is determined to plan for a long future of growth and innovation.

MBS

The Crown Prince is young and has new ideas.  He is instituting sweeping reforms to the society which have included more rights and freedoms for women. He has championed projects to place Saudi Arabia as a tourist destination, year round golf and soccer venue, and encouraged cultural arts such as musical productions. MBS is breaking the mold: no longer will Saudi Arabia be a breeding ground for Radical Islam.

Extremist preachers

Saudi Arabia had hosted many extremist preachers.  Some were featured on satellite TV channels located in Saudi Arabia, and others were local preachers, authors, or scholars.  Some had traveled abroad preaching in pulpits and exporting their hatred and sectarian bigotry.

One of the most famous preachers was Muhammed Al-Arifi, who has had an electronic surveillance device attached to him by Saudi intelligence agents, after they seized all of his social media accounts. His last tweet is said to be on May 6, 2019, when he had 20 million followers, and 24 million likes on Facebook, which ranked him as tenth in the Arab world and in the Middle East. The kingdom is shutting down clerics who are extreme.

In 2014, Great Britain banned Arifi from entering the UK following reports that was involved in radicalizing three young British citizens who went to Syria as terrorists.

A YouTube video in 2013 showed Arifi preaching in Egypt and prophesying the coming of the Islamic State.  Egyptian TV reported Arifi meeting with the former Muslim Brotherhood prime minister Hisham Qandil in his office.

Arifi is best remembered for his statement on the media Al Jazeera in which he called for jihad in Syria and supported Al Qaeda.

Adnan al-Arour is another extremist preacher who had appeared regularly on two Saudi-owned Salafist satellite channels. Arour was originally from Syria before settling in Saudi Arabia, and in the early days of the Syrian conflict he would stand up on camera, shake his finger, and called for his followers to ‘grind the flesh’ of an Islamic minority sect in Syria and ‘feed it to the dogs’.

These extremist preachers made it clear that the battles being waged in Syria had nothing to do with freedom or democracy, which the western media was pushing as the goal.  The truth was the conflict in Syria was a US-NATO attack for regime change and utilized terrorists following Radical Islam, who fought a sectarian war with the goal of establishing an Islamic State in Syria.

The previous Crown Prince

Muhammad bin Nayef Al Saud (MBN) served as the crown prince and first deputy prime minister of Saudi Arabia from 2015 to 2017.  On June 21, 2017 King Salman appointed his own son, MBS, as crown prince and relieved MBN of all positions.

MBN met with British Prime Minister David Cameron in January 2013. He then met with President Obama in Washington, on 14 January 2013. The discussion focused on the US-NATO attack on Syria and its support from Saudi Arabia.

In February 2014, MBN replaced Prince Bandar bin Sultan, then intelligence chief of Saudi Arabia, and was placed in charge of Saudi intelligence in Syria. Bandar had been in charge of supporting the US attack on Syria. Bandar had been trying to convince the US in 2012 that the Syrian government was using chemical weapons.  However, research has shown that the terrorists used chemical weapons to push Obama into a military invasion, based on his speech of ‘The Red Line’.

In March 2016, MBN was awarded Légion d’honneur by French President François Hollande, another partner in the US-NATO attack on Syria.

On February 10, 2017, the CIA granted its highest Medal to MBN and was handed to him by CIA director Mike Pompeo during a reception ceremony in Riyadh. MBN and Pompeo discussed Syria with Turkish officials, and said Saudi Arabia’s relationship with the US was “historic and strategic”.  Just months later in June MBS would depose MBN and strip him of powers, in a move considered to be “upending decades of royal custom and profoundly reordering the kingdom’s inner power structure”.

US diplomats argued that MBN was “the most pro-American minister in the Saudi Cabinet”. That is what brought MBN down. The days of blindly following the US directives are over in Saudi Arabia.  MBS has refused to bow down to Biden when he demanded an increase in oil production.  The Vision 2030 that MBS developed does not include financing failed wars in the Middle East for the benefit of the Oval Office. MBS has a strained relationship with Biden, and he wears it as a badge of honor.

Saudi role in the Syrian war

Saudi Arabia played a huge role in the large-scale supply of weapons and ammunition to various terrorist groups in Syria during the Syrian conflict.  Weapons purchased in Croatia were funneled through Jordan to the border town of Deraa, the epi-center of the Syrian conflict.

At the height of Saudi involvement in Syria, the kingdom had their own militia in Syria under the command of Zahran Alloush. The Jaysh al-Islam are remembered for parading women in cages through the Damascus countryside prior to massacring them.

In summer 2017, US President Donald Trump shut down the CIA operation ‘Timber Sycamore’ which had been arming the terrorists fighting in Syria. About the same time, Saudi Arabia cut off support to the Syrian opposition, which was the political arm of the terrorists.

Richard Dearlove, former head of MI6, expressed his view at the time that “Saudi Arabia is involved in the ISIS-led Sunni rebellion” in Syria.

Syria has been destroyed by the US and their allies who supported the attack beginning in 2011.  Now, Turkey and Saudi Arabia are looking to find a solution which will help the Syrian people to rebuild their lives.  Both Turkey and Saudi Arabia have turned away from past policies which found them supporting the conflict in Syria at the behest of the US.  There is a new Middle East emerging which makes its own policies and is not subservient US interests.


Steven Sahiounie is a two-time award-winning journalist

دمشق – أنقرة: تصلّب المواقف يؤخّر الخرق

الإثنين 16 كانون الثاني 2023

لا تزال العملية العسكرية البرية في سوريا «خياراً» تركيّاً مطروحاً على الطاولة (أ ف ب)

محمد نور الدين  

تتزايد الإشارات الصادرة عن الجانبَين التركي والسوري حيال مسألة التطبيع وما يعتيرها من معوّقات لا تزال تحول دون إتمامها. ويجلّي تلك المعوّقات اشتراط الجانب السوري إنهاء الاحتلال التركي كمقدّمة لأيّ مصالحة محتمَلة من جهة، وعودة الأتراك إلى العزف على نغمة التهديد بعملية عسكرية بريّة في الشمال السوري، قالوا إنها لا تزال خياراً مطروحاً، من جهة أخرى. في هذا الوقت، يَظهر الرئيس التركي، رجب طيب إردوغان، التواق إلى إحراز أيّ اختراق يعزِّز من شعبيته المتراجعة قبل الانتخابات، إلى الآن، كَمَن «يبيع سمكاً في الماء»، أقلّه بالنسبة إلى دمشق

صدرت، في اليومَين الماضيَين، عن الجانبَين التركي والسوري، إشارات عكست أنّ «شيئاً ما» يَعترض مسار المصالحة بينهما، وإنْ كان جليّاً أن الطريق ليس سهلاً أو مفروشاً بالورود. ففي حوار إذاعي أبرزته الصحف التركية في صدْر صفحاتها، يوم أمس، تحدّث الناطق باسم الرئاسة، إبراهيم قالين، عن أن العملية العسكرية البرية في سوريا لا تزال «خياراً» مطروحاً على الطاولة، ويمكن أن تُنفَّذ في أيّ لحظة، ووفقاً لمستوى التهديد الأمني. وأعلن قالين أن اجتماعاً لوزراء خارجية تركيا وسوريا وروسيا سيُعقد في أواسط شهر شباط المقبل، وحتى ذلك الحين بإمكان وزراء دفاع الدول الثلاث أن يجتمعوا مجدَّداً، مؤكداً، في الوقت ذاته، أن العملية السلمية ستستمرّ، وأن أنقره تدعمها، وإنْ جدّد الإشارة إلى أن «قوات حماية الشعب» الكردية، و«حزب العمّال الكردستاني» مجموعتان «إرهابيتان» يجب التخلُّص منهما لحماية أمن تركيا. وجاء حديث قالين في أعقاب تأجيل موعد اجتماع وزيرَي خارجية البلدَين، مرّتَين على التوالي: الأولى على إثر الاجتماع الأوّل لوزيرَي دفاع البلدَين في موسكو، في 28 كانون الأوّل الماضي، حين توقّع وزير الخارجية التركي، مولود تشاووش أوغلو، أن ينعقد اللقاء في منتصف كانون الثاني الجاري، ثمّ قال إنه سيجري في مطلع شباط المقبل. والثانية، لدى الإعلان أن وزيرَي الدفاع قد يجتمعان مجدّداً، وهذا يعني أن هناك قضايا لوجستية وميدانية وأمنية وعسكرية لا تزال عالقة، وتحتاج إلى المزيد من التشاور لإيجاد حلول لها. وعلى ضوء نتائج هذه الاجتماعات، يمكن أن ينعقد أو يتأخّر أو لا ينعقد لقاء وزيرَي الخارجية.

وعلى الجانب الآخر، السوري، صدرت مواقف ربّما تكون الأكثر إشارةً إلى دقّة مسار المصالحة، وما يعتريه من تعقيدات لا تُحلّ بمجرّد لقاء أو اثنين أو صورة مشتركة. وفي هذا الإطار، قال الرئيس السوري، بشار الأسد، بعد لقائه المبعوث الروسي إلى سوريا، ألكسندر لافرنتييف، إن «هذه اللقاءات، حتى تكون مثمرة، يجب أن تُبنى على تنسيق وتخطيط مسبقَين بين سوريا وروسيا من أجل الوصول إلى الأهداف والنتائج الملموسة التي تريدها سوريا، انطلاقاً من الثوابت والمبادئ الوطنية للدولة والشعب المبنيّة على إنهاء الاحتلال ووقْف دعم الإرهاب». وجاءت الإشارة الثانية على لسان وزير الخارجية، فيصل المقداد، بعد لقائه نظيره الإيراني، حسين أمير عبد اللهيان، في دمشق، السبت، من أنه «لا يمكن عودة العلاقات الطبيعية بين تركيا وسوريا من دون إزالة الاحتلال التركي». من جهته، تحدّث الوزير الإيراني عن أن أيّ حوار بين دمشق وأنقرة يمثّل خطوة إيجابية تصبّ في مصلحة البلدَين والمنطقة «إذا كان جادّاً»، مؤكداً أن بلاده «تثق ثقة كاملة» بالمواقف والقرارات السورية. ولربّما يعكس ما تقدَّم تشكيكاً إيرانياً في جديّة الجانب التركي، كما أن الحديث عن «ثقة كاملة» بالموقف السوري ربّما يبدو ردّاً على شائعات تباينات الموقف بين طهران ودمشق في شأن المصالحة مع أنقرة. إلى ذلك، عكست تطوّرات ميدانية أيضاً ما يعتري عملية التطبيع من عوائق، من مثل مقتل جنود سوريين في قصف تركي في شمال البلاد، ومن ثم إعلان أنقرة أن أحد جنودها قتل في قصف على قاعدة تركية في ريف حلب، فضلاً عمّا أفيد به من مقتل أربعة جنود سوريين جرّاء اشتباكات عنيفة مع مسلّحي «هيئة تحرير الشام» في ريف اللاذقية.

بات مؤكداً أن اللقاء بين الرئيسَين التركي والسوري لن يجري في الموعد الذي يرغب فيه إردوغان

وفي ضوء المواقف الصادرة عن الجانبَين التركي والسوري وأيضاً الإيراني، بات مؤكداً أن اللقاء بين الرئيسَين التركي والسوري، لن يجري في الموعد الذي يرغب فيه الأول، وربّما تأتي الانتخابات التركية لتطيحه إلى ما بعدها، في حال مضيّ مسار المصالحة قُدُماً. كذلك، تطرح التصريحات المختلفة أكثر من علامة استفهام تتعلّق بأساسيات ومحدّدات التطبيع بين تركيا وسوريا، كما مواقف الأطراف الأخرى، ومنها روسيا وإيران. كما أتت التصريحات «الصارمة» للأسد والمقداد، بعدما لفت المراقبين «تأخُّر» الردّ الرسمي السوري على ما كان يَصدر من مواقف تركية منذ مطلع آب من العام الماضي. وكان كل ما يتعلّق بالمصالحة المفترَضة يأتي من الجانب التركي، وآخرها ما اعتُبر خريطة طريق رسمها إردوغان قبل حوالي شهر ونصف شهر، على أساس لقاءات تتدرّج من المستوى الاستخباري إلى وزراء الدفاع، فالخارجية والرؤساء. وجاء بيان وزارة الدفاع السورية الإيجابي بعد لقاء موسكو، في إطار العموميات، ليُحكى من بعده عن تأجيل لقاء وزيرَي الخارجية ومن ثم اشتراط الأسد، للقاء إردوغان، زوال الاحتلال أوّلاً، ليؤكد الموقف الرسمي السوري الحذر من الرغبة التركية المفاجئة في المصالحة، خصوصاً أن هذه الرغبة لم تقترن إلى الآن بأيّ خطّة عملية ومبرمجة زمنيّاً. وقد انتظرت القيادة السورية اجتماع موسكو لتبني على الشيء مقتضاه، وقد بُني هذا الشيء، أخيراً، على لسان الأسد والمقداد، وعنوانه أن الرئيس التركي «يبيع سمكاً في الماء»، ويُقدّم وعوداً غير مقنعة لدمشق.

في المقابل، فإن العزف التركي الجديد على وتر العملية العسكرية البرّية جاء كما لو أنه ردّ على موقفَي الأسد والمقداد، وأيضاً كمؤشر من شأنه تعزيز التقديرات القائلة بأن تركيا ليست جادّة في عملية التطبيع ولا تريد منها سوى تقطيع الوقت من الآن وحتى الانتخابات الرئاسية في حزيران (وربّما في أيار) المقبل، وأن الأهمّ لإردوغان هو الظهور في صورة مشتركة مع الأسد يستثمرها في الانتخابات الرئاسية، فيما تنتظر دمشق من أنقرة أجوبة واضحة ومفصّلة عن خريطة طريقها للانسحاب من الأراضي السورية وتصفية المسلّحين المعارضين في إدلب والمناطق المحتلّة، بمن فيهم ما يسمّى «الجيش الوطني»، وعدم الاكتفاء، كما قال قالين، بتصفية قوات «قسد».

فيديوات ذات صلة

مقالات ذات صلة

Turkey and Syria Meeting in Moscow May Result in Peace Plan

Posted by INTERNATIONALIST 360°

Steven Sahiounie

Tomorrow, the Foreign Ministers of Turkey and Syria will meet in Moscow.  This is the highest level meeting between the two countries who have been on opposite sides of the US-NATO war on Syria for regime change since 2011.

The outcome of that meeting, and the expected follow-up meeting between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, may form the basis for the recovery of Syria, circumventing the UN resolution 2254, which has failed to produce results.

