Syria’s Pharmaceutical Industry Rebuilds Following the Defeat of US-NATO Sponsored Terrorists

Global Research, December 03, 2019

The first factory of its kind in Syria and the Arab world opened November 21, 2019, in Damascus.  Central Pharmaceutical Industries Company, ‘Mainpharma’, celebrated the opening of its factory for the manufacturing of anticancer drugs at Adra Industrial City, in the Damascus countryside.  Syrian Health Minister, Dr. Nizar Yazigi, said that the number of authorized pharmaceutical laboratories has reached 96 laboratories, which cover over 90 percent of domestic needs.  20 additional factories for pharmaceutical manufacturing are in the pipeline for Adra Industrial City.  Adnan Jaafu, chief executive of the company, said the factory will produce 70 percent of the entire spectrum of chemotherapy drugs, which will cover the domestic needs, and the excess will be exported. Syria imports all medicine for the treatment of tumors and vaccines from abroad. 

The losses of the pharmaceutical industry due to war are 152 billion Syrian lira.  Over 100 factories are awaiting the Ministry of Health (MOH) approval. Russia, China, Cuba, India, and Iran have contracted to sell the raw materials to Syria for medicine production.

“The MOH gives free medicines to 1,864 health centers, and 150 hospitals around Syria.” said Dr. Yazgi to ‘RT Arabic’ on November 16, 2019.  The state-run hospitals are treating patients free of charge; however, the challenges facing the pharmaceutical industry include the increase in the production costs, because of the fallen currency rate.

US-NATO backed terrorist destruction

The conflict in Syria, which began in 2011, gradually affected the 3 areas with the highest concentration of pharmaceutical factories: Aleppo, Damascus, and Homs, which caused a severe shortage of medicines in Syria.  The US-NATO backed terrorists concentrated on destroying infrastructure, and businesses.  The terrorists made life unbearable for civilians, as the factories closed down because of attacks, and the employees lost their jobs and income, which in turn led to the mass migration of Syrian refugees, most of whom were economic migrants, having lost their income because of the terrorists.  As the factories stopped production, medicines were no longer available, and yet importing medicines were prevented by the US-EU sanctions.  5,000 pharmacies and 24 pharmaceutical factories stopped service during the war, and in Aleppo, the industry was almost wiped out.

Terrorists looting for the Turkish government

Fares Al-Shihabi, Member of Parliament, and President of the Aleppo Chamber of Industry said in August 2012, about 20 medicine factories in Aleppo, and many other factories were exposed to theft, looting, and kidnapping, noting that the production constitutes more than 50 percent of Syria’s production of pharmaceuticals. Shihabi said that two of the owners of these facilities were kidnapped, and many of the industrialists began to close their businesses and leave the country.  The spokesman for the United Nations in Geneva, Tariq Jassar Fitch, said that “a large number of factories closed, which led to a severe shortage of medicines,” adding that the country is in an urgent need of medicine for tuberculosis, hepatitis, high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, and kidney disease.  Iran provided Syria with quantities of drugs worth 1.2 million US dollars for the treatment of chronic diseases.

In January 2013, Shihabi stressed that the Aleppo Chamber of Industry had decisive evidence on the involvement of the Turkish government in stealing production lines and machines from hundreds of factories in Aleppo city and smuggling them into Turkey, against international laws. Syria formally accused Turkey of looting factories in the industrial city of Aleppo and sent letters to UN chief Ban Ki-moon and the UN Security Council.

“Some 1,000 factories in the city of Aleppo have been plundered, and their stolen goods transferred to Turkey with the full knowledge and facilitation of the Turkish government,” the Syrian Foreign Ministry said in the letters.

By 2014, Aleppo industrialists said, more than 300 factories were plundered and their equipment sold in Turkey, and they may take Turkey to The Hague, to settle their accounts at the International Court of Justice.

“The basic reason for the fall of Aleppo and Idlib to armed groups is the terrorists sent from Turkey and the support Turkey gives to them.” said a senior Syrian commander.

The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) took back Sheikh Najjar, in Aleppo,  in July 2014.

 “They had occupied 80% of the factories.  It took us 48 hours to take back Sheikh Najjar. They destroyed most businesses by setting off their booby traps as they were fleeing”, said the commander.

