Erdogan’s War of Words Inciting Terror in Europe

Erdogan’s War of Words Inciting Terror in Europe


Erdogan’s War of Words Inciting Terror in Europe

Only hours after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan issued a bloodcurdling warning about terror attacks against European citizens, four people lay dead on the streets of London. That death toll may rise further because several of those injured in the attack this week in the British capital are in critical condition, fighting for their lives.

Erdogan was speaking Wednesday in what was yet another diatribe in his ongoing war of words with the European Union. The Turkish leader has been enraged by European governments refusing ministers from Ankara holding political rallies in Germany, Netherlands and Austria among other countries. As a result of the injunctions, he has accused the EU of displaying Islamophobia and hostility towards Turkey.

In his latest barrage earlier this week, Erdogan warned that there would be dire repercussions for EU citizens owing to the perceived stance of their governments.

«If you continue to behave like this, tomorrow in no part of the world, no European, no Westerner will be able to take steps on the street safely and peacefully», Erdogan said.

Tragically, within hours of announcing these very words, a British-born man plowed his speeding car into pedestrians on London’s Westminster Bridge, killing several of them and seriously wounding dozens more. The assailant then got out of his crashed vehicle and ran into the grounds of the British parliament where he stabbed a police officer to death, before being fatally shot by another officer.

The attacker was named as 52-year-old Khalid Masood, a British citizen. It is not clear yet what his precise motives were, but the deadly attack was subsequently claimed by the Islamic State terror group.

Turkey’s Erdogan was reportedly one of many world leaders who quickly phoned British premier Theresa May to offer his condolences. Later on Wednesday night, Erdogan released a statement on social media, saying: «We stand in solidarity with the UK, our friend and ally, against terrorism, the greatest threat to global peace and security».

There is a sense here that the Turkish leader was reeling from his own earlier warnings of would-be terror consequences for European citizens, and how his tirades against the EU might be implicated in inciting violence.

Certainly, the EU, in short-order, seemed to find Erdogan’s forecasting of acts of terrorism against European citizens and how «they would not be safe on streets around the world» to be lamentable.

Turkey’s envoy in Brussels was promptly summoned to «explain» the president’s doom-laden words. The day after the London killings, the EU foreign affairs spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic reportedly said: «We have asked the Turkish permanent delegate to the EU to come… as we would like to receive an explanation with regard to the comments by President Erdogan concerning the safety of Europeans on the streets of the world».

At best, Erdogan’s chilling warnings against European citizens are grossly insensitive. Apart from the carnage in London, on the very day that he issued his grim forecast of violence, the date was also the first anniversary of the terror attacks in Brussels when more than 30 people were killed by suicide bombers in the Belgian capital on March 22 last year.

Over the past year, there have been several other terror attacks on the streets of European cities, including the carnage in Nice when a would-be jihadist drove an articulated lorry into a pedestrians last July, killing over 80.

There was also an horrific attack in Berlin when an assailant drove a lorry into a crowded Christmas market.

In all these incidents, there appears to be an Islamist connection. The perpetrators may be acting in some sort of «lone wolf» capacity, without the organizational support of the al Qaeda terror network. But that’s beside the point. The attacks appear to be motivated by some level of Islamist grievance. Perhaps acts of revenge against European governments and citizens who are perceived as being complicit in illegal wars on, or persecution of, Muslim majority countries in the Middle East.

This is where Turkish President Erdogan bears more responsibility than merely just «bad timing» or being «insensitive» remarks.

In recent weeks, Erdogan and senior government ministers in Ankara have been engaging in a reckless war of words with the EU, which can be viewed as bordering on incitement.

Erdogan has repeatedly accused Germany and The Netherlands of acting like «Nazis and fascists». He has condemned the whole of the EU as being «racist» and «anti-Islam».

Just last week, Erdogan claimed that Dutch UN peacekeeping troops were responsible for the Srebrenica massacre in 1995, when up to 8,000 Muslim men were killed by Serb forces. Erdogan said the Dutch had the blood of Muslims «on their hands».

Ankara’s fit of rage stems from European governments blocking political rallies being held in their cities by Erdogan’s ruling Justice and Development Party. Those rallies are aimed at mobilizing Turkish expatriates to vote in Turkey’s referendum next month, which is being held to endorse increasing constitutional powers for Erdogan’s presidency.

Erdogan’s grip on power has already become increasingly autocratic since the attempted coup against his rule failed last July.

In order to push Turkish voters to back his sought-after constitutional changes, Erdogan is evidently whipping up patriotic fervor and in particular Islamist fervor by indulging in a war of words with the EU.

Denouncing European states as «anti-Islamic» and «racist» may gain Erdogan votes. But such incitement has consequences. This war of words is not an abstract phenomenon. It risks inflicting real human casualties, as Europe has all-too often witnessed over the past year.

If EU governments had any spine, they would hold Erdogan legally to account over his potentially seditious behavior.

But the supine EU is too busy trying to keep the Turkish sultan sweet so that he doesn’t open the refugee floodgates from the wars that European governments have been stoking across the Middle East and North Africa.

Syria: NOT A Revolution! (+18)


Will Saudi Arabia be saved and will Turkey fall? هل تنجو السعودية وتقع تركيا؟

مارس 14, 2017

Written by Nasser Kandil,

It seemed that since the Turkish positioning after the battle of Aleppo and the launch of Astana path Ankara knew how to play its cards at the appropriate time, how to stop at the expected Russian US intersection, and how to arrange its cards quietly with Russia as an active regional partner, depending on being the traditional ally of America in the NATO. Because the table has one left seat from the opposite bank of Iran in the region, Turkey rushed to the Russian-Turkish-Iranian tripartite meeting and presented it as a new reference for the new Middle East, but when the new US administration stumbled through its proceeding toward Russia, as was suggested by the enthusiasm of the President Donald Trump for the resolving of ISIS. Ankara stopped its movement and positioned at the line of escalation against Iran in order to keep up with the US discourse. Through Geneva Talks it tried to pass the time waiting for the effective US movement according to timing of Washington not the timing of Moscow. As the Turkish acceleration was towards Astana path to get Saudi Arabia out of the parallel seat to Iran, as the coup was on Astana through the visit of the Turkish President to Saudi Arabia to rehabilitate it and to give it its status.