The US has lost the war, but has used armed militias to remain occupying parts of Syria, and to impose a stalemate which prevents a peaceful solution and recovery for Syria.  America is no longer the only superpower, and decisions made in the new Middle East no longer depend on orders from the US State Department.

Erdogan is up for re-election in June and faces heavy opposition. The economy is dismal, and people blame the Syrian refugees for lost jobs and social ills.  Erdogan and the opposition promise to send the refugees packing.

The Turkish export market to Syria in 2011 represented half of the entire global export market for Turkey.  That was lost when Damascus banned all Turkish imports because of their participation in the war on Syria. Erdogan could get the Syrian market restored by repairing the relationship.

In order to win re-election, Erdogan proposes a rapprochement with Assad.  The US has voiced its displeasure at any attempt of any country to repair relations with Syria.  However, Erdogan will not be swayed by US opinion or threats, in light of the fact that the US supports, trains and supplies weapons to the Kurdish militia (SDF and YPG) linked to an internationally banned terrorist organization (PKK), which have killed thousands in Turkey over three decades of terrorism. The Kurds know that Turkey is a much more important ally to the US, and the US will never fight Turkey to save the Kurds.  Former US envoy to Syria, James Jeffrey, told the Kurds they should repair their relationship with Damascus for protection. The US never supported a “homeland” for the Kurds.

Syria and Turkey are united in their goal to demilitarize the Kurdish northeast of Syria.  Syria and Turkey share a common enemy (the Kurds), and a common ally (Russia). This may be the basis of forming a new foreign policy between the two neighbors.

Syria

Syrian officials have met with Turkish officials and Arab Gulf officials.  Some Arab embassies in Damascus were re-opened, and Assad made a visit to the UAE.

The Assad administration in Damascus controls the vast majority of the Syrian territory.  The exceptions are: Idlib province in the northwest is under the occupation of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, a Radical Islamic terrorist group which was the former Al Qaeda branch in Syria, and the Kurdish administration region in the northeast under the occupation of about 600 US troops and two local Kurdish militias (SDF and YPG) which follow a communist political ideology first promoted by the jailed PKK leader, Abdullah Ocalan.

Syria and Russia have been prevented from attacking and liberating Idlib from terrorist control. The US uses the three million civilians living under occupation as human shields to prevent attack. The US and its allies in the UN demand that the UN food and medical supplies be delivered to Idlib. The civilians are being fed and clothed, but the terrorists and their families are as well. The international community is supporting the welfare of the terrorists, who are there at the behest of the US, to prevent peace and recovery in Syria.  Despite the UN protocol which demands all UN members to fight Al Qaeda, or their affiliates, anywhere on earth, the US and Turkey have circumvented the protocol and use the terrorists as guards of the political stalemate which the US imposed on Syria.

The US

America has maintained an iron grip on Syria through the use of US sanctions and a brutal military occupation which has prevented the Syrian citizens from fuel for transportation and home heating, and to generate electricity.  Syrian houses, hospitals, schools and businesses have between 15 minutes to 1 hour of electricity in four intervals per day because of the US imposed sanctions, which have not affected the Syrian government, but have brought the Syrian people to desperation. Kidney dialysis machines require electricity constantly.  A gasoline powered generator can suffice when there are blackouts, but the US sanctions also prevent the importation of gasoline.  How can Syrians survive?

Despite Richard Haass writing in 1998 that US sanctions are ineffective and immoral against civilians, the US State Department hangs on to sanctions as a tool for regime change.

Iran

Iran and Syria have been united in their resistance to the occupation of Palestine Golan Heights and Shebaa Farms.  Iran stood firmly with Syria during the US-NATO attack on Syria because it is a key in the land route from Iran to Lebanon. Recently, there are some cracks appearing in the relationship between Damascus and Tehran.  Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi’s meeting in Damascus was postponed recently. Some experts feel Iran has been asking too much of Syria, and with new opportunities for improved relations with the Arab Gulf and Turkey, Syria may be taking time to evaluate its options.

Israel, Saudi Arabia, and other Arab countries want to see Iran out of Syria.  As long as Iran is in Syria the Israeli airstrikes will continue, which have been deadly and destructive.

There were 32 Israeli raids in 2022 that destroyed and struck 91 targets, including civilian infrastructure, buildings, weapons caches and vehicles. Eighty-eight military personnel were killed and 121 wounded in the attacks.

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia is the United States’ largest foreign military sales customer, with more than $100 billion in active cases.  In the US there is a saying, “The customer is always right.”

Perhaps this may explain why the US takes no action against Saudi Arabia even when there have been deadly issues, or when Biden asked the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) to pump more oil, and he refused.

MBS is making huge reforms, which includes loosening restrictions on women, and creating new tourism and international sports opportunities.

MBS and Netanyahu are united in a common issue: to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, despite Iran insisting on wanting nuclear capabilities for peaceful purposes, such as energy production and medical research.  Netanyahu has stated one of his main priorities in office will be to normalize relations with Saudi Arabia.

The Arab League

The upcoming Arab League Summit will take place in Saudi Arabia, traditionally scheduled yearly in March.  Depending on the outcome of meetings between now and spring, Syria could possibly be reinstated and occupy their seat at the table.  Big changes have been taking place in the region involving the relations between Arab countries and the US, China and Russia. Saudi Arabia is in the driver’s seat and will use their hosting of the summit to project their ranking as the Middle East’s power broker.

Israel

Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen has announced that the next Abraham Accords summit will be held in Morocco in March 2023.

The US had brokered in 2020 the Abraham Accords for the normalization of relations between Israel, Morocco, the UAE and Bahrain. Later, Sudan joined the accords.  Areas of shared interests are: defense, investment, agriculture, tourism, and energy.

The meetings and realignments between Syria and Turkey, mediated by Russia, may produce lasting changes in the Middle East, and bring enemies together as new friends.  The Israeli occupation of Palestine will continue to be the primary cause of instability and violence in the region.  It fuels religious extremism and terrorism. If Israel values the establishment of relations with their Arab neighbors, they must first look at their closest neighbors in Gaza and the West Bank.  The Middle East and the world wait for a peace summit to begin the process of peace for Israel and Palestine, and the host country will not likely be the US.


Steven Sahiounie is a two-time award-winning journalist

Related News

President Assad Resisting Russian Pressure to Help Erdogan

 ARABI SOURI J

Russian President Putin continues his extensive efforts to help the Turkish madman Erdogan in ruling Turkey, economically, Russia has done its uttermost to help the Turkish economy after the US and European Union pressure on it and despite the policies of Erdogan prior to the Russian special military operation in Ukraine were very harmful to Russia itself. The latest attempt by Mr. Putin to help the Turkish madman is to pressure President Bashar Assad to meet Erdogan in a photo-op summit which Erdogan will sell to his people as a sign of resolving the Syrian refugees issue in Turkey.

Syria’s response to previous attempts to mend ties with Turkey falls very much under the principles of international law, the UN Charter, and the bases of the Adana Accords, Turkey has interfered in Syria militarily, politically, economically, and by sponsoring tens of thousands of al Qaeda and ISIS terrorists, Syria has not harmed Turkey in any way possible.

After a meeting in Moscow that joined the Syrian minister of defense to his Turkish counterpart with the presence of the Russian minister of defense, Erdogan started selling his election promise that he’s on the verge of rapprochement with Syria that will see millions of refugees return to their home country.

The Turkish regime has even set dates for a meeting between the foreign ministers of Syria and Turkey which prompted the foreign minister of the United Arab Emirates to visit Damascus and ask President Assad to include his country in such a meeting.

Syria’s response to further meetings with the Turkish side are varying from negative to suspicious regarding the Turkish commitments, after all, Turkey is a NATO member state and the leaders of this ‘defensive’ alliance are not known to keep their words, especially Erdogan. Russia knows that firsthand and now even more after the revelations of former German Chancellor Merkel and French President Hollande that they were never serious to implement the Minsk agreements regarding the Donbas and were using them only to buy time for Ukraine to build up a strong army and threaten Russia.

Erdogan has also not only failed to implement the Idlib agreements in which he promised to cease supporting Al Qaeda and ISIS and to dismantle these terrorist groups, but he also went on beefing up these terrorists with more imported terrorists, supplies of weapons, and by sending the Turkish army, NATO’s second-largest army to protect those terrorists turning posts which were supposed to serve as observation posts to see the dismantling and withdrawal of al Qaeda and ISIS terrorists into military bases to support those terrorists inside Syrian territories.

All of this has not stopped Mr. Putin from adding more pressure on President Assad to help the Turkish madman in the upcoming elections to the extent of sending his special envoy, Mr. Lavrentiev, to Damascus to try to convince President Assad.

After receiving the Russian envoy President Bashar Assad said:

“The meetings with the Turkish side must be based on prior coordination and planning between Syria and Russia in order to be fruitful, and in order to reach the tangible goals and results that Syria wants from these meetings.”

President Assad then added:

“The objectives of the meetings stem from the national constants and principles of the state and the people, which are based on ending the Turkish occupation of the Syrian lands, and stopping support for terrorism.”

Al Qaeda, ISIS (ISIL – Daesh), their affiliates, and offshoots are considered terrorist groups by Syria, and most of the world including the United Nations General Assembly, and the United Nations Security Council, however, the regime of the Turkish madman Erdogan considers these same terrorists as moderate rebels and builds its policies toward Syria over a potential essential role for these terrorists in Syria’s future political leadership!

Yet, seems that the Russian leadership, and especially President Putin sees the Turkish madman Erdogan as a winning card against NATO and a reliable person.

The failed foreign policies of the Turkish madman Erdogan have stripped him of his friends in his country and abroad, the biggest failure was in Syria when he vowed to pray in the Grand Omayyad Mosque in Damascus as a conqueror after toppling the government of Bashar Assad, it was President Assad who saved the Turkish economy under Erdogan and Gul after the European Union doors were closed in its face when the Syrian gates were opened for Turkish businesses inside Syria and through it to the Arab world.

All of Turkey’s economic gains in the past two decades are merely because of President Bashar Assad, and all of Turkey’s economic losses in the past few years are merely because the Turkish madman Erdogan failed to topple the only person who helped him and his country stand on its feet no matter how much Qatar, Russia, Iran, Azerbaijan, and now the combined Gulfies help Turkey. With the southern gates blocked and with millions of refugees pressuring the Turkish economy, there’s no way Erdogan can win the upcoming elections.

Erdogan’s future without the presidency is in a confined prison cell, his and his family’s corruption is beyond comprehension, even his own partners in the Turkish mafia went against him, by winning the elections, the Turkish dictator can immune himself from the prosecution he’s promised by the Turkish opposition, and can solidify more powers under him to rule without opposition, anyway, most of the Turkish opposition are either in jail or in exile.

Sedat Peker, The Mafia and Erdogan… And Syria, Again
Sedat Peker the mafia boss in series of YouTube videos exposes Erdogan’s links to drugs, terrorist groups, money laundering, and Israel.
Syria News

An adviser of the Turkish madman Erdogan exposed his boss’s real intentions toward Syria: Erdogan will not implement any agreement he strikes with President Assad before the Turkish elections, and will allow 1.5 million to 2 million Syrian refugees to return to their home country only if Aleppo is placed under the administrative control of Turkey!

Will the Russian leadership of Mr. Putin continue to pressure Syria into helping Erdogan win re-election coming this mid-May, or understand that the likes of the Turkish madman Erdogan cannot be trusted no matter what other concessions the Russians are able to get out of him?

It was the war criminal and former US President George W. Bush who tasked the Turkish madman Erdogan with a leading role in the region if he helps the USA implement its PNAC (Project for the New American Century) by dismantling all secular Arab countries especially Syria to protect the creation of the Jewish state of Greater Israel aka Greater Middle East Project, known in biblical terms as the kingdom of the antichrist; the Turkish madman Erdogan will become the neo-Ottoman sultan of the divided Muslim world in exchange. The whole world changed after the anti-Islamic Muslim Brotherhood project of Erdogan failed miserably in Syria which caused a reverse domino effect in the Arab states in which it succeeded earlier: Tunisia, Sudan, Libya, Morocco, and Egypt.

The Turkish madman Erdogan started the war on Syria turning his country into the main hub for all sorts of terrorists hired by the different ‘intelligence’ agencies of NATO and Gulfies to fight the Syrian state, and it’s in the hands of the Turkish madman to end the war on Syria and secure re-election, Russia must not ask of Syria to help Erdogan, it must pressure Erdogan to at least comply with the agreements the latter signed of which Russia and Iran were the guarantors.


button-PayPal-donate

Syria News is a collaborative effort by two authors only, we end up most of the months paying from our pockets to maintain the site’s presence online, if you like our work and want us to remain online you can help by chipping in a couple of Euros/ Dollars or any other currency so we can meet our site’s costs.You can also donate with Cryptocurrencies through our donate page.
Thank you in advance.

Related Videos

The American occupation continues to steal Syrian oil from the Jazira fields

Related News

أمير عبد اللهيان من دمشق: تدخلنا للحيلولة دون عملية عسكرية تركية في سوريا

السبت 14 كانون الثاني 2023

وزيرا خارجيتي إيران وسوريا يؤكدان أهمية تجديد وثيقة التعاون الاستراتيجي، ويشددان على أهمية التحالف بين دمشق وطهران على مستوى البلدين والمنطقة.

وزيرا خارجية إيران حسين أمير عبد اللهيان وسوريا فيصل المقداد خلال مؤتمر صحافي في دمشق

أكّد وزيرا خارجيتي سوريا وإيران، فيصل المقداد وحسين أمير عبد اللهيان، أهمية العلاقات الثنائية واستمرار التعاون المشترك في قضايا متعدّدة، أبرزها المشاكل الحدودية والخدمات والشؤون الإقليمية.

وجاء تصريحا الوزيرين خلال مؤتمر صحافي مشترك، اليوم السبت، في العاصمة السورية دمشق.

من جهته، أعلن أمير عبد اللهيان أنّ الرئيس السوري، بشار الأسد، وجّه دعوة إلى نظيره الإيراني إبراهيم رئيسي من أجل زيارة دمشق.

وأكد أنّ طهران “ستبذل كل الجهود لإجراء هذه الزيارة”.

وأوضح وزير الخارجية الإيراني أنّ “العلاقات بين دمشق وطهران في أفضل أحوالها”، وأنّ “الرئيس الأسد أكّد أنّ قيادتي البلدين عازمتان على تعزيز العلاقات الثنائية”.

