Putin delivers annual address to Federal Assembly

Putin delivers annual address to Federal Assembly

April 21, 2021

Putin’s speech comes amid a period of diplomatic confrontation with Western nations and a stand-off over the situation in Ukraine and Russian troop movements.

The address to the Federal Assembly is often used to announce major changes in Russian domestic and foreign policy.

This is the current live stream.

The full and complete transcript is now posted.

Presidential Address to the Federal Assembly

The President of Russia delivered the Address to the Federal Assembly. The ceremony took place at the Manezh Central Exhibition Hall.

April 21, 202113:20

Moscow

The ceremony was attended by members of the Federation CouncilState Duma deputies, members of the Government, the heads of the Constitutional and Supreme courts, regional governors, speakers of regional legislatures, the heads of traditional religious denominations and public activists.

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President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Members of the Federation Council, State Duma deputies,

Citizens of Russia,

Today’s Presidential Address to the Federal Assembly will be dedicated mostly to internal issues. These include, naturally, healthcare, social policy and the economy. Of course, I will say a few words about external affairs and literally a few words about security issues.

It stands to reason that I will begin with last year’s events, when our country and, actually, the entire world faced a new, previously unknown and extremely dangerous infection.

It that period, including during our meetings with experts and conversations with the leaders of many states, I often heard the following description of the situation: we are faced with total uncertainty. And this is how it really was.

I could see this from the information I received from the regions. The number of people who contracted the disease and needed to be rushed to hospital kept growing. Actually, all of you are very well aware of this. Many hospitals were filled to capacity and reported that they could run out of oxygen soon, including in intensive care units. Ventilators, protective masks and PPE were actually distributed by the piece. Shops were running out of basic products, such as cereals, butter and sugar, due to increased demand.

The epidemic was on the offensive. But although there was great concern, I personally had no doubt that we would pull through.

Citizens, society and the state acted responsibly and in unison. We rallied, managed to take preventive action, to create conditions that would reduce the risk of infection, and to provide medical personnel and citizens with personal protective equipment. We increased the number of hospital beds for coronavirus patients more than five times over, to 280,000 beds.

The brief outline of measures conceals the tremendous and intensive work of millions of people in all regions of the Russian Federation. I would like to cordially thank all of you for this. Everyone worked quickly, efficiently and conscientiously.

At that time and later on, we were analysing the situation practically non-stop. I recall vividly my visit to the hospital in Kommunarka. It was necessary to experience, to see at first hand the danger facing us and to assess the working conditions of medical specialists. They immediately found themselves in the thick of events and fought for every life, while risking their own.

Today, doctors, paramedics, medical nurses and members of ambulance teams are sitting here in this hall. Once again my heartfelt thanks to you and your colleagues from all the Russian regions.

Russian researchers made a real breakthrough, and Russia now has three reliable coronavirus vaccines. These and many other achievements of the past few years highlight the country’s growing science and technological potential.

I would like to thank everyone, every person who contributed to the fight against infection, including the workers at the plants manufacturing medications, medical equipment, personal protective equipment, and enterprises working 24 hours a day, housing and utility agencies, trade companies, the Russian business community that quickly converted entire sectors so that they could manufacture essential goods, civilian and military builders, agriculture workers who gathered a record-breaking harvest, one of the biggest in the country’s history, that is, over 130 million tonnes.

The personnel of law enforcement agencies and the special services continued to carry out their duty, and the Russian Armed Forces reliably ensured our country’s security.

I would like to underscore the selfless behaviour of people working for social services, orphanages, boarding schools, retirement homes and hospices who stayed and who continue to stay with their charges. You will certainly agree with me that, while analysing developments at these institutions, one feels proud of people who are carrying out their duty there in such a responsible manner. It could move you to tears. I would like to thank them once again.

I would also like to convey my sincere gratitude to school teachers and the lecturers at universities and other education institutions. You did everything possible to enable your students and pupils to gain knowledge and successfully pass their exams, with the involvement and support of their parents.

Russia’s cultural life continued unabated. Theatres, museums and concert halls remained open to audiences online thanks to modern technology. Everyone who works in this crucial sphere rose to the occasion.

Our people showed discipline and managed to observe, let’s face it, quite exhausting, but vital precautions. Thus, acting together, we have put up an effective barrier to the pandemic.

The people’s solidarity showed in concrete actions, in caring for the loved ones and in willingness to help people in need. Millions became volunteers and engaged in building person-to-person help routes. The nationwide We Are Together campaign brought together people from different walks of life and ages. As always during challenging times, our traditional religions stepped up to provide spiritual support to the society. I see the leaders of our religions here and I would like to bow deeply to you, thank you very much

Throughout history, our people have come out victorious and overcome trials thanks to unity. Today, family, friendship, mutual assistance, graciousness and unity have come to the fore as well.

Spiritual and moral values, which are already being forgotten in some countries, have, on the contrary, made us stronger. And we will always uphold and defend these values.

Colleagues,

The pandemic broke out at a time when the aftermath of the demographic shocks of the 1940s and 1990s converged. We realise that the current demographic situation is an emergency. Unfortunately, this is how things are. We must accept and admit it and do something about it based on our understanding of this situation.

Saving the people of Russia is our top national priority. This priority underlies the stipulations of the updated Constitution concerning the protection of the family, the important role parents play in bringing up their children, strengthening social guarantees, and further developing the economy, education and culture.

Our strategy is to return to sustainable population growth to make sure that the average life expectancy in Russia increases to 78 years in 2030.

Unfortunately, the statistics show us sad and disappointing numbers. We are even seeing a certain decline. It is clear what is happening because of the pandemic, but we will keep our strategic goals in this critical sphere unchanged.

I fully realise that this is no small feat, the more so as the coronavirus has not yet been completely defeated and remains a direct threat. We see the dramatic developments in many countries where the cases of infection continue to grow. We need to keep in check the defence barriers designed to slow down the spread of the virus along our external borders and within our country.

I would like to address all citizens of Russia once again. Friends, please stay alert. I am asking you to take care of yourselves and your loved ones and to comply with the doctors’ and sanitary services’ recommendations as closely as possible.

Vaccination is of crucial importance. I would like to ask the Government, the Healthcare Ministry and the heads of the regions to monitor this process on a daily basis. The opportunity to take the jab must be available everywhere, so that we achieve the so-called herd immunity by the autumn.

The attainment of this goal depends on everyone, on all our citizens. Please, I am asking all citizens of Russia once again to get vaccinated. This is the only way to stop this deadly epidemic. There is no alternative. The other choice is much worse: to contract the disease with unpredictable consequences.

I would like to say once again that the disease is still with us. But we must start thinking already now about healing the wounds it has inflicted and restoring people’s health.

During the peak periods, our hospitals and outpatient clinics had to reduce or even suspend scheduled visits. This increased the risk of the aggravation of chronic illnesses or the risk of missing the first signs of or correctly diagnosing new illnesses.

I would like to ask the Government, the Healthcare Ministry and the constituent entities of the Russian Federation to expand the system of medical check-ups and periodic screenings, taking into account the current epidemiological situation, and to relaunch them in full measure on July 1, 2021 for people of all ages. They must involve the largest number of people possible. This is why we will increase the supply of mobile medical diagnostic systems to the regions in the near future.

One of the targets of the coronavirus is the cardiovascular system. These diseases have always been the leading cause of death. Therefore, special attention during periodic screenings must be given to people with cardiovascular diseases. I would like to instruct the Government to take additional measures to prevent the diseases that are the main causes of premature death. As I have already mentioned, these are cardiovascular diseases plus malignant tumours and respiratory system diseases.

Hepatitis C claims many young lives. Decisions must be made to reduce this threat to the health of the nation to a minimum within 10 years.

To ensure that as many people as possible can restore their health at sanatoriums and health resorts, I propose that the 20 percent rebate programme for domestic travel is extended at least until the end of the year.

Children’s health is our special priority. Indeed, the foundation for good health for many years to come is laid during childhood. Children’s rest and recreation activities must be made as affordable as possible. In this regard, this year, I propose reimbursing half of what parents spend on their children’s summer camps.

In addition, we need to expand opportunities for student tourism. Already this year, we must launch several pilot projects, including accommodation on university campuses and in dormitories in other regions for students who travel around the country during the summer.

And, of course, we must reward the young people who have done well in academic competitions and in volunteer and creative initiatives as well as the projects operated by the Russia – Land of Opportunity platform. For them, the partial reimbursement programme for tourist vouchers will remain valid during the holidays, aka the high season. This is a ground-breaking decision.

I wish to thank all the parliamentary groups which supported the decision on the taxation of high incomes, or rather, a portion of high incomes. These proceeds will go to the dedicated Circle of Kindness fund and have already been released to help children affected by rare and serious diseases, to purchase expensive medicines and medical equipment, and to cover the costs of surgeries.

On April 28, we will celebrate Ambulance Worker Day which was established as a show of respect to those who arrive first to save lives. These specialists must be provided with all necessary supplies. Within the next three years, we will make another 5,000 new ambulances available to rural communities, urban-type localities and small towns, which will replace the ambulance fleet almost in full.

I want to emphasise that public healthcare authorities in many leading countries – we are well aware of it and, in fact, they themselves are saying so – were unable to deal with the challenges of the pandemic as effectively as we did in Russia. At the same time, global health care is on the cusp of a genuine revolution. This must be recognised and clearly seen. We cannot miss it.

The pandemic has exponentially sped up the introduction of telemedicine, artificial intelligence and new approaches in diagnostics, surgery, rehabilitation and the production of medicines everywhere. We must put these technologies at the service of the people of our country.

We must build our healthcare system around this ground-breaking technology, and keep an eye on pressing everyday problems in the process. As we are all aware, they abound, mostly in primary care. There must be no such thing as waiting lines, no hassle making a diagnostics appointment or a specialist doctor appointment, or obtaining prescriptions and sick leaves, for that matter. This has often come up in our discussions lately. The funds have been set side and allocated. It is time to move quickly and efficiently to make it happen.

We have a backlog to deal with in healthcare and other social sectors, including many technical, financial and managerial challenges. However, what people need is qualified and timely medical help. I propose reviewing public healthcare problems from this perspective at an expanded meeting of the State Council some time soon. We will prepare for it and hold it shortly.

I repeat: we have gained some fundamentally new experience in fulfilling our social commitments. During the pandemic, we made direct payments to families bringing up almost 28 million children, and they received their benefits without any unnecessary paperwork or other kinds of red tape – they got the money they needed and were entitled to automatically. I know Government members have been working on this, focusing deliberately, not without some failures, but they have made every effort to accomplish this task, and coped with it. This is great, this is a good example. This approach should become the norm at all levels of government.

This is the essence of the National Social Initiative, which was discussed at a recent joint meeting of the State Council Presidium and the Agency for Strategic Initiatives.

I am calling on the regional governors: it is your direct responsibility to organise the work of local clinics, daycare nurseries and schools, and employment centres, based on the daily needs of families, of each and every person. In many regions, I have seen with my own eyes that such work has already been launched in certain areas. This needs to be done everywhere and in all social sectors.

As soon as in 2022, we must introduce the ‘social treasury’ principles. This means that all federal benefits, pensions and other social payments and services will be provided and paid in a one-stop mode, without having to visit dozens of different agencies, but simply upon marriage, the birth of a child, retirement or other life milestones. Within three years, the vast majority of public and municipal services should be provided to Russian citizens remotely, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, that is, on an ongoing basis.

Separately, we will have to discuss child-support payments, which are a sensitive topic for many families. Unfortunately, this is a problem in our country. This procedure should not be humiliating for anyone. Most issues here need to be resolved remotely and, most importantly, in the interests of the affected party. A mother with a child should not have to camp on the doorstep of various authorities to collect official documents, carrying her baby in her arms, and this is what usually happens. A system of interagency communication needs to be built, with banks included, in such a way as to ensure the unconditional execution of court decisions on the recovery of child-support payments. The state is obliged to protect the rights of the child; this is what we are talking about. I will return to this topic again later.

Colleagues,

We understand the heavy toll that the pandemic has taken on people’s welfare. Statistics show the aggravating effects of this outbreak on social inequality and poverty. It has been a challenge for all countries around the world – remember, all countries, not only Russia, are experiencing the same consequences. Certainly, we should be primarily concerned about the situation in our own country.

We are now facing price hikes that are undercutting people’s incomes. Some urgent decisions have been made, of course, but we cannot solely rely on targeted and essentially directive measures. We remember potential outcomes. Back in the late 1980s and the 1990s in the Soviet Union, they resulted in empty store shelves. But today, even when the pandemic was at its worst, we did not allow the same thing to happen.

The Government’s goal is to create conditions that will be long-term and which, I want to stress this part, colleagues, can, thanks to market mechanisms (which we have), guarantee the predictability of prices and quality replenishment of the domestic market. Nobody is saying that we will be setting prices from the top. There’s no need to muddy the waters and scare people. There are market regulatory mechanisms and they must be employed – promptly and to the extent required and appropriate to a specific situation in the economy and social sphere. We need to stimulate investment activity by reducing business risks. The two are not mutually exclusive.

Surely, the main goal right now is to ensure that people’s real incomes grow – that is, to restore them and secure their further growth. As I said, we need tangible changes in our fight against poverty.

Before anything else, the Government must provide direct support to families with children who are experiencing hardships. This has been our consistent policy and we will continue to pursue it.

We already have a system of benefits paid to parents of one or two children from the time the children are born and until they reach the age of three. Families with incomes below two subsistence minimums per family member are entitled to such benefits. The average monthly amount paid across the country is 11,300 rubles per child. Seventy-eight Russian regions pay benefits for the third child, also 11,300 rubles on average.

Please note that we are making consistent progress in this area, step by step. Last year, we introduced benefits for children aged three to seven. They range from 5,650 to 11,300 rubles per month depending on the region.

I instruct the Government to develop, by July 1, a comprehensive system of support for families with children. Our goal is to minimise the risk of poverty for such families.

But a number of new decisions need to be taken immediately, already today. It is always difficult for a single parent to raise a child. There are plenty of reasons for that. And this is not about the reasons but about supporting children. It is particularly difficult when a single-parent family is having financial problems, especially when children start going to school and family expenses objectively rise.

In particular, we must support single-parent families, where a mother or a father is bringing up a child alone, and only one of the parents is registered on the birth certificate – sorry to be speaking of such mundane things, but this is a fact of life – or the parents have divorced and one of them has the right to child-support payments. Therefore, as of July 1 this year, all children in such families aged between 8 and 16, inclusively, will receive a benefit. The national average of such benefit will be 5,650 rubles.

Of course, we must also help women who are expecting a baby and who have financial problems. It is extremely important for a mother-to-be to get support from the state and society, so that they can keep their pregnancy and know that they will receive help in raising and bringing up their child.

I propose approving a monthly subsidy for women who register at a maternity centre during early pregnancy and who have financial problems. The average subsidy for them will be 6,350 rubles a month.

Next, the sick pay for taking care of a child who falls ill depends on the employment record, which is correct, on the whole, and fair. However, young women receive much smaller sick leave payments. We have discussed this issue at the State Council, and it has been raised by the United Russia. We need to adopt legal decisions on this matter without delay, so that payments for taking care of a sick child aged up to 7 years inclusively are approved at 100 percent of the parent’s salary as soon as this year.

You understand what this means. The majority of those in this room know that the longer the employment record the larger the sick pay. Women who have a long work record usually receive full sick pay, but they usually do not have children at their age. Those who have children do not receive full pay. We must definitely help those who are expecting a baby.

I would also like to remind you that we have expanded and extended the maternity capital programme up until 2026. This benefit will now be paid already for the first child. We could not afford this before. The maternity capital has been adjusted to inflation and is almost 640,000 rubles

Free hot meals for all primary school children were approved as of January 1, 2020, and this measure has become a great help for families.

I would like to point out that all our decisions were designed to support our people. I know that many and very many people have financial problems now. The labour market and real disposable income of the people will be certainly restored, and we will move on. This has not happened yet. Therefore, I suggest approving one more one-off payment for the families that have school children, namely, 10,000 rubles per schoolchild. Moreover, this payment will also be made for the children who will only start school this year. We will transfer the money in mid-August, so that parents can get their children ready for school.

The updated Constitution of Russia includes clauses on demographic development, and protection of the family and childhood. They should be implemented in practice at all levels of government. I propose including a section aimed at supporting young people in each national project.

Friends,

During the pandemic, many young doctors and nurses, recent graduates as well as residents and students of medical universities worked courageously in the so-called red zones, joining their senior colleagues. In that extraordinary situation, teachers, schoolchildren, college and university students continued to teach and study, to have exams. Young family members supported their parents and older relatives. The youth of Russia proved to be extremely worthy during that period of trials. We can be proud of them.

We will do everything to open up as many life opportunities as possible for the younger generation. Their journey certainly begins at school, and I am sure that school will always be a second home for children; a new home, comfortable and modern.

Under the existing federal programme and with additional resources provided by the VEB Development Bank, we will build at least 1,300 new schools for more than a million children by the end of 2024. We will also purchase at least 16,000 school buses over the next four years. All school buses must be modern and safe.

Classroom teachers have been receiving a monthly addition to their salaries since last year. A very necessary and, I am sure, fair decision. I remember how we held discussions on this matter last year.

However, I have received requests, letters from teachers in secondary vocational institutions who say they have been forgotten. This is actually true. Justice must be restored. We have to fix this and establish the same additional payment of 5,000 rubles for supervisors of educational groups at technical schools and colleges.

I propose allocating an additional 10 billion rubles in the next two years for major repairs and technical equipment of our pedagogical universities. I ask the Government to pay close attention to up-to-date training of future teachers. The future of Russia largely depends on them.

Furthermore, school teaching teams should be expanded with teaching assistants, mentors and counsellors, whose job will be to organise exciting projects for children at schools.

It is very important that our young people should look to and be inspired by the achievements and victories of our outstanding ancestors and contemporaries, by their love for our Motherland and aspiration to make a personal contribution to its development. Children should have the opportunity to explore the national history and the multinational culture, our achievements in science and technology, literature and art in advanced formats. You know, I still open certain school textbooks occasionally and am surprised at what I see there – as if what is written there has nothing to do with us at all. Who writes such textbooks? Who approves them? It is unbelievable. They mention everything, the ‘second front’ and a lot of other facts, but not the Battle of Stalingrad – how is that possible? Amazing! I do not even want to comment.

I propose allocating an additional 24 billion rubles within the next three years to renovate cultural centres, libraries and museums in rural areas and small historical towns. This is another crucial area.

It is important to resume the activities of the Knowledge Society – we all remember well what it is – based on a modern digital platform. It seems to have been operational lately, but no one seems to notice it is there, either. Also, in order to support projects in culture, art and creative activities, we will set up a Presidential fund for cultural initiatives. Already this year, we will use its competitive grants to finance over 1,500 creative teams.

Colleagues,

A month from now, 11th grade students will be taking exams. Based on the results, most of them, about 60 percent, will enrol in universities and have their tuition covered from the budget. It can be safely stated that practically no country in the world apart from Russia has this kind of broad and free access to higher education.

In the next two years, we will make an additional 45,000 state-funded places available at our universities. At least 70 percent of them will go to the regions which need university graduates.

Starting this year, at least 100 universities in the constituent entities of our Federation will receive grants in the amount of 100 million rubles or more for opening student technoparks and business incubators, upgrading academic and laboratory facilities, and running training programmes. All state universities will be eligible for this support, including the ones that train future teachers, medical doctors, transport and culture workers. I am confident that the young generation of Russians, Russian scientists, will make their names known in the meaningful research projects that are yet to come.

This year was declared Science and Technology Year in our country. We realise that science is absolutely key in the modern world. Until 2024, Russia will allocate 1.63 trillion rubles from the federal budget alone for civil, including fundamental, research. But that is not all.

We are about to launch ground-breaking programmes in areas that are critical to our country. They will be given the status of nationwide projects. I would like to discuss some of them separately just to give you a sense.

First, we must have a solid and reliable shield to give us sanitary and biological safety. We now understand what it is about. It is imperative to ensure Russia’s independence in the production of the entire range of vaccines and pharmaceutical substances, including medications against infections that are resistant to the current generation of antibiotics. Importantly, this must be achieved with the maximum engagement of Russian-made equipment and domestic components.

In the event of an infection as dangerous as the coronavirus, or, God forbid, even more dangerous, Russia must be prepared to develop its own test systems within four days, precisely four days, and to create an efficacious domestic vaccine and start its mass production as soon as possible. These are the goals that we are setting for ourselves. The timeframe for achieving these goals is 2030. But the sooner we get there, the better.

Second, we need new comprehensive approaches to the development of our energy sector, including new solutions for nuclear generation in the promising areas of hydrogen energy and energy storage.

Third, we must find answers to the climate change challenges, adjust our agriculture, industry, the housing and utilities sector and the entire infrastructure to them, create a carbon utilisation sector, bring down emissions and introduce strict control and monitoring measures.

Over the next 30 years, the cumulative emissions in Russia must be smaller than in the EU. It is an ambitious goal, considering the size of our country and the specific features of its geography, climate and economic structure. However, I have no doubt whatsoever that it is a perfectly realistic goal in light of our research and technological potential.

Our new energy and pharmaceutical sectors and the solution of climate problems must provide a powerful boost to a comprehensive modernisation of all economic sectors and the social sphere. It is a direct path to the creation of modern and well-paid jobs.

The efforts taken by each level of government, business, development institutions and the Russian Academy of Sciences must have in view the main, central task: to improve the quality of life for our people. I would like to point out that our position on environmental protection is a matter of principle in this respect, and it will definitely remain unchanged.

The dangers of the alternative position have been recently exemplified by the events in Norilsk, Usolye-Sibirskoye and several other places. We will certainly help the people who live there, but we must also preclude a repetition of such environmental disasters.

I would like to ask those responsible to accelerate the adoption of a law on the financial responsibility of enterprise owners for clearing up the accumulated pollution and for the reclamation of industrial sites. This is a very simple approach. Here it is: if you have benefited from polluting the environment, clean up after yourself. We must act harshly. Rosprirodnadoz [the Federal Service for Supervision of Natural Resources] and other regulatory authorities must do their jobs.

I would like to add that the “polluter pays” principle must also be employed in full in the waste disposal sector to ensure transition to the so-called closed-loop economy. With this aim in view, we must launch a mechanism of extended producers and importers’ responsibility for the management of products and packaging wastes as soon as this year.

I also propose marking environmental payments to the federal budget. I know that experts and financial specialists do not like such special marks, but I see this as a vital sphere of our activity. We can make an exception in this case, and invest these funds in clearing up accumulated pollution and improving the environment.

Also, as I said, the amount of hazardous emissions in Russia’s 12 largest industrial centres must be reduced by 20 percent by 2024. We have already discussed this. Obviously, this goal must be accomplished through a comprehensive modernisation of the industrial sector, the housing and utilities sector, transport and energy.

Moreover, I propose expanding the emission quota system to all Russian cities with major air quality problems and introduce strict liability for non-compliance with environmental regulations. Of course, this requires transparent monitoring.

We will definitely support the efforts of businesses to upgrade their facilities up to current environmental standards. For example, upgrading will begin this year at aluminium plants in Bratsk, Irkutsk, Krasnoyarsk and Novokuznetsk based on the state guarantee mechanism. I will later name other cities and towns in other contexts but it does not mean that our work is limited to those areas. They only serve as examples.