Hazim Accan, the director-general of the Sheikh Najjar Industrial City, said

“There are 963 production facilities, mostly textiles, food, chemicals, medicines, aluminum, iron and plastics. Today 366 of them are operational. They were badly damaged. Electricity and water systems collapsed. Half of the non-operational facilities were dismantled and taken to Turkey.”

US-EU sanctions prevent medicine exports to Syria

According to Habib Abboud, Syrian deputy health minister for pharmaceutical affairs, the sanctions US-EU imposed on Syria involved the pharmaceutical industry, by preventing exporting raw materials to Syria, even though medicines are purely humanitarian.

“Despite the fact that this is medicine and it should be away from any sanctions, many countries have imposed sanctions and restrictions on Syria,” he said.

Syria has lost certain types of drugs, including those related to deadly and chronic diseases, such as: “Nitroglycerin” for minor strokes attack, “Daflon” for veins’ disorders, “Altroxan”, “Thiamasul” a medicine for the thyroid gland, asthma sprays, “Vlozon”, “Azmirol”, as well as cardiac patches “Netroderm”, and most of these have no alternative.

Pre-war situation

According to the Central Bureau of Statistics in Syria, in 2010 there were 70 plants producing pharmaceuticals, and only 2 were state-owned.   These provided more than 91% of the domestic needs: especially psychiatric, dermal, gynecological, ophthalmic medications and children’s syrup.   At that time, blood derivatives, cancer drugs, and vaccines were imported, yet the prices were affordable for all levels of society.  The pharmaceutical industry employed around 30,000 workers and Syria held 2nd place among Arab countries in covering its local needs, as well as held the 2nd place among Arab countries in the volume of exports of medicines.  The Syrian medicines ranked #1 in Yemen and Iraq, and had been exported to 57 countries in Asia, Africa, Eastern Europe, and had been used by UNICEF and the World Health Organization.

Present situation

Today, the pharmaceutical industry in Syria is on the rebound, but hampered by the post-war economic crisis, US-EU sanctions which continue to prevent importing drugs or the raw materials to make drugs, and the devalued Syrian currency, which makes drug prices higher than many consumers can afford. ‘Diamond Pharma’ factory in the countryside of Damascus was able to re-open after the SAA fully liberated the Damascus countryside in May 2018. As of July 2019, Aleppo has managed to complete 1,216 projects of rehabilitation to infrastructure, and this has allowed more than 15,000 industrial facilities to re-open after years of closure.  565 facilities are now in production in Sheikh Najjar Industrial Zone.  Syrian businesses have fought back against the US-NATO attack for ‘regime change’, which has failed, but succeeded in destroying much of Syria and is responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths, injuries, and displacements.

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This article was originally published on Mideast Discourse.

Steven Sahiounie is a political commentator. 

Featured image is from http://www.news.cn

Related

600 Establishments Resume Work at Aleppo Industrial City, Sheikh Najjar

 

Aleppo Industrial City - Sheikh Najjar

Aleppo, Syria’s second-largest city and the region’s economic power horse is getting back on its feet again, despite all the efforts by the US and its NATO stooges and terrorists.

It’s moving forward slowly but steadily, with over 600 establishments resuming work at the once-thriving Aleppo Industrial City at Sheikh Najjar, which Turkey’s madman Erdogan and his anti-Islamic Muslim Brotherhood criminals looted to its skeleton and then destroyed like all other areas infested by followers of these two cults.

The following report by SANA from the Aleppo Industrial City at Sheikh Najjar reveals the latest updates there:

The video is also available on BitChute: https://www.bitchute.com/video/SiPi5BZXiLVj/

The English transcript of the above video:

Investment in the Sheikh Najjar industrial city in Aleppo is growing steadily in light of providing the necessary requirements for the industry in terms of infrastructure services and the facilities granted for the reconstruction of facilities affected by terrorism, and building new blocks and supplying them with production lines.

Hazem Ajan – Director of Sheikh Najjar Industrial City: After the city completed most of its service projects for production facilities and delivered basic services of electricity and water to the production workshops in the industrial city we moved on with our plans to strategic projects in the city like the Exhibition City that provides basic promotion of the city’s products in particular and local products in general, because it was selected as an exhibition city at the level of Aleppo province.

The project of labor housing has also started on an area of 258 hectares in coordination with the Public Housing Establishment, we are currently coordinating with the Union of Artisans in the first handicraft area, which provides about 500 artisans plots.

600 industrial establishments currently operating took off in the Industrial City, 50% of them are textile establishments, followed by engineering industries with about 150 establishments and the rest is distributed to the chemical and food industries.

Hussam Salahia – Owner of a textile facility: After the liberation of the industrial city we returned and renewed our work and now produce bathrobes and dyeing yarns, our yarns industry is national product.

Anas Dabbagh – owner of a facility for engineering industries and heaters: We were working before the war and despite the crisis and the damage done to us where the factory was sabotaged, we re-repaired and worked and continue to work. We produce everything related to heaters, we provide the needs for the local market and we export to Lebanon and other countries.

Omar Oso – Owner of Food Industries Establishment: We manufacture tahini and halawa in addition to jam. Production stages start with sesame, we add sugar to make halawah.

End of the English transcript.

Syria is under unprecedented draconian sanctions by the USA and a host of countries under its control, these sanctions are imposed to punish the Syrian people for not accepting the US hegemony like its other slaves around the world and to impede the rebuilding of the country after almost 9 years of the US-led War of Terror.

Syrian Civilians Killed and Wounded due to Al-Nusra Front Shelling on Aleppo Neighborhoods

By Khaled Iskef

Source

al Nusra front targeting neighborhoods of Aleppo ac970

Seven people were killed and more than 30 others were injured on Thursday evening as a result of targeting Aleppo neighborhoods in northern Syria with homemade rockets and missiles by Al-Nusra Front militants.

Al-Nusra militants carried out their attacks from their positions in Al-Rashideen / 4 /area southwest of Aleppo city, where the shells hit Al-Jamailia, Al-Hamdaniya, Halap Al-Jadida , Al-Zebdieh, Al-Mashhad, Salah Al-Din and Al-A’zamiya neighborhoods.

Most of the casualties who reached hospitals were from Salah al-Din neighborhood in the south-east of the city, as the crowded popular market in the neighborhood was targeted, which also led to several fires in cars and houses. According to medical sources, an 8-year-old boy died along with three other adults as a result of being burned in a car that was hit directly by a missile.

Al-Nusra militants shelling continued for about 3 hours, after which the pace of the shells subsided in conjunction with Syrian Army intense targeting with rockets the positions of the militants in al-Rashideen area and the town of Khan al-Assal located in western Aleppo countryside.

The city of Aleppo recently has witnessed an increasing escalation by the militants of “Al-Nusra front” stationed in its surroundings through targeting residential neighborhoods with various types of shells, as was the case on Wednesday evening, which witnessed targeting Al-Hamdania, Aleppo.

Al-Jadida, Nile Street and Shahbaa neighborhoods with dozens of shells that resulted in material damages only.

Report Showing ‘Iranian Military’ Hit by the Israeli Air Raid Near Damascus!

 

Beit Saber Damascus western countryside - israeli missile strikes house killing civilians

Everything Israel bombs in Syria sells it to the fools who believe its propaganda as ‘Iranian military targets’, and especially ‘Iranian Revolutionary Guards’ facility, as if that is not a breach of international law by itself.

On the ground and in reality it’s totally the opposite. Everything you hear from Israeli sources reflects totally the opposite to cover their crimes.

The US Taxpayers should watch this following report to see how their money is used by Israel. They must be satisfied with the ‘achievements’ of their 51st unofficial state living completely on their account.

Mohammad al-Khodr from the Lebanese Al Mayadeen news channel paid a visit to the village of Beit Saber, an agricultural village about 50 kilometers from the Syrian capital Damascus which was struck by one of the Israeli missiles two days ago, and also visited Qudsayya, another suburb near Damascus which was hit by another Israeli missile and this is their findings:

 

The video is also available on BitChute: https://www.bitchute.com/video/7chXUEzARh1E/beit saber damascus countryside israel missile strike house killing civilians

Israel was always present to lend a hand to terrorists fighting their unholy fake ‘jihad’ war against the Syrian state and the Syrian people under the US leadership. Whenever they need support help comes from their brethren in the IDF terrorist organization, and whenever the US wants to increase the pressure on Syria, the terrorist attacks would mount, foreign parties would increase their negative intervention, EU stooges will increase their sanctions against Syria, and Israel will be there for the dirty work.

From yesterday’s NATO terrorist attacks against Aleppo which never stopped throughout the Syrian crisis:

 

Note that Israel carries out its bombings against all targets after midnight, and from across borders, and in many cases hiding behind civilian airlines, showing the heinous nature of its war criminal leaders.

Those who believe Israeli media, similarly to who believed other Pentagon mainstream propagandists and fell for the Iraqi WMDs lie, then Libya lie, then countless other lies across the planet will continue to fall for the same lies by the same liars. There is a saying in America: Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me, so big shame on the US fools.

IN VIDEO: DOZENS OF TRUCKS LOADED WITH U.S. MILITARY EQUIPMENT LEAVE SYRIA

South Front

At least 55 trucks of the U.S.-led coalition withdrew from northeast Syria on November 2 to the Iraqi Kurdistan Region through the al-Walid border crossing, according to the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA).

The state-run agency released a video showing some of the trucks on their way to the border crossing. The trucks were loaded with armored vehicles and equipment of the U.S. military.

Two days earlier, more than 80 empty trucks working for U.S. forces entered Syria from Iraq and headed towards Sarrin airstrip in eastern Aleppo. The trucks were apparently brought to participate in the base evacaution.

Despite the withdrawal from most of their bases in Aleppo and Raqqa, U.S. forces are reportedly working to establish new bases and military posts in the provinces of al-Hasakah and Deir Ezzor.

The deployment of U.S. forces in oil rich areas in northeast Syria is a part of Washington’s ‘oil securing’ policy in the war-torn country. The US aims to control major oil fields in order to block the Damascus government from reaching them.

More on this topic:

The Road to Damascus: How the Syria War was Won

The Road to Damascus: How the Syria War was Won

October 18, 2019

by Pepe Escobar : posted with permission and crossposted with Consortium News

What is happening in Syria, following yet another Russia-brokered deal, is a massive geopolitical game-changer. I’ve tried to summarize it in a single paragraph this way:

“It’s a quadruple win. The U.S. performs a face saving withdrawal, which Trump can sell as avoiding a conflict with NATO ally Turkey. Turkey has the guarantee – by the Russians – that the Syrian Army will be in control of the Turkish-Syrian border. Russia prevents a war escalation and keeps the Russia-Iran-Turkey peace process alive.  And Syria will eventually regain control of the entire northeast.”

Syria may be the biggest defeat for the CIA since Vietnam.

Yet that hardly begins to tell the whole story.

Allow me to briefly sketch in broad historical strokes how we got here.

It began with an intuition I felt last month at the tri-border point of Lebanon, Syria and Occupied Palestine; followed by a subsequent series of conversations in Beirut with first-class Lebanese, Syrian, Iranian, Russian, French and Italian analysts; all resting on my travels in Syria since the 1990s; with a mix of selected bibliography in French available at Antoine’s in Beirut thrown in.

The Vilayets

Let’s start in the 19thcentury when Syria consisted of six vilayets — Ottoman provinces — without counting Mount Lebanon, which had a special status since 1861 to the benefit of Maronite Christians and Jerusalem, which was a sanjak (administrative division) of Istanbul.

The vilayets did not define the extremely complex Syrian identity: for instance, Armenians were the majority in the vilayet of Maras, Kurds in Diyarbakir – both now part of Turkey in southern Anatolia – and the vilayets of Aleppo and Damascus were both Sunni Arab.

Nineteenth century Ottoman Syria was the epitome of cosmopolitanism. There were no interior borders or walls. Everything was inter-dependent.

Ethnic groups in the Balkans and Asia Minor, early 20th Century, Historical Atlas, 1911.

Then the Europeans, profiting from World War I, intervened. France got the Syrian-Lebanese littoral, and later the vilayets of Maras and Mosul (today in Iraq). Palestine was separated from Cham (the “Levant”), to be internationalized. The vilayet of Damascus was cut in half: France got the north, the Brits got the south. Separation between Syria and the mostly Christian Lebanese lands came later.

There was always the complex question of the Syria-Iraq border. Since antiquity, the Euphrates acted as a barrier, for instance between the Cham of the Umayyads and their fierce competitors on the other side of the river, the Mesopotamian Abbasids.

James Barr, in his splendid “A Line in the Sand,” notes, correctly, that the Sykes-Picot agreement imposed on the Middle East the European conception of territory: their “line in the sand” codified a delimited separation between nation-states. The problem is, there were no nation-states in region in the early 20thcentury.

The birth of Syria as we know it was a work in progress, involving the Europeans, the Hashemite dynasty, nationalist Syrians invested in building a Greater Syria including Lebanon, and the Maronites of Mount Lebanon. An important factor is that few in the region lamented losing dependence on Hashemite Medina, and except the Turks, the loss of the vilayet of Mosul in what became Iraq after World War I.

In 1925, Sunnis became the de facto prominent power in Syria, as the French unified Aleppo and Damascus. During the 1920s France also established the borders of eastern Syria. And the Treaty of Lausanne, in 1923, forced the Turks to give up all Ottoman holdings but didn’t keep them out of the game.

Turkish borders according to the Treaty of Lausanne, 1923.

The Turks soon started to encroach on the French mandate, and began blocking the dream of Kurdish autonomy. France in the end gave in: the Turkish-Syrian border would parallel the route of the fabled Bagdadbahn — the Berlin-Baghdad railway.

In the 1930s France gave in even more: the sanjak of Alexandretta (today’s Iskenderun, in Hatay province, Turkey), was finally annexed by Turkey in 1939 when only 40 percent of the population was Turkish.

The annexation led to the exile of tens of thousands of Armenians. It was a tremendous blow for Syrian nationalists. And it was a disaster for Aleppo, which lost its corridor to the Eastern Mediterranean.

Turkish forces under entered Alexandretta on July 5, 1938.

To the eastern steppes, Syria was all about Bedouin tribes. To the north, it was all about the Turkish-Kurdish clash. And to the south, the border was a mirage in the desert, only drawn with the advent of Transjordan. Only the western front, with Lebanon, was established, and consolidated after WWII.

This emergent Syria — out of conflicting Turkish, French, British and myriad local interests —obviously could not, and did not, please any community. Still, the heart of the nation configured what was described as “useful Syria.” No less than 60 percent of the nation was — and remains — practically void. Yet, geopolitically, that translates into “strategic depth” — the heart of the matter in the current war.

From Hafez to Bashar

Starting in 1963, the Baath party, secular and nationalist, took over Syria, finally consolidating its power in 1970 with Hafez al-Assad, who instead of just relying on his Alawite minority, built a humongous, hyper-centralized state machinery mixed with a police state. The key actors who refused to play the game were the Muslim Brotherhood, all the way to being massacred during the hardcore 1982 Hama repression.

Secularism and a police state: that’s how the fragile Syrian mosaic was preserved. But already in the 1970s major fractures were emerging: between major cities and a very poor periphery; between the “useful” west and the Bedouin east; between Arabs and Kurds. But the urban elites never repudiated the iron will of Damascus: cronyism, after all, was quite profitable.

Damascus interfered heavily with the Lebanese civil war since 1976 at the invitation of the Arab League as a “peacekeeping force.” In Hafez al-Assad’s logic, stressing the Arab identity of Lebanon was essential to recover Greater Syria. But Syrian control over Lebanon started to unravel in 2005, after the murder of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri, very close to Saudi Arabia, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) eventually left.

Bashar al-Assad had taken power in 2000. Unlike his father, he bet on the Alawites to run the state machinery, preventing the possibility of a coup but completely alienating himself from the poor, Syrian on the street.

What the West defined as the Arab Spring, began in Syria in March 2011; it was a revolt against the Alawites as much  as a revolt against Damascus. Totally instrumentalized by the foreign interests, the revolt sprang up in extremely poor, dejected Sunni peripheries: Deraa in the south, the deserted east, and the suburbs of Damascus and Aleppo.

Protest in Damascus, April 24, 2011. (syriana2011/Flickr)

What was not understood in the West is that this “beggars banquet” was not against the Syrian nation, but against a “regime.” Jabhat al-Nusra, in a P.R. exercise, even broke its official link with al-Qaeda and changed its denomination to Fatah al-Cham and then Hayat Tahrir al-Cham (“Organization for the Liberation of the Levant”). Only ISIS/Daesh said they were fighting for the end of Sykes-Picot.

By 2014, the perpetually moving battlefield was more or less established: Damascus against both Jabhat al-Nusra and ISIS/Daesh, with a wobbly role for the Kurds in the northeast, obsessed in preserving the cantons of Afrin, Kobane and Qamichli.

But the key point is that each katiba (“combat group”), each neighborhood, each village, and in fact each combatant was in-and-out of allegiances non-stop. That yielded a dizzying nebulae of jihadis, criminals, mercenaries, some linked to al-Qaeda, some to Daesh, some trained by the Americans, some just making a quick buck.

For instance Salafis — lavishly financed by Saudi Arabia and Kuwait — especially Jaish al-Islam, even struck alliances with the PYD Kurds in Syria and the jihadis of Hayat Tahrir al-Cham (the remixed, 30,000-strong  al-Qaeda in Syria). Meanwhile, the PYD Kurds (an emanation of the Turkish Kurds’ PKK, which Ankara consider “terrorists”) profited from this unholy mess — plus a deliberate ambiguity by Damascus – to try to create their autonomous Rojava.

A demonstration in the city of Afrin in support of the YPG against the Turkish invasion of Afrin, Jan. 19, 2018. (Voice of America Kurdish, Wikimedia Commons)

That Turkish Strategic Depth

Turkey was all in. Turbo-charged by the neo-Ottoman politics of former Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, the logic was to reconquer parts of the Ottoman empire, and get rid of Assad because he had helped PKK Kurdish rebels in Turkey.

Davutoglu’s Strategik Derinlik (“Strategic Depth’), published in 2001, had been a smash hit in Turkey, reclaiming the glory of eight centuries of an sprawling empire, compared to puny 911 kilometers of borders fixed by the French and the Kemalists. Bilad al Cham, the Ottoman province congregating Lebanon, historical Palestine, Jordan and Syria, remained a powerful magnet in both the Syrian and Turkish unconscious.

No wonder Turkey’s Recep Erdogan was fired up: in 2012 he even boasted he was getting ready to pray in the Umayyad mosque in Damascus, post-regime change, of course. He has been gunning for a safe zone inside the Syrian border — actually a Turkish enclave — since 2014. To get it, he has used a whole bag of nasty players — from militias close to the Muslim Brotherhood to hardcore Turkmen gangs.

With the establishment of the Free Syrian Army (FSA), for the first time Turkey allowed foreign weaponized groups to operate on its own territory. A training camp was set up in 2011 in the sanjakof Alexandretta. The Syrian National Council was also created in Istanbul – a bunch of non-entities from the diaspora who had not been in Syria for decades.

Ankara enabled a de facto Jihad Highway — with people from Central Asia, Caucasus, Maghreb, Pakistan, Xinjiang, all points north in Europe being smuggled back and forth at will. In 2015, Ankara, Riyadh and Doha set up the dreaded Jaish al-Fath (“Army of Conquest”), which included Jabhat al-Nusra (al-Qaeda).

At the same time, Ankara maintained an extremely ambiguous relationship with ISIS/Daesh, buying its smuggled oil, treating jihadis in Turkish hospitals, and paying zero attention to jihad intel collected and developed on Turkish territory. For at least five years, the MIT — Turkish intelligence – provided political and logistic background to the Syrian opposition while weaponizing a galaxy of Salafis. After all, Ankara believed that ISIS/Daesh only existed because of the “evil” deployed by the Assad regime.

The Russian Factor

Russian President Vladiimir Putin meeting with President of Turkey Recep Erdogan; Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergei Lavrov standing in background, Ankara, Dec. 1, 2014 Ankara. (Kremlin)

The first major game-changer was the spectacular Russian entrance in the summer of 2015. Vladimir Putin had asked the U.S. to join in the fight against the Islamic State as the Soviet Union allied against Hitler, negating the American idea that this was Russia’s bid to restore its imperial glory. But the American plan instead, under Barack Obama, was single-minded: betting on a rag-tag Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a mix of Kurds and Sunni Arabs, supported by air power and U.S. Special Forces, north of the Euphrates, to smash ISIS/Daesh all the way to Raqqa and Deir ez-Zor.

Raqqa, bombed to rubble by the Pentagon, may have been taken by the SDF, but Deir ez-Zor was taken by Damascus’s Syrian Arab Army. The ultimate American aim was to consistently keep the north of the Euphrates under U.S. power, via their proxies, the SDF and the Kurdish PYD/YPG. That American dream is now over, lamented by imperial Democrats and Republicans alike.

The CIA will be after Trump’s scalp till Kingdom Come.

Kurdish Dream Over

Talk about a cultural misunderstanding. As much as the Syrian Kurds believed U.S. protection amounted to an endorsement of their independence dreams, Americans never seemed to understand that throughout the “Greater Middle East” you cannot buy a tribe. At best, you can rent them. And they use you according to their interests. I’ve seen it from Afghanistan to Iraq’s Anbar province.

The Kurdish dream of a contiguous, autonomous territory from Qamichli to Manbij is over. Sunni Arabs living in this perimeter will resist any Kurdish attempt at dominance.

The Syrian PYD was founded in 2005 by PKK militants. In 2011, Syrians from the PKK came from Qandil – the PKK base in northern Iraq – to build the YPG militia for the PYD. In predominantly Arab zones, Syrian Kurds are in charge of governing because for them Arabs are seen as a bunch of barbarians, incapable of building their “democratic, socialist, ecological and multi-communitarian” society.

Kurdish PKK guerillas In Kirkuk, Iraq. (Kurdishstruggle via Flickr)

One can imagine how conservative Sunni Arab tribal leaders hate their guts. There’s no way these tribal leaders will ever support the Kurds against the SAA or the Turkish army; after all these Arab tribal leaders spent a lot of time in Damascus seeking support from Bashar al-Assad.  And now the Kurds themselves have accepted that support in the face of the Trukish incursion, greenlighted by Trump.

East of Deir ez-Zor, the PYD/YPG already had to say goodbye to the region that is responsible for 50 percent of Syria’s oil production. Damascus and the SAA now have the upper hand. What’s left for the PYD/YPG is to resign themselves to Damascus’s and Russian protection against Turkey, and the chance of exercising sovereignty in exclusively Kurdish territories.

Ignorance of the West

The West, with typical Orientalist haughtiness, never understood that Alawites, Christians, Ismailis and Druze in Syria would always privilege Damascus for protection compared to an “opposition” monopolized by hardcore Islamists, if not jihadis.  The West also did not understand that the government in Damascus, for survival, could always count on formidable Baath party networks plus the dreaded mukhabarat — the intel services.

Rebuilding Syria

The reconstruction of Syria may cost as much as $200 billion. Damascus has already made it very clear that the U.S. and the EU are not welcome. China will be in the forefront, along with Russia and Iran; this will be a project strictly following the Eurasia integration playbook — with the Chinese aiming to revive Syria’s strategic positioning in the Ancient Silk Road.

As for Erdogan, distrusted by virtually everyone, and a tad less neo-Ottoman than in the recent past, he now seems to have finally understood that Bashar al-Assad “won’t go,” and he must live with it. Ankara is bound to remain imvolved with Tehran and Moscow, in finding a comprehensive, constitutional solution for the Syrian tragedy through the former “Astana process”, later developed in Ankara.

The war may not have been totally won, of course. But against all odds, it’s clear a unified, sovereign Syrian nation is bound to prevail over every perverted strand of geopolitical molotov cocktails concocted in sinister NATO/GCC labs. History will eventually tell us that, as an example to the whole Global South, this will remain the ultimate game-changer.

 

Washington abandons its Kurdish proxies as Ankara and Damascus step in

October 13, 2019

By Aram Mirzaei

Washington abandons its Kurdish proxies as Ankara and Damascus step in

Even though I have my doubts over whether Washington will actually withdraw from Syria fully, it seems as if their Kurdish proxies in northern Syria have been left to defend for themselves against the ongoing Turkish offensive. I can’t say I’m surprised since Washington has done this to their Kurdish “partners” many times before, yet the Kurdish leadership across Iraq and Syria have failed to learn from history yet again.

Once more, the Kurdish leadership have been proven to have put their faith in the wrong allies. When Moscow stepped into the Syrian war four years ago, Moscow gave the YPG the same offer that Assad had given before: reconcile with Damascus and join forces against terrorism. They refused. Moscow tried again by offering them to set up a consulate in Moscow, inviting them to peace talks in Astana and offering them safety from Turkish attacks, if they agreed to a deal with Damascus, one that respects Syria’s territorial integrity. Moscow even offered talks on a guarantee for future Kurdish participation in Syrian politics. They refused once again, with a spokesperson for the YPG explaining that Washington does not allow them to talk to Moscow. Such was the nature of the US-Kurdish “alliance”.

When the so called “Islamic State” terrorist group was about to collapse in 2017, the US backed “Syrian Democratic Forces”, of which YPG is part of, was quick to grab as much land as possible. Then came the threats against Damascus and the Syrian Army, to back off from entering the eastern shores of the Euphrates. Fortunately, Moscow, Tehran and Damascus saw Washington’s moves early on as they managed to capture the imperative city of Albukamal, located exactly at the Syrian-Iraqi border, before Washington could. In capturing this city, Damascus and Baghdad have been able to re-open the Tehran-Damascus highway stretching from Iran, through Iraq and into Syria, connecting the three countries and enabling the transportation of supplies from Iran to Syria.

The SDF managed to secure many of Syria’s oil fields in their push to capture the eastern parts of the Deir Ezzor province. Having grabbed such a large part of Syria, the Kurdish leadership felt safe with US forces backing them against Damascus.

This stance didn’t seem to change when Turkish forces together with their proxy jihadists launched the Afrin offensive. US forces did nothing to protect their Kurdish vassals from harm as Turkish forces easily captured the entire Afrin Canton within weeks. The Kurdish leadership was offered a deal with Damascus in which control over the Afrin area would be handed over to the Syrian Army before Turkish forces could capture it. Alas this suggestion was refused by the stubborn Kurdish leadership who would rather let Ankara and the Jihadists capture that area.

So 18 months later, the US has seemingly withdrawn and abandoned the Kurdish-led militias to fend for themselves against Ankara and a hostile Damascus. Not so surprising considering Washington’s track record. The Turkish Army and its proxies launched their offensive on Wednesday and quickly announced gains that same day. Since then, several towns along with the border city of Tal Abyad have fallen into Turkish hands as reports have emerged that imprisoned ISIS militants have escaped from their prisons as a result of Turkish bombardments of several prisons in the Hasakah province.

The offensive has caught an enormous amount of media attention, as the Kurds have for long been the Western Media darlings, capturing many people’s hearts with footage of young armed women battling the perverted terrorist forces of the “Islamic State”.

Washington and the European vassals have all howled and voiced their “concerns” over Turkey’s offensive. Some have called for resolutions and embargoes on Turkey for “violating international law” and “endangering the region”. What a joke! Look at the people expressing their “concern”: Hillary Clinton, Lindsey Graham and Nikki Haley. These are some of the people that are concerned that Turkey is “endangering the region”.

Now when Twitter is being filled with videos of executed Kurdish fighters, these people recognize the same “FSA” militants that they used to cheer for to execute Syrian soldiers, for what they are, barbarian scum.

Just a few days after the commencement of the offensive, Kurdish officials began contemplating the idea of turning to Moscow and Damascus for help, but not before asking Washington one last time to confirm their betrayal. SDF General Mazloum Kobani openly indicated in an interview with CNN that dealing with Moscow and Damascus is an option if the US fails to protect the Kurds from Turkey. “I need to know if you are capable of protecting my people, of stopping these bombs falling on us or not. I need to know, because if you’re not, I need to make a deal with Russia and the regime now and invite their planes to protect this region”, Kobani said.

What a sad statement. He needs a receipt of Washington’s betrayal, as if it was a surprise when he and his colleagues have been warned for years about Washington’s treacherous nature. Reports have previously suggested the amassing of Syrian Army forces near Manbij in the Aleppo province, with the aim of entering and taking over the area. The same has been said about Hasakah and Qamishli in the northeastern parts of the country. If true, then this would create a situation similar to the one two years ago when the Islamic State was collapsing. As mentioned before, back in 2017, as the Islamic State was collapsing, the SAA and the US-backed SDF were racing to capture as much territory as possible. This resulted in the Euphrates turning into a demarcation line between SAA and SDF controlled territory, a line that has been in place since 2017. Now, it seems as if a new race is on, as the Syrian Army is racing against time, with the jihadists rapidly advancing and are inching closer to Raqqa city.

If the Kurdish militias are willing to cooperate, then Damascus must be harsh in its demands. The Kurdish militias must hand over their weapons and the territory they’re occupying if they want to have any chance of surviving the Turkish-led onslaught. But they need to act quickly, time is running out for the Kurdish militiamen.

Will the Kurds choose poorly again?

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