وأضاف أنه توصّل “مع الوزير المقداد إلى الاتفاق على تجديد وثيقة التعاون الاستراتيجي بين البلدين”.

وشدد على أن هناك “عدداً من الاتفاقيات التي وُقِّعت بين البلدين، ويتمّ تنفيذها حالياً”.

وتطرّق الوزير الإيراني إلى التوتر الحدودي بين تركيا وسوريا، على خلفية التهديدات التركية بعمليات عسكرية في الأراضي السورية، واستمرار الاعتداءات على مناطق حدودية بين البلدين، وقال إنّه “عندما علمنا باحتمال شنّ القوات العسكرية التركية هجوماً في شمالي سوريا، تدخلنا للحيلولة دون ذلك”.

وأعرب أمير عبد اللهيان عن “سعادة إيران بنجاح اتصالاتها بسوريا وتركيا في ترجيح الحوار بين البلدين”.

وتحدّث الوزير الإيراني عن التعاون بين إبران وسوريا في المجال الخدماتي، وأكّد أنّ “التعاون بين طهران ودمشق مستمر في كل المجالات، ولا سيما في مجال الطاقة”.

وكشف أمير عبد اللهيان أنه أجرى “مباحثات بشأن إنشاء محطات للكهرباء في سوريا”.

وضع سكة جديدة للعلاقات

بدوره، أكد وزير الخارجية السوري، فيصل المقداد، أهمية التحالف بين إيران وسوريا، متسائلاً  أمام الصحافيين “تصوروا لو لم يكن لسوريا بلد حليف كالجمهورية الإسلامية. ماذا كان سيحدث؟”.

وقال إنّ اللقاء الذي جمعه بنظيره الإيراني يهدف إلى “وضع سكّة جديدة للعلاقة بين إيران وسوريا”.

وتطرّق الوزير السوري إلى الأزمات الخدماتية التي يعانيها أبناء المناطق السورية في الشمال، قرب الحدود التركية والعراقية، من جرّاء ممارسات المجموعات المسلحة التي ترعاها قوات الاحتلال الأميركي.

وتوجّه المقداد بالتحية إلى “أهلنا في الجزيرة السورية على ما يتحمّلونه من قطع للمياه”.

وأكّد أن “سياسة الذين يقطعون المياه عن أهلنا ستصل إلى نهايتها قريباً”.

التحرّك التركي في اتجاه إعادة العلاقات بسوريا

وفيما يتعلق بالتحرك التركي في اتجاه استعادة العلاقات بدمشق، والذي بدأ منذ أشهر برعاية روسيا وتأييد إيراني، أكّد المقداد أنّ سوريا “في كلّ تحركاتها منذ عام 2011 حتى هذه اللحظة، تسعى لإنهاء الإرهاب الذي عكر علاقاتنا بتركيا”.

وأكّد المقداد أنّ “اللقاء بين الرئيس الأسد والقيادة التركية يعتمد على إزالة أسباب الخلاف”.

وشدد على أنه “يجب خلق البيئة الملائمة من أجل عقد لقاءات على مستويات أعلى مع القيادة التركية”.

وأوضح الوزير السوري أنه “لا يمكن الحديث عن إعادة العلاقات الطبيعية بتركيا من دون إزالة الاحتلال”.

وأضاف أنّ “التنسيق مع طهران في مختلف الإطارات الإقليمية والدولية يؤكد التزام إيران وحدة أراضي سوريا وسيادتها”.

ولفت المقداد إلى أنّ الشأن الفلسطيني كان حاضراً في اجتماع الوزيرين، مشيراً إلى أنّ “الرئيس الأسد كرّر موقف سوريا بشأن الجرائم التي يرتكبها الاحتلال بحق الفلسطينيين” خلال اللقاء مع نظيره الإيراني.

التنسيق مع طهران يكتسب أهمية قصوى

وكان الرئيس السوري بشار الأسد استقبل، في وقت سابق اليوم السبت، وزير الخارجية الإيراني والوفد المرافق له. وأكّد الجانبان، خلال المحادثات، “العلاقات الوثيقة والتاريخية بين البلدين، والتعاون الثنائي القائم في مختلف المجالات”.

وأكّد الأسد، خلال اللقاء، أنّ دمشق “حريصة على التواصل المستمر وتنسيق المواقف مع إيران بصورة دائمة، ولا سيما أنّ إيران كانت من أوائل الدول التي وقفت إلى جانب الشعب السوري في حربه ضدّ الإرهاب”.

وشدد على أنّ “هذا التنسيق يكتسب أهمية قصوى في هذا التوقيت بالذات، الذي يشهد تطورات إقليمية ودولية متسارعة من أجل تحقيق المصالح المشتركة للبلدين”.

وأوضح الرئيس السوري أنّ “الدولة السورية تنطلق دائماً في كل مواقفها من حرصها على مصالح الشعب السوري”.

وبيّن أنّ دمشق “لن تسير إلى الأمام في الحوارات (مع تركيا) إلا إذا كان هدفها إنهاء الاحتلال ووقف دعم التنظيمات الإرهابية”. 

بدوره، أكّد الوزير عبد اللهيان أنّ “سوريا بلد مهم ومؤثر، ولذلك فإن قوة وتنمية سوريا يعني قوة وتنمية المنطقة عموماً وإيران خصوصاً”.

وأكد أنّ “البلدين يقفان في خندق واحد ويتبادلان الدعم القوي لبعضهما الآخر”.

كما شدد عبد اللهيان، بعد لقائه الأسد، على أنّ بلاده “لديها ثقة كاملة بالمواقف والقرارات السورية، وهي ترى أنّ أيّ حوار جاد بين دمشق وأنقرة هو خطوة إيجابية لمصلحة البلدين والمنطقة”.

وتطرق الحديث أيضاً، خلال اللقاء، إلى المحادثات التي أجراها وزير الخارجية الإيراني مع مختلف الأطراف في مؤتمر “بغداد 2″، والذي انعقد في عمّان أواخر الشهر الماضي، والمناقشات الجارية من أجل استئناف المحادثات المتعلقة بالملف النووي الإيراني.

ونقل الوزير الإيراني إلى الرئيس الأسد تحيات المرشد الإيراني،ـ السيد علي خامنئي، والرئيس الإيراني إبراهيم رئيسي.

وكان أمير عبد اللهيان وصل، مساء الخميس، إلى بيروت، في زيارة رسمية للبنان استمرت ثلاثة أيام، التقى خلالها نظيره عبد الله بو حبيب ورئيس مجلس النواب نبيه بري ورئيس حكومة تصريف الأعمال نجيب ميقاتي، بالإضافة إلى عددٍ من الشخصيات السياسية وممثلي الأحزاب اللبنانية والفلسطينية. 

كذلك التقى الوزير الإيراني الأمين العام لحزب الله، السيد حسن نصر الله، بحيث تم عرض آخر التطورات والأوضاع السياسية في لبنان وفلسطين ‏والمنطقة.

ومن المقرر أن يتوجّه أمير عبد اللهيان بعد زيارته بيروت ودمشق إلى موسكو، الأسبوع المقبل، ليلتقي نظيره الروسي سيرغي لافروف، من أجل استئناف خطة العمل الشاملة المشتركة بشأن الاتفاق النووي الإيراني، والاتفاق على منطقة تجارة حرّة بين إيران وروسيا.

اقرأ أيضاً: أمير عبد اللهيان من بيروت: مستعدون لتزويد لبنان بالفيول وتأهيله بمعامل للكهرباء

فيديوات متعلقة

مقالات متعلقة

Assad demands withdrawal of Turkish forces for continuation of talks

Lavrentiev stressed the importance of these meeting in order to resolve tensions between Damascus and Ankara

January 12 2023

(Photo Credit : SANA)

ByNews Desk- 

On 12 January, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad met with the special envoy of his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin to discuss Moscow’s proposal to establish bilateral talks between Damascus and Ankara; however, Assad remarked that any talks between the two states would require Ankara to end its presence in northern Syria.

The Syrian government indicated that the discussions during the meeting revolved around international and regional issues, with Assad noting that media and political battles are at their height in recent years, adding that these disputes require more stability regarding clarity on political positions, referencing Damascus’s position on Russia’s military operation in Ukraine.

Russia’s envoy, Alexander Lavrentiev, clarified that Moscow appreciates Damascus’s position throughout the Russia-Ukraine conflict, and despite Washington’s efforts in placing pressure on nations on good and neutral terms with Russia, it failed to isolate Moscow and Damascus.

Lavrentiev also reiterated that Moscow is seeking a tripartite meeting between Turkiye, Russia, and Syria, stressing the importance of following up with one another to resolve tensions between the neighboring countries.

Earlier this month, the US Department of State spokesman, Ned Price, expressed grave concern over Turkiye’s recent rapprochement with the Syrian government, adding that the US calls on its allies and international partners to refrain from normalizing ties with Damascus. 

The Turkish Minister of Defense, Hulusi Akar, has previously affirmed Turkiye’s respect for the sovereignty of Syria and announced their presence in the country is limited to fighting Turkish-designated terrorist groups, such as the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).

Turkiye has been launching indiscriminate artillery attacks across northern Syria and Iraq over recent months, targeting positions held by the People Protection Units (YPG) and the PKK.

Despite Moscow’s stress on the importance of mending ties between Damascus and Ankara, Akar revealed last month that discussions are being held with Russia to use the airspace above northern Syria for a potential cross-border operation that targets Kurdish militant groups.

US on alert as UAE seeks to join Turkish-Syrian reconciliation talks

As the UAE tries to join Russia in mediating between Ankara and Damascus, the US is looking to establish a middle ground between Turkiye and the SDF in hopes of preventing normalization with Syria

January 08 2023

(Photo Credit: Emirates News Agency)

ByNews Desk- 

During a speech in Ankara on 5 January, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan hinted that a meeting with his Syrian counterpart Bashar al-Assad may soon take place, “as part of efforts for peace.” He added that a tripartite meeting between the foreign ministers of Turkiye, Russia and Syria is scheduled to be held in the near future for the first time since 2011.

The upcoming meeting aims to enhance communication after Russian-sponsored talks between the Turkish and Syrian defense ministers were held in Moscow on 28 December. The meeting was the highest-level of official meetings between Ankara and Damascus since the start of the Syrian war.

In a phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin on 5 January, Erdogan called on the Syrian government to “take the steps to achieve a tangible solution concerning the case of Syria.”

The US seeks to establish a middle ground between Ankara and the SDF in order to prevent Turkish-Syrian reconciliation

The Syrian-Turkish rapprochement via declared Russian mediation was paralleled by Emirati-Syrian rapprochement – the latest of which was a “brotherly” meeting aimed at strengthening cooperation and restoring historical relations between Assad and Foreign Minister of the UAE Abdallah bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, according to SANA.

Saudi newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat reported that the UAE seeks “to join Russia in sponsoring Syrian-Turkish relations at a high level,” noting that the Emirati foreign minister’s visit to Damascus sought to arrange Turkiye’s participation in the tripartite meeting of Syrian-Turkish-Russian foreign ministers, making it a quadripartite meeting.

The meeting is meant to pave the way for a presidential meeting between Erdogan and Assad in the presence of Putin. Reportedly, the UAE has offered to host this summit, with a possibility of a high-level UAE official being present at the meeting if it will be held in Moscow.

Asharq Al-Awsat added that Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu plans to visit Washington on 16-17 January to brief US officials on the developments of Turkish-Syrian normalization, his meeting with Syrian Foreign Minister Faysal Mikdad, and the “roadmap” sponsored by Moscow in the context of security, military, political and economic fields – as agreed upon by the defense ministers as well as the intelligence chiefs in Syria, Turkiye and Russia over the past weeks.

As Turkiye has been launching successive operations against Kurdish groups both on the Turkish-Syrian border as well as within Syria itself under ‘Operation Claw Sword,’ a Western official informed Asharq Al-Awsat that a high-ranking US official will be visiting Ankara in the coming hours as part of efforts to mediate between Turkiye and the SDF in northeastern Syria.

Ankara has demanded that Moscow and Washington commit to the implementation of the bilateral military agreements signed at the end of 2019. The agreements stipulate the withdrawal of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) and the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) to beyond 30 kilometers from the Turkish border, and from the areas of Manbij and Tal Rifaat, in addition to the withdrawal of all heavy weaponry.

The SDF says that it has fulfilled its obligations, and will not withdraw its police force – known as the Asayish – nor dismantle its local councils, despite Turkiye’s insistence on dissolving all Kurdish military and civil institutions in the area.

Meanwhile, Cavusoglu told media on 29 December that Ankara is willing to withdraw from the territory it occupies in northern Syria and hand it over to Damascus in the event that “political stability” is reached – after cooperation in “neutralizing ISIS members, the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the YPG.”

The Saudi newspaper’s report stated that US mediation seeks to reach a “compromise” between the Kurdish groups and Ankara without a new Turkish incursion taking place ahead of the Turkish presidential and parliamentary elections in mid-2023. This mediation seems to be an attempt at circumventing the imminent Syrian-Turkish reconciliation.

Another official source disclosed that Ankara was “uncomfortable with the leaks following the meeting of the Syrian, Turkish and Russian defense ministers in Moscow, and that it had agreed to a full withdrawal.” However, the source confirmed that, “it is true that Ankara and Damascus consider the PKK a common threat, and will work against any separatist agenda, because it is an existential threat to both countries,” adding that the two countries will “work to open the Aleppo-Latakia Highway.”

Following the UAE’s visit to Damascus, which came after the US called on its allies and international partners to refrain from normalizing ties with Syria, Asharq Al-Awsat quoted an official as saying that the US has been the only western country to issue a statement against normalization, and is working alongside Paris, Berlin, and London to assume a united stance against normalization with Syria.

Communication is currently underway for a meeting between the representatives of Paris, Berlin, London, and Washington and UN Special Envoy for Syria Geir Pederson in Geneva on 23 January. This meeting will take place before Pedersen’s visit to Damascus to meet with the Syrian foreign minister to “confirm the position against normalization, and support the provision of funding for electricity projects within the timeline of early recovery,” stipulated by a resolution for international aid that will be extended before 10 January.

Asharq Al-Awsat said that the UAE has proposed to contribute to the funding of economic and electrical projects in Syria – within the confines of the Caesar Act.

Simultaneously, Jordan, who was the first to open high-level channels of communication with Damascus, is leading efforts alongside other Arab countries to reach a “united Arab position that defines Arab demands in order to make normalization possible.”