Colleagues,

Last year, we allocated unprecedented resources for supporting the economy. Among other things, we managed to preserve over 5 million jobs through subsidised loans for wage payments. I want to stress that this programme succeeded but it succeeded precisely because businesses acted responsibly and did everything they could to keep their employees. We could see that.

Unfortunately, it was not possible to prevent layoffs completely. I understand how hard it is for those who lost their jobs. The Government was instructed to ensure that the labour market recovers by the end of the year. Still, this problem must be solved sooner so that people can have a stable income again. The Government will be encouraging entrepreneurial initiatives and stimulate private investments that create new jobs.

As you know, last year, social insurance contributions for small and medium-sized businesses were reduced by half, from 30 to 15 percent. This decision will remain in force permanently and is not subject to review.

I instruct the Government to present, within the next month, additional proposals on supporting small and medium-sized businesses, such as tax incentives, accessible loans and expanding product distribution and sales, including to major state-run companies.

As for other decisions in the economic sphere, I would like to mention the following.

First, we have already scrapped many archaic norms and requirements in construction and other fields and discontinued many unnecessary control inspections, but we also need to increase the momentum to achieve substantive, clear and tangible results in improving the business climate. For example, building a turnkey factory in Russia should be faster, more economically efficient and easier than in other regions of the world, including countries with developed economies.

Furthermore, we need to simplify the working conditions for non-commodity exporters. We have certainly been pursuing this policy line for a few years now, but we still need to remove all excessive restrictions in forex control for these exporters. This is one of the problems. The new procedure should start functioning in July. We have discussed this matter more than once. All amendments to the legislation must be adopted as quickly as possible during the spring session.

Secondly, the talent of an entrepreneur is primarily the talent of a creator, an aspiration to change life for the better, to create new jobs. The state will definitely support this attitude.

In the modern world where the market situation sometimes changes almost every day, businesses have to deal with high risks, especially when investing in long-term projects. To address this, we will be adjusting the entire private investment support system. We will evaluate how effective the projects are by the new products, services, and technologies they provide people with and how they improve the potential of Russia and each individual region.

The Special Investment Contract mechanism has already been improved; we have implemented a new instrument – Investment Protection and Promotion Agreements. We have consolidated development institutions on the basis of VEB. Their job is to reduce the risks for investing private capital, to help in the creation of new markets and investment mechanisms, the same as with the Project Finance Factory mechanism already in place. It is currently supporting more than 40 commercial projects with a total investment of 3 trillion rubles.

I am waiting for proposals from the Government on the implementation of the ideas proposed in March at a meeting with Russian businesses. Colleagues, you are well aware of this.

Third, we are making all major decisions concerning the economy through a dialogue with the business community. This is the practice established over many years. Of course, we have the right to expect that the auxiliary financial instruments and support mechanisms will bring the most desired result, which is converting profit into investment and development.

There is an important thing I want to say although it is nothing new to businesses. They know it already. The corporate sector is expected to make a record profit this year, despite all the problems that we are dealing with. Despite these problems, this is the real picture. We will take note of how this profit will be used and, based on the annual results, we may decide to calibrate the tax legislation. I want to see specific proposals from the Government. Off the record, I should note: some withdraw dividends while others invest in the development of their companies and entire industries. We will be encouraging those who invest.

Last year, we substantially increased budget expenditure while managing to maintain the stability of state finances. The Government and the Central Bank must continue to pursue a responsible financial policy. Ensuring macroeconomic stability and containing inflation within set parameters is an extremely important task. I assume that it will definitely be accomplished.

At the same time, thanks to our budget capacity and our reserves, we can allocate more funds to support investment in infrastructure and provide regions with new development instruments. Launching these instruments will require the law to be amended. I expect that all parliamentary parties – A Just Russia, the Liberal Democratic Party, the Communist Party and United Russia – will uphold these amendments.

In this regard, I want to thank all constructive public forces in the country for their responsible and patriotic attitude during this difficult epidemic. These are not just meaningless words because it was this attitude and its practical significance that helped all of us preserve the balance and stability of Russia’s government and political system. This is always important but it is especially relevant because we are preparing for the elections to the State Duma and other government bodies, considering the extensive work we will have to carry out. I hope that this competitive mindset that unites us in the face of common goals will persist.

Colleagues,

The country is developing and moving forward, but this is only taking place when the regions of the Russian Federation are developing. A striving of the heads of constituent entities to make their regions successful and self-sufficient must be and will be encouraged in every way.

We will support those who assume responsibility and launch constructive projects. I am confident that every Russian region has huge potential. To help make positive and productive use of this potential, what must we reduce first of all? The governors know what I am referring to: we must reduce the debt burden. These topics must be thoroughly discussed once again.

I ask the Government to submit by June 1 the proposals on ensuring long-term stability of regional and municipal finance and on increasing the regions’ self-sufficiency. We will discuss them in summer at a State Council meeting, and we will do so with due regard for the priority decisions about which I will tell you now.

First of all, we must help regions with large commercial debts. Here is what I suggest: the amount of a region’s commercial debt that exceeds 25 percent of the given region’s own revenues will be replaced with budgetary loans that will mature in 2029.

In addition, I propose restructuring the budgetary loans, yes, budgetary loans that were issued to the regions last year for taking measures to combat the pandemic. I believe that this would be fair. I would like to remind everyone that these loans will mature in two months, on July 1. I suggest extending them to 2029 as well.

I would like to emphasise that the restructuring of accumulated debts should be used as a mechanism of increasing the self-sufficiency of regional economies, especially considering that we will be offering a fundamentally new development tool to our constituent entities. I am referring to the so-called budgetary infrastructure loans with an interest rate of not more than 3 percent per annum and with maturity in 15 years. We intend to allocate a total of at least 0.5 trillion rubles, that is, 500 billion rubles of such infrastructure loans by the end of 2023.

Regional debt restructuring must be based on the concept of justice, which has always been the case, actually. Some constituent entities have large accumulated commercial debts, while other entities did not take out many loans. The latter may feel neglected in this case. This will not do, and we will not permit this. We will support those who have always pursued and continue to pursue a balanced financial policy. The principle of the distribution of infrastructure loans will be as follows: the fewer debts a region had, the more it will be able to receive in infrastructure loans.

We are one country. All levels of government and business must work to one end. Debt restructuring and an innovative investment resource in the form of infrastructure loans will allow us to expand the planning horizon and to launch new solutions that are tied in with the implementation of national projects, sector-specific strategies and a comprehensive plan for upgrading the backbone infrastructure.

Federal infrastructure loans are a powerful resource, but whether they will help us get ahead or attract private investment hugely depends on what regional management teams do and on their ability to conduct an open and candid dialogue with businesses, investors, and, of course, primarily, individuals.

The infrastructure projects in the regions must be implemented, primarily, in the interests of the people, and serve as investment in the creation of new jobs and in promoting the well-being of millions of Russian households and securing the future of our children. The priorities will be building motorways and bypasses in urban areas, upgrading the housing and utilities sector infrastructure and the public transport system, as well as conducting integrated development of territories and building tourist facilities.

Please note that the infrastructure and budget loans will be fully under the control of the Federal Treasury and will be provided exclusively for specific projects that have been thoroughly analysed by experts at the federal level. While we are at it, I would like to say something to regional leaders and the Government: listen, let’s work in a rhythmic and business-like manner. I do not want to use harsh or rude language at this rostrum, but things must be done on time and projects must be prepared, not just pictures shown to the Government. In turn, the Government must quickly process the projects and help the regions deal with things they have problems dealing with. You must help your colleagues, you understand that? Not trash what they have brought to you and say they did a bad job. Some of them are unable to do what you ask of them. Help them, and then things will be on the path forwards.

The scale of the projects may vary, but most importantly, as I said, they must benefit our people and open up new opportunities. For example, in conjunction with our major companies and using the proposed mechanism, the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Area will begin the construction of the Northern Latitudinal Railway. This is the railway that will spur the development of the richest resources of the Arctic. This project has been in the works for a long time now, and it’s time to launch it, since we can do so now. For example, as a result, Nizhny Novgorod will be able to continue building the metro and to start renovating the city centre. Chelyabinsk, another city with a million-plus residents, will also have the opportunity to upgrade its transport system through a long-standing metro construction project. I am aware of other similar projects in Krasnoyarsk and other regions.

And, of course, the construction of new facilities must be at a qualitatively higher level. I want the Government to draft a clear step-by-step plan for the end-to-end and widespread use of digital design, and the production and introduction of cutting-edge energy-efficient materials. This is also important if we want to tackle the climate and environmental challenges.

Large-scale infrastructure development sets fundamentally new tasks before the construction industry. In the difficult past year, it worked smoothly and built over 80 million square metres of housing. This is a good result. The more we build, the more affordable housing will there be for Russian families.

Therefore, we have an ambitious goal. We have already discussed it as well and this ambitious goal has not disappeared– we plan to build 120 million square metres of housing every year. That said, we must certainly envisage a special mechanism for supporting private housing construction.

As for large-scale construction, the DOM.RF development institute will attract financial resources through the placement of bonds. This is a tried and tested mechanism that generally works well. These resources must go to developers as targeted loans.

I would like to emphasise that federal budget subsidies will allow DOM.RF to issue loans to developers at a minimal annual rate of about 3–4 percent. The construction of residential neighbourhoods in Tula, Tyumen, the Sakhalin Region and Kuzbass will be pilot projects for developing this model.

Improvement of cities and towns and housing construction growth play a major role in the development of the regions. We must take care of the urgent, daily problems of local residents. Quite a few Russian families live in areas connected to gas networks but their homes still have no access to gas for some reason. It seems the pipe is there but there is no gas at home.

I would like to ask the Government to work out, in cooperation with the regions, a clear-cut plan for bringing gas to such households. In this context, I support United Russia’s initiative, notably, that people do not have to pay for laying gas pipes directly to the border of their land plots in a residential area.

As I have already said, the Government must analyse all details in cooperation with Gazprom and other companies and agencies that work in this area to prevent any setbacks. Otherwise, I will say something from this rostrum and people will be waiting for it but because you don’t put some squiggles or commas in the right place everything will get bogged down again. This is unacceptable, and I will check on it myself, so please pay attention. Mosoblgaz and other companies must understand what they must do, in what timeframe and how much money they have at their disposal.

The goal is certainly more extensive. We must offer every region our solutions on public access to reliable and clean energy sources. This may be electricity, including from renewable sources, or environmentally friendly use of coal, which is also an option in the modern world, pipeline or liquefied gas. I instruct the regional heads to prepare, in coordination with the Government, detailed plans of action and start implementing them next year.

For example, in Kamchatka we must envisage the creation of local gas-receiving infrastructure to ensure reliable long-term gas supplies to the residents and companies of the Kamchatka Territory.

Colleagues,

We will not only give fundamentally new development tools to the regions, but will also directly invest federal resources into the settlement of the worst systemic problems, which will have a compound effect on boosting the regions’ growth and improving the quality of people’s lives.

We will begin with allocations from the National Welfare Fund for building mainline motorways. First of all, we should finance the ongoing construction of the Moscow-Kazan high-speed road and, more than that, extend it all the way to Yekaterinburg, completing this project within three years.

This way, together with the existing Moscow-St Petersburg high-speed road and the Central Ring Road, this will ensure safe high-speed motorway transit across the entire European part of Russia, from the Baltic Sea to the Urals, by 2024.

However, it is not enough to simply connect the end-of-line destinations. What good will this do, if it does not change anything about life in villages or small towns but only gives the people there an opportunity to watch high-speed trains and vehicles rush past? The backbone infrastructure must definitely lead to the development of all the territories where it has been built, giving rise to the development of a modern regional network.

The constituent entities will now be able to use infrastructure loans to speed up the implementation of these construction projects. But in their development plans, our colleagues should remember and take into account that the federal and regional mainlines must function as a unified system in the interests of our citizens, businesses and regions. In this way, the infrastructure loans and the resources of the National Welfare Fund will be working for the benefit of all Russian regions.

The same goes for our new national project in the tourist sphere. A programme of easy loans will be launched soon to finance the construction and renovation of hotels and other tourist infrastructure. The interest rate on these loans will be 3–5 percent as well, and the loans will mature in 15 years.

There are many other pilot projects. I will only mention some of them: the development of Sheregesh, the leading mountain ski resort in Kuzbass; the creation of a yachting resort in the Bay of Balaklava in Sevastopol; and the development of the tourist industry on the Altai and in the Kaliningrad Region.

The infrastructure loans project will give a new impetus to entire tourist clusters. In particular, several regions in Central Russia will be able to modernise and expand the Golden Ring route at a fundamentally new level, realising the tourist potential of small towns such as Tarusa, Palekh, Murom, Gorokhovets, Tutayev and Borovsk. Development projects will be launched in the Volga Region cities, the Crimean resorts, the Black Sea and Pacific coast areas, as well as in our resort towns such as Staraya Russa in the Novgorod Region and Kavkazskiye Mineralnye Vody in the Caucasus, including its gem, Kislovodsk.

Russia is a hospitable country that is open to its good friends. You surely remember what happened during the 2018 football championships. As soon as the epidemiological situation allows, we will lift the remaining restrictions and millions of tourists from all over the world will come to Russia again. We have a practical task at hand: to ensure that e-visas for travel to Russia are available remotely and without undue formalities within a matter of four days in the majority of countries.

Colleagues,

The meaning and purpose of Russia’s policy in the international arena – I will just say a few words about this to conclude my address – is to ensure peace and security for the well-being of our citizens, for the stable development of our country. Russia certainly has its own interests we defend and will continue to defend within the framework of international law, as all other states do. And if someone refuses to understand this obvious thing or does not want to conduct a dialogue and chooses a selfish and arrogant tone with us, Russia will always find a way to defend its stance.

At the same time, unfortunately, everyone in the world seems to be used to the practice of politically motivated, illegal economic sanctions and to certain actors’ brutal attempts to impose their will on others by force. But today, this practice is degenerating into something even more dangerous – I am referring to the recently exposed direct interference in Belarus in an attempt to orchestrate a coup d’état and assassinate the President of that country. At the same time, it is typical that even such flagrant actions have not been condemned by the so-called collective West. Nobody seemed to notice. Everyone pretends nothing is happening.

But listen, you can think whatever you like of, say, Ukrainian President [Viktor] Yanukovych or [Nicolas] Maduro in Venezuela. I repeat, you can like or dislike them, including Yanukovych who almost got killed, too, and removed from power via an armed coup. You can have your own opinion of President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko’s policy. But the practice of staging coups d’état and planning political assassinations, including those of high-ranking officials – well, this goes too far. This is beyond any limits.

Suffice it to mention the admission made by the detained participants in the conspiracy about a planned siege of Minsk, including plans to block the city infrastructure and communications, and a complete shutdown of the entire power system in the capital of Belarus! This actually means they were preparing a massive cyberattack. What else could it be? You know, you cannot just do it all with one switch.

Clearly, there is a reason why our Western colleagues have been stubbornly rejecting Russia’s numerous proposals to establish an international dialogue on information and cyber security. We have come up with these proposals many times. They avoid even discussing this matter.

What if there had been a real attempt at a coup d’état in Belarus? After all, this was the ultimate goal. How many people would have been hurt? What would have become of Belarus? Nobody is thinking about this.

Just as no one was thinking about the future of Ukraine during the coup in that country.

All the while, unfriendly moves towards Russia have also continued unabated. Some countries have taken up an unseemly routine where they pick on Russia for any reason, most often, for no reason at all. It is some kind of new sport of who shouts the loudest.

In this regard, we behave in an extremely restrained manner, I would even say, modestly, and I am saying this without irony. Often, we prefer not to respond at all, not just to unfriendly moves, but even to outright rudeness. We want to maintain good relations with everyone who participates in the international dialogue. But we see what is happening in real life. As I said, every now and then they are picking on Russia, for no reason. And of course, all sorts of petty Tabaquis are running around them like Tabaqui ran around Shere Khan – everything is like in Kipling’s book – howling along in order to make their sovereign happy. Kipling was a great writer.

We really want to maintain good relations with all those engaged in international communication, including, by the way, those with whom we have not been getting along lately, to put it mildly. We really do not want to burn bridges. But if someone mistakes our good intentions for indifference or weakness and intends to burn or even blow up these bridges, they must know that Russia’s response will be asymmetrical, swift and tough.

Those behind provocations that threaten the core interests of our security will regret what they have done in a way they have not regretted anything for a long time.

At the same time, I just have to make it clear, we have enough patience, responsibility, professionalism, self-confidence and certainty in our cause, as well as common sense, when making a decision of any kind. But I hope that no one will think about crossing the “red line” with regard to Russia. We ourselves will determine in each specific case where it will be drawn.

I will now say, just as I always do during the annual addresses to the Federal Assembly, that the improvement and qualitative strengthening of Russia’s Armed Forces continues on a regular basis. In particular, special attention will be given to the development of military education both at military school and academies and at military training centres at civilian universities.

By 2024, the share of modern weapons and military equipment in the armed forces will reach nearly 76 percent, which is a very good indicator. This share in the nuclear triad will be over 88 percent before this year is out.

Standing on combat duty are the latest Avangard hypersonic intercontinental missile systems and the Peresvet combat laser systems, and the first regiment armed with Sarmat super-heavy intercontinental ballistic missiles is scheduled to go on combat duty in late 2022.

The number of combat air systems with Kinzhal hypersonic missiles, and warships armed with precision hypersonic weapons such as Kinzhal that I mentioned, and with the Kalibr missiles, is increasing. The Tsirkon hypersonic missiles will be put on combat duty soon. Work is underway on other modern combat systems, including Poseidon and Burevestnik, in accordance with the development plans of the Armed Forces.

As the leader in the creation of new-generation combat systems and in the development of modern nuclear forces, Russia is urging its partners once again to discuss the issues related to strategic armaments and to ensuring global stability. The subject matter and the goal of these talks could be the creation of an environment for a conflict-free coexistence based on the security equation, which would include not only the traditional strategic armaments, such as intercontinental ballistic missiles, heavy bombers and submarines, but – I would like to emphasise this – all offensive and defensive systems capable of attaining strategic goals regardless of the armament.

The five nuclear countries bear special responsibility. I hope that the initiative on a personal meeting of the heads of state of the permanent members of the UN Security Council, which we proposed last year, will materialise and will be held as soon as the epidemiological situation allows.

Russia is always open to broad international cooperation. We have consistently advocated the preservation and strengthening of the key role of the United Nations in international affairs, and we try to provide assistance to the settlement of regional conflicts and have already done a great deal to stabilise the situation in Syria and to launch a political dialogue in Libya. As you know, Russia played the main role in stopping the armed conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh.

It is on the basis of mutual respect that we are building relations with the absolute majority of the world’s countries: in Asia, Latin America, Africa and many European countries. We are consistently expanding as a priority contacts with our closest partners in the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, BRICS, the Commonwealth of Independent States, and our allies in the Collective Security Treaty Organisation.

Our common projects in the Eurasian Economic Union are aimed at ensuring economic growth and the wellbeing of our people. There are new, interesting projects here, such as the development of transport-and-logistics corridors. I am sure they will become a reliable infrastructure backbone for large-scale Eurasian partnership. The Russian ideas of this broad, open association are already being put into practice, in part, via alignment with other integration processes.

All these projects are not just geopolitical ideas but strictly practical instruments for resolving national development tasks.

Colleagues,

I began today’s Address with urgent healthcare issues, and concluding it, I would like to say the following. Nobody in the world knew what misfortune we would have to face. However, we, citizens of Russia, have already done much and will do all we can to counter the threat of the epidemic. Our country has reliable resources for this. We created them in healthcare, science, education and industry in previous years.

However, we must definitely move forward. We have mapped out national development tasks. Naturally, the challenge of the epidemic has made objective adjustments to our work. Today’s Address contains instructions on demography and family support, as well as on efforts to fight poverty, increase incomes, create jobs, improve the business environment and raise state management to a new level.

I would like to ask the Government to focus on these tasks in preparing new initiatives on Russia’s socioeconomic development and instruct it to present them by July 1 of this year.

What do I have in mind? Doing everyday work, we must certainly not forget about our strategic development goals and our national development goals, and we must improve the mechanisms for reaching them.

We will discuss the Government’s proposals with the participation of the relevant State Council commissions, our business associations, experts and the Civic Chamber. Following such a broad discussion, we will make final decisions on further financial and organisational actions at the meeting of the Council for Strategic Development and National Projects.

Now I would like to address all citizens of Russia once again to say that we will do everything in our power to achieve the goals set. I am sure we will move forward together and accomplish all the tasks that we have set for ourselves.

Thank you very much for your attention.

The National Anthem of the Russian Federation is played.

OPCW NATO Klan Strips Syria Voting Rights in The Hague

MIRI WOOD 

OPCW investigators afraid of armed terrorists.

OPCW NATO klansmen and their terrified house servants in The Hague, stripped Syria of its voting rights on Wednesday 21 April. The threat was originally launched by P3 member France, at the monthly anti-Syria chemical file meeting of the NATO klan ruling the UN, on 6 April. A whopping six days later, the UN-OPCW or the OPCW-UN published its Nuremberg crimes against humanity propaganda piece, via its IIT which is some type of geometric conversion of its FFM, as IIT is twice now twice the length of the criminally lying FFM.

Lest anyone forget, or have been thoroughly brainwashed into believing the crossword puzzle when the clue is “peacekeeping force,” NATO stands for North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Its stenography journalists keep to the acronym, to help prevent westerners — who used to learn geography via war — from looking at a map.

OPCW is run by the NATO klan.
The first two letters of the acronym, NATO, stand for “North Atlantic.”

The NATO klansmen took over the OPCW when Dick Cheney sent John Bolton to threaten then OPCW head Jose Bustani, and then to threaten other members unless he was removed — because he refused to lie about Iraq and WMD (a similar reason as when Cheney had CIA agent Valerie Plame outted; her husband, former ambassador Joe Wilson had refused to lie about Iraq and yellow cake.).

Another reminder: THE OPCW INVESTIGATORS NEVER ENTERED KHAN SHEIKHOUN, LTAMENAH, NOR SARAQIB BECAUSE AL QAEDA OCCUPYING THOSE AREAS OF SYRIA WERE A SECURITY HAZARD.

NONETHELESS, OPCW ACCEPTED AL QAEDA’S VERBAL TESTIMONY, AND AL QAEDA’S ‘SEXXED UP’ PHYSICAL EVIDENCE.

OPCW ADMITTED ITS INVESTIGATORS DID NOT ENTER THE AREAS THAT REQUIRED INVESTIGATIONS, IN ALL OF THE FFM AND IIT ‘DOSSIERS,’ ALL OF WHICH ARE INCLUDED IN ABOVE HYPERLINKED REPORT. SYRIA NEWS HAS READ EVERY WORD OF EACH OF THEM.

NOTE THE FEATURED IMAGE OF THE HUMAN GARBAGE PSYCHOPATHS THAT SCARED THE OPCW FROM ENTERING LTAMENAH. THESE BABOONS ARE THE REPUTED MEDICS, ACCORDING TO THE NATO KLANSMEN.

Colonialist France — which tested its nukes on Algeria — has always had a special antipathy toward the Syrian Arab Republic, for ejecting its occupiers, and its occupation; Evacuation Day was just celebrated, last week.

War criminal France, which nuked Algerians in its Gerboise Bleue atrocity, France which enucleated so many Gilets Jaunes that the ophthalmologists of the country actually sent a letter to Macron asking him to please stop blinding French citizens, also led the NATO UN klan sabotage of Syria’s request for an OPCW investigation of the terrorists’ use of chemical weapons which murdered upwards of 25 people in Khan al Asal, 19 March 2013, most of them Syrian Arab Army soldiers. France’s successful sabotage was assisted by UK, US, and Israel (the latter is basically a NATO country that pays no dues).