Turkey found itself in a deadlock after the battle of Al –Bab which it waged for its own account and without the knowledge of Moscow and the promised pledges, in an attempt to bypass what is supposed to be done by the Syrian army after the battle of Aleppo, in addition to its coup on Astana path, so the Turks found that the Syrian army is preceding them in Al Bab towards the lines of the deployment of the Kurdish forces and leaving them alone, making a primary barrier between them and the units that belong to the Turks as the militias of the Shield of Euphrates which descendant of Wahhabi origins as branches of Al-Qaeda organization that work under the banner of Ankara, which are not reassured neither by the Russians nor the Americans. The Syrian army blocked the way which was drawn by the Turkish President in order to enter Raqaa across Manbej in front of Turkey as a temptation for the Americans to give him the green light to enter Manbej and getting the Kurds out of it. The Kurds announced their demand of the deployment of units from the Syrian army in many demarcation villages in which the Kurds live. The events occurred quickly and Turkey became in isolation unable to move forward in the battle of Manbej, after Russia and America became on the line directly, and it is unable to participate in the war on ISIS despite its losses when it announced the war on the organization which it sponsored and thinking that it is enough credentials for the Americans to sell it the Kurds. Despite the meeting of the chiefs of staff of America, Russia and Turkey the Turkish discourse is still escalating against the Kurds. Turkey seems on the eve of the visit of its President to Moscow in a state of embarrassment and in front of difficult choices.

In coincidence with the Turkish confusion, Saudi Arabia succeeds in recapturing its status at the Americans contrary to the Presidential speech during the elections. The new administration seems that it handed over the regional policies to the tripartite; the Pentagon, CIA, and the diplomacy which the Saudis have considerations and effects on them. Saudi Arabia has surpassed through surprising indicators the escalated relationship with Iran which is still in its beginning, but it is meaningful. In conjunction with the announcement of the return of the peaceful endeavors to solve the crisis in Yemen, the Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Jayad Zarif visits Doha announcing a successful visit for the sake of Iranian-Gulf dialogue, and the Advisor of the Foreign Ministry Hussein Sheikh Al Islam who is closer to the decision –makers announced his optimism regarding the results of the talks of Iran’s resumption of its participation in the next pilgrimage season.

Will Turkey and Saudi Arabia exchange the seats once again?

Translated by Lina Shehadeh,

هل تنجو السعودية وتقع تركيا؟

مارس 10, 2017

ناصر قنديل
– منذ التموضع التركي بعد معركة حلب وانطلاق مسار أستانة بدا أن أنقرة عرفت كيف تلعب أوراقها في التوقيت المناسب، وتقف عند التقاطع الروسي الأميركي المتوقع، وترتّب أوراقها بهدوء مع روسيا كشريك إقليمي فاعل، وتنطلق من كونها في الناتو حليفاً تقليدياً لأميركا، ولأن الطاولة تنتظر مقعداً واحداً من الضفة المقابلة لإيران في المنطقة، سارعت تركيا لاجتماع موسكو الثلاثي الروسي التركي الإيراني وتقديمه كمرجعية جديدة للشرق الأوسط الجديد، وعندما تعثرت الإدارة الأميركية الجديدة في تقدمها نحو روسيا كما كانت توحي حماسة الرئيس دونالد ترامب للحسم مع داعش، فرملت أنقرة حركتها وتموضعت على خط التصعيد بوجه إيران لتتماشى مع الخطاب الأميركي وتلاقيه، وسعت في محادثات جنيف لتمرير الوقت بانتظار الحركة الأميركية الفاعلة، وفقاً لتوقيت واشنطن لا توقيت موسكو، وبمثل ما كان الإسراع التركي نحو مسار أستانة إخراجاً للسعودية من مقعد اللاعب الموازي لإيران، كان الانقلاب على أستانة من منبر زيارة الرئيس التركي للسعودية ليردّ لها الاعتبار والمكانة.

– وجدت تركيا نفسها في مأزق كبير بعد معركة الباب التي خاضتها لحسابها ومن وراء ظهر حسابات موسكو والتعهّدات المقطوعة لها، وفي محاولة تجاوز لما يفترض أن يقوم به الجيش السوري هناك بعد حلب، هذا عدا عن انقلابها على مسار أستانة، فاستفاق الأتراك على الجيش السوري يتخطاهم في الباب ويتركهم بداخلها متقدماً نحو خطوط انتشار القوى الكردية، مقيماً حاجزاً أولياً بينهم وبين الوحدات التابعة للأتراك من ميليشات درع الفرات، المتحدّرة من أصول وهابية كتفرعات لتنظيم القاعدة تعمل تحت لواء أنقرة، والتي لا يطمئن لها الروس والأميركيون، وأغلقت على تركيا الطريق عبر منبج التي رسمها الرئيس التركي لدخول الرقة كإغراء للأميركيين لمنحه الضوء الأخضر لدخول منبج وإخراج الأكراد منها، فقد أعلن الأكراد مطالبتهم بنشر وحدات للجيش السوري في عديد من قرى التماس التي يوجد فيها الأكراد، وتدحرجت الأحداث لتجد تركيا أنها في عزلة، عاجزة عن المضي قدماً في معركة منبج وقد صارت روسيا وأميركا على الخط مباشرة، وعاجزة عن المشاركة في الحرب على داعش رغم ما تكبّدته من خسائر بإعلان الحرب على التنظيم الذي رعته وفي ظنّها أنها أوراق اعتماد كافية لدى الأميركيين ليبيعوها رأس الأكراد. ورغم اجتماع رؤساء الأركان الأميركي والروسي والتركي لا يزال الخطاب التركي تصعيدياً ضد الأكراد، وتبدو تركيا عشية زيارة رئيسها إلى موسكو في وضع حرج وأمام خيارات صعبة.

– بالتزامن مع الارتباك التركي تنجح السعودية باسترداد مكانتها عند الأميركيين خلافاً للخطاب الرئاسي خلال الانتخابات. فالإدارة الجديدة تبدو قد سلمت السياسات الإقليمية لثلاثي البنتاغون والـ»سي أي أيه» والدبلوماسية، التي يحتفظ السعوديون بحسابات وتأثيرات فيها وعليها، وتخطّت السعودية بمؤشرات لافتة العلاقة التصعيدية مع إيران التي لا تزال في بداياتها، لكنها ذات معنى. فبالتزامن يعلن عن عودة المساعي السلمية لحل الأزمة في اليمن، ويزور وزير الخارجية الإيراني محمد جواد ظريف الدوحة معلناً عن زياترة ناجحة لحوار إيراني خليجي إيجابي، ويعلن مستشار وزارة الخارجية حسين شيخ الإسلام القريب من مصادر القرار عن التفاؤل بنتائج مباحثات استئناف إيران مشاركتها في موسم الحج المقبل.

– هل تتبادل تركيا والسعودية المقاعد مجدداً؟

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Assad: US Forces in Syria are ‘Invaders’

Assad: US Forces in Syria are ‘Invaders’

Video and Transcript

“Any foreign troops coming to Syria without our invitation or consultation or permission, they are invaders, whether they are American, Turkish, or any other one,” Assad said.