The newspaper quoted another western official as saying that Jordan is calling for coordination to put pressure on Damascus to provide political and geopolitical steps for the coming phase in southern Syria, as Amman confirmed that there has been an increase in the smuggling of Captagon, weapons and ammunition across the Syrian border following the start of the normalization process. Additionally, Amman has said that the Iranian presence in southern Syria near the Jordanian border has not diminished, and that there has been an expansion of ISIS activity in the area, according to the official.

Syria’s Arab League membership was suspended in November of 2011 following the start of the Syrian war, and it has been excluded ever since.

Al Qaeda Terrorists Protesting Turkey’s Rapprochement with Syria

JANUARY 7, 2023

 ARABI SOURI

NATO-sponsored Al Qaeda terrorists in Idlib took to the streets in angry protests against the latest rapprochement steps by the Turkish madman Erdogan toward Syria.

Euronews, a strong propaganda state-controlled arm of NATO and its financial arm, the European Union, shared a video clip showing a few dozen of all males protesting somewhere in the Al Qaeda stronghold in the Turkish-occupied and controlled Idlib province.

In the accompanying news, the EU propaganda outlet claimed that similar protests took place in a number of towns in the countryside of Idlib.

The video is also available on Rumble, and BitChute,

The protest shared by the EU propaganda arm Euronews showed protests spewing slogans with improper language reminiscent of the 2011 NATO-promoted protests in most remote villages and towns across Syria calling for NATO bombing of Syria to spread freedoms and democracy. These protests also witnessed the killings of dozens of Syrian policemen and civilians by 5th column instigators planted by foreign powers and funded by the US-led coalition which included Qatar and Saudi Arabia, the most retard political regimes in the whole world.

Without naming him, the al Qaeda fighters shown in the above video clip with their sons were expressing their anger toward their main sponsor, the Turkish madman Erdogan, after the recent steps taken by him to mend the ties with Syria and their fear he would drop his role in the regime change in Damascus which he played the central part in ever since he was assigned that task by George W. Bush years before the NATO-sponsored Arab Spring was initiated.

The Turkish madman Erdogan is in desperate need to speed up his rapprochement with Syrian President Bashar Assad before the upcoming elections in Turkey, all his policies during his very long reign in Turkey have brought draconian measures against freedoms in his own country, the jailing of tens of thousands of public workers and journalists under the pretext of supporting an opposition movement to him and the failed coup of 2016, in addition to the countless debacles in foreign interventions earning him zero friends in contrast to the policy of zero troubles with neighboring countries which he fooled his people with to vote for him.

Any meeting and agreement with President Assad would help Erdogan in his bid to be reelected, again, as it would give the Turkish people the impression of solving the refugee crises in their country, the crisis they blame for their deteriorating economy.

The main losers of such rapprochement with Damascus are the al Qaeda and ISIS terrorists in northern Syria, the Turkish madman Erdogan considers them, like his NATO colleagues, as moderate opposition; Syria and the normal world consider them as terrorists. The other losers of a Turkish rapprochement with Syria are the US-sponsored Kurdish SDF separatist terrorists. Both these terrorist entities share the same goals of creating cantons carving them out of Syria and placing a foothold of NATO and Israel where Syria’s main food basket farmlands and oil fields are.

It’s no surprise that al Qaeda terrorists would express their anger toward any rapprochement between Turkey and Syria, however insincere their main sponsor Erdogan is, they fear they will be abandoned like all cheap cards are in the bigger strategic political game.

Syria’s main condition for any rapprochement with Turkey is exactly that, Turkey must drop its support to Al Qaeda and ISIS terrorists in their numerous groups and return to the Adana Accords of 1998 which only Turkey under Erdogan has breached every article of it.

It’s also no surprise that the NATO propaganda arms would return to promoting those same terrorists who wreaked havoc across Syria and all the countries that were infested with the Arab Spring, and even the countries that sponsored the Arab Spring and had their terrorists return home and carry out terrorist attacks, mainly in western European countries.

There are somewhere between 60,000 and 120,000 terrorists of al Qaeda, ISIS, and their affiliates controlling a Syrian population of around 4 million Syrians across the regions under the Turkish occupation in northern Syria including Idlib province, parts of Aleppo, Raqqa, Deir Ezzor, and Hasakah provinces, a large number of those terrorists are foreign terrorists brought into Syria from across the world all the way from the Chinese Uighur and their families through Central Asia to western Europe, literally wherever the anti-Islamic Muslim Brotherhood and Wahhabism doctrines have influence, the first is the twisted version of Islam followed by the Turkish AKP ruling party with Erdogan as its supreme leader, a number of radical parties empowered across the Arab world, and the latter is the main twisted version of Islam followed by the Saudi and Qatari rulers.


button-PayPal-donate

Syria News is a collaborative effort by two authors only, we end up most of the months paying from our pockets to maintain the site’s presence online, if you like our work and want us to remain online you can help by chipping in a couple of Euros/ Dollars or any other currency so we can meet our site’s costs.You can also donate with Cryptocurrencies through our donate page.
Thank you in advance.

Reconciliation: Turkey Has Not Made Any Serious Offer to Syria

DECEMBER 23, 2022

https://media.thecradle.co/wp-content/uploads/2022/12/Syria-erdogan.jpg

Posted by INTERNATIONALIST 360° 

Erman Çete

While Damascus is open to negotiations with Ankara, it is wary of being used as a Turkish pre-election political ploy.

On 15 December, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced that his government planned to schedule a tripartite mechanism with Russia to work toward Syrian-Turkish rapprochement.

Initially, he suggested the establishment of meetings between intelligence agencies, and defense and foreign ministries, to be followed by a meeting of the respective leaders. “I offered it to Mr Putin and he has a positive view on it,” the Turkish president was cited as saying.

In the past few months, Erdogan has displayed an increasing interest in meeting with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, whom he characterized as a “murderer” only a few short years ago.

Diplomatic developments

Early signs of rapprochement between Ankara and Damascus are already evident in multiple, ongoing meetings between their respective intelligence agencies.

Somer Sultan, a Turkish journalist residing in Syria, told The Cradle that recently the level of talks between intelligence services has been raised.

According to Sultan, one of the outcomes of these talks is the establishment of the 25th Special Mission Forces Division of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) – commonly known as the ‘Tiger Forces’ – on the Turkish-Syrian border in many areas evacuated by the US-backed Kurdish militia, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

It also appears that – at least for now – Russia and the US have blocked a new Turkish ground offensive in Syria against SDF/YPG Kurdish militias, which Erdogan has been threatening to launch for several months.

Meeting of the US, SDF, and PUK

Two days before Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and his US counterpart Antony Blinken met on 22 December, an interesting meeting was held in Syria.

US General Matthew McFarlane, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) leader and the son of Jalal Talabani, Bafel Talabani, and SDF leader Mazloum Abdi participated in this meeting. During his visit to North Syria, Bafel Talabani also met with PYD co-leaders Asya Abdullah and Salih Muslim.

It is important to note that Turkiye has recently threatened the PUK-held Sulaymaniyah in northern Iraq, and accused the PUK of supporting the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), a group viewed as a terrorist organization by both Washington and Ankara.

So far, the US and Russia have managed to deter Turkiye from launching a ground incursion into Syria. However, a new Turkish security concept, “meeting and eliminating threats across borders,” continues in Iraq and Syria whereby PKK targets continue to be identified and eliminated.

Turkish journalist Murat Yetkin quotes a senior Turkish security officer as saying that Ankara has warned the US to stop escorting PKK/YPG elements in Syria. According to this officer, Turkiye has advised the US forces to affix a UN or US flag on their cars to avoid any friendly fire.

What does Turkiye offer?

Relations with Syria, its related refugee conundrum, and generalized economic crisis are among the most heated topics in Turkiye’s domestic politics. Indeed, several Turkish opposition parties have attributed the refugee problem as a direct consequence of Erdogan’s misguided Syrian policy – a popular view in Turkiye today.

Former Turkish Ambassador Ahmet Kamil Erozan, now a deputy of the opposition IYI (Good) Party, revealed to The Cradle that Turkiye has thus far not made any serious offer to the Syrian side.

“What the government says in public is the threat of YPG/PKK,” Erozan said. “But we, IYI Party, think that this is not enough. Idlib is the hotbed of terrorism and AKP (Erdogan’s ruling Justice and Development Party) has not touched upon this topic during the negotiations yet.”

He believes that Erdogan does not have an exit strategy from Syria, and is biding his time on this issue until Turkiye’s next key elections in June 2023.

Erozan says that the IYI Party, as a potential ruling party after the elections, will seek to make direct contact with the Syrian government. “We wrote a letter to our foreign ministry about our intention to visit Syria and waited for a response until December 15. They did not respond and now we will try to contact Bashar al-Assad on our own,” he said.

If the Assad government accepts, Erozan said, then they are open for dialogue with Damascus even before the elections, at any time and in any place.

“When we are in power, we are going to raise the dialogue level in our negotiations,” Erozan claimed. He said that the most important point is to solve the urgent Syrian refugee question, and then the difficult issues about the PKK/YPG and Idlib.

When asked whether his party has a plan to withdraw Turkish troops from Syria, he said this could be negotiable. According to Erozan, the Erdogan government has itself not yet put the withdrawal of the Turkish troops from Syria on the table.

However, it is unclear whether the Syrian government would accept IYI’s offer — Somer Sultan thinks that the party’s offer would not satisfy Damascus “because IYI wants the Syrian government to accept an alliance against the PKK/YPG but for other terrorist organizations they want a ‘common approach.’ This is not acceptable for Syria.”

The view from Syria

A Syrian source with close ties to the government told The Cradle that in a closed meeting Assad assured his audience that he will not meet Erdogan prior to Turkiye’s elections.

However, according to Lebanese daily Al-Akhbar, the Syrian president has also said that the level of dialogue between intelligence agencies will rise in the near future – which has, in fact, recently happened. Assad also said Syrians will continue to keep an eye open regarding the Turkish government’s intentions.

Editor-in-Chief of the Syrian newspaper Al-Watan and a close Assad confidante, Waddah Abdrabbo, wrote an editorial in a similar tone: “No pro bono gift for Erdogan.”

Abdrabbo said that the Syrians are waiting for a concrete step from Ankara. “Syrians want territorial integrity, end terrorism, and lifting sanctions,” he stressed.

Despite Erdogan’s overtures and Assad’s willingness to expand dialogue with Ankara, Syria is cautious about her neighbor’s intentions and does not intend to play a hand in Erdogan’s electoral ambitions.

Rapprochement scenarios

For both Turkiye’s ruling AKP and its opposition, any possible Syrian-Turkish reconciliation process must include a settlement on the Syrian refugee problem. One of the ostensible reasons for all Turkish ground offensives into Syria after 2016 has been the safe repatriation of the Syrian refugees.

However, Erozan is doubtful about Assad’s intentions: “He may not accept all refugees to his country.” When reminded that Syrian refugees in Lebanon had already started to return, he stated that Lebanon is a different case.

IYI’s negotiation plans depend on Damascus’ signals. Last September, the party convened a “Migration Doctrine”conference and announced that through negotiations with the Syrian government and the participation of the EU, refugees will be able to return to Syria. If the plan does not go ahead, then Turkiye would take matters into its own hands and create a safe zone in Syria. It appears, on the surface, to be a carbon copy of Erdogan’s post-2016 policies.

While it is inevitable that high level negotiations will eventually take place between Syria and Turkiye, Damascus’ primary condition will always remain the withdrawal of Turkish troops. If a future Turkish government can view this condition as negotiable, things can rapidly improve on the rapprochement front.

For Syria, reclaiming territory from Turkiye, but also from the US-backed SDF, is of utmost importance. Securing Turkish cooperation against the SDF (and the US) would be a huge achievement for Damascus. However, the Syrian leadership evaluates the US presence in Syria as ephemeral. Therefore, cutting a deal with a powerful neighbor like Turkey is more important than to drive out American forces first.

Second, although the SDF poses a mutual threat for both countries, Syria and Turkiye have starkly different views on Islamist groups. Regaining Idlib, the northern Syrian governorate which remains the last bastion of extremist militants, is not just a question of territorial integrity for Syria – it also illustrates continued Turkish support for armed Islamist militias. Therefore, Ankara severing ties with those takfiri-salafist groups could provide an important basis for high level negotiations.

Whether the AKP or its opposition can provide this outcome is doubtful. Erdogan is not a reliable partner for Damascus for obvious reasons, but the opposition coalition also hosts some dubious figures, such as Erdogan’s former foreign minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, a champion of the catastrophic Syrian war.

For now, both countries choose to maintain their mutual talks at a certain level, and it seems unlikely that the Syrian question will be resolved until after the Turkish elections.

The US Captagon Act: Tightening Syria’s siege under new pretext

December 21 2022

Source

Photo Credit: The Cradle

By Firas Al-Shoufi

Potential new US legislation aimed at curbing Syria’s illicit drug trade is being weaponized to strike at the state and starve its people.

On 15 December, a bill introduced by US lawmakers into the 2023 Department of Defense budget to “Combat the Syrian Regime’s Drug Trade,” passed the Senate, with the support of 83 senators and the opposition of 11.

The Countering Assad’s Proliferation Trafficking And Garnering Of Narcotics Act or the CAPTAGON Act, which passed in the joint congressional committees between the House of Representatives and the Senate, is supposed to become law after US President Joe Biden soon signs the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2023.

The bipartisan bill inaugurates a new phase of US pressure on Syria, and is another pretext to increase the siege on the Syrian people, who suffer from extremely difficult economic conditions similar to those they suffered during the famine that the region witnessed during the First World War.

Severe US-imposed sanctions under the “Caesar Act” have contributed to the tragedy of the Syrians, at a time when the country is in the midst of an economic crisis, with the US occupation and the Kurdish Autonomous Administration controlling vast areas of lands rich in oil, gas, and agricultural crops in the east of the country, in addition to the Turkish occupation of other regions.

Further sanctions

Nevertheless, Washington is preparing to impose more sanctions, this time under the pretext of combating narcotics networks manufacturing and smuggling Captagon from Syria across West Asia and perhaps to the US.

Republican Representative French Hill, who first introduced the bill last year, considers the matter a threat to international security and has branded Syria as a “narco-state.” However an anonymous Syrian government source, who spoke to The Cradle believes otherwise:

“The CAPTAGON Act is an American way to impose additional sanctions on the Syrian government and to penetrate more into neighboring countries. The Americans make up many excuses, but the goal is one: to starve Syrian people and bring down the state. This looks like a revenge operation and a way to dominate Syria.”