Syria’s requests to the UN for OPCW investigations began immediately after 5 December 2012, when terrorists located in Turkey uploaded a video showing the use of a chemical weapon in a terminal rabbit experiment, threatening to unleash it against the Syrian people. The same takfiri savages released a second deadly chemical video on 12 December 2012, claiming they had a poison that could be used to destroy the al Asinn natural water supply in Lattakia, and to massacre the ethnic minority of Alawites in the region. Both videos are in this report which pre-dates the al Qaeda atrocities in Khan Sheikhoun, by four weeks and two days. The poison appears to be what the Nusra Helmets used on their kidnapped victims on 4 April, as it was quick acting and resulted in the same, painful, agonal breathing in the caged rabbit as in the children stripped half-naked, triple atrocity of kidnap, poison, and show a snuff pornography to the world’s most degenerate pathogens.

OPCW pimps for al Qaeda for perpetual war.
Remember this child? Stripped naked, pummeled with a power hose, poisoned in snuff porn which showed painful agonal breathing. One of dozens murdered by al Qaeda 4 April 2017.

The OPCW is NATO. NATO is the devil. As always — Iraq, Libya, Syria — in the making of any deal with the devil, it must only be considered in terms of a tactical necessity, to postpone the inevitable.

Despite Syria having joined the the NATO-run OPCW, turning over its unused chemical stockpile (something the US still has not done, yet there are no monthly meetings about the US ‘chemical file,’ no bombing of the US, no stripping it of its voting rights at The Hague), the NATO junta of the US, UK, France and assorted house servant criminals bombed the SAR based on the word of the Brit illegal once on trial for terrorism at home, the #NotADoctor criminal Shajul Islam, whose license to practice medicine in his homeland had long been revoked, and had it not, the illegal practice of medicine in someone else’s country is grounds for licensure revocation.

The OPCW / UN klansmen are still enraged over the ten year anniversary of the failed NATO Spring against the SAR, and likely have also been engaged in rug-chewing over the recent closure of their al Qaeda boys’ training center near Tadmor.

ISIS will be crushed and USA ejected
Syria President Dr. Bashar al-Assad: “Every inch of Syria will be liberated”

— Miri Wood

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الحرب الأخطر The most dangerous war

** Please scroll down for the ADJUSTED English Machine translation **

الغرب أنشأ غرفاً ومنظمات وموّلها بسخاء لتشويه ما يحدث على الأرض السورية
الغرب أنشأ غرفاً ومنظمات وموّلها بسخاء لتشويه ما يحدث على الأرض السورية

الحرب الأخطر

bouthaina shaaban | Belçika Yeni Haber

بثينة شعبان

المصدر: الميادين نت

نيسان 19 2021

هناك حرب مخابراتية إعلامية تستخدمها أجهزة المخابرات الغربية، وهي تسبق وتستمر إلى ما بعد الحرب العسكرية. وهذه الحرب بحاجة إلى اهتمام شديد وإلى تكريس الميزانيات والخبراء والأدمغة والأقلام لتفنيد كل الادعاءات والردّ عليها من على منصات إعلامية نافذة للغرب.

هناك نوع من الحرب يبدأ قبل شنّ أي هجوم ويستمر خلاله وبعده وهو الذي يوفّر الأرضية والحالة المجتمعية والسياسية والإعلاميّة لنجاح أي هجوم عسكري في أي مكان ولأي هدف كان، وقد مردت الدول الغربية الاستعمارية على تخصيص الميزانيات السخيّة ووضع الخطط التفصيلية، وشحذ الأدوات المهنية لمثل هذه الحرب، بحيث مازالت تتربع على عرش هذه الحرب وتنتصر فيها مرة تلو أخرى، وذلك لإغفال الآخرين لهذه الحقيقة الهامة وإحجامهم عن التوقف قليلاً وتغيير جداول ميزانياتهم وأولويات خططهم. 

ما أقصده هو الحرب الإعلامية التي يستخدم القائمون عليها من أجهزة المخابرات الغربية خبراء في اللغات والتعبير وخبراء في تاريخ وثقافة وأديان وطوائف الشعوب ليعلموا من أين ينفذوا إلى عقول هذه الشعوب وقلوبها ويسيّروها وفقاً للمصالح الغربية، ويستخدمون خبراء في علم النفس وخبراء في الترويج وخبراء في الأصوات والموسيقى والتأثير وربما خبراء في اختصاصات لم نطّلع عليها بعد ومازالت حكراً عليهم ولمراكز أبحاثهم ووسائل إعلامهم، إذ أن الدارس لساحة الصراعات والحروب التي تشنها القوى الغربية لنهب ثروات الشعوب وعلى الأخص الولايات المتحدة التي تشن الحروب اليوم مع أتباعها على دول عديدة يكاد يصاب بالدهشة من المفارقات الجمّة بين الواقع على الأرض وبين الادعاءات التي يتم الترويج لها في إعلام الكون حتى تصبح حقيقة لا يتجرّأ أحد على تحدّيها، وحتى إذا تجرأ لن يتمكن من قلب المعادلة وإعادة الاعتبار للوقائع التي تشير إلى عكس توجه العاصفة الإعلامية. 

والأمثلة أكثر من أن تُحصى. وإذا بدأت بضرب المثال عن وطني سوريا فإننا نجد أن الغرب وبعد أن أنشأ غرفاً ومنظمات وموّلها بسخاء لتشويه ما يحدث على الأرض السورية (وقد كشفت تسريبات الوثائق البريطانية عن حرب إعلامية منظمة وممولة منذ اليوم الأول منذ بداية الحرب الإرهابية على سوريا) بعد ذلك بدأوا بإخراج أفلام ومنحها جائزة أوسكار لأكاذيب صمموها واخترعوها وروّجوا لها وأصبحت بالنسبة لهم واقعاً بديلاً يدحض سيرة الواقع المعاش ومن هذه الأفلام “رجل حلب الأخير” و”الكهف”، وبالنسبة لجماهير الغرب فإن هذه الأفلام هي القناة الأساسية التي تنبؤهم بما جرى في سورية. رغم أن هذه الأفلام، تماماً كقصة الطفل عمران، هي عبارة عن أكاذيب ملفقة لا تمتّ إلى الحقيقة بصلة قام بها بعض المأجورين وعلى رأسهم فراس فياض لتقديم ما يشتهي الغرب رؤيته وسماعه عن حرب ابتدعها لتدمير حياة الملايين من شعب مسالم في بلد آمن ومستقر يشكّل شوكة في أعين الصهاينة والطامعين بإرث هذه الأمة.

وفي الاتهامات المزعومة عن استخدام الحكومة السورية للغازات السامة في دوما وسراقب، تأتي هذه الاتهامات لتناقض تناقضاً صارخاً تقرير منظمة حظر الأسلحة الكيماوية والتي أكدت أن سوريا قد تخلت عن كلّ أسلحتها الكيماوية وأنها خالية من السلاح الكيماوي وكان هذا منذ سنوات، والبارحة في 16/4/2021 عقد السفير الروسي في الأمم المتحدة فاسيلي نيبينزيا جلسة استماع لخبراء منظمة حظر الأسلحة الكيماوية، وخبراء آخرين في الملف والموضوع أكدوا خلالها وبما لا يدع مجالاً للشك تلاعب بعض العناصر في المنظمة بالتقرير الذي كتبه الفريق الذي زار سوريا واستبدلوه بأكاذيب من قبل أطراف لم تطأ أقدامها أرض سورية، كما رفض المسؤولون في المنظمة الاستماع لهؤلاء الذين زاروا سورية والمدير السابق للمنظمة لأن تقاريرهم تؤكد على عدم استخدام الحكومة السورية للغازات السامة وأن ما تمّ الترويج له على شاشات التلفزة هو مسرحية إعلامية هزلية لأن هؤلاء الناس لو تعرضوا للغازات السامة لكانوا أمواتاً ولما كانوا موجودين لسكب الماء عليهم. 

والذاكرة تعود بنا إلى كولن باول وإلى ادعاءات أميركا بأن العراق يمتلك أسلحة دمار شامل، وبعد أن أنهوا بحثهم في الملف ووجدوا أنه على الأغلب لا يوجد أي دليل لما أكدوه مراراً وتكراراً ختموا التقرير بالشمع الأحمر وأودعوه أقفال الأمم المتحدة ومنعوا فتحه إلى ما بعد ستين عاماً أي بعد أن يكون كل من عاش وشهد الأحداث أصبح في ذمة الله.

وهناك قصص مشابهة كثيرة ومتوفرة عبر الاتهامات التي يكيلونها لروسيا والصين بشأن مواضيع عدة، وعن الأكاذيب التي تطبخ في ذات المطبخ عن الحرب على اليمن، وعما يجري في أوكرانيا وعن حقيقة المواقف من الاتفاق النووي الإيراني والقائمة تطول. ولكن ما يثلج الصدر اليوم هو بداية التصدي وإن يكن مازال في بداياته لهذه الحرب المخابراتية الإعلامية الخطيرة، إذ أن الجلسة التي عقدها البارحة السفير الروسي في الأمم المتحدة وأعطى المنبر لعدد من الشهود الموثوقين والذين فنّدوا الحقائق حول الملف الكيميائي السوري بطريقة يجب أن تدفع القائمين على التزوير إلى الخجل من أنفسهم وعدم الإقدام على مثل هذه المهزلة مرة أخرى. 

وفي الإطار ذاته وبذات الروح قرأت مقالاً في جريدة (الصين اليومية) عن إقليم شيجيانغ بقلم الكاتب فو زو وبتاريخ 8/4/2021  فنّد فيه بما لا يدع مجالاً للشك الأكاذيب الأميركية حول إقليم شيجيانغ وأثبت بالأرقام اهتمام الحكومة الصينية بالتعليم لكل سكان هذا الإقليم وبالتعليم الداخلي الذي يوازي بجودته أي تعليم داخلي في العالم. كما يتحدث الكاتب عن تحسين المستوى المعيشي لسكان الإقليم والعمل الذي يدأبون للقيام به لتحسين مستوى معيشتهم وأن الصين تقف ضدّ أي اضطهاد أو تطهير عرقي أو إبادة يدّعي الغرب أن الصين تمارسها في الإقليم.  ومن الواضح من تاريخ الصين ومن عملها للقضاء على الفقر في كل الصين وعلى رفع مستوى المعيشة للصينيين أنها حضارة تهتم بالإنسان وبمقدرات عيشه ولا تدخل التفرقة الدينية أو العنصرية في قاموس سياساتها.

ومن ناحية أخرى من المضحك أن تدّعي الولايات المتحدة الحرص على حياة المسلمين الإيغور في الصين وعلى تعليمهم ومستوى معيشتهم وقد كرّست منظمات إرهابية ومولتها بالمال ومازالت، لتدمير آلاف المدارس في سورية والتي يرتادها مسلمون ومسيحيون، ولتدمير الجوامع والكنائس والأسواق التاريخية والآثار والحضارة. فكيف يمكن أن تكون حريصة على مسلمي الصين ومدمّرة لمسلمي العراق وسورية وليبيا واليمن؟ من أين أتى اهتمام الولايات المتحدة بمسلمي الإيغور في الصين إلا من باب التدخل في شؤون الصين الداخلية، تماماً كما هي سياستها حيال تايوان وهونغ كونغ من جهة، وسياستها تجاه أوكرانيا والقرم بالنسبة إلى روسيا من جهة ثانية. لا يمكن فهم ما تقوم به الولايات المتحدة إلا من باب التدخل في شؤون الدول الداخلية والحرص على أمن “إسرائيل” وقوتها الإرهابية في المنطقة.

لقد علِمَتْ الولايات المتحدة أن الكيان الصهيوني هو الذي قام بالهجوم على محطة نطنز لتدمير المباحثات الأميركية الإيرانية ولكننا لم نسمع كلمة إدانة لهذا الهجوم من الولايات المتحدة أو من أي دولة غربية. كما أنهم يلتزمون الصمت عن كل الأكاذيب التي يتم الترويج لها عن أوكرانيا والقرم بعد أن اتخذت الولايات المتحدة عقوبات ضد روسيا على أسس واهية لا دليل واحد فيها على كل الادعاءات بل هي تعترف أن صحة هذه الادعاءات منخفضة إلى متوسطة.

المهم في الموضوع هو أن هذه الحرب المخابراتية الإعلامية التي تسبق وترافق وتستمر إلى ما بعد الحرب العسكرية بحاجة إلى اهتمام شديد وإلى تكريس الميزانيات والخبراء والأدمغة والأقلام لتفنيد كل الادعاءات والردّ عليها من على منصات إعلامية نافذة للغرب وتصل إلى أسماع البشر في كل أنحاء الدنيا تماماً كما فعل السفير فاسيلي نيبينزيا في الجلسة الهامة التي تحدث بها الخبراء وفندوا ألاعيب منظمة الأسلحة الكيماوية، وتماماً كما فعلت جريدة الصين اليوم بتفنيد كل الأكاذيب المختلقة حول إقليم شيجيانج. ولا بأس من تخصيص ميزانية سخيّة لهذا الأمر حتى وإن تم اقتطاعها من ميزانيات الدفاع العسكرية لأن الدفاع بالكلمة والترويج للحقائق النابعة من الأرض في وجه الأكاذيب والافتراءات قد يوفّر على الجيوش معارك عسكرية مكلفة وقد يساهم في تثقيف الرأي العام العالمي حول حقيقة السياسات الغربية والكلفة الباهظة التي يدفعها البشر في كل أنحاء الأرض نتيجة هذه السياسات.

 إن مواجهة سياسة القطب الواحد وضمان ولادة عالم متعدد الأقطاب تحتاج إلى استراتيجيات شاملة تتصدى لاستراتيجيات الهيمنة والتدخل والإسفاف والتزوير والذي كلّف دماء وحياة واستقراراً وأمناً لشعوبنا جمعاء. 

نحن بحاجة إلى وقفة عميقة صادقة وذكية وشاملة وبحاجة لمقارعة من يشن الهجوم ويدمر البلدان بأدوات أذكى وأدهى من أدواتهم على كل الصعد وفي كافة المجالات.


مقالات ذات صلة

مقالات ذات صلة


The most dangerous war

bouthaina shaaban | Belçika Yeni Haber

Buthaina Shaaban

Source:  Al-Mayadeen  Net

April 19, 2021

There is a media intelligence war used by Western intelligence services, which precedes and continues until after the military war. This war needs great attention and budgets, experts, brains and pens are devoted to refuting and responding to all allegations from west-window media platforms.

There is a kind of war that begins before, during and after any attack, which provides the ground and the societal, political and media situation for the success of any military attack anywhere and for any purpose, and the western colonial states have been forced to allocate generous budgets and draw up detailed plans, and sharpen the professional tools of such a war, so that they still sit on the throne of this war and win it again and again, in order to ignore others for this important fact and their reluctance to stop a little and change their budget schedules and priorities.

What I mean is the media war on which western intelligence agencies use experts in languages and expression, experts in the history, culture, religions and communities of peoples to know where to carry out to the minds and hearts of these peoples and to conduct them in accordance with Western interests, and use experts in psychology, promotion experts, experts in sounds, music and influence, and perhaps experts in disciplines that we have not yet seen and are still exclusive to them, their research centers and their media, as The study of the arena of conflicts and wars waged by western powers to plunder the wealth of peoples, especially the United States, which is waging wars today with its followers on many countries, is almost surprised by the great paradoxes between reality on earth and the allegations promoted in the media of the universe so that it becomes a reality that no one dares to challenge, and even if he dares, he will not be able to turn the equation and reconsider the facts that indicate the opposite of the direction of the media storm.

Examples are too many. If you start to set an example of my homeland syria, we find that the West, having created rooms and organizations and generously funded them to distort what is happening on Syrian soil (leaks of British documents have revealed an organized and funded media war since the first day since the beginning of the terrorist war on Syria) then began to direct and give films The Oscar for lies they designed, invented, promoted and became, for them, an alternative reality that refutes the biography of living reality, including “The Last Man of Aleppo” and “The Cave”, and for western audiences, these films are the main channel that predicts what happened in Syria. Although these films, just like the story of The Child Imran, are fabricated lies that have nothing to do with the truth, some of the hacks, led by Firas Fayyad, have done to present what the West desires to see and hear about a war it created to destroy the lives of millions of peaceful people in a safe and stable country that is a thorn in the eyes of the Zionists and those who aspire to the legacy of this nation.

In the alleged accusations of the Syrian government’s use of toxic gases in Douma and Saraqeb, these accusations are in stark contrast to the report of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), which confirmed that Syria has abandoned all its chemical weapons and that it is chemical-weapon-free and this has been for years, and yesterday on 16 April 2021, Russian Ambassador to the United Nations Vassily Nebenzia held a hearing of experts of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, and other experts in the file and subject confirmed during it and not There is no doubt that some elements of the organization manipulated the report written by the team that visited Syria and replaced it with lies by parties that did not set foot on Syrian soil, as the officials of the organization refused to listen to those who visited Syria and the former director of the organization because their reports confirm the Syrian government’s non-use of toxic gases and that what was promoted on television is a comic media play because if these people had been exposed to toxic gases they would have died and would not have been there to pour water on them.

The memory brings us back to Colin Powell and America’s claims that Iraq possesses weapons of mass destruction, and after they have finished their research on the file and found that there is probably no evidence of what they have repeatedly confirmed, they sealed the report with red wax, called it the locks of the United Nations and prevented it from opening it until after 60 years, i.e. after all those who lived and witnessed the events became in the hands of God.

There are many similar stories available through accusations by Russia and China on several topics, about the lies that are being cooked in the same kitchen about the war on Yemen, what is going on in Ukraine and about the reality of the positions on the Iran nuclear deal and the list goes on. But what is heartening today is the beginning of the response, although it is still in its infancy for this dangerous media intelligence war, as the meeting held yesterday by the Russian Ambassador to the United Nations and gave the platform to a number of reliable witnesses who refuted the facts about the Syrian chemical file in a way that should lead the counterfeiters to be ashamed of themselves and not to make such a farce again.

In the same spirit, I read an article in the China Daily on Zhejiang Province by writer Fu Zhou on April 8, 2021, in which he refuted beyond a doubt U.S. lies about Zhejiang province and in numbers demonstrated the Chinese government’s interest in education for all the region’s population and internal education, which is equal to the quality of any internal education in the world. The author also talks about improving the standard of living of the territory’s population and the work they are doing to improve their standard of living and that China stands against any persecution, ethnic cleansing or extermination claimed by the West to be practiced by China in the territory.  It is clear from China’s history and its work to eradicate poverty in all China and to raise the standard of living of the Chinese that it is a civilization that cares about human beings and their livelihoods and does not include religious or racial segregation in the dictionary of its policies.

On the other hand, it is funny that the United States claims to take care of the lives, education and standard of living of Uighur Muslims in China, and has dedicated terrorist organizations and financed them with money and continues to destroy thousands of schools in Syria frequented by Muslims and Christians, and to destroy mosques, churches, historical markets, monuments and civilization. How can you be keen on the Muslims of China and destroy the Muslims of Iraq, Syria, Libya and Yemen? Where did the U.S. interest in Uighur Muslims in China come from except for interference in China’s internal affairs, just as its policy on Taiwan and Hong Kong on the one hand, and its policy toward Ukraine and Crimea for Russia on the other. What the United States is doing can only be understood in order to interfere in the affairs of internal states and to ensure the security of Israel and its terrorist power in the region.

The United States has learned that it was the Zionist entity that attacked Natanz station to destroy the U.S.-Iran talks, but we have not heard a word of condemnation from the United States or any Western country. They also remain silent about all the lies promoted about Ukraine and Crimea after the United States has taken sanctions against Russia on flimsy grounds, not a single evidence of all allegations, but recognizes that the veracity of these allegations is low to medium.

What is important about the matter is that this media intelligence war that precedes, accompanies and continues until after the military war needs great attention and devoting budgets, experts, brains and pens to refute all allegations and respond to them from media platforms open to the West and reach the ears of people in all parts of the world just as Ambassador Vasily Nebenzia did in the important session in which the experts spoke and refuted the tricks of the Chemical Weapons Organization, just as the China Today newspaper refuted all the fabricated lies about Zhejiang. There is nothing wrong with allocating a generous budget for this matter, even if it is cut from military defense budgets, because defending by word and promoting facts emanating from the ground in the face of lies and fabrications may save armies costly military battles and may contribute to educating the world public opinion about the truth of Western policies and the high cost paid by them. Humans are all over the earth as a result of these policies.

Confronting one-pole politics and ensuring the birth of a multipolar world requires comprehensive strategies that address strategies of domination, intervention, subsistence and forgery that have cost blood, life, stability and security to all ourpeoples.

We need a deep, honest, intelligent and comprehensive stand and need to fight those who launch the attack and destroy countries with smarter and more powerful tools at all levels and in all areas.

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The Highly Anticipated Syrian Presidential Elections

 ARABI SOURI  

Presidency of the Syrian Arab Republic - President of Syria

The speaker of the Syrian Parliament called for eligible candidates wishing to run in the presidential elections to submit their applications to the parliament’s chamber within 10 days starting the day before yesterday and to commence the next working day yesterday, Monday 19 April.

Candidates must meet a number of conditions to be eligible to run for the office as per the amended Syrian Constitution of 2012, the enemies of the Syrian people in the USA, the European Union, and their minions called the elections illegitimate, they couldn’t topple the Syrian government and install a puppet regime or regimes despite investing hundreds of billions of dollars of their citizen’s hard-earned tax money for that goal.

The Western officials put on their ugly faces and interfere in the Syrian internal affairs in all ways possible, they, at the same time, go hysterical over never-proved allegations of Russian intervention in the US elections!

After more than a decade of the US-led war of terror and war of attrition waged against the Syrian people, the Syrian people managed to clean up most of their country from much of the corruption and most of the terrorism, they adopted a modern constitution which, because of the US attempts to overthrow the Syrian government, now omits US puppets from running for the top executive office in Syria.

Candidates running for the Syrian President’s office must meet the following conditions:

  • To have completed 40 years of age.
  • To be a Syrian citizen by birth and of both Syrian parents.
  • To enjoy full civil and political rights, unindicted in a heinous felony, even if the candidate regained their rights.
  • Not to be married from a non-Syrian.

Most importantly:

  • To have been a resident in Syria for not less than 10 consecutive years by the time of submitting the application.

It is this last article that all US puppets groomed by NATO member states and their regional stooges are not eligible for the top post in Syria. The majority of them reside in hotels abroad on the account of their host countries, they did not fight against terrorists the likes of ISIS, Nusra Front, et al, they did not suffer along with the Syrian people hence they will not feel the needs of the Syrian people, and they do not have loyalty to the people who stood mostly alone against the world’s largest army of terrorists over an entire decade.

Our question to western citizens who ‘democratically’ elect their heads of states, presumably, in their countries, how do you accept your officials interfering in the internal affairs of an independent, sovereign country, an establishing member of the United Nations when you don’t like others interfering in your elections?

Furthermore, if it was for the author of this post, I wouldn’t allow any foreign observer from any country to monitor any elections in Syria unless their respective countries allow Syrian observers to monitor their elections in their countries.