“And we don’t think this is going to help. What are they going to do? To fight ISIS? The Americans lost nearly every war. They lost in Iraq, they had to withdraw at the end. Even in Somalia, let alone Vietnam in the past and Afghanistan, your neighboring country. They didn’t succeed anywhere they sent troops, they only create a mess; they are very good in creating problems and destroying, but they are very bad in finding solutions.”

March 13, 2017 “Information Clearing House” –   Damascus, SANA-President Bashar al-Assad said that the solution to the crisis in Syria should be through two parallel ways: the first one is to fight the terrorists, and this is our duty as government, to defend the Syrians and use any means in order to destroy the terrorists who’ve been killing and destroying in Syria, and the second one is to make dialogue.

The president added in an interview given to Chinese PHOENIX TV that any foreign troops coming to Syria without our invitation or consultation or permission, they are invaders, whether they are American, Turkish, or any other one.

Flowing is the full text of the interview:

Question 1:  Thank you Mr. President for having us here in Dimashq, the capital of Syria. I think this is the first interview you have with Chinese media after the national ceasefire and after so many fresh rounds of talks, both in Astana and in Geneva, and of course after US President Donald Trump’s inauguration, and these days, as we have seen, your troops are making steady progress in battlefields, but peace talks do not seem just as productive. So, as far as the Geneva talks is concerned, your chief negotiator, Mr. Jaafari, was trying hard to find out who should be sitting on the other side of the negotiation table. So, according to your idea, who should be sitting there?

President Assad: This is a very crucial question. If you want those negotiations to be fruitful, we have to ask “who is going to be sitting there?” I mean, there could be a lot of good people with good intentions, but the question is: who do they represent? That’s the question. In this situation, you have different groups, you have people who are, let’s say, patriotic, but they don’t represent anyone, they represent themselves. You have others who represent the terrorists, and you have terrorists on the table, and you have others who represent the agenda of foreign countries like Saudi Arabia, like Turkey, like France, UK and maybe the United States. So, it’s not a homogeneous meeting. If you want it to be fruitful, going back to the first point that I mentioned, it should be a real Syrian-Syrian negotiations. In spite of that, we went to that meeting because we think any kind of dialogue could be a good step toward the solution, because even those people who are terrorists or belonging to the terrorists or to other countries, they may change their mind and go back to their normality by going back to being real Syrians, detach themselves from being terrorists or agents to other groups. That’s why I say we didn’t expect Geneva to produce anything, but it’s a step, and it’s going to be a long way, and you may have other rounds, whether in Geneva or in Astana.

Question 2: But anyway, it is an intra-Syrian talks, right? But the matter of fact is, it is proxy dialogue. I mean, main parties do not meet and have dialogue directly.

President Assad: Exactly.

Journalist: Are you personally satisfied with the current negotiation format or mechanism?

President Assad: we didn’t forge this mechanism; it was forged by de Mistura and the UN with the influence of the countries that wanted to use those negotiations in order to make pressure on Syria, not to reach any resolution. As you just said, each one represents a different agenda, even the opposition delegations, it wasn’t one delegation; different delegations of the opposition. So, if I’m going to – as a government – if I’m going to negotiate with someone, who’s it going to be? Which one? Who represents who? That’s our question. So, you are right, this time there was no negotiations in Geneva, but this is one of the reasons, that’s why it didn’t reach anything. The only thing we discussed in Geneva was the agenda, the headlines, what are we going to discuss later, that’s it.

Question 3: But as we see, lot of time, money, energy have been put into this effort, and the clashes are still going on, people are still dying, and the refugees are still increasing.

President Assad: Exactly.

Journalist: What is the possible way of having a negotiation?

President Assad: Again, you are correct. The more delay you have, the more harm and destruction and killing and blood you’ll have within Syria, that’s why we are very eager to achieve a solution, but how and in which way? You need to have two parallel ways: the first one is to fight the terrorists, and this is our duty as government, to defend the Syrians and use any means in order to destroy the terrorists who’ve been killing and destroying in Syria. The second one is to make dialogue. This dialogue has many different aspects; you have the political one, which is related to the future of Syria; what political system do you need, what kind? It doesn’t matter which one, it depends on the Syrians, and they’re going to have referendum about what they want. The second part is to try to bring many of those people who were affiliated to the terrorists or who committed any terrorist acts to go back to their normality and lay down their armaments and to live normal life in return for amnesty that has been offered by the government, and we’ve been going in that direction for three years, and it worked very well. It worked very well. So, actually, if you want to talk about the real political solution since the beginning of the crisis, of the war on Syria, till this moment, the only solution was those reconciliations between the government and the different militants in Syria, many of them joined the government now, and they are fighting with the government. Some of them laid down their.

Question 4: But talking about the Syria war, you can never exclude the foreign factors. The Saudi-backed high negotiating committee, HNC, are saying that they are counting on the Trump administration to play a positive role instead of the mistaken policies under his predecessor Barack Obama. So, from your side, what do you expect from Trump’s Middle East policy, particularly policy on Syria?

President Assad: The first part that you mentioned about their hopes, when you pin your hopes on a foreign country, doesn’t matter which foreign country, it means you’re not patriotic, and this is proved, because they should depend on the support of the Syrian people, not any other government or administration.

Now, regarding the Trump administration, during his campaign and after the campaign, the main rhetoric of the Trump administration and the president himself was about the priority of defeating ISIS. I said since the beginning that this is a promising approach to what’s happening in Syria and in Iraq, because we live in the same area and we face the same enemy. We haven’t seen anything concrete yet regarding this rhetoric, because we’ve been seeing now certain is a local kind of raids. You cannot deal with terrorism on local basis; it should be comprehensive, it cannot be partial or temporary. It cannot be from the air, it should be in cooperation with the troops on the ground, that’s why the Russians succeeded, since they supported the Syrian Army in pushing ISIS to shrink, not to expand as it used to be before that. So, we have hopes that this taking into consideration that talking about ISIS doesn’t mean talking about the whole terrorism; ISIS is one of the products, al-Nusra is another product, you have so many groups in Syria, they are not ISIS, but they are Al Qaeda, they have the same background of the Wahabi extremist ideology.

Question 5: So, Mr. President, you and Mr. Donald Trump actually share the same priority which is counter-terrorism, and both of you hate fake news. Do you see any room for cooperation?

President Assad: Yeah, in theory, yes, but practically, not yet, because there’s no link between Syria and the United States on the formal level. Even their raids against ISIS that I just mentioned, which are only a few raids, happened without the cooperation or the consultation with the Syrian Army or the Syrian government which is illegal as we always say. So, theoretically we share those goals, but particularly, not yet.