“They know that when the state weakens, terrorist and criminal groups advance, but instead of helping the Syrian state, they increase its siege,” he added.

The CAPTAGON Act considers “the Captagon trade linked to the (Syrian President) Bashar al-Assad regime a transnational security threat, requiring a strategy by the United States Government to disrupt and dismantle the Captagon trade and narcotics networks of Bashar al-Assad in Syria.”

Disrupting the drugs trade network

The bill demands presenting the required strategy to Congress for review within a period not exceeding 180 days of its approval, provided that the method includes providing support to partner countries of the region that receive large quantities of smuggled Captagon, such as Saudi Arabia.

The lawmakers urge the Biden administration to employ the sanctions effectively, including the Caesar Act, to target drug networks said to be affiliated with the state.

The strategy includes a public communication campaign to increase awareness of the extent of the connection of Damascus to the illicit narcotics trade, a description of the countries receiving or transiting large shipments of Captagon, and an assessment of the counter-narcotics capacity of such countries to interdict or disrupt the smuggling of the highly-addictive amphetamine.

Lawmakers have also called for the strategy to include a plan for leveraging multilateral institutions and cooperation with international partners to disrupt the narcotics infrastructure in the country.

War by other means

Practically, “this strategy constitutes an integrated plan, security, political and economic, to penetrate more into the vicinity of Syria and encircle it and prevent access to raw materials,” according to Syrian researcher Bassam Abdullah:

“The terminologies contained in the law are broad, and lead to American-style solutions: providing security and diplomatic support and cooperation to countries to spy on Syria, targeting individuals and entities with sanctions, exerting economic pressure on Damascus in cooperation with international partners, and launching media campaigns against the Syrian government.”

Abdullah believes that “the aim of this law is to demonize Syria, not to solve the Captagon crisis in which the Americans claim Syria’s involvement, and it is a continuation of the war in other forms.”

The aforementioned Syrian government source pointed out that Washington, “Under the pretext of suspected drug transportation, may use such a strategy to stop shipments of food, oil and raw materials, and to cause more damage to the import and export chains, which are suffering from a significant decline.”

Indeed, other Arab security sources, who have asked to remain anonymous, have revealed to The Cradle that the information circulating between agencies cooperating with the US Drug Enforcement Administration indicates that “the raw materials used in the Captagon industry come from China and India, and it is involved in many other industries.”

The issue isn’t Syria’s alone

One Syrian security source informed The Cradle that: “Syria has historically been a transit country. But terrorist and criminal gangs took advantage of the conditions of war for industrialization, promotion, and smuggling. Some of these gangs receive western support and are active in areas under American control.”

He confirms that the government, which is regaining its strength, “is working to strike these gangs, and the Syrian apparatus is making every effort to combat drugs. What we need is help, not more blockades.”

For Abdullah, “Damascus has reactivated its membership in Interpol. If the Americans or others have information, Syria is ready to cooperate. Americans always want to play the role of the world’s policeman who decides and punishes. This is how the unilateral mind thinks.”

He asks: “Does anyone really believe that America wants to combat drugs and not tighten the blockade?”

“Afghanistan is the best model. During the twenty years of the American occupation, what witnessed an increase: wheat cultivation or the cultivation and manufacture of narcotic plants?”

Cooperation, not conflict with Damascus

In March 2021, the Syrian delegate to the UN and other international organizations in Vienna, Hassan Khaddour, declared before the UN Drugs Committee that the illicit narcotics problem in Syria had worsened due to the control of terrorist organizations supported by several countries over some border areas.

He pointed out that this created a suitable environment for the smuggling and trade of drugs, and provided huge financial revenues for financing terrorist groups. The Syrian ambassador asked for international cooperation with Syria, a permanent exchange of information, and providing the Syrian government with technical capabilities, laboratory equipment, and detection devices at the border crossings.

Although the implementation strategy of the latest hostile US legislation against Syria is not yet clear – and whether they include military strikes or security sabotage under the pretext of combating drugs – sources close to the Americans in Beirut say that there are intentions to launch unidentified attacks against drug production sites in Syria.

However, the Syrian security source comments by saying, “This is pure fabrication, because the hostile strikes target the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and its sites. The Americans always fabricate lies to justify their aggression, as the Israelis do.”

Carthage Must Be Destroyed!

December 16, 2022

Source

By David Sant

During its rise to world domination, the City of Rome had one major competitor, which was its equal in every way. That city was Carthage, located 370 miles away, on the South side of the Mediterranean Sea.

Carthage had been planting colonies around the Mediterranean and Atlantic for over a century before Rome was even founded. As Rome rose to power, these two Mediterranean cities fought two wars for control over the Island of Sicily, called the Punic Wars. Despite an admirable performance by Hannibal who managed to invade Italy twice and inflicted a terrible defeat on the Romans at Cannae, Carthage still ended up losing both wars.

At the close of the second Punic War in 201 BC, Carthage was conquered by Rome and placed under a special administrative status that disallowed it from fielding a navy or overseas military without permission from the Roman Senate.

Carthage was one of only three powers that ever managed to directly threaten Rome during the days of the Republic, the others being the Gauls who sacked Rome in 390 BC, and the Macedonian Greeks, who were defeated in 197 BC.

The Roman attitude and behavior toward Carthage then was very similar to the Anglo-American attitude toward Russia, today. The main “sin” of Carthage in the eyes of the Romans was that it was equal in power and influence to Rome. And for that sin, it had to be destroyed.

Cato the Elder was a Roman soldier, who later became a Senator and famous orator who gave many speeches in the Senate even after his retirement. Over a period of forty years, he routinely ended his speeches on any subject with the statement, “And furthermore, I consider that Carthage must be destroyed!”

Cato repeatedly made this demand, despite the fact that Carthage was now a Roman client state bound by a peace treaty.

For fifty years after losing the Second Punic War, Carthage submitted to the terms of the treaty. However, after the death of Cato the Elder in 149 BC, a certain faction in Rome deliberately allowed the King of Numidia to pillage and conquer Carthagenian territories, in violation of the treaty.

This placed Carthage in a position where they had to defend themselves from predations by a neighboring Roman client state. Their appeals to the Roman Senate were ignored. So, they took action to defend their interests against Numidia without permission.

When they did so, the Roman Senate immediately interpreted this as a violation of the 201 BC peace treaty, and authorized the invasion and destruction of Carthage. This was not unlike the “rules based international order” of Washington, DC, where we make the rules (for you) but we don’t have to follow them ourselves.

Despite having surrendered their weapons at the outset of the Roman campaign, the walls of Carthage were so well made that it took the Romans nearly three years of siege to break through.

Finally in 146 BC, Carthage fell for the last time to the Roman Army, and was deliberately razed to the ground and burned. The Romans slew all of its population, men, women, and children, except for 50,000 who were taken back to Italy as slaves. According to Polybius, the wife of the last general of Carthage threw herself and her own children into the burning temple of the city rather than surrender to Rome.

Moscow as the New Carthage

The dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991 was not the result of losing a war. It was caused by the failed policies of a centralized economy, exacerbated by American manipulation of the oil markets, and a costly American-backed guerilla war in Afghanistan. The United States moved in with “shock therapy” economic advisors and took the opportunity to restructure a confused and gullible Russia, including writing a new constitution.

For Russia the collapse of the Soviet Union had many similarities to the loss of Carthage in the Second Punic War.

Despite making peace with their former adversary, and honoring their treaties, Russia found that she could never be accepted as a friend on equal terms by the Western world order. And this was for the very same reason that Carthage could never be tolerated by Rome. Russia was and is in every way an equal to the Anglo-American Empire.

Ever since Vladimir Putin became President of Russia, the chorus of the West has become louder and louder that Putin must go. While they cannot say it aloud yet, what they really mean is “Russia must be destroyed!”

If Russia had continued the policy of submission to Western control that was begun by Boris Yeltsin, we can be assured that Moscow would have eventually met the same fate as Carthage from the Anglo-American Empire.

However, the appointment of Vladimir Putin as President of Russia derailed their plans. Under his rule Russia has steadily reasserted her former leadership and strength against the machinations of the Anglo-American Empire.

False Flag Attacks as a Means to an End

While at first Mr. Putin made a genuine effort to be a “partner” with the West, by the year 2011 it was clear that the West would never accept Russia as a friend or an equal. The West had enjoyed two decades of bossing everyone else around and had learned to enjoy giving orders rather than negotiating. One might say that the West forgot the art of diplomacy.

After watching in horror the NATO-led destructions of Serbia, Libya, and Syria, the Kremlin began asserting itself with foreign policy problems that directly affected Russian security interests starting in 2013.

The Obama Administration was very busy from 2011 to 2013 planning the overthrow of the Assad Regime in Syria. Two major hacks of intelligence related companies shed some unexpected light on what was going on behind the scenes. These were the Stratfor hack in 2011, and the hack of a British private security company (ie. mercenaries), that shall not be named, in January of 2013.

I must note that the private security company (PSC for short) admitted that they were hacked, but claimed that two of the most damning emails released within the gigabytes of leaked files were “fabricated.”

The “fabricated” email as reported by the Oriental Review, purportedly from the business development officer to the company founder reads as follows:

Phil

We’ve got a new offer. It’s about Syria again. Qataris propose an attractive deal and swear that the idea is approved by Washington.

We’ll have to deliver a CW to Homs, a Soviet origin g-shell from Libya similar to those that Assad should have. They want us to deploy our Ukrainian personnel that should speak Russian and make a video record.

Frankly, I don’t think it’s a good idea but the sums proposed are enormous. Your opinion?

Kind regards

David

The original story and its context can be found at The Oriental Review: https://orientalreview.org/2013/01/31/britamgate-staging-false-flag-attacks-in-syria/

Despite the file dump including personnel files containing copies of 58 real Ukrainian passports of employees of said PSC, the “fact checkers” at the time examined the email headers and noted that the email in question had a very similar time stamp, of three minutes before midnight, to another email in the release that was sent on a different date, also at three minutes before midnight. While this could be explained by a mail server or laptop setting which sent mail every day at the same time, it was accepted as proof of skullduggery and the entire affair was quickly dismissed and mostly forgotten.

Said PSC then sued The Daily Mail for libel for reporting the “obviously fake” email above as authentic, and was awarded damages and a partial retraction in January of 2022.

The supposedly fabricated email above happened to fall between several other breaches which revealed US and British intelligence were planning to release a video showing Russian-speaking soldiers as the operators of Syria’s chemical weapons depots.

I consider the aforementioned “hoax” to be one of the most amazing coincidences of the past two decades.

The PSC hack was shortly followed by claims of the Khan al-Assal chemical attack near Aleppo only three months later, and another at Ghouta five months after that, both of which were blamed by the West on the Assad Regime in the ramp up for an American invasion of Syria.

It is simply amazing that some unknown hacker managed to fabricate an email discussing the details of an event that hadn’t even happened yet. But the truth is often stranger than fiction.

Of course I know that the PSC referred to above couldn’t have had anything to do with either of the real chemical attacks which followed, because after their demonstrated incompetence of allowing all of their operations in the Middle East to be breached and published on the Internet, I seriously doubt they would be trusted to handle such an offer, had it been real.

The “fabricated” email shows us a picture of what was certainly going on in Syria as US and British intelligence farmed out projects to mercenary groups like Blackwater and other “private security companies.”

However, the invasion party was halted in its tracks in September of 2013, when Mr. Putin completely neutralized the Anglo-American casus belli against Syria by offering to help Syria destroy their chemical weapons stockpiles.

This was successfully completed and verified by the OPCW as being completed in late June of 2014. Thus Syria’s chemical stockpiles were completely removed before the American false flag plan could be convincingly executed. In poker this is known as calling the bluff.

Anyone who actually believed the Western propaganda about chemical weapons might have expected that President Vladimir Putin would be given some kind of international award for bringing Syria into the Chemical Weapons Convention and averting yet another major war in the Middle East.

However, rather than being pleased at the destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons, the Atlanticists were furious. This was the first major chess move by Mr. Putin that completely derailed the plans of the Atlanticists on the world stage. They shifted gears to the Euromaidan Revolution in Ukraine, beginning in November 2013.

However, the chemical weapons saga in Syria was only getting started. The Assad Regime continued to be accused of chemical weapons attacks in 2015, 2016, 2017, and even up until 2022. Syria has suffered from multiple attempted chemical weapons attacks since 2012, culminating in a major one in Idlib on April 4, 2017. The Idlib attack was used by President Trump to justify a cruise missile strike on Syria, two days later, before any facts could be ascertained about the event. Since 2017, Russia has warned repeatedly that the White Helmets group were planning false flag chemical attacks to be blamed on the Assad Regime. This activity has continued all the way up to the present year.

The most important lesson to be learned from the chemical weapons saga in Syria is that the Atlanticist intelligence agencies have such complete control over global mainstream media outlets that they do not fear exposure of their false flag attack plans. And furthermore, if you want to anticipate their plans, all you have to do is listen to what they say.

On August 20, 2012, a few months before any of the false flag chemical attacks in Syria, President Obama made the following comments:

We have been very clear to the Assad regime, but also to other players on the ground, that a red line for us is we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilized. That would change my calculus. That would change my equation.

Obama started warning Syria that using or even moving chemical weapons was a red line, shortly before the American false flag attempts began.

Thus, we can see that the US regime will telegraph their plans by first naming a casus belli, and then secretly working to create the false appearance of violation of the casus belli by the intended victim.

Even when the plans are exposed in advance, they will still be carried out. The MSM will pretend that there was no prior warning, and fact checkers will claim the prior warning was part of the deception by the country that was in reality falsely accused.

Russia Must Be Destroyed!

This brings us to the likely culmination of the Western war against Russia. In Septemer of 2022, Biden officials suddenly started clucking about how Russia must not use tactical nuclear weapons in Ukraine. This refrain was repeated to the media multiple times by officials including the PresidentSecretary of State, and National Security Advisor, as well as several retired military officers.

Anyone with an ounce of sense can see that using nuclear weapons in Ukraine would go against every interest Russia has there, as well as breaking all the rules of Russian nuclear doctrine. The majority of Russian citizens have relatives in Ukraine, which would make such an action political suicide. Russia has never threatened to use such weapons in Ukraine. So, why would the USA give such warnings?

The ridiculous American warnings against nuclear weapons in Ukraine show the wise observer exactly what the US State Department is planning to do. They obviously intend to deploy a nuclear weapon or dirty bomb through their proxies in order to blame Russia for it.