The Syrian embassies in normal countries around the world have already started receiving applications of the Syrian citizens wishing to vote in this important and milestone elections, we will not be surprised if there will be calls by the US stooges abroad calling for boycotting the elections, they know they do not have any majority, not close to a sizable minority to be noticed if they do contribute.

The last 2014 elections was held under extremely difficult conditions with constant bombing by the US-sponsored terrorists targeting voting centers all over the country, intimidation campaigns against the Syrians abroad to boycott the elections, and after failing in achieving their goals with Syrians registering in their tens of thousands in the Syrian consular missions abroad, the USA forced its stooges to stop the process in the host countries. The scene of hundreds of thousands of displaced Syrians in Lebanon flooding the streets and chanting for President Assad at the height of the US propaganda against him should have been enough lesson had the USA had any tiniest shred of good intentions towards the Syrian people to stop pushing for regime change in the country.

So far, 2 candidates applied for the post, one is a former minister, the incumbent President Bashar Assad did not submit his application form yet, the deadline for submitting the applications ends on Wednesday, 28th of April. The candidates must receive the endorsements of at least 35 members of the current Syrian Parliament. The election date is set for the 26th of May 2021. Syria’s Supreme Constitutional Court is supervising the entire elections process.

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The Three Deadly Components of Entitized Lebanon Heading Towards Collapse

كيف دعم المسلمون انطلاقة لبنان الكبير؟ | اندبندنت عربية

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The Three Deadly Components of Entitized Lebanon Heading Towards Collapse

By George Haddad

A hundred years after the establishment of the “State of Greater Lebanon”, owned by the invading French General Henri Gouraud, this combination has miserably failed to achieve the fundamental geostrategic objective for that it was created in our view, which is the creation of a “Zionized Christian nationalist homeland”, in which the interests of French imperialism and the global European monopolistic financial bloc converge and merge with the interests of global Judaism; and in a race with the creation of the “Jewish nationalist homeland” in Palestine, in which the interests of universal Judaism converged with those of British [and later American] imperialism and the global monopolistic Anglo-Saxon Protestant financial bloc.

And in vain, colonial France is now trying to save the dismantled entitized Lebanon from drowning. The closest to historical logic is that colonial France itself will drown, before it can save the entitized Lebanon from drowning. The majority of analysts are now unanimously saying that the current Lebanese crisis is not a temporary crisis, but rather an existential one, entitled: Will the current entitized Lebanon remain or not?

And that’s why the sectarian heads of the entitzed Lebanon – terrified to the bone – degenerate to the point that they refuse the oxygen provided by Syria to help those affected by the coronavirus pandemic, destroy thousands of tons of flour provided by Iraq to help the Lebanese people, refuse to buy fuel in Lebanese pounds from Iraq and Iran, and refuse to accept the large unconditioned development offers made by China and Russia. All these crimes against the Lebanese people are committed in the name of the so-called “Lebanese sovereignty” and the preservation of Lebanon’s western “civilizational” identity.

This is why Lebanese entitized sectarians, instead of all of the aforementioned, have raised the so-called “neutrality” slogan and separated Lebanon from its Arab surroundings and affiliation, except through normalization regimes with “Israel” and even to demand the “internationalization” of Lebanon and call for foreign occupation of Lebanese territory on the pretext of preserving Lebanon’s “neutrality” and so-called “Lebanese sovereignty”.

And whatever the exits of the current crisis of forming a government in Lebanon may be, this will not eliminate – but it will further emphasize – the existential nature of crisis of the entitized Lebanon. Any scientific-historical and objective analysis of this crisis must take into account and start from the three cancerous components from which entitized Lebanon was formed, which are fundamentally hostile to the existence and life of the Lebanese popular masses of all categories and sects. These cancerous components are:

1-            Sectarianism

2-            Treason

3-            Corruption

It must be emphasized that these three “qualities” do not exist separately, but are organically related. Every sectarian is at the same time a traitor and a corrupt – corruptor. And every traitor is a corrupt and a sectarian. And every corrupt is a sectarian and a traitor. These three filthy channels pour into the swamp of association and dependency with colonialism, imperialism and Zionism.

Entitzed Lebanon found in these three cancerous components, not by coincidence, and not a defense or guarantee of the interest of any Lebanese group or community, but rather a key tool and means for the production of the “nationalist Christian Zionized homeland” project, its supplements from other communities, under the slogans of “Coexistence”, “National Pact” and “Consensual Democracy”. And the presence of the entitized Lebanon is in conjunction with the presence of its components. If these components fall, the entitized Lebanon will inevitably fall.

Perhaps it is necessary to look at the nature of the existence of this Lebanese entity, through each of its existential components:

First, the entitized Lebanon was based on a “fundamental principle” which is sectarian quotas, while giving a “preference” to Christian denominationalism in its western wing, because the leading elite in Western Christian denominationalism has a historical relationship with the colonial West. And everything in the Lebanese entity, even the installation of sidewalk tiles on any street in any Lebanese city or village, is linked to sectarian quotas. And of course, they call this “Christian-Muslim coexistence”, “religious brotherhood” and the “message to the world” conveyed by Lebanon, mentioned dozens of times in the Torah!! Belonging to the entitized Lebanon is synonymous with belonging to the sectarian quota system. There is no existence whatsoever for “their Lebanon” without the existence of the sectarian quota system, taken from the Ottoman system of “millet”, which is the system that was enshrined, “modernized” and “constitutionalized” by French colonialism and its partners and successors.

Second, the entitized Lebanon was founded on a second “fundamental principle”, which is subordination and employment to colonialism. The upper-hand in the “State of Greater Lebanon” was given to Lebanese politicians [the founding fathers of the Lebanese State] who contributed to the formation of the “Army of the Levant” in the French Army, that is the “French Armed Force” comprised of Lebanese and Syrian volunteers, and it is the same legion from which the armed forces of the “independent” Lebanese State later emerged. The “Lebanese volunteers” fought alongside the invading French forces at the Battle of Maysalun in August 1920, following which the “independence” of the “State of Greater Lebanon” was declared. They also fought in the French colonial forces during the Great Syrian Revolt [1925 – 1927], which extended to some “Lebanese” areas.

Hassan Hamadeh wrote in “Al-Akhbar” newspaper on September 17, 2019, that in 1938, the President of the Lebanese Republic, Emile Edde and Prime Minister Khair al-Din al-Ahdab supported the project of the “Jewish Agency for ‘Israel’” to settle Jews fleeing Nazi Germany in the area between Saida and Tyre, where this area must join the planned “Israel” in return for sums of money.

خير الدين الأحدب Archives | التاريخ السوري المعاصر
The Presidents Of Lebanon Since Its Independence In 1943

This project was supported by Jewish French Prime Minister Léon Blum. But then French High Commissioner De Martel, who opposed the expansion of the British influence at the expense of France’s, disrupted the project and scolded Emile Edde and Khair al-Din al-Ahdab.

The scandalous WikiLeaks also published English reports on the Lebanese families of top landowners who sold thousands of acres of land in Palestine to the Jews. These families include: the Sursock family, the Salam family, the Tien family, the Tueni family, the Khoury family, the Qabbani family, Madam Omran, the al-Sabbagh family, and Muhammad Bayhm. And Khair al-Din al-Ahdab [the Prime Minister], Wasfi al-Din Qaddura, Joseph Khadij, Michel Sarji, Murad Dana [a Jew] and Elias al-Hajj established a company in Beirut, specifically on 19 August 1935, to buy lands in southern Lebanon and Palestine and sell them to Jews.

During the “Israeli” invasion of Lebanon in 1982, the traitorous “sovereign” entitized Lebanese marched in the ranks of the occupiers and fought alongside them in Beirut, the South and all of Lebanon, and committed the Sabra and Shatila massacre.

When “Israel” failed to defeat the Resistance in 2006, Lebanese traitors shed tears over “Israel’s” defeat.

Today, on the verge of the historic defeat of American and Western imperialism, “Israel” and Zionism in the region, entitized traitors do not hesitate to call for the foreign occupation of Lebanon, under the slogans of “internationalization”, “neutrality” and so-called “Lebanese sovereignty”.

Third, in the era of foreign rule in the Arab region [including Lebanon] – in the Ayyubid era, the Mamluk, then the Ottoman – the prevailing socio-economic system was a feudal, oppressive, eastern-style system, where the and authoritarian State is a separate and strange to the people, and the oppressed people are separate and strange to the State. The relationship of the State with all its local followers [princes, governors, the Pashas, the Beiks, and aghas, etc.] and the people, was a relationship of tyranny, murder, looting and plunder. Beyond this scourge, the masses of the people were living in a closed family and village natural economy, ruminating or re-producing themselves from generation to generation. Fair and ethical trade-offs, social integration and interdependence prevailed in public relations: farmers, craftsmen, macaroons and small traders. In that system, corruption was widespread among the State apparatus and the ruling and wealthy classes associated with it. As for the poor and oppressed popular masses, they maintained the values of honor, dignity and genuine Eastern and Arab morality.

With the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, the eastern feudal tyranny system, in Lebanon, collapsed forever. And with the establishment of the “State of Greater Lebanon”, the French colonial administration worked to restore the capitalist system in Lebanon in its ugliest and lowest form based entirely on corruption, corrupting, fraud, lying, bribery, con, scam and theft. Within a few years, capitalism [with all its decadent morals] entered all aspects of political, economic, social, educational and cultural life in Lebanon. The geostrategic goal was to facilitate the project of transforming Lebanon into a “second ‘Israel’”, by weakening the national and cultural moral strength or immunity of the Lebanese people, and turning them into a torn “ragged rag” that global monopoly capitalism, namely imperialism, could control as it wanted.

رياض سلامة عاد الى ملجأ mtv

The blind can see today that all of Lebanon’s current complex crises: the formation of the Government, the criminal financial investigation, the price of the bread bundle, are linked to corruption, to the dollar and to the Governor of the Central Bank, that is, to the capitalist system that French colonialism has imposed on the entitized Lebanon.

The historical question today is: Can this entitized Lebanon continue to exist without its basic components: sectarianism, treason, and the corrupt capitalist system? Can the masses of the Lebanese people continue to live by the existence of this entity that is organically associated with American imperialism and global Judaism?

Russian Navy To Guard Iranian Oil Supplies To Syria Under Strategic Agreement – Report

South Front

 17.04.2021 

A Russian Navy assault team from the Russian Federation ship Severromorsk land by helicopter on the deck of the Italian Ship San Marco, the NATO flag ship to Operation Ocean Shield, during a NATO-Russia counter piracy exercise in the Gulf of Aden.

Russia, Iran and Syria have established a joint operation room that would work to guarantee the security and stability of oil and wheat supplies to Syrian ports through the Mediterranean Sea, Sputnik reported on April 17.

According to the agency, a series of intensive meetings between Russian, Iranian and Syrian officials was held recently with the aim of breaking the siege imposed by the US and European Union on Syria.

“The room’s work is to provide multi-sided coordination to secure the arrival of oil supplies, in the first place, to Syrian ports,” Sputnik quoted sources familiar with the matter as saying.

Syria has been facing an unprecedented economic crisis as a result the sanctions imposed by the US and the EU. The country’s natural resources in the northeastern region are also under control of US proxies. Furthermore, ships heading to Syrian ports face sanctions as well as the threat of direct attacks on some occasions.

In the framework of the joint operations room, Russian Navy vessels will protect Iranian tankers heading to Syria until the end of this year.

Iranian tankers will gather in the Mediterranean and sail to Syria in one convoy escorted by the Russian Navy. Recently, this protocol was successfully used to guard four tankers heading to Syria.

According to Sputnik’s sources, other ships loaded with supplied, including food and chemicals for the pharmaceutical industry, will arrive in Syrian ports. Several wheat shipments from Russia will also be sent to Syria until next June.

“The recent tripartite coordination, which resulted in understandings that could be described as strategy, would secure most of the Syrian market’s needs for basic commodities and materials,” the sources said.

The operations room demonstrates honest commitment of Russia and Iran to Syria and the Syrian people. Meanwhile, the US and the EU continue to place political conditions to easy their collective sanctions on the country.

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بعد تدخل أردوغان في إنتخاباتها حركة حماس إلى أين فهَل تصبح نصفين؟

مجلة تحليلات العصر الدولية – إسماعيل النجار

2021-04-16

حركَة المقاومة الإسلامية حماس، واحدة من أكبر الحركات التحررية الإسلامية في فلسطين وخارجها، بَرَز إسمها على الساحة الفلسطينية في شهر ديسمبر ١٩٨٧ مع إنطلاق الإنتفاضة الفلسطينية الأولى، وكانت قدَ عَرٍَفَت عن نفسها كجناح من أجنحة الإخوان المسلمين في فلسطين ولكنها في الحقيقة أحد أشكال المقاومة التي قرر الفلسطينيون تبنيها ضمن مشوار العمل المقاوم التاريخي الطويل لهم.
**عَرَّفَت حماس عن هويتها الأيديولوجية وطرحها السياسي والفكري أنها حركة جهادية تستند إلى تعاليم الإسلام وتراثه الفقهي، وتؤمن بتوسيع دائرَة الصراع ضد المشروع الصهيوني ليشمل الإطارين العربي والإسلامي إيماناً منها بأن فلسطين هيَ قضية كل الشرفاء في العالم مسلمين ومسيحيين وأن القدس هي مهد الأديان الثلاث التي يحاول الصهاينة تحويلها إلى مدينة يهودية صهيونية فاقدة لحلاوة العيش المشترك بين أطراف الأديان السماوية الثلاث.

**تؤمن الحركة بأن الصراع مع العدو الصهيوني هو صراع حضاري مصيري ذات أبعاد عقائدية وجودية،

وحدَّدَت أهدافها الرئيسية والإستراتيجية أهمها تحرير كافة الأراضي الفلسطينية من البحر إلى النهر وإقامة دولة إسلامية على تراب فلسطين،
**لَم تؤمن حركة حماس بالعمل السياسي من داخل منظمة التحرير الفلسطينية رغم إحترامها الكبير لها، ورفضت الإنضمام إليها إلَّا بشَرط إذا وقعَت منظمة التحرير معها إتفاقاً تتعهد فيه بعدم التفريط بأي شبر من أرض فلسطين التاريخية ورفض الإعتراف بالكيان الصهيوني الأمر الذي رفضته قيادة منظمة التحرير التي تعهدت بالتفاوض مع الكيان الغاصب وتبني حَل الدولتين.

**إهتَمَّت الحركة بقوَة بعمقها الإسلامي والعربي وجاهدت للحفاظ على هويتها الإسلامية والعربية وأجرَت إتصالات مع دُوَل مجلس التعاون الخليجي الذي فَرَضَ عليها شروطاً قاسية مقابل تبنيها كحركة إسلامية تحررية وكان لا بُد للحركة من التنازل قليلاً لكي لا تتعرَّىَ من محيطها التي طالما أعتبرته ثوبها الدافئ ومظلتها الدولية الشرعية،

**تَبَنَّت الجمهورية الإسلامية الحركة ودعمتها بكُل ما أؤتيَت من قوَّة وقدمت لها كل أشكال الدعم المادي والسياسي والعسكري والإعلامي، من دون أي قَيد أو شرط،
[أيضاً تَلَقَّت حماس دعماً واسعاً من دمشق التي إحتَضَنت كبار قياداتها وفتحت لها أبواب سوريا على مصراعيها من دون أي قيد أو شرط، وبقيَت الأمور على حالها حتى عام ٢٠١١ وإنطلاق شرارة الخريف الصهيوني العربي وكانت دمشق واحدة من بين أهدافه الرئيسية حيث تساقطت الأنظمة العربية وهَوَت خلال ثلاثة شهور وأصبحَ قادتها الدكتاتوريين بين قتيلٍ وسجينٍ ولاجئ خارج البلاد.

إلَّا سوريا الأسد التي قررَ رئيسها الحفاظ على الدولة وأمن المواطنين وسلامة المؤسسات التي أستهدفها الإرهابيون وإندلعت المعارك في شوارع دمشق ومحيطها، فكان لحركة حماس موقفاً سلبياً من اللذين إحتضنوهم وأعطوهم الأمان فقرروا الوقوف مع المشروع القطري السعودي الأميركي وساهموا بقتال الجيش العربي السوري على الأرض السورية من خلال وجود المخيمات الفلسطينية داخل العاصمة وخارجها وكان مخيم اليرموك أحد ساحة القتال سيطرت حركة حماس على قسم كبير منه.
*تراجعَت درجة حرارة العلاقات بين طهران وحماس وبيروت وحماس من دون أن تنقطع الإتصالات كلياً بسبب تواصل الكثير من القيادات الحمساوية مع الطرفين الإيراني واللبناني رافضين إنخراط الحركة في الصراع السوري الداخلي ومواقف رئيس الحركة {خالد مشعل} المقيم في قطر، *بينما إنقطعت العلاقات كلياً مع دمشق وأصبَحَت الأمور معقدة جداً بين الطرفين.

**لَم تَكُن تتوقَّع حماس بعد مغادرتها دمشق وإحتضار العلاقة مع طهران وحزب الله أنها ستكون في موقفٍ صعب من خلال الضغوطات الخليجية التي مورِسَت على الحرَكَة بهدف تقديم تنازلات والقبول بحَل الدولتين الذي يعني بقاموسها إعتراف بإسرائيل، ثمَ تأكدَت بإن مشروع التطبيع قائم فحاولت أن تخرج من أزمتها من خلال التوازن بين المحورين العدوين تُبقي من خلاله حماس قدماً في طهران وأُخرَى في الرياض لكن الأخيرة كانت قاسية بما يكفي لإخراج الحركة من بلادها واعتقال مسؤوليها الأمر الذي تلقفته أنقرة بإستقبال قادتها وتبني دعمها سياسياً،
بدأت الأمور تتحسن تدريجياً مع طهران بعد عزل خالد مشعل وتعيين إسماعيل هنية، فتقبلت طهران وحزب الله الأمر لكن سورية بقيت على موقفها الرافض لعودة الحركة الى دمشق رغم وساطة السيد حسن نصرالله، فتُرِك الأمر للأيام ولتغيير الظروف السياسية والعسكرية في المنطقة.

 بعد الدخول التركي إلى قطر إثر الخلاف السعودي مع الدوحَة وإخراج الرياض من معادلة الحل في سوريا، ودخول اردوغان الساحة الليبية كلاعب رئيسي بقوة،
وبعد المصالحة السعودية القطرية (المسيارة) والتقارب السعودي المصري التركي، وإحتدام الصراع بين إسرائيل والجمهورية الإسلامية الإيرانية وإحتمال حصول مواجهة مباشرة شاملة بينهما، فوجئ الجميع بإنتخاب خالد مشعل مسؤولاً لحركة حماس خارج فلسطين بالكامل،
وتسربَت معلومات عن ضغوط تركية كبيرة لأجل ذلك الأمر الذي يشير إلى أن صراعاً سياسياً متحكماً بقيادة الحركة في الداخل والخارج بين طرفين بارزين يشكل محمود الزهار ويحي السنوار وصالح العاروري وغيرهما أحد صقور طهران الأقوياء داخل الحركة، الأمر الذي يشير إلى توجُه حماس نحو قرارين متناقضين خارجي وداخلي بعد إنتخاب مشعل مسؤولاً عن الحركة في الخارج،
فهل تذهب أنقرة من خلال مشروعها لشق صفوف حركة حماس وإضعافها؟

 الأمر يعود إلى شرفاء الحركة اللذين نضع بين أيديهم أمانة وحدة الحركة والفصائل كمواطنين مؤيدين للقضية الفلسطينية.

Syria rejects ‘fabricated’ OPCW report on alleged 2018 gas attack in Saraqib

Source

By VT Editors -April 15, 2021

Press TV: Syria has dismissed as “false and fabricated” the results of a probe by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) into an alleged chemical attack in the northwestern city of Saraqib on February 4, 2018.

On Monday, the OPCW released the findings of its Investigation and Identification Team (IIT), which blamed the Saraqib incident on the Syrian government.

“The report reached the conclusion that there are reasonable grounds to believe that, at approximately 21:22 on 4 February 2018, a military helicopter of the Syrian Arab Air Force under the control of the Tiger Forces hit eastern Saraqib by dropping at least one cylinder. The cylinder ruptured and released chlorine over a large area, affecting 12 named individuals,” it claimed in a report.

In a statement published on Wednesday, the Syrian Foreign Ministry said the OPCW’s “misleading report,” written by “an illegitimate and incredible team,” fabricates “facts” to incriminate the Damascus government.

“This report has included false and fabricated conclusion which represents another scandal for the OPCW and the inquiry teams that will be added to the scandal of the reports of Douma incident in 2018, and Ltamenah in 2017,” it said.

“The Syrian Arab Republic condemns, in the strongest terms, what has been included in the report of the illegitimate so-called ‘Investigation and Identification Team’ and rejects all its context.”

The ministry also stressed that the Syrian government categorically denies using toxic gases in Saraqib or in any other city or village, affirming that the army has never used such materials during most difficult battles carried out against armed terrorist organizations.

It further reiterated that Syria categorically rejects the use of chemical weapons at any time or place, saying, the country “has never used any chemical weapon and can’t use it.”

Syria surrendered its entire chemical stockpile in 2013 to a mission led by the United Nations and the OPCW.

It believes that false-flag chemical attacks on the country’s soil have been staged by foreign-backed militants in a bid to pressure the government amid army advances.

https://if-cdn.com/dM0G7Br?v=1&app=1

Revelations suggest that the OPCW may have intentionally doctored its findings about alleged gas attacks in Syria to avoid implicating the foreign-backed militants.

Damascus has repeatedly urged the chemical weapons watchdog to avoid politicizing Syrian issues.

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عمرو علان

الثلاثاء 13 نيسان 2021

تتميّز المملكة الأردنية الهاشمية بموقع جغرافي مميّز، فهي تشكل فاصلاً جغرافياً وحاجزاً بشرياً بين الكيان الصهيوني وبين العراق والسعودية، وبصورة ما أيضاً بين سوريا والكيان الغاصب، إذا ما أخذنا في الحسبان الحدود الأردنية السورية المشتركة، بالإضافة إلى كون الحدود بين الأردن وفلسطين المحتلة هي الأطول من بين دول الطوق.