Question 6: Do you have personal contact with the President of the United States?

President Assad: Not at all.

Journalist: Direct or indirect.

President Assad: Indirect, you have so many channels, but you cannot bet on private channels. It should be formal, this is where you can talk about a real relation with another government.

Question 7: As we speak, top generals from Turkey, Russia, and the United States are meeting somewhere in Turkey to discuss tensions in northern Syria, where mutually- suspicious forces are allied with these countries.  So, do you have a plan for a final attack on Daesh when the main players actually do need an effective coordination in order to clear Syria of all terror groups?

President Assad: Yeah, if you want to link that meeting with ISIS in particular, it won’t be objective, because at least one party, which is Turkey, has been supporting ISIS till this moment, because Erdogan, the Turkish President, is Muslim Brotherhood. He’s ideologically linked and sympathetic with ISIS and with al-Nusra, and everybody knows about this in our region, and he helped them either through armaments, logistically, through exporting oil. For the other party, which is the United States, at least during Obama’s administration, they dealt with ISIS by overlooking their smuggling the Syrian oil to Turkey, and this is how they can get money in order to recruit terrorists from around the world, and they didn’t try to do anything more than cosmetic against ISIS. The only serious party in that regard is Russia, which is effectively attacking ISIS in cooperation with us. So, the question is: how can they cooperate, and I think the Russians have hope that the two parties join the Russians and the Syrians in their fight against terrorism. So, we have more hopes now regarding the American party because of the new administration, while in Turkey nothing has changed in that regard. ISIS in the north have  only one route of supply, it’s through Turkey, and they’re still alive and they’re still active and they’re still resisting different kinds of waves of attacks, because of the  Turkish support.

Question 8: Now, US troops are in Manbej. Is the greenlight from your side? Did you open the door for these American troops?

President Assad: No, no, we didn’t. Any foreign troops coming to Syria without our invitation or consultation or permission, they are invaders, whether they are American, Turkish, or any other one. And we don’t think this is going to help. What are they going to do? To fight ISIS?  The Americans lost nearly every war. They lost in Iraq, they had to withdraw at the end. Even in Somalia, let alone Vietnam in the past and Afghanistan, your neighboring country. They didn’t succeed anywhere they sent troops, they only create a mess; they are very good in creating problems and destroying, but they are very bad in finding solutions.

Question 9: Talking about Russia and China, they just vetoed a new UN sanction on Syria last week. What do these Chinese vetoes mean exactly for your country?

President Assad: Let’s be very clear about their position, which is not to support the Syrian government or the Syrian president, because in the West they try to portray it as a personal problem, and as Russia and China and other countries and Iran support that person as president. It’s not the case. China is a member of the Security Council, and it’s committed to the Charter of the United Nations. In that veto, China has defended first of all the Charter, because the United Nations was created in order to restore stability around the world. Actually, the Western countries, especially the permanent members of the Council as a tool or means in order to change regimes or governments and to  implement their agenda, not to restore stability, and actually to create more instability around the world. So the second part is that China restored stability in the world by creating some kind of political balance within the United Nations, of course in cooperation with Russia, which is very important for the whole world. Of course, Syria was the headline, the main headline, this is good for Syria, but again it’s good for the rest of the world. Third, the same countries that wanted to use the UN Charter for their own vested interested are the same countries who interfered or tried to intervene in your country in the late 90s, and they used different headlines, human rights, and so on, and you know that, and if they had the chance, they would change every government in the world, whether big country or small country, just when this government tries to be a little bit independent. So, China protected the Chinese interests, Syrian interests, and the world interests, especially the small countries or the weak countries.

Question 10: If I’m not mistaken, you said China is going to play a role in the reconstruction of Syria. So, in which areas you think China can contribute to bring Syrian people back to their normal life after so many years of hardships?

President Assad: Actually, if you talk about what the terrorists have been doing the last six years, it’s destroying everything regarding the infrastructure. In spite of that, the Syrian government is still effective, at least by providing the minimum needs for the Syrian people. But they’ve been destroying everything in every sector with no exception. Adding to that, the Western embargo in Syria has prevented Syria from having even the basic needs for the livelihood of any citizen in Syria. So, in which sector? In every sector. I mean, China can be in every sector with no exception, because we have damage in every sector. But if we talk about now, before this comprehensive reconstruction starts, China now is being involved directly in building many projects, mainly industrial projects, in Syria, and we have many Chinese experts now working in Syria in different projects in order to set up those projects. But of course, when you have more stability, the most important thing is building the destroyed suburbs. This is the most important part of the reconstruction. The second one is the infrastructure; the sanitation system, the electricity, the oil fields, everything, with no exception. The third one: the industrial projects, which could belong to the private sector or the public sector in Syria.

Question 11: Alright. And it seems no secret that there are some Chinese extremists are here, fighting alongside Daesh. I think it is a threat to both Syria and China. What concrete or effective measures do you have to control border and prevent these extremists from free movement in the region?

President Assad: When you talk about extremists or terrorists, it doesn’t matter what their nationality is, because they don’t recognize borders, and they don’t belong to a country. The only difference between nationality and nationality, is that those for example who came from your country, they know your country more than the others, so they can do more harm in your country that others, and the same for Syrians, the same for Russian terrorist, and so on. So now, the measures, every terrorist should be defeated and demolished, unless he changed his position to the normal life. Second, because you’re talking about different nationalities -more than 80 nationalities – you should have cooperation with the other governments, especially in the intelligence field, and that’s what’s happening for example with the Chinese intelligence regarding the Uyghur terrorists who are coming from China through Turkey. Unfortunately, the only means that we don’t have now and we don’t control is our borders with Turkey, because the Uyghur  in Particular, they came from Turkey, the others coming maybe from Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, form the sea, maybe, and the majority from Turkey, but the Uyghur terrorists coming mainly from Turkey. Why? I don’t know why, but they have the support of the Turkish government, and they were gathered and collected in one group, and they were sent to the northern part of Syria. So, the mission now is to attack them, wherever they existed. Of course, sometimes you cannot tell which one… who is who, they mix with each other, but sometimes they work as separate groups from different nationalities. And this is very crucial kind of cooperation between the Syrian and the Chinese intelligence, and we did many good steps in that regard.

Question 12: Mr. President, as you may be fully aware that the “White Helmets” took an Oscar this year for the best documentary short, but folks are saying that the truth about this “White Helmets” is not like what Netflix has presented, so what is your take on this?