We have already seen this beginning to play out. The Kremlin warned several major countries in October of 2022 that Ukraine was planning to detonate a dirty bomb to be blamed on Russia. US Defense Secretary Austin immediately spun the story to say Russia is fabricating that accusation to justify their own intent to use nuclear weapons in Ukraine. Then the topic seemed to die down for a spell.

It is unfortunately naive to think Mr. Shoigu’s warnings averted anything. In the past, exposing the planned chemical false flag did not prevent its eventual execution. We know from the Russian MOD that a radiological or nuclear false flag event has definitely been planned for Ukraine.

Since Russia announced this, it is possible that the Atlanticists may have upgraded the plot to use an actual tactical nuclear weapon, because Ukraine supposedly doesn’t have those, and it would be harder for Russia to deny. It will probably be saved for a moment where it looks like Russia is about to win a major victory in Ukraine.

In the larger context, Britain’s MI6 has run a series of false flag poisonings blamed on Russia, starting with Litvinenko in 2006, followed by the Skripal poisoning, and most recently the Nalvany poisoning. The purpose of these theatrical false flag campaigns has always been to reduce Russia’s influence in the international community, and attempt to isolate Russia as a “rogue regime.”

And going back to the “fabricated” email of the PSC quoted above, we see that the requirement to get video of Russian-speakers deploying a chemical weapon against innocent Syrian civilians fit right in with the British narrative that, “Russia poisons people, because Russia is a venomous serpent!”

The downing of MH-17 would also count as the same class of false flag incident, but with a somewhat more tactical purpose of trying to create enough international hysteria to turn the victory of the Donbass militia into a major defeat for Russia internationally through sanctions.

The downing of MH-17 succeeded in energizing Europe to apply the first round of sanctions against Russia. And even more so, it generated enough hysteria that Russia no longer is given the chance to defend her actions, to cross examine witnesses, or bring her own witnesses with regard to accusations against her. Russia and her citizens are now routinely accused of atrocities by the West and summarily punished by confiscation of property with no recourse in the international bodies that were created to adjudicate such disputes.

As the Ukraine War has stopped trending on Twitter, freezing Europeans are ready to take up pitchforks against their masters, and Russia’s presumed Winter offensive seems very likely to inflict some major losses on Ukraine and the NATO backers, the Atlanticist spin masters badly need a bigger shock to jolt the UN and EU into doing their bidding.

As in the case of MH-17, the Satanists running the Empire of Lies need a large sacrifice of human lives to generate enough shock and outrage to achieve their next big foreign policy coup.

The reader should recognize the same playbook as the warnings for Syria not to use chemical weapons in 2012, followed by years of false flag attempts.

After hearing the US warnings against Russia using a nuclear weapon in Ukraine, we should not have been surprised to learn from the Russian MOD that the Zelensky regime was planning to deploy a dirty bomb to be blamed on Russia as a tactical nuclear weapon. The American forewarnings, followed by exposure of such a plot, express the same pattern seen in Syria playing out again.

I expect that some version of this nuclear plot will eventually be carried out with the backing of Atlanticist intelligence agencies.

To What End?

Russia’s position as a permanent member of the UN Security Council with veto power has been a thorn in the paw of the Atlanticist beast since the Cold War.

Russia’s willingness to use her military to defend allies in Syria, Ukraine, and Armenia presents an uncontrollable risk factor for Anglo-American hegemony. They cannot tolerate it.

Russia has used her veto on the Security Council multiple times to block American warmongering. If Russia cannot be destroyed literally, then at minimum, they must destroy Russia’s reputation to the point of revoking their seat on the Security Council.

If the Atlanticists cannot risk directly attacking Moscow itself, then they can achieve the next best thing by creating a provocation to justify kicking Russia off the United Nations Security Council.

The Atlanticist Axis is desperate to remove Russian leadership and influence on the rest of the world, because Russia keeps blocking their imperial plans, whether in Syria, Ukraine, Asia, Latin America, or Africa.

The purpose of such an overt false flag attack as a nuclear detonation, real or fake, would be to generate sufficient international horror and emotion to remove Russia from the UN Security Council, or expel her from the UN entirely. They will require a 9-11 level event to achieve that.

Rest assured that when the bomb is finally detonated, the paperwork to expel Russia will be presented to the UN General Assembly before the ashes have hit the ground.

It doesn’t make sense to view such an event as an attempt to stave off Russian advances in the Ukraine. A nuclear bomb might be tactical but its purpose is strategic – to excommunicate Russia from the UN and all other international bodies of which it is a member.

The long term campaign by the USA and UK intelligence services to frame Russia for provocations using weapons of mass destruction follows the dark parallel of Rome’s treatment of Carthage.

Cato and his faction demanded the destruction of Carthage, not because Carthage was involved in any current plots against Rome, but because Carthage was a near equal to Rome in wealth, in culture, and in potential military power. Carthage was a potential adversary that could block Rome’s path to Empire.

Cato made these speeches for decades prior to his death, and ended every one of them with the demand that Carthage must be destroyed. At first it was probably considered a joke. But eventually through repetition he succeeded in priming the minds of the Roman Senate to carry out his desire.

Rome could brook no competition, and therefore did not recognize Carthage as an equal. The existence of Carthage, to the Roman mind, required its destruction. And this is exactly how the think tanks in DC and London view Russia today. “Russia must be destroyed!”

Just as Rome used the peace treaty with Carthage to prevent Carthage from defending herself, while encouraging Numidia to go to war against Carthage, both Angela Merkel and Petro Poroshenko have now admitted that the Minsk Agreements were only used to buy time for Kiev to prepare for war against Russia.

Cato the Elder died at the old age of 85 years in 149 BC. Within a year of his death, the Roman Senate used their client kingdom, Numidia, to create the false pretext to go to war against Carthage. After an extended siege they burned the city to the ground and ensured that it was not rebuilt for generations.

The deliberate destruction of Carthage by Rome was completely irrational. They destroyed what would have been billions of 2020 Dollars worth of property. They destroyed a civilization that wasn’t even at war with them. The Roman Empire became poorer by the destruction of Carthage, not richer. The irrational destruction of Carthage was entirely driven by hatred and jealousy, both of which are irrational.

If Russia ever capitulates to the Atlanticist Axis she will meet the same fate. “Russia must be destroyed,” is the mantra that has been woven through all of the actions, plots, and strategies of the Atlanticists ever since Putin became President of Russia. We should have no doubt that Washington is willing to use nuclear weapons to achieve that objective, whether outright or by farce.

In the nearterm, we should expect the farce – a false flag nuclear attack on Ukraine. If Russia achieves a major breakthrough in Ukraine in the coming year, the nuclear false flag will probably be triggered, followed by hysterical condemnation and demands that Russia be immediately expelled from the United Nations.

The question to which I have no answer is, how can Russia defeat such a strategy?

The End of Mutually Assured Destruction

The doctrine of Mutually Assured Destruction is based on the assumption that two rational actors who understand that a certain action will destroy them both will avoid that action at all costs. This was the lynchpin of foreign policy during the Cold War.

The problem is that most humans are only rational some of the time. And some small percentage of us may reach a state of complete irrationality most of the time.

Furthermore, humans have a strange tendency on rare occasions to go mad together in crowds, not unlike lemmings who follow each other over the cliff into the sea. Nazi Germany in the 1930s comes to mind.

While Russia has recently been trying to protect herself from the acidic influence of Western imposed sodomy, the West has fully embraced it. And that, not merely as one of many valid options, but as a totalitarian state religion that children must be indoctrinated into. This is what Mr. Putin meant when he said that the West has become Satanic.

Sodomy is not merely an individual choice. It is a suicidal choice both for the individual and for human society. Consistent sodomites have no offspring, so they must recruit the offspring of normal people in order to grow in numbers. But in the end, a civilization that embraces sodomy as the preferred lifestyle will completely collapse morally, economically, and numerically.

The West has come under the spell of a death cult, currently led by the World Economic Forum. Their irrational desire to deindustrialize and depopulate the world in the name of environmentalism and technocracy can only be described as insanity. Ultimately both sodomy and Malthusian environmentalism are rejections of our Creator, and the mandate to be fruitful, multiply, and exercise dominion over the Earth and its living creatures. It is a rejection of the mission of transforming the Earth from wilderness and wasteland into a garden.

But he who sins against me wrongs his own soul; All those who hate me love death. (Proverbs 8:36)

Such leaders cannot be counted on to act rationally under the MAD regime, because they may view a nuclear war as a shortcut to achieve their goals of deindustrialization and depopulation. Of course, they have their bunkers in Switzerland and irrationally believe they will survive the conflagration to become the new elite of a greener world controlled by technocrats.

The Heaven’s Gate cult members also believed that by committing mass suicide they would ascend into a higher and better state. As far as anyone knows, they were completely wrong. But that did not stop them from carrying out mass suicide.

Jesus said that you don’t pour new wine into an old wineskin. The reason is that the leather of a wineskin stretches under the pressure of fermentation. An old wineskin has lost its elasticity, and cannot contain the power of a second batch of fermenting wine. It will burst.

It appears to me that Mutual Assured Destruction is an old wineskin of the twentieth century that may not be able to contain the fermenting minds of the annihilationist “young leaders” whose hearts were trained by the World Economic Forum.

In the past year we have already seen the West demonstrate it has reached a state of chronic criminal insanity.

First, they blew up the Nord Stream Pipeline which will cause the deindustrialisation of Western Europe.

That is criminally insane!

Then, Ukraine, under western supervision and using western weapons, has spent the past six months shelling the Zaporizhia Nuclear Power Station in an effort to cause a nuclear accident.

That is criminally insane!

Now, the Russian MOD already has said they have evidence that the NATO-backed Ukrainians are planning a false flag radiological or nuclear weapon detonation on their own soil!!!

That is criminally suicidally insane!

We have reached a point in world history where the West appears to be planning a nuclear false flag attack in Ukraine to be blamed on Russia in order to justify the next big change, whatever that is. And Russia stands in their way. The leaders of the West have gone certifiably mad. And this means that MAD is no longer a shield against nuclear war.

Any remaining sane powers in this world need to immediately take that into account, and start preparing and planning to survive and win a nuclear war against a diabolically insane and suicidal adversary who may not see a total nuclear war as a bad thing.

If Carthage waits for Rome to make their next move, trusting in the good faith of the parties to make rational decisions under international law, then it is quite likely that once more, Carthage shall be destroyed.

Kyrie eleison on us all!

US paralyzed by Islamic Republic of Iran’s strategic swing

Monday, 28 November 2022 6:18 PM  [ Last Update: Monday, 28 November 2022 6:21 PM ]

By Pepe Escobar

Iran’s parliament has just approved the accession of the Islamic Republic to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), previously enshrined at the Samarkand summit last September, marking the culmination of a process that lasted no less than 15 years.  

Iran has already applied to become a member of the expanding BRICS+, which before 2025 will be inevitably configured as the alternative Global South G20 that really matters. 

Iran is already part of the Quad that really matters – alongside BRICS members Russia, China and India. Iran is deepening its strategic partnership with both China and Russia and increasing bilateral cooperation with India. 

Iran is a key Chinese partner in the New Silk Roads, or Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). It is set to clinch a free trade agreement with the Eurasia Economic Union (EAEU) and is a key node of the International North-South Transportation Corridor (INSTC), alongside Russia and India.     

All of the above configures the lightning-fast emergence of the Islamic Republic of Iran as a West Asia and Eurasia big power, with vast reach across the Global South. 

That has left the whole set of imperial “policies” towards Tehran lying in the dust.

So it’s no wonder that previously accumulated strands of Iranophobia – fed by the Empire over four decades — have recently metastasized into yet another color revolution offensive, fully supported and disseminated by Anglo-American media.

The playbook is always the same. Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei actually came up with a concise definition. The problem is not bands of oblivious rioters and/or mercenaries:  “the main confrontation”, he said, is with “global hegemony.”

Ayatollah Khamenei was somewhat echoed by American intellectual and author Noam Chomsky, who has remarked how an array of US sanctions over four decades have severely harmed the Iranian economy and “caused enormous suffering.”

Using Kurds as expendable assets

The latest color revolution overdrive overlaps with the manipulation of Kurds in both Syria and Iraq. From the imperial perspective, the proxy war in Syria, which is far from over, not only works as an additional front in the fight against Russia but also allows the instrumentalization of highly dependent Kurds against both Iran and Turkey.   

Iran is currently being attacked according to a perverse variation of the scheme applied to Syria in 2011. A sort of “permanent protest” situation has been imposed across vast swathes of northwestern Iran.

What changed in mid-November is that armed gangs started to apply terrorist tactics in several towns close to the Iraqi border, and were even believed to be weaponized enough to take control of some of the towns.  

Tehran inevitably had to send IRGC troops to contain the situation and beef up border security. They engaged in operations similar to what has been done before in Dara’a, in the Syrian southwest.

This military intervention was effective. But in a few latitudes, terror gangs continue to attack government infrastructure and even civilian property. The key fact is that Tehran prefers not to repress these unruly demonstrations using deadly force.

The really critical issue is not the protests per se: it’s the transfer of weapons by the Kurds from Iraq to Iran to bolster the color revolution scenario.

Tehran has issued a de facto ultimatum to Baghdad: get your act together with the Kurds, and make them understand the red lines.    

As it stands, Iran is massively employing Fateh ballistic missiles and Shahed-131 and Shahed-136 kamikaze drones against selected Kurdish terrorist bases in northern Iraq.

It’s debatable whether that will be enough to control the situation. What is clear is that the “Kurdish card”, if not tamed, could be easily played by the usual suspects in other Iranian provinces, considering the solid financial, military and informational support offered by Iraqi Kurds to Iranian Kurds.   

Turkey is facing a relatively similar problem with the Syrian Kurds instrumentalized by the US.

In northern Syria, they are mostly armed gangs posing as “Kurds”. So it’s quite possible that these Kurdish armed gangs, essentially played by Washington as useful idiots, may end up being decimated, simultaneously, in the short to medium term, by both Ankara and Tehran.

If all fails, pray for regime change

A geopolitical game-changer which was unthinkable until recently may soon be on the cards: a high-level meeting between Turkish President Recep Erdogan and his Syrian counterpart Bashar al-Assad (remember the decade-long refrain “Assad must go”?) in Russia, with mediation by none other than Russian president Vladimir Putin.

What would it take for Kurds to understand no state – be it Iran, Syria or Turkey – will offer them land for their own nation? Parameters could eventually change in case Iraqis in Baghdad finally manage to expel the US.

