Idlib — more than Raqqa — may be decisive Syria fault line

Idlib — more than Raqqa — may be decisive Syria fault line

EDITOR’S CHOICE | 28.03.2017

Idlib — more than Raqqa — may be decisive Syria fault line

“Turkey’s last-ditch efforts to harness Russian military and diplomatic heft to counter the Syrian Kurds and unravel their alliance with the United States are showing few signs of succeeding, like much else in the country’s ill-fated Syrian policy,” writes Amberin Zaman.

A Russian agreement with the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) in the Cindires district of Afrin may foreshadow a potential showdown in Idlib, where al-Qaeda-linked Hayat Tahrir al-Sham and Turkish-backed Salafi groups have taken hold after their defeat in Aleppo.

The introduction of Russian forces in Afrin is reminiscent of what happened in Manbij, where a threatened Turkish assault was deterred by US forces in the north and Russian and Syrian deployments in the south.

“If anything,” Zaman continues, “both the United States and Russia are steadily deepening their ties with the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) and its Arab allies who operate under the umbrella of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). And viewed from Ankara, they are doing so at Turkey’s expense.”

The negotiations between Russia and the Syrian Kurds over Afrin included discussion of possible coordination against Jabhat Fatah al-Sham, al-Qaeda’s Syria affiliate, formerly known as Jabhat al-Nusra, now under the umbrella of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, whose members slipped out of Aleppo with other armed groups under Turkish cover, according to Fehim Tastekin.

Tastekin writes, “YPG sources told Al-Monitor the two sides [Russia and the YPG] met at Khmeimim air base near Latakia to discuss developing a joint operation against Jabhat Fatah al-Sham (previously Jabhat al-Nusra), which has made Idlib its central base. The Kurds initially insisted that the partnership should also oppose organizations such as Ahrar al-Sham, which Turkey supports. In the end, the sources said, both parties decided not to debate which organizations they will confront and agreed that Russia will set up a base in Afrin. The Kurds said they rejected Russia’s request to have Syrian regime troops at the base and to fly the Syrian flag there.”

He adds, “Zelal Ceger, an official with the Kurdish Movement for a Democratic Society in Afrin, said that the Kurds sought an arrangement with Russia because of persistent attacks on Afrin by Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) and armed groups that Turkey supports,” which includes Salafi and Turkmen armed groups.

Ceger told Tastekin that “this war can escalate — hence our call on Russia for an alliance. There has to be coordination between Turkey and us. Russia will provide that coordination to prevent Turkish attacks against Afrin.”

Tastekin adds that YPG officials rejected a US proposal to include Syrian Kurdish forces backed by Iraqi Kurdistan President Massoud Barzani, calling it a “conspiracy” that could lead to war among the Kurds.

Zaman writes, “Turkey’s strongest card is its long border with Syria and continued influence over assorted Syrian rebel groups, which it has united under the Euphrates Shield command. Since August, Turkey and its rebel allies have cleared the Turkish border of IS forces and after a bloody and protracted offensive captured the IS-controlled town of al-Bab last month. But firmly hemmed in to the east by Russian, Syrian regime and US forces and now to the west by Russian forces in Afrin, Euphrates Shield appears to have reached the limits of its expansion.”

She adds, “The recent split in Ahrar al-Sham, one of the most powerful rebel factions in Syria, with its top leaders defecting to the Jabhat al-Nusra-dominated and al-Qaeda-linked Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, will have further weakened Turkey’s hand.”

While the United States is consumed with planning for unseating the Islamic State (IS) in Raqqa, Idlib may prove a comparable or perhaps even more explosive fault line because of the blurred lines among anti-Western Salafi groups such as Ahrar al-Sham, which is backed by Turkey, and Hayat Tahrir al-Sham.

Tamer Osman reports that Syrian “warplanes are increasingly hovering in the sky over Idlib in northern Syria and targeting several residential areas inside the city.”

Tastekin writes, “The Syrian army has been clearing out IS forces from their last Aleppo stronghold. Thanks to an agreement between Turkey and Russia, Turkish-supported armed groups — which oppose the Syrian regime but were also fighting IS in Aleppo — were allowed to leave there with their weapons and families. Most of them settled in Idlib and Azaz. … Russia and Turkey disagree on what to do with these anti-Syrian (and therefore, anti-Russian) groups. Russia wants them disbanded. Turkey would like them to hold onto that area and join the pro-Turkish Free Syrian Army factions to fight the Kurds and keep them from establishing a continuous autonomous region near Turkey’s border. If Russia and the Syrian army open a front against Idlib, clashes with the Turkish-backed groups could spill over to Afrin. Although the Kurds are focused on defending Afrin, they may be amenable to a joint operation with the Russians against threats from Idlib.”

“The biggest problem,” Osman continues, “is the lives of hundreds of thousands of Syrians living in Idlib, as these will not be able to find another shelter amid the ongoing airstrikes falling on the city and its suburbs. This same scenario occurred in areas now controlled by the Syrian regime forces such as the eastern neighborhoods of Aleppo.”