President Assad: First of all, we have to congratulate al-Nusra for having the first Oscar! This is an unprecedented event for the West to give Al Qaeda an Oscar; this is unbelievable, and this is another proof that the Oscars, Nobel, all these things are politicized certificates, that’s how I can look at it. The White Helmets story is very simple; it is a facelift of al-Nusra Front in Syria, just to change their ugly face into a more humanitarian face, that’s it. And you have many videos on the net and of course images broadcasted by the White Helmets that condemn the White Helmets as a terrorists group, where you can see the same person wearing the white helmet and celebrating over the dead bodies of Syrian soldiers. So, that’s what the Oscar went to, to those terrorists. So, it’s a story just to try to prevent the Syrian Army during the liberation of Aleppo from making more pressure on the attacking and liberating the districts within the city that have been occupied by those terrorists, to say that the Syrian Army and the Russians are attacking the civilians and the innocents and the humanitarian people.

Question 13: Right. Now Palmyra. I took a one-day trip to Palmyra this time. Now, the city is under your control, so as its strategic position is concerned, because Homs is the heart of Syria, it’s right in the middle, now, when you have Palmyra, what is your next target? Are you going to expand a military operation into Raqqa and Dier Ezzor?

President Assad: We are very close to Raqqa now. Yesterday, our troops reached the Euphrates River which is very close to Raqqa city, and Raqqa is the stronghold of ISIS today, so it’s going to be a priority for us, but that doesn’t mean the other cities are not priority, in time that could be in parallel, because Palmyra is on the way to Dier Ezzor city in the eastern part of Syria which is close to the Iraqi borders, and those areas that have been used by ISIS as route for logistic support between ISIS in Iraq and ISIS in

Syria. So, whether you attack the stronghold or you attack the route that ISIS uses, it has the same result.

Question 14: How many days do you think this war is going to last?

President Assad: if we presume that you don’t have foreign intervention, it will take a few months. It’s not very complicated internally. The complexity of this war is the foreign intervention. This is the problem. So, in the face of that intervention, the good thing that we gained during the war is the unity of the society. At the very beginning, the vision for many Syrians wasn’t very clear about what’s happening. Many believed the propaganda of the West about the reality, about the real story, that this is against the oppression. If it’s against the oppression, why the people in Saudi Arabia didn’t revolt, for example? So, now what we gained is this, this is our strongest foundation to end that war. We always have hope that this year is going to be the last year. But at the end, this is war and you can’t expect what is going to happen precisely.

Question 15: Mr. President, you are President of the Syrian Republic, at the same time, you are a loving husband and a father of three. How can you balance the role of being a President, a father, and a husband?

President Assad: If you cannot succeed in your small duty which is your family, you cannot succeed in your bigger duty or more comprehensive duty at the level of a country. So, there is no excuse that if you have a lot of work to abandon your duties; it’s a duty. You have to be very clear about that, you have to fulfill those duties in a very good way. Of course, sometimes those circumstances do not allow you to do whatever you have to do, your duties, fully, let’s say.

Journalist: During a day, how much time you spend on work, and how much time you spend with your family members?

President Assad: Actually, it’s not about the time, because even if you are at your home, you have to work.

Journalist: Okay.

President Assad: Let’s say, in the morning and the evening, you have the chance, but in between and after those times, you have the whole day to work.

Question 16: Have you ever thought of leaving this country for the sake of your family?

President Assad: Never, after six years, I mean the most difficult times passed; it was in 2012 and 2013, those times we never thought about it, how can I think about it now?

So, no, no, this is not an option. Whenever you have any kind of reluctance, you will lose. You will lose not with your enemies; you lose with your supporters. Those supporters, I mean the people you work with, the fighters, the army, they will feel if you’re not determined to defend your country. We never had any feeling neither me nor any member of my family.

Question 17: And how is Kareem’s Chinese getting along?

President Assad: He learned the basics of Chinese language, I think two years ago. Unfortunately, the lady and the man who taught him had to leave, because they were members of the Chinese Embassy. They went back to China. Now, he stopped improve his Chinese language.

Question 18: Do you think it is a good choice to learn Chinese for him?

President Assad: Of course, of course, because China is a rising power.

Journalist: You didn’t force him to learn Chinese? It’s his own option, right?

President Assad: No, no, we never thought about it, actually. I didn’t think that he has to learn Chinese, and I didn’t expect him, if I thought about it, that he would say yes, because for many in the world the Chinese language is a difficult language to learn. He took the initiative and he said I want to learn Chinese, and actually till this moment, I didn’t ask him why. I want him to feel free, but when he’s getting older, I’m going to ask him how? How did it come through your mind to learn this language, this difficult language, but of course important language.

Journalist: You didn’t ask him before? President Assad: No, not yet. Journalist: So, you think it’s a good choice?

President Assad: Of course, of course. As I said, it’s a rising power, it’s important. I mean, most of the world has different kinds of relation with China whether in science, in politics, in economy, in business, I mean, in every filed you need it now. And our relation for the future is going to be on the rise. It was good, but it’s going to be on the rise because when a country like China proves that it’s a real friend, a friend that you can rely on, it’s very natural to have better relation on the popular level, not only on the formal level.

Journalist: Thank you Mr. President, thank you for your time.

President Assad: Thank you for coming to Syria, you’re most welcome.

The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Information Clearing House.

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Erdogan: The Sultan Of An Illusionary Ottoman Empire

Global Research, March 09, 2017

This is the fourth and last in a series of articles based in part on eyewitness accounts about the rapidly deteriorating socio-political conditions in Turkey and what the future may hold for the country. The first, second and third articles are available here: First, Second, Third.

In many conversations and encounters I had over the years with former Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, he emphatically echoed his boss President Erdogan’s grandiose vision that by 2023 (the 100th anniversary of the Turkish Republic), Turkey will become as powerful and influential as the Ottoman Empire was during its heyday. Under the best of circumstances, Turkey cannot realize Erdogan’s far-fetched dream. Had he stayed the course, however, with his socio-political and judiciary reforms and economic developments, as he had during his first nine years in power, Turkey could have become a major player on the global stage and a regional powerhouse.

Sadly, Erdogan abandoned much of the impressive democratic reforms he championed, and embarked upon a systematic Islamization of the country while dismantling the pillars of democracy. He amassed unprecedented powers and transformed Turkey from a democratic to an autocratic country, ensuring that he has the last word on all matters of state.

In retrospect, it appears that Erdogan had never committed himself to a democratic form of government. The reforms he undertook during his first nine years in power were largely induced by the European Union’s requirements from any country seeking membership, which he exploited as a means by which to propel himself toward his ultimate goal. A quote attributed to him in 1999 describes precisely what his real intentions were from the day he rose to power. “Democracy” he said, “is like a bus, when you arrive at your destination, you step off.”

His role model is Mustafa Kemal Atatürk (meaning “Father of the Turks”), who founded the Turkish Republic in 1923.  Both share similar personal attributes as they sought to lead the nation with an iron fist while disregarding any separation of power. However, Atatürk was determined to establish a Westernized secular democratic state while Erdogan went in the opposite direction.

Erdogan steadily moved to create a theocracy where Islamic tradition and values reign supreme while assuming Atatürk’s image, which is revered by most Turks. Erdogan presents himself as one who leads with determination and purpose, generating power from his popular support, ultimately seeking to replace Atatürk; with the new amendments to the constitution, he will be endowed with powers even greater than Atatürk ever held.

With his growing popularity and most impressive economic growth, Erdogan successfully created the status of a strong and resolute leader—the “father” of a new Turkish Republic—and artfully penetrated the consciousness of the Turkish public while using Islam as the undisputed pathway that will lead Turkey to greatness. He is determined to preside at the 100th anniversary of the Turkish Republic over a powerful nation among the top ten largest global economies and that extends its influence East and West, akin to the prodigious influence that the Ottoman Empire enjoyed.

To realize his grand vision, Erdogan took several measures to consolidate his absolute power.

First, clearing the way: Erdogan embarked on the complete marginalization or elimination of anyone, in and outside the ruling AK Party, that challenged his authority or advanced new ideas for solving the country’s problems. Those who did not support his policies and dared to question his judgment were not spared. He resorted to conspiracy theories, accusing his political opponents of being enemies of the state aiming to topple his government, in order to continue unopposed to realize his vision for the country, analogous to the influence and outreach of the Ottoman Empire. He even fired his long-time friend and confidant Davutoglu because Davutoglu differed from him in connection with the Kurdish problem, and especially because of Davutoglu’s reluctance to support the constitutional amendments that will grant the president sweeping and unprecedented powers.

Second, the need for a culprit: Erdogan needed a scapegoat to blame for any of his shortcomings, and found the Gulen movement to be the perfect culprit that would provide him with the cover to overshadow the massive corruption that has swept his government. This also provided him with the “justification” to crack down on many social, political, and institutional entities, silencing the media, controlling the judiciary, and subordinating the military.

The aftermath of the attempted military coup in July 2016 gave him the ammunition to conduct a society-wide witch-hunt, providing him with the excuse to purge tens of thousands of people from academia, civil society, judiciary, military, and internal security. This has allowed him to assume total control of all departments in the government and private sector. He described his purge as a necessary evil to cleanse the public of the ‘cancer’ that has gripped the country. In so doing, he ensured that the political system revolves around the presidency, leaving him completely unchallenged to pursue his imperial dream to resurrect the stature of the Ottoman Empire as the country prepares to vote in the constitutional referendum on April 16.

Third, the creation of Ottoman symbolism: To project his grandiose vision, Erdogan needed to instill Ottoman images into the public consciousness, including the building of a 1,100-room ‘White Palace’ as his residence at a prohibitive cost to taxpayers. His most recent project was the Çamlica Mosque, the now-largest mosque in Istanbul, standing on the eponymous hill that overlooks the entire city.

Recently, Erdogan started the construction of another mosque in Taksim Square—once the site of the fiercest protests against Erdogan in his career—with all the style of the Ottoman era. Erdogan has even instructed that the national anthem be played on modified drums and brass instruments to make the music sound as if it were being played by bands of the Ottoman period. His purpose is to indoctrinate the public in a subliminal way to his perspective of the glorious Ottoman period.

Fourth, foreign policy assertiveness: Under Erdogan, Turkey has become increasingly assertive and forceful in the region. In Cyprus, he is determined to strike a deal largely on his terms. In Iraq, he placed Turkish troops over the objections of the Iraqi government to maintain his ruthless war against the Kurds. In Syria, he allowed thousands of foreign fighters, including many who have joined ISIS, to cross the border to strengthen the anti-Assad fight, while fighting the Syrian Kurds to prevent them from establishing their own autonomous rule, fearing that the Turkish Kurds would also demand autonomous rule of their own.

Erdogan further promoted the policy of “zero problem with neighbors,” and although presently Turkey has problems with just about every neighbor (and its prospective EU membership has completely diminished), he continues to claim that Turkey enjoys good relations internationally. Erdogan still uses Turkey’s membership in NATO as a sign of greatness; the fact that Turkey has the second-largest number of ground troops in  NATO reinforces his illusion that Ankara enjoys unrivaled military prowess in the region and commands the respect and attention of the international community that the Ottoman Empire was accorded.

Fifth, promoting Islam as a powerful tool: Erdogan is also using Sunni Islam to promote the country as a republic with Islamic ideals supported by a loyal state apparatus. He portrays himself as the leader of the Sunni world that would restore the Ottoman era of influence while cementing his authoritarian rule in the form of a neo-Sultan. To be sure, Erdogan is vigorously promoting – with the support of his party – Islamic nationalism systematically and meticulously. Mustafa Akyol, a Turkish analyst of politics and culture and author of the new book The Islamic Jesus says that “political propaganda is in your face every day, every single moment. If you turn on TV, if you open newspapers…”

Former Prime Minister Davutoglu said in 2015 that Turkey “will re-found the Ottoman state.” Although Davutoglu was fired, he—like most Turkish officials—depicts the government as the rightful heir of the Ottoman legacy. To that end, Erdogan uses Islam as the unifying theme that would propel Turkey to the greatness that the Ottoman Empire enjoyed. In fact, Turkish religious leaders have always thought of themselves as the standard-bearer of Islamic civilization, and though this failed with the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, to them it must now be corrected. As they would have it, “Turks once again should lead the ummah [Islamic community] as the new Ottomans.”

Sadly, Erdogan, who is still seen as a hero by nearly half of the Turkish population, is leading the country on a treacherous path. Turkey and its people have the resources, creativity, and institutions to make Turkey a significant power. Erdogan, who demonstrated an uncanny ability to harness his country’s natural and human resources, could have made Turkey such a power on the global stage. Indeed, he would have been the Atatürk of the new era had he simply continued with his historic reforms while protecting the rights of every individual and creating a real model of Islamic democracy.

The collapse of the Ottoman Empire was largely precipitated, among other things, by its internal political decadence, the arbitrary exercising of power, and gross violations of human rights that dramatically eroded the foundation on which the empire was built.

In whichever form Erdogan wants to resurrect the Ottoman Empire, he will fail because no country can survive, let alone become great, as long as the government walks on the backs of the people and stifles their freedom to act, speak, and dream.

There is where the greatness of any nation rests and endures—the Ottoman Empire never provided a model worthy of such emulation.


Geneva negotiations and the winning by the knockout مفاوضات جنيف والفوز بالضربة القاضية

Geneva negotiations and the winning by the knockout

Written by Nasser Kandil,

مارس 7, 2017

There is no doubt that the war on Syria was not, and at least it is no longer a Syrian Syrian war, because since its beginning it was a war of an alliance that was formed to change Syria, its location, and its identity. An international regional alliance that has two Syrian parts, the first part is the Wehhabism and whom supported it from the fighters of Al-Qaeda, and the other part is the Muslim Brotherhood and some of the seculars who work in favor of the international and the regional alliance, or the haters whose their blind hatred has made them without insight about the future of their country or those who were provoked for the war by authoritarian promises and Gulf funds. On the other bank Syria was alone during the first months of the war, but the risk of change Syria, its location, the ferocity of the war on it, and the size of the interest and the stubbornness which were shown by the alliance which wages the war to change it has attracted the attention of those who concerned with every geostrategic qualitative change in the region to the dangers of this war and its impact on them, so they started interfering gradually  in it till they became an important part of it specially Russia, Iran, and Hezbollah.

It is clear that the variation in the capabilities of the allies on the two banks was disturbed in favor of the countries of the war alliance which led by Washington and which includes each of Riyadh, Ankara, and Tel Aviv mainly, but the will and the determination of the supported alliance of Syria grew gradually till they reached to the direct repositioning including its risks which the opposite party was seeking to avoid them, by substituting the presence of its armies with the flow of money, weapons, and more of Al-Qaeda fighters, till the birth of a revised version of it, and that was ISIS. In the heart of this balance between the capabilities and the will the war was disabled and it seemed that the decisive factor was again in favor of Syria, where the surplus of power of Syria’s ally turns into an ability of wider representation, more employment and more willing to fight.

In the heart of the war, bloodshed was a crucial element in determining the ability to withstand according to the fighters, despite the fact that the war alliance has mobilized Al-Qaeda organization in its two versions the original and the revised one which has exhausted thousands of its suicidal, the direct confrontations remain showing that the Syrian army and its ally Hezbollah have a higher ability to bear making blood which was translated in the stability in the sites or the resolution in the attack. It seemed as well through the progress of the war that the cohesion of the alliances is crucial in their ability to draw the ceilings of their war, after it was proven the inability for the resolving, so there were plans for the full victory which was an agreed goal according to those who decided to go to war without having one alternative agreed plan. The sharing of geography satisfies Saudi Arabia and Israel, but it is not suitable plan for the Americans because it is not stable well-established formula, and it forms a red line for the Turks who fear the benefit of the Kurds, while the reach to a political settlement relieves the Americans even if the Syrian President remains, but it will disturb the Saudis, confuse the Turks, and terrify the Israelis. Conversely, the alliance which supports Syria seem converged on higher goal entitled responding to the war, overthrowing its goals, and the openness to political settlement that accepts the judgment of the ballot boxes and the will of the Syrians.

The political process depends on two titles; the war on terrorism as a priority and the political settlement as necessity. The two Syrian teams in Geneva are negotiating in order to prove that each one of them is not responsible for the failure of the negotiation. Therefore the governmental negotiator tries to draw its strategy in a way that discloses the linking of the opposite team with the terrorism and putting it in front of that challenge. in every time it succeeded in achieving the knockout against its opponents, while the negotiators of the war alliance try to put the governmental negotiator in front of the challenge of refusing the political process, but the governmental negotiator succeeded in avoiding the falling into the trap,  it drew a goal for the political process, it is the resort to people’s will at the ballot boxes through a transitional formula for a government and constitution that ends with  elections, while the opposition negotiator fell in the deadlock of the insistence on the departure of the Syrian President without elections as a condition for the political process, so it fell twice as a negotiator.

In Astana the governmental negotiator has faced the challenge of accepting to cooperate and to sit on the negotiating table with the organizations which it classified as terrorist, on the base let us see the deeds not the talks, it has put a challenge in front of its opponent, it was the ability to prove the separation from Al Nusra, they had hesitated and had lost before Al Nusra started its war against them, so they lost for the second time, while the governmental negotiator faced the challenge of accepting a unified government with its opponents in the political process, but it passed it as long as it ends with elections, while the opposite teams is still have the inability to keep up with it, because it is still stuck in the dilemma of the presidency.

Riyadh’s delegation in Geneva is faltering, it is unable to keep up with the governmental delegation in the ability to act confidently and to bear the tactic losses and the adventure of the unguaranteed proposals, because it does not have the main alternatives which constitute a condition to win in the negotiation, which are the ability to bear the consequences of the return to the battlefields, and the ability to bear to resort to the polls. In both of cases the scale of the Syrian government is turned strongly, so the cohesion of its alliance against the threats of the disintegration of the opponents’ alliance due to the confidence in sources of its power becomes an additive value to the superiority of Syria and the allies and their cohesion together.

Translated by Lina Shehadeh,


مفاوضات جنيف والفوز بالضربة القاضية

ناصر قنديل

– مما لا شكّ فيه أن الحرب في سورية لم تكن ولم تعد على الأقل حرباً سورية سورية، فمنذ بداياتها هي حرب حلف تشكل لتغيير سورية وموقعها وهويتها. حلف دولي إقليمي له ذراع وواجهة سوريتان، ذراعه هي الوهابية في سورية ومَن يدعمها من مقاتلي القاعدة وواجهتها الأخوان المسلمون وبعض العلمانيين المشتغلين لحساب الحلف الدولي الإقليمي أو الحاقدين الذين جعلهم الحقد الأعمى بلا بصيرة حول مستقبل بلدهم أو الذين استنهضتهم الحرب بوعود سلطوية وأموال خليجية، وعلى الضفة المقابلة كانت سورية وحدها في شهور الحرب الأولى، لكن خطر تغيير سورية وموقعها وضراوة الحرب عليها وحجم الاستثمار والعناد اللذين أبداهما الحلف الذي يخوض الحرب لتغييرها فتح عيون المعنيين بكل تغيير جيوسياسي نوعيّ في المنطقة على مخاطر هذه الحرب وتأثيراتها عليهم، فبدأوا يدخلون على خطها تدريجياً حتى صاروا جزءاً عضوياً منها، خصوصاً روسيا وإيران وحزب الله.

– الواضح أن التباين في مقدرات الحلفاء على الضفتين كان مختلاً لحساب دول حلف الحرب الذي تقوده واشنطن وتحتشد فيه كل من الرياض وأنقرة وتل أبيب بشكل رئيسي، لكن إرادة وعزيمة الحلف الداعم لسورية كانت تبدو ترتفع تدريجاً حتى بلوغ التموضع المباشر، بما فيه من مخاطر، بقي الحلف المقابل يسعى لتفاديها، مستعيضاً عن حضور جيوشه بضخّ المال والسلاح والمزيد من مقاتلي تنظيم القاعدة لحين ولادة نسخة منقحة منه، هي تنظيم داعش. وفي قلب هذا التوازن بين المقدرات والإرادة استعصت الحرب، وبدا أن العامل الحاسم عاد ليكون سورية، بحيث يصير فائض القوة لدى الحلف الذي يملك حليفه السوري قدرة تمثيل أوسع وتحشيد أكبر واستعداد للقتال أكبر.

– في قلب الحرب بدا بذل الدماء عنصراً حاسماً في تحديد قدرة الصمود لدى المتحاربين، ورغم حشد حلف الحرب لتنظيم القاعدة بنسختيه الأصلية والمنقحة الذي استهلك في الحرب الآلاف من انتحارييه، بقيت المواجهات المباشرة تقول إن الجيش السوري وحليفه حزب الله يملكان مقدرة أعلى على تحمّل بذل الدماء يترجمونه ثباتاً في المواقع أو إقداماً في الهجوم، كما بدا مع تقدّم الحرب أن تماسك الأحلاف حاسم في قدرتها على رسم سقوف حربها، بعدما ثبت العجز عن الحسم فتبلورت خطط رديفة للنصر الكامل الذي كان هدفاً متفقاً عليه عند الذين قرّروا الذهاب للحرب من دون أن تكون بينهم خطة بديلة واحدة متفق عليها، فالتقاسم للجغرافيا يُرضي السعودية و«إسرائيل»، لكنه لا يشكل خطة مريحة للأميركيين، لأنه ليس صيغة مستقرة راسخة، ويشكل خطاً أحمر للأتراك الذي يخشون إفادة الأكراد منه، بينما الوصول لتسوية سياسية يريح الأميركيين ولو بقي الرئيس السوري، ويقلق السعوديين ويربك الأتراك ويخيف «الإسرائيليين»، بالمقابل بدا حلف دعم سورية ملتقياً على هدف أعلى عنوانه ردّ الحرب وإسقاط أهدافها والانفتاح على تسوية سياسية تحتكم لصناديق الاقتراع وإرادة السوريين.

– تدور العملية السياسية تحت عنوانَي الحرب على الإرهاب أولوية والتسوية السياسية ضرورة لتلبيتها، ويتفاوض الفريقان السوريان في جنيف ليثبت كل منهما عدم تحمل مسؤولية فشل التفاوض، فيسعى المفاوض الحكومي لرسم استراتيجيته بما يفضح ارتباط الفريق المقابل بالإرهاب ووضعه أمام هذا التحدّي، ونجح في كل مرة بتحقيق الضربة القاضية بحق خصومه، بينما يسعى مفاوضو حلف الحرب على سورية لوضع المفاوض الحكومي أمام تحدي رفض العملية السياسية، فنجح المفاوض الحكومي بتفادي الفخ ورسم للعملية السياسية هدفاً هو الاحتكام لإرداة الشعب في صناديق الاقتراع، عبر صيغة انتقالية لحكومة ودستور تنتهي بالانتخابات، وعلق المفاوض المعارض في صنارة الإصرار على رحيل الرئيس السوري بغير الانتخابات شرطاً للعملية فسقط كمفاوض مرتين.

– في أستانة واجه المفاوض الحكومي تحدّي قبول التنظيمات التي صنفها إرهابية على طاولة التفاوض والتعاون، فتخطاه على قاعدة لندع الأفعال تتكلّم لا الأقوال، ووضع تحدياً مقابلاً لخصومه هو القدرة على إثبات انفصالهم عن النصرة فترددوا وخسروا قبل أن تبدأ النصرة بحربها عليهم، فيخسروا للمرة الثانية. بينما واجه المفاوض الحكومي في العملية السياسية تحدّي قبول حكومة موحدة مع خصومه فتخطاها طالما تنتهي بالانتخابات وبقيت عند خصمه عقدة العجز عن مجاراته وهو عالق في صنارة الرئاسة.

– يترنّح وفد الرياض في جنيف وهو عاجز عن مجاراة وفد الحكومة في القدرة على التصرّف بثقة وتحمّل الخسائر التكتيكية والمخاطرة بعروض غير مضمونة، لأنه لا يملك البدائل الرئيسية التي تشكل شرطاً للفوز بالتفاوض، وأهمها إثنان، القدرة على تحمّل تبعات العودة إلى ميادين القتال، والثاني القدرة على تحمّل الاحتكام لصناديق الاقتراع، وفي كليهما ترجح كفة الدولة السورية بقوة، فيصير تماسك حلفها بوجه مخاطر تفكّك حلف خصومها بقوة الثقة بمصادر قوتها، قيمة مضافة لتفوّق سورية والحلفاء وتماسكهم معاً.

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Syrian Army Marching on Terrorist Groups’ Centers in Eastern Damascus

Syrian Army Marching on Terrorist Groups' Centers in Eastern Damascus

Mon Mar 06, 2017

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian Army soldiers continued to hit hard terrorists’ defense lines in Eastern Ghouta and recaptured several more positions of the Al-Nusra after hours of non-stop clashes.

The army troops engaged in fierce clashes with terrorists near Harasta town Northeast of Damascus city and advanced against them in the gardens near Harasta, taking control over two positions of the terrorists.

In the meantime, the army men pushed the terrorists back from al-Wadi grand mosque and al-Nour driving school on the Western side of Harasta highway.

Local sources said that the army soldiers also drove terrorists out of the gardens in Tishrin district adjacent to al-Qaboun district.

Security sources said earlier today that the army soldiers are about to start a second phase of their operation against Al-Nusra Front (recently renamed to Fatah al-Sham Front) and enter al-Qaboun.

The sources said that the army soldiers have won back the entire farms in al-Qaboun region and will kick off the second phase of their attacks against Al-Nusra and will enter al-Qaboun district soon.

The sources added that the army ground forces, backed up by missile units and the country’s Air Force, drove the Al-Nusra Front out of the entire farms, gardens and buildings in the surrounding areas of al-Qaboun’s.

The army soldiers also destroyed two tunnels used by the terrorists near al-Qaboun district, killing the entire militants in the tunnels, the sources said, adding, “Hundreds of terrorists were killed in the army’s trap in the farms between the districts of Barzeh and al-Qaboun.”

In the meantime, the army aircraft pounded the positions of Al-Nusra near Zmelka and in a region between Arbin settlement and Jobar district.

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