Before we get there, the fact is Iran has already turned West Asian geopolitics upside down – via its smart cruise missiles, extremely effective kamikaze drones, electronic warfare and even state-of-the-art hypersonic missiles.

Empire “planners” never saw this coming: a Russia-Iran strategic partnership that not only makes total sense geo-economically, but is also a military force multiplier.

Moreover, that is inscribed in the looming Big Picture on which the expanded BRICS+ is focusing: Eurasia (and beyond) integration via multimodal economic corridors such as the INTSC, pipelines and high-speed rail.   

The Empire’s Plan A, on Iran, was a mere nuclear deal (JCPOA), devised by the Barack Obama administration as nothing but a crude containment scheme.

Trump actually blew it all up – and there’s nothing left: a JCPOA revival, which has been – in theory – attempted for months in Vienna, was always a non-starter because the Americans themselves don’t know anymore what they want from it. 

So what’s left as Plan B for the Straussian neocon/neoliberal psychos in charge of US foreign policy is to hurl all manner of fall guys – from Kurds to the toxic MEK – into the Iran cauldron and, amplified 24/7 by hysterical mainstream media, pray for regime change.

Well, that’s not going to happen. Tehran just needs to wait, exercise restraint, and observe how so much color revolution virtue signaling will eventually fizzle out.

Pepe Escobar is an independent geopolitical analyst and author, focused on Eurasia integration. His latest book is Raging Twenties.

(The views expressed in this article are author’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of Press TV.)


Press TV’s website can also be accessed at the following alternate addresses:

www.presstv.ir

www.presstv.co.uk

Related Videos

Arresting Mossad agents, dismantling terrorist networks, confiscating ammunition and weapons, these are some of what Iranian intelligence has revealed since the outbreak of the riots in the country.
The Israeli eye… a scheme to strike stability in Iran, the interactions of the Jerusalem process, and the fall of normalization in the streets of Qatar


LATEST NEWS

Why is Russia Set to Tolerate Türkey’s Attempt to Launch a ‘Small, Victorious War’ in Syria?

Posted by INTERNATIONALIST 360°

David Narmania

As Erdogan reportedly plans his own “special military operation,” Moscow has good reasons to value a stable partnership with Ankara

Earlier this week, Reuters quoted senior officials in Ankara as saying that the Turkish army had completed preparations for a ground incursion in Syria.

“It won’t take long for the operation to begin,” one of the agency’s sources was quoted as saying in the article. “It depends only on the president giving the word.”

Strictly speaking, news of Türkiye’s potential offensive is a bit delayed. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced plans for it back in May, when it was supposed to start any day, but never did. The main goal Ankara has declared is to fight against Kurdish self-defense units, which, according to the Turkish side, are a very serious security threat.

However, in six months of waiting for strikes against the Syrian Kurds, Türkiye has managed to conduct a ground operation against the Iraqi Kurds and even almost started a war with Greece and Cyprus (the probability of this is certainly low, but in 2022 such scenarios are not impossible.)

The Turks even managed to carry out an air operation against the Kurds in Syria – the reason for this was a terrorist attack in Istanbul, which Türkiye blamed on the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (KWP). After the tragedy, Turkish authorities looked a bit like a shipwreck in a storm: they indirectly blamed not only the KWP for what had happened. Damascus and – remarkably – Washington were also dragged in into the frame.

The allegation was that the mastermind of the attack, Syrian citizen Ahlam al-Bashir was, according to Turkish security forces, trained by American instructors in territory controlled by the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

In fact, that is why a joint base of the Western coalition and the SDF, where there was also US military personnel, was among the 89 targets of the strikes. Interestingly, the White House was not particularly outraged.

The forthcoming “ground operation” in northern Syria will be nothing new for Turkish troops – Ankara conducts them regularly, declaring the successful completion of its goals each time, but for some reason, it has failed to completely eliminate the “Kurdish threat.”

Nevertheless, there are many reasons for postponing such an event.

First and foremost, Erdogan wants to avoid clashing with Russian interests: Moscow is a reliable partner to President Bashar Assad, and its support has been pretty much the key factor that has allowed the Syrian leader to remain in power.

The Turkish president’s statements in this regard are very revealing: last Sunday he said that he did not rule out the restoration and normalization of relations with Damascus in the future.

There is no room for hard feelings in politics,” Erdogan explained.

Formally, of course, any operation would be a violation of Syrian sovereignty but, Assad’s forces have little control over the territories in question. At the same time, however, Russian officials have also warned their Turkish counterparts that such a move would hardly contribute to stability in the region.

These arguments are unlikely to calm the fervor of the Sultan – the fact is that the military campaign in this case is a prologue to his re-election campaign. Next year Türkiye will choose its next president, and there is no success to boast of in the domestic arena, where a prolonged economic crisis accompanied by record inflation creates fertile ground for the opposition. Erdogan is therefore forced to compensate for the lack of bread by looking to capitalize on pride in his country.

But even here he tries to be careful, only gently tugging at America’s beard. Take, for example, the epic tale of Sweden and Finland’s bid to join NATO.

Here it is important to note the context: Stockholm recently gained a new government, and Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson commenting in parliament on the bombing of Kurdish formations in Syria, stated that “Türkiye has the right to self-defense.” He also touched upon another important issue, which Ankara considers crucial for accepting new members into the US-led military bloc: Kristersson stressed that Sweden should not be a safe haven for terrorist organizations. Apparently, he was referring to KWP supporters, whose extradition is demanded by Ankara. His predecessor, Magdalena Andersson, was far less accommodating on this issue.

Of course, time is on Erdogan’s side here, which explains the message to Scandinavian politicians from his Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, who said that Sweden and Finland still have hurdles to jump before joining NATO.

The Turkish president is very good at bargaining, and even when conducting actions that run counter to the interests of his partners – both the US and Russia – he skillfully uses attractive concessions to smooth things over.

The main thing in this situation is to understand that Moscow and Ankara are not allies, but partners and neighbors with many overlapping interests that need to be considered. Something which is part of the multipolar world that both countries hope to help build.

And of course, an independent, and at least relatively stable Türkiye is a far better option for Russia than one obedient to Washington.

Operation Claw-Sword: Erdogan’s big new game in Syria

November 27, 2022

by Pepe Escobar, posted with the author’s permission and widely cross-posted

Wily Sultan is caught between his electorate, which favors a Syria invasion, and his extremely nuanced relations with Russia

There’s another Special Military Operation on the market. No, it’s not Russia “denazifying” and “demilitarizing” Ukraine – and, therefore, it’s no wonder that this other operation is not ruffling feathers across the collective West.

Operation Claw-Sword was launched by Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as revenge – highly emotional and concerted – for Kurdish terrorist attacks against Turkish citizens. Some of the missiles that Ankara launched in this aerial campaign carried the names of Turkish victims.

The official Ankara spin is that the Turkish Armed Forces fully achieved their “air operation objectives” in the north of Syria and in Iraqi Kurdistan, and made those responsible for the terror attack against civilians in Istanbul’s Istiklal pedestrian street pay in “multitudes.”

And this is supposed to be just the first stage. For the third time in 2022, Sultan Erdogan is also promising a ground invasion of Kurdish-held territories in Syria.

However, according to diplomatic sources, that’s not going to happen – even as scores of Turkish experts are adamant that the invasion is needed sooner rather than later.

The wily Sultan is caught between his electorate, which favors an invasion, and his extremely nuanced relations with Russia – which encompass a large geopolitical and geo-economic arc.

He well knows that Moscow can apply all manner of pressure levers to dissuade him. For instance, Russia at the last minute annulled the weekly dispatch of a joint Russo-Turkish patrol in Ain al Arab that was taking place on Mondays.

Ain al Arab is a highly strategic territory: the missing link, east of the Euphrates, capable of offering continuity between Idlib and Ras al Ayn, occupied by dodgy Turkish-aligned gangs near the Turkish border.

Erdogan knows he can’t jeopardize his positioning as potential EU-Russia mediator while obtaining maximum profit from bypassing the anti-Russian embargo-sanctions combo.

The Sultan, juggling multiple serious dossiers, is deeply convinced that he’s got what it takes to bring Russia and NATO to the negotiating table and, ultimately, end the war in Ukraine.

In parallel, he thinks he may stay on top of Turkey-Israel relations; a rapprochement with Damascus; the sensitive internal situation in Iran; Turkey-Azerbaijan relations; the non-stop metamorphoses across the Mediterranean; and the drive towards Eurasia integration.

He’s hedging all his bets between NATO and Eurasia.

‘Close down all of our southern borders’

The green light for Claw-Sword came from Erdogan while he was on his presidential plane, returning from the G20 in Bali. That happened only one day after he had met US President Joe Biden where, according to a presidential Erdogan statement, the subject had not come up.

“We held no meeting with Mr Biden or [Russian President Vladimir] Putin regarding the operation. They both already know that we can do such things at any moment in this region,” the statement said.

Washington not getting briefed on Claw-Sword mirrored Erdogan not getting invited to an extraordinary G7-NATO meeting in Bali, on the sidelines of the G20.

Then-US vice president Joe Biden (L) speaks with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at Beylerbeyi Palace in Istanbul. Photo: AFP / Bulent Kilic

That meeting was called by the White House to deal with the by-now notorious Ukrainian S-300 missile that fell in Polish territory. At the time, no one at the table had any conclusive evidence about what happened. And Turkey was not even invited to the table – which profoundly incensed the Sultan.

So it’s no wonder Erdogan, mid-week, said that Claw-Sword was “just the beginning.” Addressing AKP party lawmakers in Parliament, he said Turkey is determined to “close down all of our southern borders … with a security corridor that will prevent the possibility of attacks on our country.”

The ground invasion promise remains: It will begin “at the most convenient time for us” and will target the regions of Tel Rifaat, Mambij and Kobane, which the Sultan called “sources of trouble.”

Ankara has already wreaked havoc, using drones, on the main headquarters of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, whose commanders believe the main target of a potential Turkish ground invasion would be Kobane.

Significantly, this is the first time a Turkish drone targeted an area extremely close to a US base. And Kobane is highly symbolic: the place where the Americans sealed a collaboration with Syrian Kurds to – in theory – fight ISIS.

And that explains why the Syrian Kurds are appalled by the American non-response to the Turkish strikes. They blame – who else? – the Sultan for stoking “nationalist sentiments” ahead of the 2023 elections, which Erdogan now stands a great chance to win despite the catastrophic state of the Turkish economy.

As it stands, there is no Turkish troop buildup near Kobane – just airstrikes. Which brings us to the all-important Russian factor.

Manbij and Tel Rifaat, west of the Euphrates, are much more important for Russia than Kobane, because they are both vital for the defense of Aleppo against possible Salafi-jihadi attacks.

What may potentially happen in the near future makes the situation even murkier. Ankara intel may use Hayat Tahrir al-Sham jihadis – which have already taken over parts of Afrin – as a sort of “vanguard” in a ground invasion of Syrian Kurd territory.

Selling stolen Syrian oil to Turkey

The current fog of war includes the notion that the Russians may have sold out the Kurds by leaving them exposed to Turkish bombing. That does not hold – because Russia’s influence over Syrian Kurd territory is negligible compared with the US’s. Only the Americans could “sell out” the Kurds.

The more things change, the more they remain the same in Syria. It could all be summarized as a monumental impasse. This gets even more surrealist because, in effect, Ankara and Moscow have already found the solution for the Syrian tragedy.

The problem is the presence of American forces – essentially protecting those shabby convoys stealing Syrian oil. Russians and Syrians always discuss it. The conclusion is that the Americans are staying by inertia. They do it because they can. And Damascus is powerless to expel them.

The Sultan plays the whole thing with consummate cynicism – in geopolitics and geo-economics. Most of what is unresolved in Syria revolves around territories occupied by de facto gangs that call themselves Kurds, protected by the US. They traffic Syrian oil to resell it mostly to … Turkey.

And then, in a flash, armed gangs that call themselves Kurds may simply abandon their “anti-terrorist” fight by … releasing the terrorists they apprehended, thus increasing the “terrorist threat” all over northeast Syria. They blame – who else? – Turkey. In parallel, the Americans increase financial aid to these armed gangs under the pretext of a “war on terror.”

The distinction between “armed gangs” and “terrorists” is of course razor thin. What matters most of all to Erdogan is that he can use the Kurds as a currency in trade negotiations linked to bypassing anti-Russian embargoes and sanctions.

And that explains why the Sultan may decide to bomb Syrian territory whenever he sees fit, despite any condemnation by Washington or Moscow. The Russians once in a while retake the initiative on the ground – as happened during the Idlib campaign in 2020 when Russians bombed the Turkish military forces that were providing “assistance” to Salafi-jihadis.

A view of the site after attacks carried out by Assad regime in Syria on the city center of Idlib on September 7, 2021. Photo: Izzeddin Kasim / Anadolu Agency

Now a game-changer may be on the cards. The Turkish Army bombed the al-Omar oilfield north of Deir ez-Zor. What this means in practice is that Ankara is now destroying no less than the oil infrastructure of the much-lauded “Kurdish autonomy.”

This infrastructure has been cynically exploited by the US when it comes to the oil that reaches the border with Iraq in Iraqi Kurdistan. So in a sense, Ankara is striking against Syrian Kurds and simultaneously against American robbery of Syrian oil.

The definitive game-changer may be approaching. That will be the meeting between Erdogan and Bashar al-Assad, (Remember the decade-long refrain “Assad must go”?)

Location: Russia. Mediator:  Vladimir Putin, in person. It’s not far-fetched to imagine this meeting paving the way for those Kurdish armed gangs, essentially played by Washington as useful idiots, to end up being decimated by Ankara.

Assad: Iran Effective Supporter, Hezbollah Strategic Ally of Syria

November 26, 2022

By Staff, Agencies

The Islamic Republic of Iran is an effective supporter of Syria, and Lebanon’s Hezbollah is a strategic ally for Damascus, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said in a meeting with Syrian reporters and researchers.

The Islamic Republic of Iran has effectively supported Syria and continues to support the country economically and militarily, Assad said when talking about allies of Syria.

He added that Syria has supported Hezbollah and will continue to support it as Hezbollah is the country’s strategic ally.

Additionally, the Syrian president expressed concern about the recent developments in Lebanon, saying that Lebanon is the main supporter of Syria, terming its stability as a crucial matter.

Assad also pointed to the resumption of relations with Turkey and the recent meeting held between the Syrian and Turkish officials, saying that Turkey has expressed its readiness to meet the demands of Damascus. Syria expects practical steps from Turkey.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Assad spoke about Syrian-US relations, noting that there is no contact with the Americans.