أما سياسياً، فالمَلَكية في الأردن وأجهزة الدولة تربطهما مع المملكة المتحدة البريطانية والولايات المتحدة الأميركية علاقات وثيقة وقديمة أمنياً واستخبارياً وعسكرياً، ناهيكم بالعلاقات المميزة بين الحكم الأردني وبين الكيان الصهيوني، تتضافر كل هذه العوامل لتجعل الأردن ذا أهمية خاصة في الإستراتيجية الأميركية تُجاه العالم العربي، لذلك تُعد ديمومة الحكم في الأردن واستقراره من المسلّمات في العقيدة الأميركية، وبناءً عليه يُستبعد حصول أي تغيير أو محاولات تغيير في الحكم الأردني دون أن تكون لها ارتباطات دولية وإقليمية، أو دون أن تكون محكومة بسقف أميركي لا يسمح بانزلاق الساحة الأردنية إلى فوضى غير منضبطة، تُفضي إلى انعكاسات أمنية خطيرة على كيان العدو. إذن كيف يمكن تفسير إجهاض ما بات مرجّحاً أنه كان محاولة لاستبدال رأس الحكم الأردني عبر إحلال الأمير حمزة بن الحسين وليّ العهد السابق محل أخيه غير الشقيق الملك عبدالله الثاني؟
بدايةً نستذكر «صفقة القرن» التي طرحها الرئيس الأميركي السابق دونالد ترامب، والتي كانت ترتكز على ثلاثي ترامب وابن سلمان ونتنياهو، وكان واضحاً عدم رضى الأردن الرسمي عن تلك الصفقة بما تشكّله من تهديد مباشر للوصاية الهاشمية على المقدّسات في القدس المحتلة، ومن حيث كونها مقدمة لتنفيذ مخطط الوطن البديل في الأردن، وكان حضور الملك عبدالله الثاني لقمة القدس الاستثنائية التي عُقدت في إسطنبول في كانون الأول/ ديسمبر 2017 برغم الضغوط الإقليمية التي تعرّض لها آنذاك مع محمود عباس لثنيهما عن الحضور علامة فارقة في العلاقات السعودية الأردنية، حيث ظهرت للعلن بعدها آثار توتر العلاقات عبر وقف المساعدات السعودية للأردن وعبر ضغوط أخرى، لكن ما شهدناه في الأيام القليلة الماضية يشير إلى أن تأزّم العلاقات هو أكثر عمقاً مما كان ظاهراً، وأنه مذّاك الحين بدأت السعودية والإمارات بالتعاون مع نتنياهو بالإعداد إلى استبدال رأس الحكم في الأردن ضمن مسعى تنفيذ «صفقة القرن»، وعلى الأرجح أن ذلك كان بعلم ورضى أميركيين لما يشكّله الأردن من أهمية في الاستراتيجية الأميركية.

ما موقع الأردن من الإستراتيجية الجديدة لإدارة بايدن؟ هل تقرر تحويل المملكة الهاشميّة إلى ما يشبه قاعدة عسكرية أمريكية؟


لكن تعثر تطبيق «صفقة القرن»، وصعود الديمقراطيين إلى سدة الحكم الذين جاؤوا باستراتيجية مغايرة لتلك التي اتّبعها ترامب، يبدو أنهما فرضا تبديلاً في الأولويات الأميركية وتغييراً في طريقة التعاطي الأميركي مع ملفات المنطقة، ولقد كان لافتاً إبرام الاتفاقية العسكرية الأميركية الأردنية أخيراً، التي لاقت استياءً كبيراً في الأوساط الأردنية لما تتضمنه من تنازل عن السيادة الأردنية لمصلحة القوات العسكرية الأميركية، والتي تُحوِّل الأردن على امتداد أراضيه إلى قاعدة عسكرية أميركية، وقد تزامن توقيع هذه الاتفاقية مع الإعلان عن إحباط محاولة إطاحة العاهل الأردني عبدالله الثاني، لذلك يصير من المشروع ربط الخطوتين، إحداهما بالأخرى.
إذا ما صحّت هذه القراءة، فنحن نشهد انقلاباً في الإستراتيجية الأميركية تُجاه المنطقة العربية اقتضى طيّ صفحة مشروع سابق لمصلحة مسار جديد يتم العمل به، ويصير معه البعد الداخلي الأردني للأحداث تفصيلاً، ويصبح السؤالان الأهم: ما الذي ترسمه إدارة جو بايدن للمستقبل؟ وما هو موقع الأردن في هذه الإستراتيجية الجديدة الذي يلزمه معها تحويل الأردن إلى ما يشبه القاعدة العسكرية الأميركية؟
من المبكر الإجابة عن هذين التساؤلين بشكل قطعي، فنحن في انتظار تكشُّف المزيد من المعطيات، لكن من المفروغ منه أن احتمالية الانسحاب الأميركي من العراق، ومصير التوصل إلى تفاهم في الملف النووي الإيراني من عدمه، وما يخفيه الأميركي لسوريا في قابل الأيام، هي قضايا لعبت كلها أو بعضها دوراً في الهزة غير المسبوقة التي شهدها الأردن في هذه الأيام القليلة، وفي تحويل الأردن إلى منصة عسكرية أميركية يمكن استعمالها بصورة أو بأخرى.

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Incentives: Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin possible moves – Donbass crisis.

Incentives: Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin possible moves – Donbass crisis.

April 11, 2021

By David Sant for the Saker Blog

Several analysts have written articles about how Russia is likely to respond in the theater to an offensive by Ukraine to restart the Donbass War. My purpose in this article is to look at the psychology and incentives of Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin and the possible moves that each of them may make in response to the Donbass crisis.

The Nature of the Dispute

It is fairly well established that two primary motives seem to be driving the Atlanticist pressure on Russia and continuing eastward expansion of NATO. The larger issue is that Russia, Iran, and China seem to be increasingly resistant to the rule of the Atlanticist monopolar hegemony enforced by the US Military and NATO. As someone recently said, the American empire is a currency empire sustained by forcing all energy transactions to be priced in US Dollars, and controlling energy transit points. By moving away from using USD for oil and gas transactions, Russia, China, and Iran pose a mortal threat to the empire.

The secondary issue, the one driving the timing, is control of oil and gas pipelines. In short the USA wants Europe to use American-controlled gas and oil, which means Saudi and Qatari oil, and American LNG. They want to create pipelines and delivery routes for American-controlled energy, and close or prevent delivery routes for Russian energy. The three current flashpoints are Syria, Ukraine, and the route of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, all three of which are current or potential pipeline routes.

Several years ago the US successfully pressured Bulgaria into cancelling the South Stream Pipeline through the Black Sea. However, US sanctions have been unable to deter Germany from allowing the Russians to complete the Nord Stream 2.

With the completion of the project only a few months away, the US seems determined to stop it at any cost. This appears to be the motive behind instigating the Ukrainian government to invade Donbass. If Russia defends Donbass, she will be demonized in the Western press, and this will be used to pressure Germany to cancel Nord Stream 2. From the American perspective, getting the Ukrainians to fight the Russians weakens both at no political cost to the US.

It is my opinion that the Biden Administration is making a major miscalculation by continuing this approach. For the past seven years, Russia has absorbed round after round of sanctions and provocations by the US government in Ukraine and Syria. The Biden regime seems to assume that if they instigate a war in Donbass now, that Russia will continue as they have before, to absorb the blow without striking back. I suggest that this time it will be different.

The History and Psychology of Biden and Putin

Vladimir Putin was handpicked by the Western handlers to replace Boris Yeltsin in 1999, largely because he was known to be reliable. However, Putin surprised those who appointed him by turning against the oligarchs and reigning in the chaos that was dismembering Russia after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Putin enforced the law and cracked down on corruption, including corruption by the Western interests that put him in power.

Displeased by this turn of events, the West, led by Bill Browder, has spent the past fifteen years demonizing Putin. For example, when Russia granted asylum to Edward Snowden in 2013, multiple US politicians used scripted talking points calling Mr. Putin “a schoolyard bully.” That analogy was rather inept, as Russia did not invite Snowden, but rather got stuck with him, as his passport was cancelled while in transit, making it impossible for him to board his flight out of Russia. Putin actually said that as a former intelligence officer himself, he did not view Snowden’s leak of classified information in a positive light.

The problem with demonizing one’s opponent is that it can lead to strategic errors if you make the mistake of believing your own propaganda. If we look at Mr. Putin’s past behavior we see four consistent characteristics.

First, he follows the rules. Whether it is the START treaty, the chemical weapons accord, or the Minsk Agreements, the Putin regime has consistently tried to keep the old treaties alive and to follow agreed upon UN procedures for conflict resolution.

Second, when Mr. Putin has taken steps to oppose the Atlanticist agenda, he has done so in a way that allowed his opponents to save face. When the US was preparing to invade Syria in 2013, Putin persuaded Assad to agree to eliminate his chemical weapon stockpile. This pulled the rug out from under the US invasion, but it did not make the US look bad.

When Russia entered Syria to fight ISIS, they did not publicly expose the fact that the US and Israel were the primary backers of ISIS. Putin went along with the ruse and said, if America is fighting ISIS we will fight ISIS too, and did so legally at the invitation of Syria. Russia’s work allowed Trump to take credit for defeating ISIS, even though it completely ruined eight years of CIA efforts to train and arm those terrorists.

Third, Mr. Putin keeps his word. When he draws a red line, he enforces it. He speaks quietly but it is wise to listen carefully to what he says. We have seen this in the way that Russia dealt with terrorist groups that agreed to deconfliction versus those that did not, as well as the ones that agreed and then went against it.

And, lastly, when all else has failed and the other party crosses the red line anyway, Putin punches fast, hard, and unexpectedly, and often in a different theater than where the provocation has occurred. We saw this when Russia destroyed the oil smuggling network that the US and Turkey had set up in Northeastern Syria. We saw it again when Russia saved Mr. Erdogan from a US-backed coup only thirty minutes before he probably would have been captured.

Joe Biden

Joe Biden loved to tell the story on the campaign trail about his interaction with a black gangster named “Corn Pop” when he was a lifeguard in college. They almost had a fight but Biden brought a chain with him, and they later became friends. The fact that he even tells this tale signals that Biden has no real experience against a serious enemy. Men with street credibility don’t need to tell stories. They are known and respected.

The reality of Biden’s career is that he has played second fiddle to stronger leaders and only appears to have gotten the presidential nomination because it was his turn and he was deemed to be controllable by his handlers. Biden obtained the presidency through a fraud seen so openly that he has one of the lowest presidential approval ratings in history.

Biden and Putin met for the first time alone in 2011 for talks in Russia. According to Mike McCormick, who was Biden’s stenographer, Biden was halfway through his talk when suddenly the microphone, cameras, and lights were turned off and Putin and all of the media walked out leaving Biden humiliated. Something similar happened to Biden in China a few months later.

This is probably what Biden was referring to when he recently said that Putin was “a killer” with “no soul.” That interaction tells us exactly what Putin thinks of Biden. He considers him to be a weakling with no substance.

Biden’s team is stacked with Russophobes who are motivated by the desire to finish what they began in Ukraine under Obama. They believe they can successfully use information war and dirty tricks to isolate Russia from Europe and control all the energy conduits. Whether due to hubris or ignorance, they do not believe Russia would dare to strike back at the real instigator of the war in Ukraine.

Biden’s response to a Russian strike would probably be a plaintive high pitched, “c’mon man!” However, if Kamala Harris is making the decisions the risk of escalating to a nuclear response is much higher. The problem is that both Biden and Harris were picked and installed by a “power behind the throne,” so it is unclear exactly who would be making the decision of how to respond.

The Imminent Danger of the Current Imbroglio

There is no doubt that the US intends to create a war in Ukraine before the Nord Stream 2 Pipeline can be finished. This will happen within months if not weeks. It is also clear that Zelensky is being placed under tremendous pressure to force Russia into defending Donbass.

Russia has drawn a red line around Donbass. Ukraine had agreed to a peaceful resolution through the Minsk Accords. But with US encouragement, Kiev violated everything they agreed to, making it now politically impossible to re-integrate Donbass into Ukraine.

If Zelensky invades Donbass, then not just Ukraine, but the USA and NATO will be viewed by Russia as having crossed an inviolable red line. Yes, Russia will be forced to defend Donbass, because Putin will not allow Russians to be subjected to genocide. Russia does not want to fight Ukrainians, whom despite the jokes, they view as their Russian brothers. They are frustrated and angry that the USA has forced them into this position.

For this reason, I believe that Mr. Putin will do something that the Biden regime is not expecting with similar psychological impact to the sudden turning off of the lights and cameras. He will find a way to inflict debilitating pain on the decision makers who have forced Russia into intervening in Ukraine.

In addition to defending Donbass, Russia may strike the USA in a different theater. But they will do so in a way that cannot be confused with a nuclear attack. Unlike the previous chess moves that allowed the US leadership to save face, this one will neutralize and publicly humiliate the USA and the Biden regime as a paper tiger.

The Narrow Window of Technological Supremacy

While the US was busy invading third world countries as part of the War on Terror, Russia was quietly developing their defense technologies. They have now achieved technological supremacy over the USA in three areas: air and missile defenses, hypersonic missiles, and electronic countermeasures (ECM).

In the area of air defenses the Russian S-400 is an extremely capable platform which the West has very little experience fighting against. Russia has the capability to impose a no fly zone within about 500 kilometers of its S-400 batteries, of which there are several from Crimea to Kaliningrad. Israel’s use of the F-35 to bomb Syria has given the Russians live data on NATO’s most advanced stealth fighter.

The S-500 space defense system is scheduled to enter service in 2021. Since the S-500 can defend against ICBMs it may affect the balance of power of mutual assured destruction (MAD).

The Zircon and Khinzal hypersonic missiles are currently in service and are the most effective anti-ship weapons in the Russian arsenal that we know of. Their standoff range enables strikes on enemy ships from 500 to 2,000 kilometers. This means that Russia has the ability to strike ships in the Mediteranean and North Sea using assets based on Russian soil, not even counting the assets based in Latakia, Syria. NATO forces currently have no defense against hypersonic missiles.

Russian ECM capabilities have been somewhat exaggerated by news stories about the 2014 encounter with the USS Donald Cook. The Donald Cook was allegedly shut down by ECM attack while an SU-24 overflew the vessel. However, more accurate sources noted that any ECM attack, if there even was one, would have been executed using ground-based equipment, not the Su-24 fighter. If this attack really happened, the US Navy has presumably hardened its vessels against ECM in the seven years since.

We do know that Russian ECM systems in Syria were able to disable the vast majority of Tomahawk Missiles fired at Syria in April 2017. Other than aircraft carriers, the primary American method of projecting power is Arleigh-Burke class destroyers such as the USS Donald Cook which carry about 50 Tomahawk missiles each. The 2017 exercise in Syria probably indicates that Russia is able to jam volleys of Tomahawk missiles with better than 90% success. The remaining 10% of the subsonic Tomahawks can be easily shot down by anti-aircraft batteries.

The question is whether the US Navy has found a way to harden the Tomahawk missiles against Russian ECM since 2017. If not, then given the much smaller size and number of missiles that can be carried by Navy attack aircraft, the US Navy’s primary weapon for ground attack has no teeth against Russian targets. Of course in any conflict, the first target of NATO’s “wild weasel” aircraft will be SAM radars and ECM equipment.

Conclusion – Biden has Created Strong Incentives for Russia to Strike First

The US is spending billions to catch up technologically, and the window of Russian supremacy may only last for two or three years at most. Russia can be expected to reach the peak technological advantage over NATO in late 2021 after the S-500 system has been fully deployed. However, the Donbass crisis may force Russia to act sooner than they are comfortable.

If Russia were to use the window of supremacy to attempt a debilitating strike on the US military the US Navy is the most likely target. Ships are the most exposed, are not located inside another country’s borders, and are also the primary means of projecting US power. However, I would not rule out a non-missile attack on DC. For example, there are many ways that the US power grid could be turned off without using missiles. The ensuing domestic chaos might prevent the US from responding.

This is a very dangerous situation for the world because it could easily escalate to World War III or nuclear war, depending on the Biden Administration’s reaction. Part of the problem is that it is not clear who is really in charge of the Whitehouse. A nuclear response to a devastating conventional weapons defeat would be a disaster for both sides.

Russia will only strike the USA if they believe they have no other choice. What they have learned from seven years of sanctions, attempted coups, fake poisonings, and other provocations is that the US will continue this behavior for as long as Russia continues to accept it, or until Russia is broken and conquered. In short, Biden’s team may have finally convinced Russia that they have no other choice.

President Biden has handed Putin the justification for a first strike by openly stating his intention to conduct a cyber attack on Russia “soon.” That is a public declaration of war. The fact that the Russian ambassador was recalled from Washington and has not been sent back should be a wakeup call to America that DC itself is on the potential target list.

For these reasons I believe that there is a high probability that Russia will strike first before NATO can fully put in place the forces for planned exercises for this Summer. The strike will probably be non-nuclear, focused against US forces only, and its purpose will be to delegitimize the US power in the eyes of the junior members of NATO, and to weaken or cripple the US ability to project power.

If China and Iran see Russia strike the US military, it would not be surprising if they also pile on using their own hypersonic missiles to destroy US Navy assets in the Persian Gulf and South China Sea.

The Biden regime’s underestimation of Russia and failure to heed Putin’s warnings have created conditions which make possible a sudden and humiliating defeat of the US Navy, which could effectively end the US ability to project power overseas.

However, wars are rarely short, and victories rarely decisive. For this reason it would be better for all parties to de-escalate the conflict immediately. Unfortunately, the Biden regime is the only one in a position to do that, and they have shown no intention of doing so.

RUSSIAN-SYRIAN GAS CONTRACT HINTS AT SYRIA’S RECOVERY

Source

 09.04.2021

Russian-Syrian Gas Contract Hints At Syria’s Recovery

Submitted by Steven Sahiounie.

The Syrian government signed a 4-year contract in March with Capital Limited, a Russian firm, to conduct oil and gas exploration in the area known as block No. 1 in the Syrian exclusive economic zone in the Mediterranean Sea, off the coast of the Tartous province.

The disputed maritime area covers 2,250 square kilometers on the Syrian-Lebanese maritime borders in the Mediterranean Sea.

Large reservoirs of natural gas have been discovered under the seafloor of the eastern Mediterranean and the neighboring nations and energy exploration companies are eager to exploit these gas deposits.

The Levantine basin has proven reserves of more than 60 trillion cubic feet of gas. The US Geological Survey has estimated that 1.7 billion barrels of oil lie in the basin, and as much as 122 trillion cubic feet of gas. That amount of gas is equivalent to about 76 years of gas consumption in the European Union (EU).javascript:window[“$iceContent”]

Natural gas is the cleanest of the fossil fuels and serves as a transition fuel towards more renewables, and to replace coal and nuclear electric generation across the EU.  Gas is the energy of demand for the EU, which is the biggest emerging gas market in the world.

In December 2013, Damascus entered into a major agreement with Moscow to explore oil and gas in the offshore territorial waters for 25 years.  Drilling and exploration costs were estimated at $100 million.  Russia would finance these activities with expenditures recovered from eventual production.

The 2013 deal for gas exploration involved Russia’s SoyuzNefteGaz; however, the current contract involves two Russian companies, Capital Limited and East Med Amrit.

The area in which Russian companies are being allowed to operate is disputed by the Lebanese, with the maritime borders drawn by the Syrians, especially in Block No. 1, overlapping significantly with Block No. 1 and Block No. 2 on the Lebanese side, and encroaching approximately 750 square kilometers within Lebanon’s maritime border.

Lebanon was busy demarcating its southern maritime and land borders with Israel for years, without making any progress.

On April 6, Lebanese caretaker Foreign Minister Charbel Wehbe said that Lebanese President Michel Aoun held a phone conversation with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to discuss the demarcation of maritime borders between the two countries. Wehbe said Aoun confirmed in his call with Assad that “Lebanon won’t accept to diminish from its sovereignty over its waters”, and confirmed that his country sticks to demarcating the maritime borders via negotiations, and not court disputes.

The majority of the land borders between the two countries have been demarcated in 1971, while the maritime borders between Syria and Lebanon have not been delineated. Lebanon had previously demarcated its maritime borders in 2011, and in 2014 launched a round of primary licenses and invited bids for Block No. 1 in the north, but Syria did not recognize the Lebanese demarcation. Damascus objected to the unilateral Lebanese demarcation of its exclusive economic zone in the north, by sending a protest letter to the United Nations in 2014.

Wehbe said that Beirut must negotiate with Damascus about the demarcation of maritime borders.

“This is not an act of aggression but every state demands its rights according to its perspective,” Wehbe said, adding that negotiations must take place within the framework of international laws and the brotherly relations between the two countries.

In late 2010, a dramatic discovery was made in the eastern Mediterranean of a huge natural gas field offshore, in what geologists call the Levant or Levantine Basin. The discovery set into motion a geopolitical plan devised in Washington and Tel Aviv back in 1996.  By March 2011 Syria was immersed into a revolution instigated and fueled by the CIA on orders from President Obama.

In August 2011 findings were revealed by Syrian exploration companies of an immense gas field in Qara near the border with Lebanon and near the port of Tartus, which was leased to the Russian navy. The gas reserves are believed to be equal to or exceed those of Qatar.  The US-backed rebels kept the fighting focused in the area to prevent the recovery of the gas.

Trump ordered the US troops illegally occupying Syria to stay and steal the oil.  The US military prevents the Syrian government from using the oil in the northeast to rebuild or recover from 10 years of war.

The US, NATO, and the EU all worked in coordination to destroy Syria and keep it from reaching its potential as an energy-sufficient nation.

Washington’s ‘regime-change’ strategy was based on instigating internal chaos in Syria through the use of CIA training and weapons of armed fighters following Radical Islam, which they thought would end with an Islamic State as opposed to the existing secular government in Damascus, and supported through the coffers of Saudi Arabia and Qatar, both nations state sponsors of Radical Islam.

The US lost the war in Syria. But, Washington will continue to isolate Russia and try to prevent the unchanged government in Damascus from the gas reserves off-shore.

Turkey began the US-NATO war against Syria as a team player. Turkey was used as a transit point for all the hundreds of thousands of foreign terrorists from the four corners of the globe who flocked to Syria on Team-USA to oust the Syrian government, in favor of Radical Islam. However, Turkey feels left out of the lucrative gas deals, and envious of its neighbors in the eastern Mediterranean.

Turkey is trying to disrupt energy exploration. Meanwhile, it is the babysitter of the Al Qaeda terrorists in control of Idlib and determined to maintain the status quo in Idlib.

While Russia has been in the Syrian port of Tartus for decades, it was in 2015 that they were invited to Syria militarily in the darkest days of terrorist expansion.  The Russians have a long and bloody experience with Radical Islamic terrorists on Russian soil. With Syria laying on the southern front of Russia, it was seen as a national security threat to allow an Islamic state to be proclaimed in Damascus, even if it was only the Muslim Brotherhood politicians supported by the US and housed in hotels in Istanbul.

The Russians felt they could either defeat the terrorists in Syria or wait and fight them on the streets of Moscow. Radical Islam is neither a religion, nor a sect, but a political ideology that is very difficult to deal with once US weapons are placed in their hands.

In 2012, F. William Engdahl wrote a prophetic article Syria, Turkey, Israel and a Greater Middle East Energy War. He wrote, “The battle for the future control of Syria is at the heart of this enormous geopolitical war and tug of war. Its resolution will have enormous consequences for either world peace or endless war and conflict and slaughter.”

Engdahl theorized that Syria would ultimately be a major source for Russian-managed gas flows to the EU.

In late 2015, Pepe Escobar, a journalist with Asia Times, wrote a groundbreaking article Syria: Ultimate Pipelineistan War”.

Escobar wrote, “Syria is an energy war. With the heart of the matter featuring a vicious geopolitical competition between two proposed gas pipelines, it is the ultimate Pipelinestan war.”

In the article, he takes you back to 2009 when Qatar proposed to Damascus the construction of a pipeline traversing Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Syria to Turkey, to supply the EU.

However, in 2010 Syria chose a competing project, the $10 billion Iran-Iraq-Syria pipeline. That choice set into motion what the western media terms as the Syrian civil war, but in reality was never civil, and was a classic US ‘regime-change’ project which featured a cast of thousands, and among the supporters were the heads of state from most of the civilised world.

After 10 years of war, Syria may finally be approaching the endgame. President Assad’s government is looking to post-war recovery and reconstruction, which will need foreign and domestic investments. The energy sector is crucial. Syria’s oil exports accounted for 30% of pre-war revenue, and the prospect of gas output was revealed just as the war ramped up. US and EU sanctions will make foreign investment difficult, but the world is watching Russia in the waters off Syria.

Steven Sahiounie is an award-winning journalist and political commentator.

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Analyzing Saudi Arabia’s Changing Attitude Towards Former Allies & Enemies

By Denis Korkodinov

Source

Analyzing Saudi Arabia

There is a huge possibility that the kingdom will nevertheless reconsider some of the directions of its foreign policy, given that the new US President Joe Biden and the head of the American State Department Antony Blinken began to exert tremendous pressure on Riyadh, demanding, in particular, to complete the war in Yemen.

A key feature of the development of the Middle East, from the mid-1970s to the present, is its direct dependence on the global hydrocarbon market. Nevertheless, based on the new geopolitical reality and the existing uncertainty due to the COVID-19 pandemic, MENA states are forced to significantly reduce their costs and abandon projects related to ensuring regional interests. Saudi Arabia, which for a long time positioned itself as the leading donor for the overwhelming majority of states, is also forced to experience economic difficulties. Such a picture can negatively affect the kingdom’s ability to ensure the realization of its own regional interests and forces it to reconsider its relations with former enemies and allies. First of all, this concerns Iran and Syria.

The main stumbling block between the countries is the draft political settlement of the Syrian crisis. Official power in Damascus, are loyal to the Iranian Ayatollah regime. Riyadh, especially since the beginning of the period of the so-called “Arab Spring”, has been pursuing the goal of reducing Tehran’s influence in the region, but it no longer regards Syrian President Bashar al-Assad as an ideological adversary. Differences in views with Iran are the main source of existing problems on the path to normalizing Syrian-Saudi relations. However, there is a huge possibility that the kingdom will nevertheless reconsider some of the directions of its foreign policy, given that the new US President Joe Biden and the head of the American State Department Antony Blinken began to exert tremendous pressure on Riyadh, demanding, in particular, to complete the war in Yemen. It is quite clear that such a requirement is deliberately impracticable, primarily for political reasons. Thus, the withdrawal of Saudi troops from Yemen may cause another escalation of the conflict, which, in principle, is already clearly visible in the situation in the province of Marib. Of course, this development of events does not meet the interests of the Saudi monarchy, which is especially sensitive to attacks carried out by the Ansar Allah movement both inside and outside Yemen. It should also be noted that the withdrawal from Yemen risks undermining the position of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. In addition, Washington is seeking to re-establish a nuclear deal with Iran, thereby placing the kingdom at a real threat. In such conditions, Riyadh needs to urgently transform its foreign policy, including towards Syria.

On March 1, 2021, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov became the first “extra-regional” high-ranking diplomat to make an official visit to Riyadh and meet in person with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman after the United States announced a series of anti-Saudi sanctions. Moscow is highly counting on the kingdom’s assistance in recognizing the new Libyan government and resolving the Syrian crisis. According to Russia, this would serve as an international guarantee that the region can soon return to a peaceful life and forget about the time of the protracted Arab Spring. In turn, Riyadh is interested in using Moscow as a mediator in negotiations with Damascus. In addition, the kingdom pursues the goal of determining the direction of its further path in the international arena and finding a “spare ally” in the person of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Initially taking an irreconcilable position in relation to official Damascus, Saudi Arabia is gradually beginning to change its mind and is ready for a dialogue with Bashar al-Assad, including within the framework of the League of Arab States, from which Syria was excluded in 2011. Now Riyadh is considering the possibility of resuming Damascus’s membership in the “Arab family”, but the timeframe for the implementation of this plan is still unclear. So, according to a former employee of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kuwait, retired Colonel Abdullah Mohsen Lafi al-Shammari, this may not happen before the presidential elections in Syria to be held in December 2021. In addition, the question of whether Damascus will want to return to the Arab League raises great doubts. In any case, now Russia and Iran are almost completely compensating Syria for all the costs that could be borne by the member countries of the international Arab organization.

One can, of course, consider that the starting point of such a sharp turn in Saudi diplomacy is the “destructive” policy of US President Joe Biden, who, having attacked Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman with harsh criticism, called this approach a “recalibration.” However, a former member of the General Staff of the Saudi Arabian Armed Forces, Major General Mohammad al-Harbi, said there is an understanding in the Saudi court that the American “condemnation strategy” is part of a larger geopolitical game. Kuwaiti expert Abdul Mohsen al-Shammari is of the same opinion. At least no one in Riyadh views the murder of Jamal Khashoggi as a serious reason for breaking off relations with Washington. Based on the principle of “real politics,” the Saudi court will not revise the format of cooperation with the White House in the next 30-50 years, even if force majeure circumstances arise in the form of a global conflict.

By putting pressure on Mohammad bin Salman, Washington, apparently, hopes for his categoricality, primarily in issues related to Iran and Russia. Joe Biden dislikes that Riyadh has questioned the US plan to reopen the nuclear deal with Tehran. In addition, the royal family’s interest in developing a constructive dialogue with Moscow also raises concerns in the White House administration. At the same time, Washington’s anti-Saudi rhetoric can be viewed as a kind of manifestation of jealousy.

Recently, US President Joe Biden sanctioned strikes against Iranian targets in Syria. This was a kind of signal for Saudi Arabia, which the US administration thus asked to join its military campaign. And, apparently, in Riyadh they are in no hurry to welcome this “invitation”, preferring to renew good relations with Damascus, but at the same time not to offend Washington. This opinion was confirmed by the Saudi expert Mohammed al-Harbi and his Kuwaiti counterpart Abdul Mohsen al-Shammari.

It is also worth noting that Russia and Saudi Arabia are trying to put pressure on the United States to ease sanctions on Syria in accordance with the “Caesar’s Law.” Our countries agree that Caesar’s Law is generally toxic to regional security and stability. In particular, due to the worsening humanitarian crisis in Syria, the parties to the conflict may attempt another escalation and shift the field of armed struggle to other states. Recent negotiations between Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman, touched upon, among other things, this problem.

Saudi Arabia is ready to reconsider its relations not only with Syria, but also with Turkey, the political tension with which has become especially aggravated after the events of October 2018. Ankara and Riyadh actually took diametrically opposed positions in the international arena. In just two years, more than 20 Turkish schools have been closed in Mecca and Medina, and imports of Turkish goods into the kingdom in December 2020 reached an all-time low of $13.5 million, about 9 percent of imports in the same period in 2019. However, the situation began to change. Paradoxically, the reason for this was the results of the Second Karabakh war between Armenia and Azerbaijan. At least Riyadh positively assessed the use of Turkish drones during the conflict as a tool for enforcing peace and in March 2021 expressed its intention to purchase 8 Bayraktar TB2 complexes from Ankara, which was officially confirmed by Turkish President Recep Erdogan.

Saudi expert Mohammad al-Harbi, speaking about the transformation of foreign policy approaches in the Middle East, noted that Riyadh is ready to forget about grievances and start building friendly relations with many regional and non-regional players. According to the Saudi general, under the influence of the global economic crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic, the kingdom’s foreign policy has undergone dramatic changes. Ideological differences with many states are a thing of the past. There is a huge need for the development of a regional anti-crisis communication system. As a first step on this path, Riyadh is pursuing the goal of normalizing relations with Syria, as well as trying to neutralize the “sharp corners” in the dialogue with Turkey with the obligatory mediation of Russia.

The increased Saudi interest in the peace process in Syria certainly plays a defining role in bilateral contacts. Riyadh intends to contribute to the achievement of peace in the Syrian Arab Republic and agrees to a leading position in the country of Bashar al-Assad. Nevertheless, according to Muhammad al-Harbi, the process of revising the Saudi policy towards official Damascus is still at a starting level, and therefore, it is not yet clear what such a policy can lead to. Nevertheless, Riyadh intends to clearly and consistently implement the Syrian-Saudi “warming” project. It is noteworthy that the regime of Bashar al-Assad quite adequately responds to the good aspirations of the kingdom. At the very least, Damascus is showing international sympathy for the Saudis to become guarantors of security in the MENA region, while maintaining Moscow’s mediating role. However, now the main obstacle is the pro-Iranian and pro-Turkish armed formations that have occupied a significant part of Syrian territory. These “unwanted forces” act as a trigger in regional politics and significantly complicate the implementation of the peacekeeping project under the auspices of Saudi Arabia.

It is possible that following the visit of Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to Riyadh, direct talks may be organized between the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia Mohammed bin Salman and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad already directly in Moscow. In any case, the Saudi court feels a great need for such a negotiation process to take place. The Russian Kremlin, apparently, is working out the details of this plan, hoping, thereby, to strengthen its own positions in the region. After all, if Bashar al-Assad and Mohammed bin Salman really meet directly and can shake hands, then this will generate a global resonance, and this act in terms of its geopolitical impact can be comparable to the conclusion of the Versailles Peace Treaty. At the very least, Riyadh and Damascus, through the resumption of bilateral relations, will be able to end the protracted armed conflict that has led to the deaths of more than 2 million ordinary Syrians.

A HARD LIFE FOR TURKEY AND ITS PROXIES IN NORTHERN SYRIA

 09.04.2021 

South Front

In the North of Syria, the Turkish armed forces and the factions backed by Ankara are attempting to move and are being punished.

This is the case in Greater Idlib, where a Turkish army convoy was struck by an improvised explosive device (IED) as it was passing on a road between the towns of al-Bara and Ehsim in the southern part of Idlib.

Saryat Ansar Abu Baker As-Siddiq, a newly-founded al-Qaeda-linked group with unknown origins, claimed responsibility for the attack.

The IED attack was in response to insults to Muslim women in Afrin and Aleppo.

Meanwhile in Afrin, the Turkish Ministry of National Defense announced that two of its soldiers were killed.
The Afrin Liberation Forces (ALF) claimed responsibility for the attack.

The group also released a video showing the two Turkish soldiers being targeted with an anti-tank guided missile during a well-planned ambush in the village of Gobele.

In response, the Turkish Army shelled positions held by Kurdish forces in the town of Tell Rifaat and its outskirts.

Three Kurdish fighters were killed.

In Aleppo, the Turkish proxies are not without success. the Syrian National Army (SNA) shot down an armed drone that was flying over the Turkish-occupied northern part of the countryside.

The drone was a locally-modified copy of the commercially-available X-UAV mini-Talon, used by Kurdish groups.

While the Kurdish forces lose their drones, the Ansar Allah are putting theirs to good use in Yemen.

Early on April 8, the group announced that it had launched a Qasef-2K suicide drone at the Saudi King Khalid Air Base in the southern province of ‘Asir.

The Houthis (as Ansar Allah are more commonly known) said that the drone had struck its target successfully.

On the other hand, the Saudi-led coalition claimed that it had shot down the drone over the city of Khamis Mushait, near King Khalid Air Base.

In the late hours of April 8th, the Houthis targeted the Jizan airport in the southwest of the Kingdom with a Qasef-2K drone.

The airport contains hangars for Saudi warplanes used to carry out airstrikes throughout Yemen.

Additionally, a commander of the Seventh Military District of the Saudi-led coalition was killed in west of the city of Marib.

The Houthis are keeping up their pressure towards the city, despite constant airstrikes by Riyadh’s warplanes.

The Saudi-led coalition’s airstrikes appear to be of little effectiveness.

The volatility in the Middle East continues, with rather small movements taking place in most locations.

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NATO Junta at UN Monthly Chemical Weapons Meeting against Syria

 MIRI WOOD 

Colin Powell lied about chemical weapons in Iraq US continues to lie about chemical weapons in Syria.

The ruling NATO junta at the UN held its monthly chemical weapons lying meeting against Syria, on 6 April. The rabid hyenas once again vomited up and then ate each others’ emesis, though even they are becoming bored with their nonsense. The US ambassador did not bother to post a self-aggrandizing tweet, UK issued a blurb without statement, and the High Representative on Disarmament apparently also had better things to do than to issue a tweet on her statement to the UNSC. Colonialist France — which has never forgiven the Levantine republic for ejecting its occupiers, seventy-five years ago on 17 April — did issue an arrogant and menacing statement based on the NATO klansmen’s chemical weapons lies against the SAR.

UK’s tweet once again showed Great Britain’s support of al Qaeda in Syria. The Ltamenah chemical weapons lies came from terrorists of whom the OPCW FFM investigators were too terrified to actually investigate, so the team basically took the savages at their word, having “assessed the credibility of the allegations based on information collected from open sources and information received from several non-governmental organizations (NGOs).” In Khan Sheikhoun, the primary source of the lies came from the Brit illegal in Idlib, the fake doctor whose medical license in his home country was permanently revoked, and the place where the terrorists were too terrifying for the fake FFM to do any physical inspecting, as admitted in the OPCW report of 19 May 2017.

UK ambassador does not answer chemical weapons full admission question.


Regarding Douma, the Brits continue to lie that chemical weapons were used, and continue to lie that Syria — which immediately invited the OPCW investigators to come and investigate, but they first were inexplicably detained in Belgium — and Russia had blocked entry, after the team belatedly arrived. Though the criminal OPCW reports on the teams non-inspections of Ltamenah and Khan Sheikhoun were published in a timely fashion, it took almost a year for the once noble, and subsequently corrupted by NATO klansmen to jerry-rig a report that could barely concoct a meaningless conclusion that “the objects from which the samples were taken at both locations had been in contact with one or more substances containing reactive chlorine.” [2.6]. Syria News has provided massive evidence provided by the savages’ own videos and photographs, that al Qaeda’s Jaish al Islam faction, with the assistance of its humanitarian benefactors kidnapped dozens of civilians, especially woman and their children, slaughtered most of them, engaged in acts of necrophilia with their corpses, and terrorized children taken from their moms, stripped some half-naked and turned power hoses on them in a fake hospital setting on a chilly night.

The FFM team could not enter Douma until almost a week after arrival due to the
high security risk to the team, which included the presence of unexploded ordinance,
explosives and sleeper cells still suspected of being active in Douma. On 18 April,
during a reconnaissance visit to two sites of interest, the security detail was
confronted by a hostile crowd and came under small arms fire and a hand-grenade
explosion. The incident reportedly resulted in two fatalities and one injury. — 2.2 Summary, 106 pp OPCW report on Douma, 1 March 2019

The once-noble OPCW showed its turn to corruption when it ejected Jose Bustani per the dictate of neocon Dick Cheney, via his errand boy neocon, John Bolton, who threatened the lives of Bustani’s children. Since October 2020, this organization has shown its revulsion to integrity by ending open, civilized, discourse to its Twitter account.

OPCW only permits comments by its designated elites; the serfs who pay for the now phony watchdog group are excluded from civilized discourse.

The devastating photo posted by La France looks like it could be Libya after NATO obliterated it, or al Raqqa after the fascist coalition of war criminals led by the US bombed it, though it also could be CGI, as it is not found in a reverse image check of 46.7 billion images on the web.

France continues to threaten Syria over chemical weapons.

In her second consecutive monthly address on the never-ending Syria files dedicated to the never-ending implementation of UNSCR 2118 (2013), Zakamitsu sallied for against the difficulties regarding COVID being in the way, reported on previously unreported September 2020 samples having been analyzed with cryptically unexpected results to which the UNSC chemical weapons gathering is not yet privy. Due course has also not yet arrived as, per the UN press release, she made no mention of the collected November 2020 samplings.

Disarmament rep continues to throw shade on Syria regarding the chemical weapons scam

At the 4 March chemical weapons propaganda party.

In meticulously diplomatic language, First Deputy Permanent Representative Dmitry Polyanskiy told the Council of the upcoming, unprecedented plot by the NATO klan to illicitly remove Syria from the CWC at the upcoming Conference. Such an attempt to “incapacitate” Syria at the OPCW is a breach of the OPCW noble Charter and is based on the “illegitimate” IIT which “defied the principles of investigation, including the so-called ‘chain of custody.’” What Representative Polyanskiy diplomatically did not say is that the removal of the SAR from its membership to the CWC would facilitate new false flag chemical attacks by various al Qaeda terrorist factions, many of which have been thwarted over the recent period (here, herehereherehere.)

Presidents may change, but chemical weapons lying continues at the UNSC
Though POTUS’ and ambassadors may change, the chemical weapons lies at the SC are constant. Tweet from 5 October 2020.

His Excellency Bassam Sabbagh reaffirmed that Syria has never used chemical weapons, that it willingly ascended to the CWC, that it gave full accounting of its stockpile, and continues to work closely with the OPCW and the High Representative. He decried the ongoing politicization by ‘some members’ [NATO klan bullies who have hijacked the UN], the omission of any mention of the Courage Foundation of 11 March, which forcefully condemned the unscientific OPCW reports on the Douma ”chemical weapons” attack, as culled from the mass murderers and NGOs with charitable status, conveniently aligned with State Department and other NATO countries anti-Syria propaganda (

The seemingly long silence at the beginning of the Syrian ambassador’s statement is actually short, and likely part of the ongoing subtle sabotage of the Syrian Mission to the UN, which includes such things as getting stuck with the worst simultaneous translators on the planet, and introducers choking on the pronunciations of Syria, Arab, Syrian Arab Republic.

— Miri Wood

APPENDIX:

While in search of a criminal lie tweeted about Douma and the OPCW investigative team (not found), the author stumbled into a lengthy lying statement by the UK to the OPCW, issued two days after UK, France, and the US bombed Syria on behalf of al Qaeda kidnappers, mass-murderers, and necrophiliacs of Douma. The Couture Beauty Diamond Lipstick wearing pig lied about a chemical weapons attack, lied that breaching the Geneva Agreements was “humanitarian intervention.” The Couture-wearing pig flagrantly flaunted the use of open source — i.e., mass murderers and necrophiliacs of various al Qaeda factions – as ‘evidence’ of his war criminal lies.

Quite disturbing was his blanket statement that “The World Health Organization has reported that 500 patients, seen by its partners in Syria, had symptoms consistent with chemical weapons exposure.” While the WHO was ”deeply alarmed by reports of the suspected use of toxic chemicals in Douma city,” its actual statement does not say that, but does open up a can of maggots involving its unnamed Health Cluster partners, given that the reports all came from kidnappers and killers:

According to reports from Health Cluster partners, during the shelling of Douma on Saturday, an estimated 500 patients presented to health facilities exhibiting signs and symptoms consistent with exposure to toxic chemicals. In particular, there were signs of severe irritation of mucous membranes, respiratory failure and disruption to central nervous systems of those exposed.

The WHO also made the outrageous claims that “[m]ore than 70 people sheltering in basements have reportedly died, with 43 of those deaths related to symptoms consistent with exposure to highly toxic chemicals. Two health facilities were also reportedly affected by these attacks.”

The subsequent outrage demanded by WHO Deputy Director-General Peter Salama, “at these horrifying reports and images from Douma” should be directed to the criminally insane savages who slaughtered dozens, dumped them like garbage, next to empty dog food bowls and rusting bicycles, dumped them in a way that even persons forced to stand jammed like human sardines could not have possibly fallen when murdered, corpses shown as rearranged for more emotional impact, murdered children whose bodies have been stripped half naked, photographed with useless ambu bags nearby, EKG electrodes wrongly positioned, something unidentifiable placed between the legs of a murdered, half-naked child, non-existent hospitals where kidnapped children separated from their moms, were emotionally terrorized and physically abused.

Only idiots or degenerates who touch themselves watching murder porn videos could possibly see hospitals where none exist, or human beings slaughtered to give the NATO war criminals the excuse to murder more Syrians, would lie that these obscene photographs are evidence of civilians who died from a chemical weapons attack. Infamia.

Let us also finally put to rest the horror of perverts smearing shaving cream and other concoctions onto the faces of corpses — many in varying states of decomposition — so that the rabid hyenas can claim the “foaming at the mouth” reputedly caused by chemical toxins. “Foaming — or frothing — at the mouth” is a simplified way to describe pleural effusion, and the body’s attempt to excrete excessive fluid in the lungs, caused by a variety of diseases and disorders, including an acute episode of congestive heart failure (CHF). The excretion may look like small bubbles on the lips, which do not have the drama of shaving cream applied by perverts.

Look on these terrible works by the criminally psychotic, and despair, but do not dare to suggest these heinous atrocities perpetrated against Syrian human beings are anything other than mass slaughter for the unfettered rabid dogs of war.

More Here

RUSSIA AND DAMASCUS AGAINST “TERRORIST DEMOCRACY” IN GREATER IDLIB

07.04.2021 

South Front

In Syria’s Greater Idlib, Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham continues its attempts at rebranding, all the while keeping up its usual militant activity.

As per the Russian Reconciliation Center, militants in Greater Idlib shelled the surrounding areas 32 times on April 6th.

Another al-Qaeda affiliated militant group in Greater Idlib, Ansar al-Islam, posted photographs of its activities in Idlib province. The footage showed the work of terrorist snipers targeting the Syrian Arab Army. This is more than likely a tool to show that the Damascus government cannot impede their activities, and serves as a recruitment method.

The Russian Aerospace Forces continue responding to all violations by striking militant positions. On April 6th, an air raid was carried out near the settlement of Basankul in Idlib.

In spite of the Damascus Government and Russia’s attempt to deter the militants, the United Nations sent 88 trucks of humanitarian aid to Syria’s Idlib. The aid is supposed to be distributed among the needy people in Idlib and its surrounding areas. It is more likely that it is being used by Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham and other militant groups to consolidate their grip on the region.

In addition to countering the activities of the Greater Idlib factions, the Syrian Arab Army, with its Russian support is containing ISIS in the central region.

In the 72 hours leading into April 6th, the Russian Aerospace Forces killed at least 29 ISIS terrorists in their strikes. A large number were heavily wounded. These attacks were centered on the Hama province, and stretched all the way to the border of the Deir Ezzor province.

Still, limited ISIS operations continue. On April 6th, one civilian was killed, several were injured and a large number of citizens were abducted in the town of al-Sa’an in the eastern countryside of the Al-Salamiyah region in Hama.

The terrorists ambushed government forces who were protecting the civilians. In total 19 were abducted, out of them 11 were civilians.

ISIS minefields also remain, and need to be cleared sometime in the future. On April 5th, a civilian was killed and another injured in a blast, at the Bowera site on the Jabal Abu Rajmein road, north of Palmyra.

The United States profits from chaos, wasting no time in smuggling resources away from the local population.

On April 5th, according to Syrian media, US forces smuggled out a convoy of trucks loaded with wheat stolen from the silos of Tal Alou in Yarubiyah in the northeastern countryside of Hasaka.

Additionally, on the very next day, Washington’s troops smuggled out a further convoy of 34 tanks and trucks carrying stolen quantities of oil and wheat also from the Syrian al-Jazeera region into northern Iraq.

Every party involved in Syria is fighting tooth and nail for their own interests  and any small opportunity is being exploited, as is clear to see.

RUSSIAN SU-24 BOMBERS DESTROYED HTS CAMP, VEHICLES IN GREATER IDLIB

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Could Turkish involvement in Yemen free Saudi Arabia?

2018 Istanbul protest against Saudi actions in Yemen
Could Turkey help out Saudi Arabia in Yemen? Just 28 months ago, as seen here on Nov. 11, 2018, Turks were chanting slogans and holding posters in protest of Saudi Arabia’s actions in Yemen outside the Saudi Consulate. The October 2018 murder of journalist and Saudi critic Jamal Khashoggi inside the consulate had helped push attention to the war in Yemen.


Source
fehimtastekin.jpg

Fehim Tastekin

April 2, 2021

In part as a result of the Biden administration’s shifting policies toward Iran and Washington’s decision to temporarily freeze and review weapons sales to Saudi Arabia over the Yemeni war, Ankara is aiming to turn Saudi Arabia’s growing international isolation to Turkey’s advantage.

Some Syrian opposition sources claim Turkey might transfer Syrian fighters to Yemen to fight alongside the Saudi-led coalition against the Houthi rebels. The immediate interpretation of these claims might be that Turkey is extending an olive branch to Saudi Arabia following a yearslong frostiness in relations.

The second interpretation might be that Ankara is signaling to Tehran Turkey’s disgruntlement over Iranian military activities in Iraq and Syria. Iran believes Russia made too many concessions to Turkey on Syria and has overtly expressed its opposition against Turkish military operations in Iraq, prompting diplomatic bickering between Ankara and Tehran.

Possible Turkish involvement in the Yemeni war might provide Saudi Arabia the face-saving exit from the conflict that Riyadh has been looking for. Reportedly, Turkey’s support might also include Turkish armed drones that have been game changers in the Libyan and Azeri-Armenian conflicts.

The Yemeni Al-Islah Party — the Yemeni branch of the Muslim Brotherhood — has been asking Turkey to step into the fray. However, the United Arab Emirates has long opposed the Al-Islah Party’s cooperation in the conflict, while Saudi Arabia has only reluctantly accepted cooperation to date. 

Saudi officials have reportedly been advised to improve ties with Turkey after a chilliness with the Biden administration developed as a result of the administration’s positive messages on the Iranian nuclear deal, the release of a CIA report exposing Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s role in the Jamal Khashoggi murder and the decision to lift the Houthis from the US list of foreign terrorist groups. The pro-government Turkish media has also trumpeted a narrative that Riyadh “desperately needs” Turkey.

While the idea of sending Syrian fighters to Yemen may be mere speculation, there have been a number of claims about the matter. Citing a source from the Syrian armed group Sultan Suleiman Shah, the North Press Agency reported that the Syrian National Army, a rebel group backed by Turkey, “has been working for weeks to prepare dozens of militants to send to Yemen.” According to the report, fighters have been offered salaries up to $2,500 a month and were told they were going to be positioned on the Yemeni-Saudi border and not participate in the clashes. It’s worth mentioning that Syrian fighters who were sent to Azerbaijan had also been told that they did not have to participate in the fighting, only to find themselves on the front lines.

Similarly, the Violations Documentation Center in Northern Syria said Turkey’s intelligence agency assigned an opposition commander to recruit fighters to be sent to Yemen. According to the report, the fighters were offered $2,500 monthly; $100 of this amount would be deducted for document expenses, fighters would receive $400 in cash initially and the remaining $2,000 would be paid to their families after the move to Yemen.

Journalist Lindsey Snell shared a voice recording that reportedly belongs to a Sultan Murad Brigades commander in which he seeks identification documents from his fighters who “wish to go to Yemen.” Snell said in a tweet accompanying the recording, “This happened in the couple weeks before Azerbaijan, too.” This was in reference to the transfer of Syrian fighters to the Azeri-Armenian conflict. Social media is abuzz with similar claims. 

Meanwhile, a Turkish armed drone was downed by Houthi rebels in al-Jawf region, further fanning claims about possible Turkish involvement in the conflict. Houthi military spokesman Col. Yahya Saree said the downed drone was a Turkish-built Vestel Karayel aircraft. 

Yet Saudi Arabia acquired these drones as part of a contract worth $200 million that Vestel Defense signed with Riyadh last year. According to the Saudi General Authority for Defense Industries, Riyadh is aiming to build up to 40 armed drones in five years, with six of them planned to be built in 2021.  

Despite rife speculation, there is no official confirmation that Baykar Makina, the manufacturer of the Bayraktar drones used in Libya and the northern Caucasus, will play a role in the Yemen conflict. 

According to Deutsche Welle Arabic, the Al-Islah party, might have played a mediator role in the recent Saudi Arabia-Turkey rapprochement. Citing former Yemeni Transportation Minister Saleh al Yemeni’s remarks to local Yemeni media, Deutsche Welle Arabic reported that an alliance between Turkey and Saudi Arabia in Yemen was “imminent” after disagreements surfaced between UAE Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Riyadh. The UAE media, meanwhile, paints these news reports as Muslim Brotherhood propaganda. 

According to the London-based Al Arab newspaper, Turkey, Qatar and the Muslim Brotherhood network are relying on increasing concerns of the Saudi side following the US policy shift on the Yemeni war and Houthi rebels’ advances toward the oil- and gas-rich Marib region. The newspaper said the first call for Saudi-Turkish cooperation in Yemen came from one of the Al-Islah Party leaders who lives in Istanbul. Hamid al-Ahmar told Al Jazeera that Saudi Arabia turned to Turkey for advanced weapons after the US weapons freeze.

The UAE, like Egypt, is insisting that Turkey should cut its support to the Muslim Brotherhood to mend relations with Abu Dhabi. However, the Emiratis’ diminishing support for Khalifa Hifter in Libya and its decision to pull back from a military base in Eritrea that was key to Yemeni operations could be a manifestation of a downgrade in the UAE’s regional ambitions.

Muslim Brotherhood groups’ desire to draw Turkey into the Yemeni conflict, meanwhile, seems quite clear. Al Jazeera commentator Faisal al Kasim trumpeted that the balance of power on the ground in Yemen would change as soon as “Turkey has started to step into the Yemeni file.” Turkish-based Egyptian journalist Jamal Sultan claimed that Turkish-built Bayrak drones were spotted in Yemeni skies.

Pro-government Turkish media outlets sing a similar tune. The Yeni Safak daily, a governmental mouthpiece, claimed that Saudi Arabia was left alone in the Yemeni conflict. “Saudi Arabia has lost its fear of Turkey,” the paper wrote, “Turkey is the only country that could save Saudi Arabia from the mess it is in.”

Burhanettin Duran — a member of a foreign policy board advising the president and head of the pro-government think-tank SETA — argued that Gulf policies to restrain Iran and Turkey have failed. The Saudis “now need Turkey to fight off Iran’s expansionist policies in the region including in Yemen,” according to Duran. 

The Iranian media also appears to take claims of Turkish involvement in the Yemen conflict seriously. Iran’s official news agency IRNA reported that Saudi authorities have decided to put aside differences with their Turkish counterparts to cooperate with Ankara on the Yemen file.

Although mutual Turkish Saudi interests could spell a new beginning in Ankara-Riyadh ties, the lack of any official acknowledgment is an indication of reluctance and caution on both sides. Defusing a confrontation of some seven years between Turkey and Arab countries requires comprehensive consideration as the “Arab skepticism” that was fanned by Turkey’s expansionist ambitions in the region still is in play and appears to shape Arab countries’ approach to Turkey.


“المونيتور”: هل تتدخل تركيا في اليمن لإنقاذ السعودية؟

الكاتب: فهيم تستكين

المصدر: المونيتور 6 نيسان 14:54

يجادل الإخوان المسلمون ومصادر مقربة من الحكومة التركية بأن السعودية يمكن أن تجد مخرجاً لحفظ ماء وجهها في الصراع اليمني من خلال التعاون مع تركيا.

أتراك يحتجون أمام القنصلية السعودية في اسطنبول عام 2018.
أتراك يحتجون أمام القنصلية السعودية في اسطنبول عام 2018
fehimtastekin.jpg

كتب الصحافي التركي فهيم تستكين مقالة في موقع “المونيتور” الأميركي قال فيها إن تركيا تسعى إلى تحويل العزلة الدولية المتزايدة للسعودية لصالحها، وذلك في أعقاب سياسات إدارة الرئيس الأميركي جو بايدن المتغيرة تجاه إيران وقرار واشنطن بتجميد ومراجعة مبيعات الأسلحة إلى السعودية مؤقتاً بسبب الحرب اليمنية.

وأضاف الكاتب أن بعض مصادر المعارضة السورية تزعم أن تركيا قد تنقل مقاتلين سوريين إلى اليمن للقتال إلى جانب التحالف الذي تقوده السعودية ضد الحوثيين. وقد يكون التفسير الفوري لهذه الادعاءات هو أن تركيا تمدّ غصن زيتون إلى السعودية بعد سنوات من الجمود في العلاقات.

أما التفسير الثاني فقد يكون أن أنقرة تشير إلى استياء تركيا من الأنشطة العسكرية الإيرانية في العراق وسوريا. وتعتقد إيران أن روسيا قدمت الكثير من التنازلات لتركيا بشأن سوريا وأعربت صراحةً عن معارضتها للعمليات العسكرية التركية في العراق، مما أثار مشاحنات دبلوماسية بين أنقرة وطهران.

ورأى الكاتب أن التورط التركي المحتمل في الحرب اليمنية للسعودية قد يوفر مخرجاً من الصراع كانت الرياض تبحث عنه ويحفظ لها ماء وجهها. وبحسب ما ورد، فقد يشمل دعم تركيا كذلك طائرات مسلحة تركية بدون طيار كانت بمثابة تغيير لقواعد اللعبة في النزاعين الليبي والأذري-الأرميني.

ويطالب حزب الإصلاح اليمني – الفرع اليمني للإخوان المسلمين – تركيا بالدخول في المعركة. ومع ذلك، لطالما عارضت الإمارات العربية المتحدة التعاون مع حزب الإصلاح في الحرب ضد “أنصار الله”، بينما قبلت السعودية على مضض التعاون معه حتى الآن.

وأضاف الكاتب أنه ورد أن المسؤولين السعوديين نُصحوا بتحسين العلاقات مع تركيا بعد أن تطورت حالة من النفور من إدارة بايدن نتيجة للرسائل الإيجابية للإدارة بشأن الاتفاق النووي الإيراني، وصدور تقرير لوكالة الاستخبارات المركزية الأميركية يفضح دور ولي العهد السعودي الأمير محمد بن سلمان في جريمة قتل جمال خاشقجي وقرار رفع “انصار الله” الحوثيين من القائمة الأميركية للجماعات الإرهابية الأجنبية. كما روجت وسائل الإعلام التركية الموالية للحكومة لرواية مفادها أن الرياض “بحاجة ماسة” إلى تركيا.

وقال الكاتب إنه في حين أن فكرة إرسال مقاتلين سوريين إلى اليمن قد تكون مجرد تكهنات، إلا أن هناك عدداً من المزاعم حول الأمر. فقد نقلت وكالة “نورث برس” عن مصدر من الجماعة المسلحة السورية التي تدعى “سلطان سليمان شاه”، أن “الجيش الوطني السوري”، وهو جماعة معارضة تدعمها تركيا، “يعمل منذ أسابيع لإعداد عشرات المسلحين لإرسالهم إلى اليمن”. وبحسب التقرير، عُرض على المقاتلين رواتب تصل إلى 2500 دولار شهرياً وقيل لهم إنهم سيتمركزون على الحدود اليمنية السعودية ولن يشاركوا في الاشتباكات. ومن الجدير بالذكر أن المقاتلين السوريين الذين تم إرسالهم إلى أذربيجان تم إخبارهم أيضاً أنه ليس عليهم المشاركة في القتال، فقط ليجدوا أنفسهم في الخطوط الأمامية.

بدوره، قال مركز توثيق الانتهاكات في شمال سوريا إن وكالة الاستخبارات التركية كلفت أحد قادة المعارضة بتجنيد مقاتلين لإرسالهم إلى اليمن. وبحسب التقرير، عرض على المقاتلين 2500 دولار شهرياً حيث سيتم خصم 100 دولار من هذا المبلغ لتغطية نفقات المستندات، وسيحصل المقاتلون على 400 دولار نقداً في البداية، وسيتم دفع مبلغ 2000 دولار المتبقي لعائلاتهم بعد الانتقال إلى اليمن.

وشاركت الصحافية ليندسي سنيل تسجيلاً صوتياً يُقال إنه يعود إلى قائد في “كتائب السلطان مراد” السورية الموالية لتركيا يسعى فيه للحصول على وثائق هوية من مقاتليه الذين “يرغبون في الذهاب إلى اليمن”. وقالت سنيل في تغريدة مصاحبة للتسجيل، “حدث هذا في الأسبوعين السابقين لأذربيجان كذلك”. كان هذا في إشارة إلى نقل مقاتلين سوريين إلى الصراع الأذري الأرمني. كما أن وسائل التواصل الاجتماعي تعج بمزاعم مماثلة.

في هذه الأثناء، أسقط اليمنيون طائرة مسيّرة مسلحة تركية في منطقة الجوف، مما زاد من تصاعد المزاعم حول احتمال تورط تركيا في الصراع. وقال المتحدث باسم الجيش اليمني العقيد يحيى سريع إن الطائرة المسيّرة كانت من طراز “فيستل كرايل” تركية الصنع.

واستحوذت السعودية على هذه الطائرات بدون طيار كجزء من عقد بقيمة 200 مليون دولار وقعته شركة “فيستل” مع الرياض العام الماضي. ووفقاً للهيئة العامة للصناعات الدفاعية السعودية، تهدف الرياض إلى تصنيع ما يصل إلى 40 طائرة مسيّرة مسلحة في غضون خمس سنوات، ومن المقرر تصنيع ست طائرات منها في عام 2021.

وعلى الرغم من التكهنات المنتشرة، لا يوجد تأكيد رسمي بأن شركة “بايكار مكينا”، الشركة المصنعة للطائرات بدون طيار المستخدمة في ليبيا وشمال القوقاز، ستلعب دوراً في الصراع اليمني.

وبحسب قناة “دويتشه فيله” الألمانية، ربما لعب حزب الإصلاح اليمني دوراً وسيطاً في التقارب السعودي التركي الأخير. ونقلاً عن تصريحات وزير النقل اليمني السابق صالح اليمني لوسائل إعلام يمنية محلية، ذكرت “دويتشه فيله” بالعربية أن تحالفاً بين تركيا والسعودية في اليمن كان “وشيكاً” بعد ظهور خلافات بين ولي العهد الإماراتي محمد بن زايد آل نهيان والرياض. في غضون ذلك، يصور الإعلام الإماراتي هذه التقارير الإخبارية على أنها دعاية للإخوان المسلمين.

وبحسب صحيفة العرب، التي تتخذ من لندن مقراً لها، تعوّل تركيا وقطر وشبكة الإخوان المسلمين على مخاوف متزايدة للسعوديين في أعقاب التحول في السياسة الأميركية بشأن الحرب اليمنية وتقدم المتمردين الحوثيين نحو منطقة مأرب الغنية بالنفط والغاز. وقالت الصحيفة إن الدعوة الأولى للتعاون السعودي التركي في اليمن جاءت من حميد الأحمر، أحد قيادات حزب الإصلاح الذي يعيش في اسطنبول إذ قال إن السعودية لجأت إلى تركيا للحصول على أسلحة متطورة بعد تجميد الأسلحة الأميركية.

ورأى الكاتب أن رغبة جماعات الإخوان المسلمين في جر تركيا إلى الصراع اليمني تبدو واضحة تماماً. وادعى الصحافي المصري جمال سلطان المقيم في تركيا بأنه تم رصد طائرات بدون طيار تركية الصنع في سماء اليمن.

وسائل الإعلام التركية الموالية للحكومة تردد نغمة مماثلة. فقد زعمت صحيفة “يني شفق”، الناطقة باسم الحكومة، أن السعودية تُركت وحيدة في الصراع اليمني. وكتبت الصحيفة: “تخلت المملكة العربية السعودية عن خوفها من تركيا، فتركيا هي الدولة الوحيدة التي يمكن أن تنقذ السعودية من الفوضى التي تعيش فيها”.

وجادل برهان الدين دوران – عضو مجلس إدارة السياسة الخارجية الذي يقدم المشورة للرئيس ورئيس مركز الفكر “سيتا” الموالي للحكومة – بأن سياسات الخليج لكبح جماح إيران وتركيا قد فشلت. وقال دوران إن السعوديين “يحتاجون الآن إلى تركيا لمحاربة سياسات إيران التوسعية في المنطقة بما في ذلك اليمن”.

ويبدو أن وسائل الإعلام الإيرانية تأخذ بدورها مزاعم تورط تركيا في الصراع اليمني على محمل الجد. فقد ذكرت وكالة الأنباء الإيرانية الرسمية (إرنا) أن السلطات السعودية قررت وضع الخلافات مع الأتراك جانباً للتعاون مع أنقرة في ملف اليمن.

وخلص الكاتب إلى أنه على الرغم من أن المصالح السعودية التركية المتبادلة يمكن أن تشكل بداية جديدة في العلاقات بين أنقرة والرياض، فإن عدم وجود أي اعتراف رسمي بذلك هو مؤشر على التردد والحذر من كلا الجانبين. إذ يتطلب نزع فتيل مواجهة دامت نحو سبع سنوات بين تركيا والدول العربية دراسة شاملة لأن “الشكوك العربية” التي أذكتها طموحات تركيا التوسعية في المنطقة لا تزال قائمة ويبدو أنها تشكل مقاربة الدول العربية تجاه تركيا.

نقله إلى العربية بتصرف: هيثم مزاحم

Telephone conversation with Federal Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel

Source

Telephone conversation with Federal Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel

April 08, 2021

http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/65325

Vladimir Putin had a telephone conversation with Federal Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany Angela Merkel.

April 8, 202114:30

The two leaders had a detailed discussion on a number of topical international matters.

While exchanging opinions on ways of resolving the intra-Ukrainian crisis, the Russian President and the German Chancellor voiced concern in connection with the escalation of tensions in southeastern Ukraine. Vladimir Putin drew attention to the provocative actions of Kiev which is now deliberately aggravating the situation along the line of contact. The parties noted the need for the Kiev authorities to implement earlier agreements without fail, in particular those aimed at the launch of direct dialogue with Donetsk and Lugansk and at legally formalising the special status of Donbass.

They urged the parties to the conflict to display restraint and to invigorate the negotiating process in order to fully implement the 2015 Minsk Package of Measures as the only legal foundation for a peace settlement. They reaffirmed their commitment to further close coordination of Russian and German efforts, including within the Normandy Format, between political advisers and foreign ministers.

Mr Putin and Ms Merkel continued to exchange opinions on the subject of Syria and noted the high priority of tasks to improve the humanitarian situation in Syria. The Russian party underscored the unacceptability of politicising issues as regards the provision of foreign assistance to the people of Syria, the restoration of the socioeconomic infrastructure and the return of refugees.

While discussing the situation in Libya, both leaders praised the establishment of interim national institutions of state authority in the country. They voiced readiness to help normalise the domestic situation and to facilitate Libya’s peaceful development. They agreed to continue coordinating their efforts in this direction.

The two leaders touched upon the situation in the Balkans and noted the importance of further well-coordinated steps to ensure stability and inter-ethnic accord, including with due consideration for the decisions of the Steering Committee of the Council to fulfil the 1995 General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina, or the Dayton Agreement.

In connection with the interest displayed by the Federal Chancellor, the situation regarding Alexei Navalny was touched upon.

At Vladimir Putin’s initiative, certain matters regarding the activities of foreign media outlets and NGOs in both countries were reviewed.

It was agreed to maintain close working contacts through various channels.

Lebanon Couldn’t Get its Maritime Gas Stolen by Israel Now Eyeing Syria’s

ARABI SOURI 

Lebanon wants Syria's gas block in the Mediterranean

Lebanon wants to take 750 square kilometers of Syria’s east Mediterranean gas blocks after it failed to retrieve its legitimate 860 square kilometers later increased to 2290 square kilometers stolen by Israel.

The Lebanese minister of foreign affairs in the caretaker government said that ‘Syria and Lebanon should negotiate within the framework of international law and friendly neighborhood and the brotherly relations between the Arab countries to redraw the maritime borders between themselves.’

As a Syrian, I don’t recall the Lebanese officials use those ‘warm’ terms when dealing with Syria, especially during the past 10 years where the Lebanese governments have worked for the USA and Israel to destabilize Syria, smuggled terrorists and weapons into Syria, supported terrorist groups and provided their large media network as platforms to attack the Syrian government and the Syrian supporters of their government, and are forcing and intimidating Syrian refugees they placed in horrific conditions not to return their country; they even stole 21 billion dollars from Syrian depositors in their banks.

The Lebanese minister said that he is in constant talks with the Syrian ambassador in Lebanon to set up a proper platform and timeframe for the negotiations, he told the Lebanese state media that ‘now is the time to negotiate on drawing the maritime borders between Lebanon and Syria.’

Lebanon has been through 3 years of mediation through the United States with Israel that led to indirect talks starting last October 2020 over an initial 860 square kilometers of territorial waters that Israel is intending to explore for gas deposits. Lebanon later increased its demands asking for an area of 2290 square kilometers based on updated maps.

The talks between Lebanon and Israel reached a dead-end since the USA and Israel had no intentions to settle the issue fairly and were only demanding Israel’s conditions to be implemented, that’s one of the reasons that led Lebanese officials, especially the ones working for the Saudi ruling family, to try their luck carving out territorial waters from Syria in the north.

Their drooling over Syria’s anticipated gas deposits was triggered after Syria signed an agreement with a Russian company last month, March, to start exploring for gas deposits in Syria’s territorial waters in what is defined as Block Number 1.

So far, there is no official response from the Syrian government to the Lebanese odd ‘brotherly’ request.

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Russia Tells Hezbollah: We Want You to Stay in Syria روسيا لحزب الله: نريدكم ان تبقوا في سوريا


Russia Tells Hezbollah: We Want You to Stay in Syria

Russia Tells Hezbollah: We Want You to Stay in Syria

Al-Ahed Translations

5 hours ago

By al-Akhbar Newspaper, Translated by Staff

Over the past years, media outlets hostile to the Syrian regime and its allies [individually and collectively] have published a lot of reports and “information” about actions and measures that Russia has begun to implement to get Hezbollah and Iran out of Syria, or at least reduce their presence there. These reports were based on an assessment that Russia does not want a partner in influence in the Levant, especially the Iranian influence. In the field, it was the opposite that governed the relationship between the parties, there was cooperation on more than one level, and sharing roles sometimes. And when something was not agreed upon, the issue was resolved by regulating the disagreement.

The visit of Hezbollah’s delegation, led by MP Mohammad Raad [a member of Hezbollah’s Shura Council and head of the Loyalty to the Resistance parliamentary bloc], to Moscow, in the middle of last month, was an occasion in which the Russian leadership clarified its position on the party’s presence in Syria. In Moscow, Hezbollah’s military performance is highly appreciated on the level of professionalism, discipline and the superior ability of its fighters to achieve their battle goals. At the same time, Moscow admires Hezbollah’s “pragmatism.” In the latter regard, it seems concerned with everything that contributes to the protection of the Syrian state, in particular the internal settlements with armed groups in many regions, especially in the south, and the major understandings with Turkey. In either way, the party was committed to everything that could be done to make these settlements and understandings successful.

In Moscow, the military and politicians consider Hezbollah’s presence in Syria more necessary than ever. Any gap left by Hezbollah and Iran in any Syrian province will be filled by the Americans, neither the Russians nor the Syrians. Moreover, some settlement groups, including those who are strengthened with the understanding with the Russians, see no deterrent to their extension except for Hezbollah and the Iranians.

In this spirit, Russian officials have been keen to convey a clear message to Hezbollah’s leadership: Your presence in Syria is as necessary in politics as in the military. We count on future cooperation in both fields.

The Russians do not consider Hezbollah as a Lebanese organization, but rather as a side who has presence in many States of the region. In the meetings with Russian officials, specifically Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, his deputy Mikhail Bogdanov, and officials in the parliament, the situations in Yemen, Iraq, Syria, Palestine and others were discussed. The parties stressed the need to strengthen their communication and to adopt direct channels of communication between Hezbollah and Moscow, while studying the possibility of establishing a representative office for the party in the Russian capital.

The visit, that was based on a Russian invitation, appeared to be a message from Moscow to Washington that “the ongoing attempts to entrap us up with Iran or Hezbollah will not work. We will not only coordinate with Iran; we want to coordinate directly with Hezbollah.” The Russians have already informed all Western, Arab and regional States and powers that they communicate with about Lebanon that “Hezbollah is a major force, a real and significant case, that should be dealt with on this basis, and that no settlement can be achieved without consulting and agreeing with it.”

Another message Moscow wanted to deliver to Tel Aviv is that it is true that Russia seeks “an understanding with everyone” considering Syria, and there is an understanding between it and ‘Israel,’ but this understanding does not mean “we are helping ‘Israel’ in its strikes. On the contrary, we condemn these strikes, especially those passing through the Lebanese airspace. We remain committed to preventing ‘Israeli’ aircraft from penetrating Syrian airspace.” On one hand, Moscow confirms, based on its intelligence information, that the ‘Israeli’ strikes on arms convoys transported to Lebanon did not achieve their goals and did not prevent Hezbollah from achieving their goals. On the other hand, it does not object to the establishment of a deterrent equation that would prevent ‘Israel’ from attacking the Syrian territories. In the coming months, there is a trilogy that Moscow is seeking to secure the factors for its success in Damascus: the political process linked to the presidential election station, reconstruction, and the return of refugees.

In Lebanon, the Russians insist on not to interfere as other countries do. They do not interfere in the formation of the government, they do not participate in the composition process, and they do not demand shares. It is true that they are interested in the reconstruction of the port, for example, just as they are interested in energy projects, whether those in which they are involved in [oil and gas exploration in the sea, fuel tanks at Beddawi] or those in which they aspire to participate in in the future, such as the reconstruction and operation of the Tripoli refinery. Here, the Russian interest in the sea gas seems remarkable, as estimates in some Moscow-based jurisdictions talk about a huge amount of gas in the Syrian and Lebanese seas. And if those estimates are correct, it is not unlikely that Russia will implement a gas pipeline project in the eastern Mediterranean competing with the “Eastern Mediterranean Gas Forum” project [involving Egypt, ‘Israel,’ Cyprus, Greece, Jordan, France and Italy], to transport gas to Europe via Turkey.

Considering Yemen, Moscow seems interested in finding a settlement that saves the Saudi prestige. While for Hezbollah, the key to the solution is to stop the aggression and lift the siege simultaneously, and Ansarullah are keen not to antagonize anyone, except those who take the initiative to start a fight.


روسيا لحزب الله: نريدكم ان تبقوا في سوريا

الأخبار

الثلاثاء 6 نيسان 2021

على مدى السنوات الماضية، نُشر في الإعلام المعادي للنظام السوري وحلفائه (فرادى ومجتمعين) الكثير من التقارير و«المعلومات» التي تتحدّث عن أعمال وإجراءات بدأت روسيا بتنفيذها، لإخراج حزب الله، وإيران، من سوريا، أو على الأقل، الحد من وجودهما. تلك التقارير مبنية على تقدير أن روسيا لا تريد شريكاً لها في النفوذ في الشام، وخاصة النفوذ الإيراني. في الميدان، كان العكس هو ما يحكم العلاقة بين الطرفين. تعاون على أكثر من صعيد، وتقاسم للأدوار أحياناً. وعندما لا يُتفق على أمر ما، كانت القضية تُحل بتنظيم الاختلاف.

الزيارة التي قام بها وفد من حزب الله، برئاسة النائب محمد رعد (عضو شورى القرار في الحزب ورئيس كتلته النيابية)، إلى موسكو، منتصف الشهر الماضي، كانت مناسبة أوضحت فيها القيادة الروسية موقفها من وجود الحزب في سوريا. في موسكو، تقدير عالٍ لأداء حزب الله العسكري: حرفية مقاتليه، وانضباطهم، وقدرتهم الفائقة على تحقيق أهدافهم في المعارك. وفي الوقت عينه، تبدي موسكو إعجابها بـ«براغماتية» حزب الله. في الشأن الأخير، تبدو معنية بكل ما يسهم في حماية الدولة السورية: التسويات الداخلية مع مجموعات مسلحة في كثير من المناطق، خصوصاً في الجنوب، والتفاهمات الكبرى مع تركيا. وفي الحالتين، كان الحزب ملتزماً بكل ما يمكن القيام به لإنجاح هذه التسويات والتفاهمات.
وفي موسكو، يرى العسكر والسياسيون أن وجود حزب الله في سوريا ضروري أكثر من أي وقت مضى. فأي فراغ يتركه الحزب وإيران في أي محافظة سورية، سيملأه الاميركيون، لا الروس ولا السوريون. كما أن بعض مجموعات التسويات، ومنها تلك التي تستقوي بالتفاهم مع الروس، لا ترى رادعاً يحول دون تمددها سوى الحزب والإيرانيين.
من هذا المنطلق، حرص المسؤولون الروس على إيصال الرسالة واضحة لقيادة حزب الله: وجودكم في سوريا ضروري، في السياسة، كما في العسكر. ونعوّل على التعاون معكم مستقبلاً في المجالين.
لا ينظر الروس إلى حزب الله بصفته تنظيماً لبنانياً، بل هو جهة لها حضورها في كثير من دول الإقليم. في اللقاءات مع المسؤولين الروس، وتحديداً وزير الخارجية سيرغي لافروف ونائبه ميخائيل بوغدانوف ومسؤولين في مجلس النواب، جرى التطرق إلى الأوضاع في اليمن والعراق وسوريا وفلسطين وغيرها. وشدّد الطرفان على ضرورة تعزيز سبل التواصل بينهما، واعتماد قنوات اتصال مباشرة بين الحزب وموسكو، مع درس احتمال إقامة مكتب تمثيل للحزب في العاصمة الروسية.

في موسكو، يرى العسكر والسياسيون أن وجود حزب الله في سوريا ضروري أكثر من أي وقت مضى


الزيارة التي تمّت بناءً على دعوة روسية، بدت في جانب منها رسالة من موسكو إلى واشنطن مفادها أن «المحاولات القائمة للإيقاع بيننا وبين إيران أو حزب الله لن تنفع. ونحن لن نكتفي بالتنسيق مع إيران، بل نريد أن ننسّق مباشرة مع حزب الله». وسبق للروس أن أبلغوا جميع الدول الغربية والعربية والإقليمية والقوى التي يتواصلون معها بشأن لبنان، أن «حزب الله قوة رئيسية، ويمثل حالة حقيقية وكبيرة، وينبغي التعامل معه على هذا الأساس، ولا يمكن إنجاز أي تسوية من دون التشاور معه والاتفاق معه».
رسالة أخرى أرادت موسكو إيصالها إلى تل أبيب. صحيح أن روسيا تسعى إلى «التفاهم مع الجميع» بشأن سوريا، وثمة تفاهم بينها وبين «إسرائيل»، لكن هذا التفاهم لا يعني «أننا نساعد إسرائيل في ضرباتها. على العكس من ذلك، نحن ندين هذه الضربات، خصوصاً تلك التي تأتي من الأجواء اللبنانية. وما زلنا ملتزمين بمنع الطائرات الإسرائيلية من اختراق الأجواء السورية». من جهة، تؤكد موسكو، بناءً على معلوماتها الاستخبارية، أن الضربات الإسرائيلية على قوافل الأسلحة التي تُنقل إلى لبنان لم تحقق أهدافها، ولم تمنع حزب الله من إنجاز ما يريد إنجازه. ومن جهة أخرى، لا تمانع قيام معادلة ردع تؤدي إلى منع «إسرائيل» من الاعتداء على الأراضي السورية. وفي الأشهر المقبلة، ثمة ثلاثية تسعى موسكو إلى تأمين عوامل نجاحها في دمشق: العملية السياسية ربطاً بمحطة الانتخابات الرئاسية، وإعادة الإعمار، وعودة النازحين.
في لبنان، يُصرّ الروس على عدم التدخّل بالصورة التي تقوم بها دول أخرى. لا يتدخلون في تأليف الحكومة، ولا يشاركون في عملية التأليف، ولا يطالبون بحصص. صحيح أنهم مهتمون بإعادة إعمار المرفأ، على سبيل المثال، تماماً كاهتمامهم بمشاريع الطاقة، سواء تلك التي يشاركون فيها (التنقيب عن النفط والغاز في البحر، وخزانات الوقود في البداوي)، أو تلك التي يطمحون إلى المشاركة فيها مستقبلاً، كإعادة بناء مصفاة التكرير في طرابلس وتشغيلها. وهنا، يبدو لافتاً الاهتمام الروسي بالغاز في البحر، إذ إن التقديرات في بعض الأوساط المختصة في موسكو تتحدّث عن كميات هائلة من الغاز في البحرين السوري واللبناني. وفي حال صحّت تلك التقديرات، فمن غير المستبعد أن تنفّذ روسيا مشروعاً لإقامة أنابيب للغاز في شرق المتوسط، ينافس مشروع «منتدى غاز شرق المتوسط» (تشارك فيه مصر و«إسرائيل» وقبرص واليونان والأردن وفرنسا وإيطاليا)، لنقل الغاز إلى أوروبا عبر تركيا.
يمنياً، تبدو موسكو مهتمة بإيجاد تسوية تحفظ ماء وجه السعودية. في نظر حزب الله، مفتاح الحل هو وقف العدوان ورفع الحصار في آن واحد، و«أنصار الله» حريصون على عدم معاداة أحد، إلا متى بادر إلى قتالهم.

Two Ambassadors to Syria with Wildly Different Analyses

MARCH 30 ,2021

By Rick Sterling

Source

In the past few months, Grayzone journalist Aaron Mate has interviewed two former ambassadors to Syria: former UK Ambassador Peter Ford and former U.S. Ambassador Robert S. Ford.  

The two ambassadors have a common surname but dramatically different perspectives. This article will compare the statements and viewpoints of the two diplomats.

UK Ambassador Peter Ford (PF)

Newsnight: Peter Ford warns of 'bloodbath' if Syria's Bashar al-Assad goes  | World | News | Express.co.uk

Peter Ford trained as an Arabist and served in the British foreign service in numerous cities including Beirut, Riyadh, and Cairo. He was Ambassador to Bahrein from 1999 to 2003, then Syria from 2003 to 2006.  From 2006 until 2014 he was a senior officer with the UN Relief Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees.  

The interview with UK Amb. Peter Ford (PF) shows why he is exceptional former diplomat. He analyzes and criticizes western aggression against Syria. 

PF describes the current situation:

“The Syrian government forces control about 70% of the country. There’s that pocket of jihadi fighters controlling Idlib province and a couple of patches of neighboring provinces, and then you’ve got the big—what I call the wild east of Syria—the big triangle of land up all the way along the thousand miles along the Turkish border and then down the Iraqi border, and that is effectively a US protectorate. There are US forces there being helped on the ground by basically Kurdish militia, the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces.”

PF describes the crushing economic sanctions:

“It’s utterly shocking…The policy has been effective in the sense that Syrian people are suffering every day. There are long queues for bread, long queues for gasoline. The policy of sanctions and denial of assistance for reconstruction has been effective, but what kind of policy is it that tries to immiserate a whole country? It’s delusional because it’s not even going to work….

“The experience of 10 years of this conflict is that the Syrian government is amazingly resilient. They’ve been on the ropes many times in this conflict and pulled through largely because they have the support of great swaths of the Syrian populace. Assad is not going to buckle under this new increased economic pressure. It is utterly delusional to believe that this cynical, callous policy could work.”

PF analyzes the US troops in north eastern Syria.

“By their mere presence, they’re preventing the advance of the Syrian government forces. The result is that the Syrian people are denied the great oil and grain wealth of that triangle, the territory. And, so the war over the last year has been more an economic war than a military war…

“The troops are there basically as a tripwire, a deterrent, so that if the Syrian government forces advanced, they would trip over a few American soldiers and that would incur the massive intervention of the US Air Force. This is what it comes down to. They don’t even need big numbers of troops to create the tripwire.

“Even so, it’s interesting that the architects of this policy in the permanent government of the US found it necessary to deceive the head of the executive, the President, keep him in the dark about the numbers…. So, the deceit that has gone on—on every level—is jaw-dropping to me as a former ambassador and an insider in the British system. I find it absolutely incredible.”

PF describes what the war is and is NOT about.

“US policy is NOT about installing in Syria a democratic government, because there is no prospect of that while the US is effectively supporting Islamist fanatics, and while it’s supporting elsewhere in the Middle East regimes like the feudal regime of Saudi Arabia. No, it’s not about democracy. It’s about helping Israel on the one hand and scoring points against Russia on the other. And when it comes down to it, that is what this whole war is really about, from the US standpoint.”

PF analyzes accusations Syrian government used chemical weapons.

“The world has amnesia over Iraq, the non-existent weapons of mass destruction, the Colin Powell dossier proof presented to the UN. It’s like Groundhog Day when you hear the claims made about Assad, the use of chemical weapons.

“In the first place, it would make no practical sense for Assad to use chemical weapons; it could only ever have been an own goal. If he wanted to invite heavy Western intervention, he would not have gone about it any other way. You’d have to be incredibly either twisted or delusional to believe that Assad could have been so stupid as to do the one thing—use chemical weapons—which would bring about, or possibly bring about, his obliteration.

“I’m quite convinced this is an elaborate hoax. A series of hoaxes. It’s very revealing that not one of the alleged instances of use of chemical weapons was investigated on the ground by any UN or other international investigations, with the sole exception of Douma. And why Douma? Because that was a piece of territory that the government forces managed to recover immediately after the alleged incident, so that the US and its allies were unable to keep away the international investigators…. That ultimately is the purpose of the chemical weapon hoaxes—to justify the occupation of northeast Syria and the continuing cruel economic pressure.”

PF comments on the senior staff from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons who say they did NOT find evidence of chemical weapons attack and their findings were changed by management.

“These gentlemen [from OPCW]) drafted a report stating that they found evidence that was consistent with staging of an incident, rather than an authentic incident. And ever since, they have been vilified, condemned, undermined. And the campaign against the truth goes on and on and on….”

PF comments on the role of the “White Helmets”.

“The White Helmets’ role is absolutely crucial, pivotal to the Western effort to undermine Syria through these accusations of use of chemical weapons. I think, basically, what happened is that Western governments realized that after the Iraq debacle, that if they were going to use claims about WMD, chemical weapons, whatever, again, they were going to have to produce some kind of smoking gun.

“And this is the role of the White Helmets. They produced the phony pictures of phony incidents which constitute the smoking gun. And that is absolutely pivotal to the propaganda to justify the bombing and the relentless economic and military pressure on Syria…. Western governments [have] been funding the White Helmets to the tune of about $50 million a year. That’s peanuts compared to what they see as the advantages of bringing Syria to its knees.”

PF predicts what may happen ahead.

“I think things are likely to get worse, rather than better.

“What we’ll probably see is simply a continuation of the status quo. The current policies will simply be extended…. to prolong the conflict, to prevent Assad gaining military victory, the continuation of economic warfare to try to bring Assad to his knees and force him to sign a suicide note, which would be acceptance of elections on US terms. I’m sure these policies will be continued.

“But there’s a question mark over whether policy might not become even more adventurous and interventionist with a beachhead of a few thousand soldiers already occupying part of Syria. I greatly fear that Biden might be tempted to increase those numbers, put some military pressure on the Syrian government forces, create more no-fly zones. Already, there’s effectively a no-fly zone over that big triangle of territory that’s occupied by the US forces and Kurdish allies. An attempt might be made to create the no-fly zone of Idlib, which would be ironic. It would mean that the US Air Force was the air wing of al-Qaeda…

“I’m definitely not optimistic. And I fear things could get even worse.”

US Ambassador Robert S. Ford (RSF)

Two Ambassadors to Syria with Wildly Different Analyses - LA Progressive

Robert S. Ford was a U.S. diplomat in numerous cities including Algiers and Cairo. He was Deputy Chief of Mission in Bahrein from 2001 to 2004, then Political Counselor at the US Embassy in Baghdad from 2004 to 2006. As an Arabic speaker,  he may have helped Ambassador John Negroponte launch the “El Salvador option” (death squads) in Iraq.  Robert S. Ford was Ambassador to Syria from the end of 2010 until 2014 when the US terminated diplomatic relations with Syria. He has continued as an unofficial advisor on Syria policy.

In contrast with the Peter Ford interview, the interview with US Ambassador Robert S. Ford (RSF) is a case study in public relations. Interviewer Aaron Mate asks important questions but RSF deflects the questions, claims ignorance of new revelations, and repeats standard talking points on Syria.

RSF acknowledges there has been “mission creep” for US troops in Syria.

“American troops were sent into Syria originally to fight ISIS.  Now that that job is more-or-less finished, we have a sort of mission creep where now the American forces are there not to defeat ISIS—ISIS is already defeated…   But now, so what are the Americans doing?  Well, now they sort of changed the mission to putting pressure on Damascus, the Assad government, trying to get the Iranians out, trying to limit the Russian influence.”

RSF implies the sanctions on Syria are just.

“Sanctions is a different question, Aaron.  I think a lot of it is emotional here in the United States.  There’s a desperate desire for justice after all the war crimes committed in Syria.  And I think getting rid of the sanctions is going to be a much harder battle to fight in the Congress.  So, the sanctions have very strong approval in Congress…”

RSF maintains the initial protests were “almost entirely peaceful”

“In March and April, May into June, the protests were almost entirely peaceful. That’s not to say there was no violence.  In the first protest, for example, in Daraa, in which we’re now coming up on the 10-year anniversary, yeah, the protesters did attack the telephone office [Syriatel] that’s owned by Bashar al-Assad’s cousin, Rami Makhlouf.  They did attack a court building…”

[Fact check: RSF neglects to mention seven police were killed in the “almost entirely peaceful” Daraa protest.]

RSF acknowledges US allies were sending weapons early but claims the US began sending weapons in 2013.

“Those countries [Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey] did send in weapons before the Americans…

 “I supported arming factions of the Free Syrian Army as early as the summer of 2012.  And it took the president a year to get to a decision.”

[Fact check: US Central Intelligence Agency was sending weapons from Benghazi Libya to Syria in Oct 2011.]

RSF compares the Free Syrian Army to the anti-Nazi resistance in WW2.

“The United States never gave anti-tank weapons to al-Qaeda…. the number might be half a dozen.

“I want you to think about this in historical context. Do you think when the Americans airdropped weapons into the French resistance against the Nazis in France, do you think the Nazis never got their hands on any of those air drops?… 

“The leakage to the al-Qaeda elements, there was a small amount of leakage, but much, much, much more of their weaponry came from the Assad government, either, because the Assad soldiers were corrupt, as we said, we talked at the start about corruption.  They sold them, or in some cases, they surrendered, and with that, huge caches of weaponry made their way into al-Nusra hands.  The amount of material that al-Nusra got from the United States wouldn’t have lasted them for a day of combat.”

Fact check:  This claim is preposterous. As reported by Janes Defense, the US supplied nearly one thousand TONS of weapons in December 2015, much of which ended up in Nusra (Al Qaeda) hands. Nusra obtained weapons when they over-ran Syrian military bases, but otherwise they were amply supplied with weapons by the Gulf monarchies, Israel, Turkey, the US and UK. 

RSF claims the Syrian government has primary responsibility for the war and are the “bad guys”.  

“What I hope your listeners will take away from this is that it is not an equal combat on both sides; is not an equal responsibility on both sides.  One side from the beginning was using torture and shooting at innocent people, thousands of arrests.  And one side was trying peacefully, for a very large part, to bring about change.  And, unfortunately, in this instance, the bad guys won.”

Fact check:  The campaign against Syria has been waged by a coalition of western powers, Turkey, Israel and the Gulf monarchies. About 121 thousand Syrians in the Syrian army and militias have died defending their country.

RSF claims that Syria is responsible for the war refugees and destabilizing its neighbors.

“Even had Turkey, Qatar and the United States, Saudi Arabia, stayed out of it, there still would have been huge refugee flows trying to escape from those same brutal Syrian security forces, and they still would have flooded the borders of Lebanon and Jordan and of Turkey, which is itself destabilizing, particularly in Lebanon, but some places like Jordan, Turkey.  Therefore, you can’t just say that all these other countries intervened in sovereign Syrian territory.  The Syrian government itself was taking actions which were destabilizing to its neighbors.”

Fact check: Most refugees fled when their neighborhoods were taken over by militants and became battle zones, NOT because they were afraid of Syrian security.

RSF criticizes Turkey but thinks Syrian government bears primary responsibility.

“I’m never going to justify the Turks allowing Salafi jihadists to go into Syria.  I think that I’ve already said that that was a bad mistake.  And we criticized them at the time of playing with snakes.  I’m never going to justify it.  But I have to say, Aaron, that in the end, they came in response to what the Assad government was already doing.  And so, the principal responsibility … do the Americans have a share of responsibility?  Of course, we do.  Yeah.  It was our anti-tank missiles blowing up Syrian government tanks, and not just a few; I mean, hundreds of them.

“I think we have to go back to where it started in 2011.  And that’s with the Syrian government…”

RSF says he is not aware of the huge scandal at the OPCW but believes Syria has used chemical weapons.

“I’m not familiar with that controversy within the OPCW…. 

“But I guess I would just say this, Aaron.  There’s plenty of documentation by the UN’s joint investigative group with the OPCW that looked at incidents in Syria chemical weapons use, from 2013 onwards.  They’ve issued several reports…. So, the 2018 incident, I don’t know about that report, but I have no doubt whatsoever that the Syrian government has used chemical weapons on multiple instances, the same government that bombs hospitals, the same government that bombs bakeries, the same government that kills people in detention routinely.  Look at the photos that were brought up by the military defector.  You know, why would you think they wouldn’t use chemical weapons?  Why would you think they would suddenly have moral scruples against these?   It doesn’t make a lot of sense.”

[Fact check: the OPCW scandal has confirmed manipulation of that organization by the US and west. The “military photographer” refers to the ‘Caesar torture photos’ propaganda stunt.]

RSF wants to increase humanitarian aid to Syria refugees.

“Something the Americans could do that would be hugely helpful is to increase humanitarian aid to the Syrian refugees that number some five million, particularly in Lebanon, where their living circumstances are precarious, very precarious, but also in Jordan and Turkey…  I’d like to spend less on the military operation and much more on humanitarian aid.

“And then there is the issue of Northwest Syria, Idlib, where the UN is in charge of an operation getting humanitarian aid to some two million displaced Syrian civilians.”

[Fact check and observation:  Idlib province is dominated by Nusra (Al Qaeda). Robert Ford seems to want to perpetuate the AQ stronghold and refugee crisis by supplying aid to Idlib and foreign countries while preventing return of refugees and rebuilding war torn Syria.]

Conclusion

Both ambassadors speak Arabic and have intimate knowledge of Syria.

Robert S. Ford criticizes some past decisions and tactics, but not the assumptions or right of the US to violate the UN Charter and commit aggression against Syria.

Meanwhile, Peter Ford is doing his best to expose the reality of the situation, contrary to government and media bias and falsehoods. Like Daniel Ellsberg, Scott Ritter and Katharine Gun, he is using his special knowledge to publicly challenge the claims and assumptions of western policy. With Ellsberg it was about Vietnam. With Ritter and Gun, it was about Iraq. With Peter Ford, it is about Syria.

The full interview with UK Ambassador Peter Ford is well worth watching or reading.

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