Khaled al-Khateb reports from Aleppo, “Turkey has been training a police organization, the Free Syrian Police (FSP), to help out with secondary operations in Aleppo province so the Free Syrian Army (FSA) can focus on fighting and maintaining control of the areas it has captured.“

Khateb writes, “The FSA’s presence there makes residents targets for the Islamic State (IS).” He adds, “The first FSP group, stationed in Jarablus, was recruited in late 2016 from Syrian refugee camps scattered in Gaziantep and Kilis in southern Turkey, unlike the second group stationed in Azaz and nearby towns, which mostly came from Aleppo province. There has been no shortage of recruits.”

Semih Idiz explains that “there is also speculation, fueled by remarks made by Erdogan in the recent past, about a Turkish effort to turn the FSA into Syria’s new army. If this were to come about, it would mean a Sunni-dominated, anti-Kurdish and anti-Shiite army. Given the big picture as it stands today, though, such an army is highly unlikely to be formed, since it would be blocked by Russia and the United States. The bottom line in all of this is that the prospects for Ankara’s realizing its aims in Syria appear to be dimming by the day — a fact that is also being increasingly noted by Turkish analysts.”

US Forces Block Syrian Army Advance in Preparation For Syria Partition

A U.S.-backed operation near Raqqa aims to “block any advance by Syrian government forces from the west”. The Balkanization of Syria begins

Global Research, March 27, 2017
Russia Insider 27 March 2017

The road to Raqqa is now blocked by U.S. forces and their allies. The chances that Raqqa (and the surrounding region) will be returned to Syria are now slim to none. Foreign armies and their proxies are sharpening their carving knives.

U.S. Special Forces and Syrian Kurdish and Arab fighters have just captured a “strategic air base” from Islamic State in northern Syria; in doing so, they have also “blocked” the advance of the Syrian Army as it approaches Raqqa from the west:

The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) announced on Sunday that they captured the Tabqa air base, 45km west of Raqqa, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group’s de facto capital in Syria.

Earlier this week, US forces airlifted SDF fighters behind ISIL lines to allow them to launch the Tabqa assault, and on Friday the alliance reached one of the dam’s entrances.

SDF forces were within 10km of Raqqa from the north, and aimed to effectively surround the city before launching an assault.

But as RFE/RL quietly notes:

Besides recapturing the dam, SDF said the U.S.-backed operation also aimed to block any advance by Syrian government forces from the west.

The landing forces airdropped into Syria seized four small villages in the area west of Tabqa and cut a main highway that links the provinces of Raqqa, Deir al-Zor, and Aleppo, Scrocca said.

The SDF cut the last main road out of Raqqa earlier this month, narrowing in on the city from the north, east, and west.

The only way in or out of Raqqa now is over the Euphrates River that borders the city to the south.

Incredible, isn’t it? A foreign army that is illegally operating in a sovereign nation can just march in and cut off the legitimate army of said sovereign nation from liberating its own city from terrorists.

What a world — and so much for international law.

It will be interesting to see Moscow’s reaction. Was this always part of the “deal” in Syria? Or is Washington hoping that Syria, Iran and Russia will accept Raqqa’s U.S.-ordained fate?

Stay tuned.

سقوط أستانة في جنيف

سقوط أستانة في جنيف

مارس 25, 2017

ناصر قنديل

– لم يكن لقاء أستانة اجتماعاً تقنياً لتثبيت وقف النار بقدر ما كان فرصة قدّمتها روسيا لتركيا للتموضع وجلب مَن معها من فصائل مسلّحة تعرف موسكو تاريخاً وخلفياتها الدموية والإرهابية، إلى ضفة جديدة في الحرب محورها التخلي عن جبهة النصرة والاستعداد للانضواء في تحالف عنوانه الحرب على النصرة ونيل المقابل بدور لتركيا والفصائل في تسوية سياسية تحت سقف الدستور السوري وعباءة الرئيس السوري والجيش السوري تنتهي بدستور جديد وانتخابات، ووقف النار كان تقدمة روسية لتركيا والفصائل لتسهيل هذا التموضع، وليس قضية قائمة بذاتها ولا هدفاً بذاته.

– مهما حاولت الفصائل ومن ورائها تركيا ومن أمامها السعودية ووفد الرياض المفاوض لتبييض صورة ما يُرى، فالمشهد يجمع جبهة النصرة وعلى يمينها فيلق الرحمن الذي تديره تركيا وعلى يسارها جيش الإسلام الذي تشغله السعودية، والمشاركان في أستانة تحت عنوان فصل النصرة عن الفصائل، وذلك يعني سقوط أستانة كمسار والعودة بالحرب في سورية إلى مرحلة ما بعد سيطرة الجيش السوري وحلفائه على الأحياء الشرقية في حلب، واعتبار هجمات دمشق وريف حماة رداً على انتصار حلب.

– تركيا التي حاولت مقايضة سيرها في مسار أستانة بداية بحجز مقعد لها في التفاهم الروسي الأميركي المقبل، ولما تأخر حاولت بيعه للأميركيين بالعداء لإيران والانتظار في سورية ولما لم ينفعها دخول مدينة الباب كجواز مرور إلى منبج وفوجئت ببطاقة أميركية حمراء، عادت للمقايضة في أستانة، ثم تراجعت لأنها لم تحصُل من موسكو على موقف من الأكراد يلبي تطلعاتها باستئصالهم، هي تركيا ذاتها التي عادت الآن تقف وراء الفصائل لتوجه رسائل المشاغبة للقول لا يمكنكم تجاهلي فلا تزال هناك خيارات، والخيار الوحيد كما يبدو هو التموضع مع السعودية و«إسرائيل» للعب ورقة النصرة مرة أخرى.

– الاستقواء بالنصرة وتقويتها لتغيير قواعد الحرب والتفاوض سيف ذو حدين، فإن نجح قد يغير المعادلات مؤقتاً بتوازن سلبي يفرض زج المزيد من القوى والقدرات على سورية وحلفائها ليأخذها إلى الحسم الطويل والصعب، لكنه عندما يفشل فنتائجه ستكون مدوّية في الميدان والتفاوض، وما جرى في دمشق ويجري تباعاً في ريف حماة يقول إنها بدايات واضحة وحاسمة على مسار الفشل، والنتائج على تركيا والفصائل أبعد من الميدان والتفاوض، لأنها تعني سقوط مسار أستانة في موسكو.

– مسار أستانة روسي أصلاً، ولم يكن موضع حماس لا في دمشق ولا في طهران ولا لدى حزب الله، كما كانت الهدنة في مثل هذه الأيام العام الماضي، لكن روسيا حليف كبير ورئيسي ويهمّ الحلفاء أن تنضج خياراته بهدوء، لأنه معني بالظهور كمرجع للنزاعات الدولية يمنح الفرص للسلام والحلول السياسية. وهذه من موجبات الدولة العظمى التي لا تضرب خبط عشواء، لكن متى أقفلت أبواب الحلول فهي لا تفتحها مجدداً بل تضرب بقسوة وبدقة وبحسم، وهذا ما فعلته موسكو في حلب يوم حسمت أن طريق الحلول قد سقط بعد منحها شهوراً للتفاوض مع واشنطن وصناعة التفاهم معها. وهذا المعنى الأعمق لسقوط مسار أستانة.

– قال مصدر روسي إن الذين خرقوا وقف النار في ريف ردمشق وريف حماة سيدفعون ثمناً باهظاً لتلاعبهم وخداعهم، فكيف وهم يقاتلون مع النصرة؟

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Turkey, NATO: Getting Closer to Divorce

Turkey, NATO: Getting Closer to Divorce

PETER KORZUN | 24.03.2017 | WORLD

Turkey, NATO: Getting Closer to Divorce

Turkey has been a NATO ally since 1952, and US aircraft have used Incirlik Air Base in the south during the operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. The base is home to a stockpile of US tactical nuclear weapons. A perusal of media reports leads to the conclusion that Turkey and NATO are heading for a major rift or even a breakup – a problem the North Atlantic alliance hasn’t experienced in its nearly seven decades of existence.

Germany and the Netherlands have blocked Turkish ministers from staging rallies to court the vote of expatriate Turks in the April 16 referendum on giving President Erdogan greater powers. Denmark is siding with its north European neighbors. Turkey faces deep differences with the USA, accusing it of being behind the failed plot in 2016. Both countries have opposing views on the role of Kurds in Syria. Former State Secretary John Kerry came close to threatening Turkey with the loss of its NATO membership.

Add to this the perennial tension between Turkey and Greece and the problem of Cyprus to get the whole picture. According to Bloomberg, «All in all, Turkey appears to have more disputes than friendships with its NATO allies. And its engagement with the alliance itself, which it joined in 1952, isn’t particularly strong».

The NATO annual report for 2016 says Turkey only took part in four of the 18 key NATO exercises held last year. Despite having the fourth-strongest military in the bloc (after the US, France and the UK but ahead of Germany) and the second-highest number of military personnel (after the US), its involvement in NATO’s deployments is small, amounting to just 4 percent of the personnel in the mission to train the Afghan security forces, and 7 percent of the Kosovo force.

Ankara has recently blocked some rolling programs with NATO, including political events, civilian projects and military training, in an escalation of a diplomatic dispute with a number of European states.

Turkey is unable to block cooperation with full-fledged NATO members. The move to block the activities is apparently aimed at Austria, which is not a member of NATO but is a partner country. It has banned Turkish referendum rallies on its territory. Austria has called for the EU to end accession talks with Turkey over alleged human rights violations after the aborted coup.

As a result, a very important NATO project to threaten Russia is in jeopardy. This month, Brigadier General Vladimir Chachibaia, new Chief of General Staff of Georgian Armed Forces, proposed to turn the port of Poti into a NATO military base. This, he argued, would help the alliance get around the provisions of Montreux Convention, which limit non-Black Sea powers access to the Black Sea.

Increasing the number of port calls is a way to boost the bloc’s naval presence, but the passage of naval ships not belonging to Black Sea states is restricted by the Convention. Strengthening the naval forces of Georgia and Ukraine and building a bloc’s «coast guard» base in Georgia would boost NATO’s sea power in the region. Poti could become a home port for the ships of Black Sea NATO members. Georgian military expert Irakli Aladashvili told Russian Kommersant daily that the facility would be protected by ground based weapons systems and land forces.

Ukraine’s plans to buy old ships from NATO members could also be suspended.

Turkey’s action encompasses many more areas of NATO’s activities. The programs cover most of Europe, plus many countries in the Middle East and Asia. Kosovo, Georgia, Ukraine and Afghanistan are affected. Austria is one of the biggest providers of troops in Kosovo. «It is a very unfortunate situation and it means some cooperation programs can’t be launched», said NATO’s Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg during a visit to Copenhagen.

Last November, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Turkey could become part of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). The idea had been discussed with Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Kazakh counterpart Nursultan Nazarbayev.

Established in 1996, the SCO is a political, military and economic organization comprising Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. Iran, Mongolia, Belarus and Afghanistan are granted observer status. India and Pakistan are set to join this year to make the SCO a powerful group with global influence. Turkey’s accession would be a milestone bringing together the Shanghai Pact and the Cooperation Council of Turkic-Speaking States (CCTS) – an international organization of Turkic countries, comprising Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Turkey. The General Secretariat is in İstanbul, Turkey. Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan are possible future members of the council.

Turkey is developing military cooperation with Russia. This January, Russian and Turkish air forces launched a joint operation against Islamic State (IS) militants holding the town of al-Bab northeast of Aleppo. The parties have agreed to form a joint military and intelligence mechanism to coordinate their activities in the Middle East. If peace efforts to stop hostilities in Syria succeed, Russia and Turley lead the crisis management process. It could be a start on the way to forming a broader alliance against global terrorism.

Russia and Turkey have been getting increasingly close recently, especially after the two countries brokered a Syria truce in late December to join together in the Astana process. Turkey is in talks with Russia on purchasing the advanced long-range S-400 air defense systems to protect its skies. This issue was on the agenda during the President Erdogan’s visit to Moscow on March 9-10, 2017. Ankara also seeks procurement deals in electronic systems, ammunitions and missile technology.

Both nations are parties to the ambitious Turkish Stream natural gas pipeline project. It should be noted that Russia, not the US or any other NATO member, was the first country to be visited by the Turkish president after the failed coup last year.

Ankara is also getting closer to Beijing. The two countries are closely cooperating to implement China’s the One Belt One Road project. Turkey is again taking the position as a key investment and cooperation partner that will help bridge the East and the West.

Turkey is distancing itself from the West while getting closer with the partners outside NATO and the EU. The abovementioned events conform to the trend. NATO stands to lose its second largest military power as well as one of its key airbases, while Russia, China and other countries are developing the relationship of alliance with the country, which enjoys a unique geographic location between Europe, the Middle East and Asia. It gives it easy access to strategically important areas and major energy resources. Turkey is a founding member of the OECD (1961) and the G-20 major economies (1999), it has the world’s 15th largest GDP-PPP and 15th largest Nominal GDP. The development is a major loss for the West and a major win for those who strive for a multipolar world.

Syrian War Report – March 21, 2017: Russia Set Military Base In YPG-Held Area Of Afrin?

Voiceover by Harold Hoover

Russia is setting up a military base in the Afrin canton area controlled by the Kurdish People’s Protection Units in northwestern Syria. The agreement on establishing the base was concluded on Sunday, according to YPG spokesman Redur Xelil. The base will reportedly be located at the village of Qatmah. Russian military servicemen have already arrived in the area with armoured vehicles, trucks, and troop carriers. According to the YPG spokesman, Russian military advisors will allegedly train YPG fighters and increase cooperation with the YPG in combating terrorism.

The Russian Defense Ministry denied the creation of a military base and said that some units of the Reconciliation Centre had been deployed to the area to “observe” the ceasefire. In Any case, this will clearly contribute to further improvement of the relations between Kurdish military political entities and the Syrian government.

Government troops have reversed a significant part of the gains made Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (formerly the official branch of al-Qaeda) in the Qabun industrial district in eastern Damascus and re-imposed the siege on the area of Qabun. Clashes are still ongoing in the area but it’s clear that the joint militant forces led by al-Qaeda have failed to achieve their military goals. The growth of al-Qaeda-led operations in the Damascus countryside could trigger a government advance aiming to clear the area from militants. In this case, Qabun is a legitimate target for government forces.

In the province of Aleppo, the Syrian army and its allies aim to cut off the road linking Deir Hafer with the ISIS-controlled airbase of Jirah and to encircle the city. Government forces liberated the village of Al-Qusayr and the nearby train station from ISIS and attacked terrorists in Jifr Mansur, Aqulah, and Adasarah.

The US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), predominantly consisting of the People’s Protection Units (YPG), have taken control of Karamah, Tal Fatisah, Khardal, and the Balasim oil storage east of the ISIS-controlled city of Raqqah. The SDF advance was actively backed by the US military. At least one Apache attack helicopter was spotted supporting the SDF advance.


Syrian War Report – March 20, 2017: Govt Forces Fight ISIS In Homs And Aleppo, Al-Qaeda Attacks In Damascus

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Voiceover by Harold Hoover

The Syrian army and the National Defense Forces (NDF), backed up by the Russian Aerospace Forces’ attack helicopters, further advanced against the ISIS terrorist group in the countryside of Palmyra.

They captured a mountain chain north of the Mazar Mountain and attacked ISIS units at the nearby al-Haram Mountain. Government forces also resized the Talilah crossroad and the Talilah Heights from ISIS terrorists in the southern Palmyra countryside. Clashes also continued in the area of Arak where the army and the NDF were advancing against ISIS units.

Troops of the recently formed 5th Legion, trained and equipped by the Russians, played an important role in the operation.

The ongoing military operation clearly shows that speculations, which had appeared at some pro-government sources, about the rapid army advance in the direction of Deir Ezzor, are far from reality.

As SF reported earlier, the main goal of government forces is to secure the Palmyra countryside, including hill tops and gas and oil fields in the area which are still in the hands of ISIS terrorists.

Government forces, led by the Syrian army’s Tiger Forces, liberated Um Al-Murra and the Al-Murra hill, Sharimah, and Juni al-Salamah from ISIS terrorists near Deir Hafer in the province of Aleppo. The advance continued in the direction of Aqulah and Qusayr. If Aqulah is liberated, government troops will cut off the main road linking the ISIS-held city with the rest of ISIS forces in the province.

On March 19th, ISIS terrorists advanced in the Wadi al Azeeb area, forcing government forces to close the Salamiyah-Ithriya highway. This ISIS attack was likely aimed to draw the Syrian military’s attention away from the Palmyra countryside. Nonetheless, terrorists were not able to deploy enough forces to pose a major threat to the government sites.

Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (a coalition of militant groups led by Jabhat Fatah al-Sham, formerly Jabhat al-Nusra) launched an advance against government forces in the Qabun Industrial Area in Damascus. Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham used car bombs to break government defenses and seized a number of points, including the electric company building. Then, government forces launched a counter-attack and retook the electric company building. The goal of the militant advance is to link up the Qabun area with Jobar and the Eastern Ghouta region held by militants.

Militants are surrendering the al-Waer district in Homs after making an agreement with the government under Russian mediation. Over 1500 members of militant groups and their families have already left the area. Experts estimate that some 8,000 people will depart the area for Idlib. Over 40,000 will remain in al-Waer as the government takes full control of it.

Hot Syrian Spring ربيع سوري ساخن

 Hot Syrian Spring

مارس 20, 2017

Written by Nasser Kandil,

It was not a secret that Astana Path which was created by Moscow in an opportune moment for finding an alternative of the US absence from the tracks of making the political settlement for Syria, was due to the emergence of an opportunity of the qualitative Turkish cooperation after the defeat of Aleppo which has affected it and has affected the military militia forces which work under its sponsorship which are closer to Al Nusra front, and which the Russians have endeavored  to make the Americans taking over the responsibility of separating it but in vain. The opportunity came to make its original owner taking over the task; the Turkish is the shelter, the supply line of Al Nura, and the sponsor of the involved armed groups, but after Aleppo the Turkish lost the opportunity to fight a proxy war on Syria, and has lost the hope in the consequences of this war after the fall of the castle which was represented by Aleppo and the fall of its title under the name of the armed opposition. Furthermore the Euphrates Shield which the Turkish formed for the war on ISIS has become mere a refinery to accommodate the remaining of the formations which he sponsored to make from them Turkish security line that is similar to the line of the army of Antoine Lahd in favor of Israel in the southern of Lebanon before liberating the South.

The Russian equation was that the Turks would separate Al Nusra and the militias affiliated to them within the Euphrates Shield to fight ISIS, and the partnership in a track that leads to alternative important Syrian negotiator of the opposition of Riyadh, that is capable of going on toward a settlement entitled the partnership with Turkey in the war on terrorism in exchange of reserving a fixed Turkish seat in the new regional system, but the US slowdown in the cooperation with Russia has led to big Turkish regressions, then Manbej slap which neither Russia nor Syria were far from its making occurred to the Turks, in response of the Turkish deception in Al Bab city and the embarrassment to the American through a new equation that says the impossibility to combine between the alliance with the Kurds and the Turks, so the Russians cooperate with the Turkish once again and the Syrians cooperate with the Kurds.

Astana in its third version has taken place in order to tell the armed groups which the Turks claim their mono-authority on them that they are still a common investment among Saudi Arabia, Israel, and the Americans that proves its ability in affecting the settlement negatively. This means its boycotting of Astana despite the Turkish concern and presence, or to say that the Turkish is still practicing the manipulation and the deception waiting for the American, in both cases there is no justification for the continuation of the bet on Astana as a path.

The suicidal bombings which ravage in the Syrian areas and the silence of the armed and the political oppositions say that the bet on a political or security track that leads to dynamisms that develop by themselves is no longer present. The military initiative is at the hand of the Syrian country and its allies, and there is no justification to stop in front of the lie of considering the cease-fire a way for the political settlement, or considering that Turkey can or wants, or can and wants an independent path from the Americans in approaching the Syrian war. So the clarity becomes the answer; war on Al Nusra and those who stand with it along with a political path with a clear ceiling for who wants, here is Geneva without conditions including the cease-fire condition, those who become ready for a government under the Syrian constitution and the Syrian presidency can find a seat till the election decides their size, and those who do not want then let them reserve a seat in the field.

The postponement of Astana to May says that April will be a hot month, and that the next Geneva after a week will be cold and dull especially after it became clear the Saud Israeli encouragement of the Americans to separate the battle of ISIS in the northern of Syria from the war on the resistance and the Syrian army in the south, and the sufficiency with security settlements with the Russians in the north due to the necessities of the war on ISIS, and disabling every political settlement that legitimizes the cooperation with the Syrian country that restores its diplomatic presence and its economic movement just for the sake of the necessities of the war on the Syrian country and the resistance.

Translated by Lina Shehadeh,


ربيع سوري ساخن

مارس 17, 2017

ناصر قنديل

– لم يكن خافياً أن مسار أستانة الذي وجدته موسكو في لحظة مؤاتية لإيجاد بديل عن الغياب الأميركي عن مسارات صناعة التسوية السياسية الخاصة بسورية، جاء بفعل ظهور فرصة لتعاون تركي نوعي بعد هزيمة حلب التي أصابتها وأصابت معها القوى العسكرية الميليشياوية العاملة تحت عباءتها وغير البعيدة عن جبهة النصرة، والتي تعب الروس لجعل الأميركيين يتولّون مهمة فصلها عنها من دون طائل. وجاءت فرصة ان يتولى المهمة صاحبها الأصلي. فالتركي هو ملاذ النصرة وخط إمدادها وهو راعي الجماعات المسلحة المعنية. وقد فقد بعد حلب فرصة خوض حرب بالوكالة على سورية وفقد الأمل بنتائج هذه الحرب بعد سقوط القلعة التي مثلتها حلب وسقوط عنوانها باسم المعارضة المسلحة. وصار درع الفرات الذي شكّله للحرب على داعش، مجرد مصفاة لاستيعاب شتات التشكيلات التي رعاها ليجعل منها شريطاً أمنياً تركياً يشبه شريط جيش أنطوان لحد لحساب إسرائيل في جنوب لبنان قبل تحرير الجنوب.

– كانت المعادلة الروسية أن يقوم الأتراك بمهمة عزل النصرة وتجميع الميليشيات التابعة لهم ضمن درع الفرات لمقاتلة داعش، والشراكة بمسار ينتج مفاوضاً سورياً بديلاً وازناً عن معارضة الرياض قادراً على السير نحو تسوية عنوانها الشراكة مع تركيا في الحرب على الإرهاب، مقابل حجز مقعد تركي ثابت في النظام الإقليمي الجديد. وجاء التباطؤ الأميركي في التعاون مع روسيا لينتج تراجعات تركية كبيرة، ثم جاءت صفعة منبج للأتراك والتي لم تكن روسيا ولا سورية ببعيدتين عن صناعتها رداً على الخداع التركي في معركة الباب وإحراجاً للأميركي بمعادلة جديدة تقول باستحالة الجمع بين التحالف مع الأكراد والأتراك، فيمسك الروسي بيد التركي مجدداً ويمسك السوري بيد الأكراد.

– جاءت أستانة بنسختها الثالثة لتقول إن الجماعات المسلحة التي يدعي الأتراك سلطتهم الأحادية عليها، لا تزال استثماراً مشتركاً مع السعودية و»إسرائيل» والأميركيين، يثبت قدرته على التأثير لإعاقة التسويات. وهذا معنى مقاطعتها لأستانة رغم الاهتمام والحضور التركيين، أو لتقول إن التركي لا يزال يمارس التلاعب والخداع، بانتظار الأميركي، وفي الحالين لا مبرر لمواصلة الرهان على أستانة كمسار.

– التفجيرات الانتحارية التي تعصف بالمناطق السورية، وصمت المعارضات المسلحة والسياسية، يقولان إن الرهان على مسار سياسي أو أمني كمسار ينتج ديناميات تتطور بذاتها لم يعد له مكان، فالمبادرة العسكرية بيد الدولة السورية وحلفائها، ولا مبرر للتوقف أمام أكذوبة اعتبار وقف النار طريقاً للتسوية السياسية، ولا اعتبار أن تركيا تقدر أو تريد، أو تقدر وتريد، مساراً مستقلاً عن الأميركيين في مقاربة الحرب السورية، ولذلك يصير الوضوح هو الجواب، حرب على النصرة ومن يقف معها، ومسار سياسي بسقف واضح لمن يرغب وها هي جنيف موجودة، من دون شروط، بما فيها شرط وقف النار، فمن ينضج لسقف المشاركة بحكومة في ظل الدستور السوري والرئاسة السورية يجد له مقعداً حتى تقرر الانتخابات حجمه، ومن لا يريد فليحجز مقعده في الميدان.

– تأجيل أستانة لشهر أيار يقول إن نيسان سيكون شهراً ساخناً، وإن جنيف المقبل بعد أسبوع سيكون بارداً وباهتاً، خصوصاً مع ما بات واضحاً من تشجيع سعودي «إسرائيلي» للأميركيين لفصل معركة داعش في شمال سورية عن الحرب على المقاومة والجيش السوري في الجنوب، والاكتفاء بتسويات أمنية مع الروس شمالاً لضرورات الحرب على داعش، وإعاقة كل تسوية سياسية تشرّع التعاون مع الدولة السورية وتعيد لها حضورها الدبلوماسي وحركتها الاقتصادية لضرورات الحرب على الدولة السورية والمقاومة.

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Bin Salman’s signature on Damascus’s bombings توقيع بن سلمان على تفجيرات دمشق

Bin Salman’s signature on Damascus’s bombings

Written by Nasser Kandil,

Those who know the personality of the Saudi Crown Crown Prince and the Defense Minister in the government of his father, the degrees of narcissism which controls him and the absurd bloodiness in his decisions taken daily to bomb the poor of Yemen in their vulnerable homes whether old people, women, or children know that he does not hesitate to ask for celebrating a death scene, which through it he can present his credits to the new US President who is superficial and narcissistic too and who is obsessed with the language of greatness, discipline, and reprimand to those who do not keep up with him, and where the US decision can involve him in a war due to an emotional debate with a president of an allied country so how with the opponents?.

Mohammed Bin Salman went to Washington under Israeli arrangement, preceded by understandings translated by Bin Salman by making Al Hodiedah his next destination in Yemen. along with the future of the Yemeni missiles for the negotiation. The two demands are Israeli that were expressed by Moshe Ya’alon with the beginning of the war on Yemen when he was the Minister of the war in the occupation government by saying that Eilat is at risk as long as Al Hodeidah is at the hands of Al Houthis and as long as the Yemeni missiles arsenal is safe and secure.

Yesterday Ya’alon attacked the Turkish President Recep Erdogan and accused him of the seeking for a new Ottoman which till yesterday it was desired ally to overthrow Syria, as well as the factions that are affiliated to the Saudi and the Israeli command rebel against Ankara’s demands to join Astana. The dispute is neither principal nor ideological nor political nor military about the goals and the alliances, but it is the logic of as you see me I see you, when Ankara thought about the approaching of the US-Russian understanding it sought to meet it without its Israeli or the Saudi allies in the war on Syria and has led to the settlement of Aleppo, Moscow’s meeting, and Astana path with the partnership of Iran. Therefore the strategic enemy of Tel Aviv and Riyadh by the logic of the interests is as the Kurds according to the Turks.

When the Turks reached to the certainty of the US reluctance of accepting their sweep with the Kurdish expansion they returned to Moscow and Astana and asked from their groups to go, they got used to the idea of the regression of the contrived campaign against Iran which they did for the sake of America, hoping to please him in exchange of the Kurds, they decided to keep the security issue from the Kurdish gate a ceiling for their Syrian movement, so there were no commons between them and the allies who do not want to harm the Turks. but they do not mind to say in front of the American “ our ally has a privacy and has its own speech and we have our own privacy and speech”  and if its dominance in the northern of Syria then the south will not be a subject of the Turkish calendar.

Bin Salman goes with the blessing of Israel to say that we will continue the war in Syria and Yemen on Iran and its allies, we have the capacity to withstand so do not dash to the settlements, wage the battles against ISIS in the northern of Syria with the cooperation of Russia or without it, with the cooperation of Turkey or without, it belongs to you, but the most important thing is that the cost must not be a full settlement for all of Syria that legalizes the victory of Iran and its allies. The temporal alliances are enough for the war on ISIS, since ISIS has not any notable presence in the southern of Syria but Iran and its allies; the Syrian country, then Hezbollah, and then the present advisers and allies; those form a danger to Saudi Arabia, Israel, and America. When there is a settlement that confines the Iranian influence with what pleases America then it is a settlement that pleases Saudi Arabia and Israel.

The bombings of Damascus and the reluctance of going to Astana say that the Turkish command on the armed groups ends at the borders of the northern of Syria, then the Saudi and the Israeli command starts, it waits for the US sponsorship, so the bombings made by their two suicide bombers who sought for a goal to bomb themselves in, because the timing is important since they were notified from their operators that the paradise is waiting for them today. Here is the celebration of the remembrance of “the revolution” that is offered by the “guide of the revolution” Bin Salman and is blessed by Ya’alon to the rebels who announced one day that they went out seeking for civil peaceful multilateralism Syria.

Translated by Lina Shehadeh,

توقيع بن سلمان على تفجيرات دمشق

مارس 16, 2017

ناصر قنديل

– الذين يعرفون شخصية ولي ولي العهد السعودي ووزير الدفاع في حكومة والده ودرجة النرجسية التي تتحكّم به، والدموية العبثية في قراراته التي يتخذها يومياً بأومر قصف فقراء اليمن في بيوتهم الهشة، شيوخاً ونساء وأطفالاً، يعرفون أنه لا يتورّع عن طلب مشهد موت احتفالي يقدّم عبره أوراق اعتماده للرئيس الأميركي الجديد، السطحي والنرجسي أيضاً والمأخوذ بلغة العظمة والتأديب والتوبيخ لمن لا يجاريه، وحيث يمكن وتسلس الآلة الأميركية له القرار يمكن له التورط بحرب بسبب سجال انفعالي مع رئيس دولة حليفة، فكيف بالخصوم؟

– يذهب محمد بن سلمان بترتيب «إسرائيلي» إلى واشنطن، سبقته إليها تفاهمات يترجمها بن سلمان بجعل مدينة الحديدة وجهته المقبلة في اليمن ومعها على الطاولة مستقبل الصواريخ اليمنية للتفاوض، والمطلبان «إسرائيليان»، عبر عنها موشي يعلون مع بدء حرب اليمن، يوم كان وزيراً للحرب في حكومة الاحتلال بقوله، إن إيلات تحت الخطر ما دامت الحديدة بيد الحوثيين، وما دامت ترسانة الصواريخ اليمنية سليمة وآمنة.

– بن يعلون أمس، يهاجم الرئيس التركي رجب أردوغان، ويتّهمه بالسعي لعثمانية جديدة كانت حتى الأمس حليفاً مطلوباً لإسقاط سورية، ومثله تتمرّد الفصائل التابعة للإمرة السعودية و«الإسرائيلية» على طلبات أنقرة بالالتحاق بأستانة، والخلاف ليس مبدئياً ولا عقائدياً ولا حتى بسياسي أو عسكري حول الأهداف والتحالفات، إنه منطق «كما تراني يا جميل أراك»، فعندما اعتقدت أنقرة بقرب التفاهم الروسي الأميركي سعت لملاقاته بدون حليفيها «الإسرائيلي» والسعودي في الحرب على سورية، وأنتجت تسوية حلب ومنها لقاء موسكو ومسار أستانة بالشراكة مع إيران، العدو الاستراتيجي لتل أبيب والرياض بمنطق المصالح، بمثل ما يشكل الأكراد قضية الأتراك.

– عندما وصل الأتراك إلى يقين التمنّع الأميركي عن قبول مقايضتهم بالتمدد الكردي، عادوا إلى موسكو وأستانة وطلبوا من جماعاتهم الذهاب، وتوطنوا مع فكرة التراجع عن الحملة المفتعلة مع إيران التي قاموا بها كرمى لعيون الأميركي أملاً بشراء رضاه كردياً، وقرروا إبقاء قضية أمنهم من البوابة الكردية سقفاً لحركتهم السورية، فسقطت المشتركات بينهم وبين الحلفاء الذين لا يريدون شراً بالأتراك، لكن لا مانع من القول أمام الأميركي «لحليفنا خصوصيته وخطابه ولنا خصوصيتنا وخطابنا»، وإن كان نفوذه في شمال سورية، فالجنوب لن يخضع للروزنامة التركية.

– يذهب بن سلمان ببركة «إسرائيلية» ليقول سنواصل الحرب في سورية واليمن، وعلى إيران وحلفائها، ولدينا قدرة الصمود، ولا تستعجلوا التسويات، وخوضوا معارك داعش شمال سورية بالتعاون مع روسيا أو بدونه، فذلك شأنكم، وبالتعاون مع تركيا أو بدونها، فذلك ايضاً شأنكم. المهم ألا يكون الثمن تسوية شاملة لكل سورية تشرّع انتصار إيران وحلفائها، فتكفي التحالفات الموضعية للحرب على داعش، ولا داعش بوجود يذكر في جنوب سورية بل إيران وحلفائها، الدولة السورية أولهم، وحزب الله ثانيهم، وما تيسر من مستشارين وحلفاء ثالثاً، وهؤلاء خطر على السعودية و«إسرائيل» وأميركا، وعندما تنضج تسوية تقيّد النفوذ الإيراني بما يرضي أميركا فهي تسوية ترضي السعودية و«إسرائيل».

– تفجيرات دمشق وممانعة الذهاب إلى أستانة تقولان إن الإمرة التركية على الجماعات المسلحة تنتهي عند حدود الشمال السوري، وتبدأ بعدها الإمرة السعودية «الإسرائيلية»، وهي إنتحارية، تنتظر الاحتضان الأميركي، فتقدم التفجيرات بانتحارييها اللذين كانا انتحاريين لبلوغ هدف يفجّران نفسيهما فيه، لأن التوقيت مهم كما تبلغا من المشغل الذي وعدهما بالجنة إن فازا بالموت اليوم وليس غداً. وها هو احتفال بذكرى «الثورة» يهديه «مرشد الثورة» بن سلمان ويباركه يعلون لثوار أعلنوا ذات يوم أنهم خرجوا طلباً لسورية مدنية سلمية تعددية.

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