He also referred to the withdrawal of the US forces from Syria as the Syrian people’s main demand.

Meanwhile, the Syrian president said that Russia assisted his country very much but the situation is different after Russia’s military operation in Ukraine and the economic and military pressures imposed on it.

In response to a question about restoring relations with the Hamas movement, he said Hamas apologized publicly which can be considered as an implicit apology from all the people of Syria.

“Israel” Afraid of Next War: Thousands of Missiles Will Be Fired at Us

2022/11/08

By Staff

The military affairs correspondent for the “Israeli” Channel 14 website, Hillel Peyton Rosen, indicated that the northern borders of occupied Palestine with Syria and Lebanon now pose a threat to the security of the Zionist entity.

He explained that the two countries have fought against “Israel” many times in the past, noting that there has not been a war with Syria for 50 years and with Lebanon for 16 years.

“Therefore, here lies the biggest and direct security threat to ‘Israel’,” Rosen said, adding that “In the security establishment, they talk in closed rooms that in the next war in the north, thousands of missiles will be fired at ‘Israel’, and it may cause many casualties and great damage.”

“Besides this threat, the ‘Israeli’ army understands that the ‘enemy’ will also try to create a propaganda achievement on the ground,” the “Israeli” journalist clarified.

He continued, “Of course, there will be a response. From 2006 until today, the ‘Israeli’ army has undergone dramatic changes in the theory of defense and attack, and it has grown fundamentally.”

Rosen pointed out that as part of an ongoing process called “the Battle Between Wars”, the “Israeli” attacks launched at the area from the borders of Lebanon to the borders of Syria are not few, this is according to western reports.

The “Israeli” journalist saw that “the Syrian borders are generally calm – here there are no smuggling operations, but – from time to time – there are attempts to carry out operations such as throwing packages over the fence,” he said.

He considered that in terms of threats and assessments to the security establishment, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is not supposed to be drawn into a war with “Israel”. However, he clarified that in the security establishment they are well aware that the Syrian front will participate during the war with Hezbollah – with the help of Iran – and they are preparing accordingly.”

Rosen concluded by saying, “In fact, the war in the north seems far away, especially after the gas ‘agreement’ with Lebanon and the decrease in the threat of Hezbollah Secretary General in its wake.”

He added, “But just as the Second Lebanon War [2006] broke out, and as what happened in the ‘Operation House of Cards’ in Syria when an Air Force warplane was downed, they are well aware in ‘Israel’ that one small spark is enough to drag the entire region into a war that we have not seen so far.”

Related Articles

الترسيم البحريّ مع سوريا: روسيا تعرض المساعدة في الاستخراج

 الإثنين 24 تشرين الأول 2022

ميسم رزق

يبدأ الأربعاء المُقبِل المسار العملاني لترسيم الحدود البحرية الشمالية مع سوريا، التي سيزورها وفد مكلّف من رئيس الجمهورية العماد ميشال عون يضمّ نائب رئيس مجلس النواب الياس بو صعب ووزيرَي الخارجية عبدالله بوحبيب والأشغال علي حمية والمدير العام للأمن العام اللواء عباس إبراهيم. ومن المفترض أن يسلك الملف طريقه من دون تمييع، فالتفاوض يجري بشكل مباشر بينَ دولتيْن لا عداء بينهما ولا يحتاج إلى وسطاء. إلا أن بيروت ودمشق تلقّتا عرضاً روسياً بالمساعدة في حال وقعَ الخلاف التقني.

بقيَ الترسيم البحري مع سوريا محط تجاهل لبناني، علماً أن الدولة السورية كانَت سبّاقة في مراسلة لبنان لاستعجال الترسيم منذ عام 2012، بعد ترسيم لبنان بترسيم حدوده البحرية الشمالية مع سوريا عام 2011، والغربية مع قبرص عام 2007، والجنوبية مع فلسطين بشكل أحادي وفق المرسوم الرقم 6433 الذي أودع لدی الأمم المتّحدة، معتمداً تقنية خط الوسط البحت (أي خط متساوي الأبعاد) لترسيم حدوده البحرية الشمالية مع سوريا. وقد دفعَ التجاهل اللبناني المتكرر دمشق، عام 2014، إلى توجيه رسالة اعتراضية عبر سفيرها لدى الأمم المتحدة بشار الجعفري علی الترسيم اللبناني، من دون الإفصاح عن مقاربة سوريا للترسيم، بما في ذلك الإحداثيات الجغرافية للخط السوري.

كما بقيَ الترسيم البحري مع سوريا خاضعاً للابتزاز والبروباغندا الإعلامية التي تعمّد خصوم دمشق في لبنان ترويجها لاتهامها بالاعتداء على المياه اللبنانية، مع العلم أنها لحِظت في العقد الموقّع بينها وبينَ الشركة روسية «كابيتال» الروسية (اطّلعت «الأخبار» على نسخة منه) إمكان القيام بتعديلات، ربطاً بأي محادثات مستقبلية مع لبنان، إذ وردَ في إحدى الفقرات شرط «التزام المقاول بكلّ المعاهدات والاتفاقات المستقبلية بين الحكومتين السورية واللبنانية بخصوص إحداثيات حدود البلوك الجنوبية».

وبعيداً عن محاولات الاستثمار السياسي في هذا الملف، فإن الخلاف التقني بين البلدين حدّده الجيش اللبناني عام 2021 بعدَ الإعلان عن توقيع العقد مع الشركة الروسية، عبر كتاب أرسل إلى الجهات المعنية شرح فيه الأسباب الموجبة للترسيم، لافتاً إلى أن «التدقيق في إحداثيات البلوك السوري الرقم 1، يظهر أنه يتداخل مع المياه اللبنانية ويقضُم مساحة 750 كيلومتراً، ويتداخل مع البلوكين اللبنانيّيْن الرقم 1 و2، الأول بمساحة 450 كيلومتراً والثاني بمساحة 300 كيلومتر مربع» (راجع «الأخبار» الخميس 8 نيسان 2021).
في هذا الإطار، أكدت مصادر معنية بالملف أن «مسار الترسيم مع سوريا بدأ، وأن الاتصال الذي أجراه الرئيس عون مع الرئيس السوري بشار الأسد قبلَ أيام لمناقشة هذا الأمر دليل على الجدّية التي يتعامل بها الطرفان»، فضلاً عن «إعداد الأوراق والخرائط الخاصة بالإحداثيات من كلا الجانبين». وقالت المصادر إن «الخلاف تقني بحت، وليسَ سياسياً، وهو مسار طبيعي لا بد منه بعد إنجاز ملف الحدود الجنوبية مع فلسطين المحتلة، وبالتزامن مع التحضير لإطلاق الحوار مع قبرص أيضاً المفترض أن يبدأ هو أيضاً مباشرة بعد الانتهاء من توقيع الرسائل بين لبنان وإسرائيل عبر الأمم المتحدة والولايات المتحدة الخميس المقبل».

الخلاف التقني بين البلدين حدّده الجيش اللبناني عام 2021 بـ 750 كيلومتراً مربّعاً

ومع أن الخلاف الحدودي الحالي مع سوريا قابل للحل، قالت المصادر إنه في حال نشوء خلاف كبير «يُمكن اللجوء إلى التحكيم الدولي»، لكنّ مصادر دبلوماسية قالت لـ «الأخبار» إن «ممثل الرئيس الروسي فلاديمير بوتين في الملف السوري ألكسندر لافرانتياف، عرضَ المساعدة الروسية لحل الخلاف التقني». ويأتي العرض الروسي وسط حاجة موسكو إلى «إنجاز الملف سريعاً لمساعدة شركة «كابيتال» التي وقّعت وزارة النفط والثروة المعدنية السورية عقداً معها للتنقيب في البلوك 1 من الجهة السورية مقابل ساحل محافظة طرطوس، حتى الحدود البحرية الجنوبية السورية اللبنانية بمساحة 2250 كليومتراً مربعاً». وقالت المصادر إن الشركة لا تزال في مرحلة الاستكشاف، فبحسب الموقع فإن مدة العقد تُقسم إلى فترتين: الأولى فترة الاستكشاف ومدتها 48 شهراً تبدأ بتوقيع العقد، ويمكن تمديدها لـ 36 شهراً إضافية، أما الفترة الثانية فهي مرحلة التنمية ومدتها 25 عاماً قابلة للتمديد لمدة خمس سنوات إضافية. وقد تكون المرحلة الثانية من التفاوض متعلقة بالكونسورتيوم الذي سيعمل في بلوكات الشمال، والذي ربما تكون الشركة الروسية ضمنه كونها تعمل في المنطقة.

مقالات ذات صلة

Hamas, Islamic Jihad Urge Unity Against ‘Israel’

 October 22, 2022

By Staff, Agencies

Leaders of Hamas and Islamic Jihad resistance movements highlighted the need to boost unity and escalate military confrontation with the ‘Israeli’ occupation regime amid a new wave of ‘Israeli’ aggression against Palestinians.

A meeting was held on Friday in the Lebanese capital of Beirut between a Hamas delegation led by Fathi Hammad, a member of the group’s political bureau, and an Islamic Jihad delegation led by Secretary General Ziad al-Nakhala.

The sides affirmed that the liberation of Palestinian lands at this stage requires efforts to unify the resistance forces, escalate the confrontation with the occupying forces, and force the regime to retreat from all Palestinian soil, Palestine Today reported.

They also stressed that al-Quds is the “eternal capital” of Palestine and will remain a symbol of unity for the Palestinian people. 

The meeting comes a few days after a historic visit between Hamas officials and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus.

A high-ranking Palestinian delegation met with Assad on Wednesday, in the first such visit in more than a decade as the two sides seek to revitalize their ties.

Deputy chief of the Hamas political bureau in the besieged Gaza Strip, Khalil al-Hayya, who headed the delegation, said the spirit of resistance was resurrected within the Arab world following their historic visit to Damascus.

“The relations with Syria will give strength to the Axis of Resistance and to all the believers in the resistance,” al-Hayya said.

The efforts to boost resistance come as the ‘Israeli’ occupation forces have recently been conducting overnight raids and killings in the northern occupied West Bank, mainly in the cities of Jenin and Nablus, where new groups of Palestinian resistance fighters have been formed.

Meanwhile, emboldened by the military forces, Zionists occupying the illegal settlements have also been involved in attacks against Palestinian people and neighborhoods.

On Thursday night, the ‘Israeli’ occupation forces shot dead 19-year-old Salah Braiki during a raid on the Jenin refugee camp north of the occupied West Bank.

Meanwhile, WAFA News Agency reported that a 15-year-old Palestinian teenager was in critical condition after the Zionist forces fired bullets at his abdomen in Qalqilia, West Bank, on Friday.

Hamas Says to Bolster Ties with Syria

 October 22, 2022

Hamas said on Saturday that the Palestinian resistance group will go ahead with developing ties with Syria.

“Bolstering relation with Syria come as part of consolidating our capabilities as a nation in a bid to confront the escalating Israeli aggression,” Hamas Spokesman Hazem Qassem said in remarks quoted by Palestinian media.

Qassem, meanwhile, denounced the Israeli attack which targeted Syrian capital, Damascus, on Friday.

“The Israeli strikes on Syria come as extension to killing and terror campaign against Palestinian people,” Qassem said.

“The escalation of the Israeli aggression in the region aimed at pressing vital powers in our nation in order to prevent them from supporting the Palestinian cause, the spokesman added.

A delegation comprising a number of Palestinian leaders and representatives of the resistance movements including Hamas visited Damascus on Wednesday.

Source: Agencies

Washington warns against reconciliation between Hamas and Damascus

The resumption of ties between Hamas and Syria is a symbolic victory for the resistance, as relations were strained for years following the start of the war

October 21 2022

GAZA CITY, THE GAZA STRIP, PALESTINE – 2018/12/16: A masked Palestinian seen holding a flag during the rally. Palestinians take part in a rally marking the 31st anniversary of Hamas’ founding, in Gaza City. (Photo by Mahmoud Issa/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

ByNews Desk

On 20 October, the US denounced and warned against the current reconciliation process between Syria and Palestinian resistance movement Hamas, stating that the group’s communication with Damascus will reinforce its “isolation” and undermine the interests of Palestinians.

“The Assad regime’s outreach to this terrorist organization only reinforces for us its isolation,” State Department spokesman, Ned Price, told media.

“It harms the interests of the Palestinian people and it undercuts global efforts to counterterrorism in the region and beyond,” he said, adding that Washington will “continue rejecting any support to rehabilitate the Assad regime, particularly from designated terrorist organizations like Hamas.”

Relations between Damascus and the Palestinian resistance group took a sour turn in 2012, a year after the start of the US-backed war in Syria, when Hamas publicly denounced the Syrian government and announced its solidarity with the opposition that had by that time already become aligned with extremist elements.

In 2013, Hamas operatives fought alongside the Free Syrian Army (FSA) factions and Jabhat al-Nusra against Hezbollah and the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) during the battle of al-Qusayr, in western Syria near the Lebanese border.

The ties between Hamas and the axis of resistance were strained for years after the group’s involvement in the Syrian war. Regardless of this, Hezbollah never condemned Hamas for what was seen by many as a huge betrayal, and in 2013 held meetings with the group’s representatives in a bid to ease tensions.

In recent years, Hamas made a number of attempts to resume ties with the Syrian government, despite the non-compliance of Damascus. On 25 July, however, Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah revealed to Al-Mayadeen his personal interest in bringing the two together.

Relations between Hezbollah and Hamas had already thawed at this point, especially in light of the high-level coordination which took place between the two groups during the 2021 Sayf al-Quds battle fought between the Palestinian resistance factions and Israel.

In June of this year, a Hamas delegation reportedly visited Syria and met with officials in a bid to rebuild their relationship.

On 15 September, Hamas disclosed in a press statement that it has officially resumed its relations with Syria after ten years of tension. A month later, President Bashar al-Assad received a Hamas delegation and held a “warm” meeting in Damascus.

“The meeting with Assad is a glorious day, and from now on, we will resume our presence in Damascus to work alongside the Syrian people to regain the country’s stability,” the group’s deputy leader, Khalil al-Hayya said at the time, denouncing all aggression and threats against the country’s territorial integrity.

The reconciliation between Hamas and Syria signifies the return of Damascus into the regional fold, and is expected to be met with further criticism and rejection by Washington and its allies, particularly Israel.

Related Articles

%d bloggers like this: