Syrians in Northwest Deir Ezzor’s Countryside Protest against the SDF

Protests against US-sponsored SDF northwest of Deir Ezzor احتجاجات ضد قسد شمال غرب دير الزور

Seems that the land started shaking under the Kurds in the areas they received from ISIS north and northwest of Deir Ezzor, the Syrians are refusing the crimes committed by the separatists as if nothing has changed for them between living under ISIS and living under the SDF.

Kurdish separatist militia known as SDF were faced with fierce protests by the local Syrians in the villages of Miheimdeh, al-Hossan, Sfeira Tahtani, Sfeira Fokani, Wusseiah, Muweileh, Hassin, and Ghariebeh, in the northwest countryside of Deir Ezzor province.

The locals protested the continuous status of insecurity in their regions and the practices and provocations of the SDF militias, the sharp increase in crimes like kidnapping and murder, and the stealing of the oil by the SDF militia and the companies working with them.

Syrians in areas under the control of the new ISIS, the US-sponsored SDF, refuse to be recruited in the ranks of the SDF or its affiliates to fight their citizens in the Syrian Arab Army and to betray their country, they who had to endure the long years of ISIS’s horrific brutality are not going to accept another US militia to control them and the Kurds will end up paying a hefty price for their betrayals, rejecting to listen to all who have warned them until now depending on the US promises.

The protesters have managed to block the main roads in those areas, burned tires, and blocked the traffic on the main Deir Ezzor – Raqqa road north of the Euphrates. The locals also evicted SDF militias and their commanders who came for negotiations with them.

This video was shared on social media showing the protesters burning tires, blocking the roads and throwing out the US-sponsored SDF militias and commanders.

The US forces operating illegally in northeast Syria carried out a flag handover between ISIS and the SDF similar to the previous handover between Nusra Front and the ISIS which continued the siege over Deir Ezzor. SDF was hailed as heroes in the Pentagon mouthpieces like CNN, Washington Post, New York Times, Reuters, BBC, Fox News and others for their ability to ‘defeat ISIS’ when no real battles took place between the two sides, while on the other side of the Euphrates from the southwest of the river towards the river’s banks the Syrian Arab Army and its allies were fighting fierce battles with the US-sponsored ISIS terrorists village after village and the US interfered with its ISIS protecting air forces several times bombing the SAA advancing troops.

Until now the US and its separatist Kurds are trying to divide large parts of Syria from the central government, similar to what they did in Iraq, and keep its control over the oil and gas-rich fields areas and where Syria’s main crops are grown in order to pressure Damascus into surrendering. Topped up with the most severe sanctions and blockade by the US and its European lackeys and its regional Gulfies and Turkish agents, exceptional pressure is exerted over the Syrians with results opposite to what the US was planning.

Swamp Drunk Trump - Was elected to drain the swamp and instead became swamp drunk
Swamp Drunk Trump – Was elected to drain the swamp,
instead became swamp drunk Trump.

Donald Trump who was elected to stop his country’s interventionist wars abroad and ‘Drain the Swamp’ became ‘Swamp Drunk’ himself and is furthering the Pentagon and the deep state in his country more than all his predecessors combined, especially taking the fight to new levels that the ordinary US citizen will soon feel the pain much sooner than expected no thanks, or maybe thanks, to the Regime of War Trump put in control of him at the White House.

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Dr. Ibrahim Alloush to ST: US-Imposed Blockade on Syria Should Become a Political Problem for Arab Regimes that Abide by this Blockade

ST

Monday, 22 April 2019 09:24

Damascus, (ST)-What the Syrian people are going through economically is a continuation of the war they have been going through since 2011 by other means, according to the Arab political intellectual and University of Damascus economist Dr. Ibrahim Alloush, who has elaborated on the causes of the current oil crisis in Syria and how the country can survive it.

“The current oil crisis in Syria is the result of compounded factors. On one hand, the war partially or totally destroyed much of the infrastructure of the energy sector in Syria, including the Conoco gas plant in DeirEz-zour, which was targeted repeatedly by the US, always under the pretext of “fighting terrorism”!  It just so happens that both the terrorists and the so-called “Global Coalition against terrorism” have effectively coalesced to destroy Syria’s oil and gas installations all over the country,” he said in an interview with the Syria Times e-newspaper.

Dr. Alloush made it clear that the destruction caused considerable diminishment of Syria’s productive capacity compared to 2010.

“Work is ongoing at a rapid pace to rehabilitate oil and gas fields that have been reclaimed from the hands of terrorists by the Syrian Arab Army and allies. But obviously what has taken decades to build, and months to destroy, cannot be revamped in a few weeks.  Still, these efforts could barely keep up with the increased demand in areas liberated from terrorists, especially with the beginning of the return of Syrian refugees and the re-ignition of economic activity in the country,” he stated.

Moreover, the economist referred to the fact that foreign investment in the energy sector has been particularly hit by EU and other sanctions against Syria.

“EU and other sanctions targeting the energy sector in Syria have prodded Anglo-Dutch Shall, Total, and Gulf sands to halt operations in Syria early on in 2011 and 2012.  Foreign investment in the energy sector has been particularly hit by sanctions, most recently by the so-called Caesar’s Law enacted by the US Congress.   The objective of these sanctions, among other things, is to impede Syria’s ability to rebuild and rehabilitate its ailing energy sector,” Dr. Alloush said.

He went on to say: “ To add insult to injury, economic sanctions targeting the importation of energy products into Syria have been tightened to a halt recently in an attempt to suffocate the Syrian economy.  Oil tankers are prevented from reaching Syria.  Neighboring states have succumbed to US pressure to ban trade in energy products with Syria.  Thus, the tightened and strict enforcement of a total ban on importing energy products into Syria by the US and its allies is the primary reason for the current crunch in the energy sector.  Granted, shortages have existed before.  However, the US is making sure they get worse, thus discrediting every pretense the US and its allies have made about caring for the welfare of the Syrian people.”

The intellectual mentioned another factor related to the fact that the US is making sure that “Syrian Democratic Forces” militias continue to maintain control over the region of Eastern Euphrates, where most Syrian oil and gas deposits lie, in order to deprive the Syrian people and economy of the energy (and agricultural and water) resources they need to rebuild.

“So it all really boils down to US policy,” he affirmed.

How can Syria survive?

In response to a question about how Syria can survive this energy crisis, Dr. Alloush said: “First of all, the Syrian people need to understand that what they are going through economically is a continuation of the war they have been going through since 2011 by other means.  It’s an economic blockade basically, a form of war, and it’s being perpetrated by the US and its allies.  Rationing is common in wars.  For example in WWII, Britain, the Soviet Union and other countries have resorted to rationing as common practice.  In short, there is no substitute for weathering it out while we look carefully at practical solutions to what has grown into a hideous and vexing problem for the people of Syria.”

He believes that practical solutions include quickening the pace of rehabilitating oil and gas fields and installations destroyed by the war.  He added that producing heat or electricity via relatively inexpensive technology by relying on solar energy is quite viable.  He asserted that quicker solutions include giving some leeway to private individuals and companies, both Syrian and non-Syrian, to import energy products into Syria “by any means necessary”, as a matter of survival and national security, and allowing them to sell those energy products as the market will bear.

“Another solution would be to clear the land route between Syria and Iran through Iraq, which is taking place right now, via railroad tracks and what have you.  But that would take longer, and is not immune to attacks from the US or “Israel,” Dr. Alloush added.

He underlined that allies, especially Russian allies, should not stand, hat in hand, watching Syria reeling from this gruesome blockade.

“There are two ways the embargo on importing energy products into Syria could be lifted: either Russia can go ahead and break it directly, or it can provide a staunch political cover for the Syrian Arab Army to reclaim the oil and gas fields of Eastern Euphrates. A political cover means making sure that NATO doesn’t interfere, not that Russia needs to get involved militarily. In both cases Russia’s role is crucial, and it is not much to ask, considering that it was the Syrian theater which allowed Russia to rise to prominence regionally.”

Furthermore, the intellectual described the violation of unjustly imposed sanctions, as was the case in Iraq and Libya before, and as is the case in Syria, Iran, and Yemen right now, as a ‘moral act’.

“It’s an act of defiance against injustice, and against the law of jungle in international relations.  This message should be relayed to fellow citizens across the Arab World and to anti-imperialists worldwide.  Imposing a blockade on Syria should become a political problem for Arab regimes who abide by this US-imposed blockade.  Fellow Arabs should be made to understand that yesterday it was Iraq and Libya, today it is Syria and Yemen, but tomorrow it will be them,” the intellectual concluded.

It is true that cars line up by the hundred outside petrol stations in Syria and long lines of people waiting to buy gas begin forming before dawn, but the fuel crisis has not brought life to a halt in Syrian cities as some western media reports claim.

Interviewed by: Basma Qaddour

SYRIAN WAR REPORT – APRIL 1, 2019: US SAYS SYRIAN ARMY MUST WITHDRAW FROM GOLAN HEIGHTS’ CONTACT LINE

SOUTH FRONT

01.04.2019

Over 50 ISIS members were eliminated by strikes of the US-led coalition in the outskirt of the town of al-Baghuz al-Fawqani in the Euphrates Valley over the past few days, local sources reported. The airstrikes were a part of the operation of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and the coalition in the area, which is ongoing despite a formal US statement declaring defeat over ISIS.

According to local sources, a notable number of ISIS members is still hiding in a network of caves and underground tunnels in the area.

Besides this, ISIS cells within the SDF-held area have recently carried out a series of attacks killing at least 10 SDF members near the town of Diban and in the area of the Omar oil fields, on the eastern bank of the Euphrates.

On March 28, General Commander of the SDF Ferhat Abdi Sahin claimed that the group, which includes the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) and their all-female faction, the Woman’s Protection Units (YPJ), had made a decision to capture the area of Afrin from Turkish forces.

“We are preparing and making arrangements in order to liberate Afrin … Because this is a military matter, everyone should know that when the time is suitable, the liberation phase will begin,” he said in an interview with Sterk TV.

Currently, the SDF has no land route to Afrin from northeastern Syria while YPG and YPJ control only a few positions to south and southeast of the area. Therefore, SDF statements regarding the military advance on Afrin should are just a political move designed in an attempt to buy support of the Syrian population. The group, which deeply relies on the foreign support to control northeastern Syria, is currently facing notable problems with the control over the Arab-populated areas seized from ISIS.

While the SDF has no real chances to capture Afrin itself, YPG and YPJ cells conduct attacks on Turkey-led forces on a regular basis. On March 31, a Turkish service member was killed and one was injured an attack by Kurdish rebels, according to Turkey’s Ministry of National Defense.

Following the announcement, the Turkish military artillery fired more than 100 shells at YPG positions in the towns of Tatmrsh and Shuargha. No casualties as a result of the shelling were reported.

The US-led coalition and its proxies from the so-called Revolutionary Commando Army continue to prevent evacuation of civilians from the Rukban refugee camp. They even held a live-fire drill involving High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems near the US garrison of al-Tanf located in the same area.

The situation in the Idlib de-escalation zone remains unchanged. The ceasefire regime is violated almost on a daily basis. Firefights and artillery dues are especially intense in northern Hama and southern Idlib.

On March 28, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu came with a new statement claiming that his  country will continue working against Iranian presence in Syria. The statement shows that the Israeli military is set to continue its military campaign in Syria.

In own turn, the US did not limit its recent actions in support of Tel Aviv to recognizing the Golan Heights as Israeli territory. It also demanded the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) to withdraw from the separation line area established in the framework of the 1974 Disengagement Agreement. US-Israeli efforts to force the SAA to do so could easily turn the Golan Heights into a new hot point and fuel the Syrian conflict further.

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الأميركيون يناورون بفلول داعش والعراق منصة متجدّدة

مارس 28, 2019

محمد صادق الحسيني

لا يزال الأميركيون غير قادرين على تجرّع كأس الهزيمة المرة بسهولة، ويسعون بجهد بالغ للإيحاء بأنهم لم ينكسروا بعد رغم تصدّع استراتيجياتهم الواحدة بعد الأخرى..!

وفي هذا السياق فقد قامت قبل عدة أشهر غرفة عمليات التنف الأميركية بإصدار نداء لعناصر التنظيمات المسلحة، بمختلف تسمياتها، في منطقة التنف مطالبة إياها بالالتحاق بوحدات التشكيلات الكردية، التي يسمّيها الأميركيون ووسائل الإعلام العميله بقوات قسد، وذلك تحت عنوان مقاتلة داعش في شرق الفرات، كما ادّعى البيان الأميركي آنذاك…!

وعلى الرغم من الحملة الإعلامية الواسعة، التي أطلقتها آلة الإعلام الأميركية والإعلام العميل التابع لها، حول ما قيل إنه هجوم بدأته قوات «قسد» على جيوب داعش شرق الفرات وما أشيع حول عمليات إسناد جوي أميركي وغربي لها، فإنّ ما حصل لم يعدُ كونه عملية هوليودية أميركية هدفت إلى ما يلي:

1 ـ تنفيذ أكبر عدد ممكن من الغارات الجوية في أرياف دير الزّور والبوكمال الشرقية بهدف تدمير ما تبقى من البنى التحتية السورية المدنية في تلك المناطق.

2 ـ إخلاء مسلحي داعش من شرق الفرات، سواء بواسطة المروحيات العسكرية الأميركية، التي نفذت مئات عمليات الإخلاء الجوي لهؤلاء العناصر خلال الأشهر الثمانية الماضية، أو عبر فتح ممرات آمنة لهم والسماح لهم بالانتقال من شريط الباغوز/ هجين الى القواعد الأميركية في منطقة الشدادي والرميلان، في محافظة الحسكة، وتجميعهم في معسكرات يخضعون فيها لبرامج إعادة تدريب وتسليح، تمهيداً لإعادة انتشارهم في مواقع جديدة، سواء في سورية أو العراق.

3 ـ كما هدفت تمثيلية هوليوود، التي نفذتها القيادة المركزية الأميركية في الدوحة CENTCOM، إلى كسب المزيد من الوقت، لتنظيم عمليات إعادة انتشار القوات الأميركية الواسعة النطاق، في كلّ من سورية والعراق والأردن وفلسطين المحتلة.

وقد قامت هذه القيادة وفِي هذا الإطار بما يلي:

أ ـ تقليص عديد قواة قواعدها ونقاط ارتكازها العسكرية شرق الفرات السوري، ضمن خطة تكتيكية لتنفيذ عملية إعادة الانتشار المُشار إليها أعلاه.

ب ـ تعزيز تواجد قواتها في كافة قواعدها في العراق، تحت حجة استقدام قوات أميركية لـ «حماية» القوات المنسحبة من سورية. وهو أمر لا يثير الكثير من الريبة، بل الكثير من الضحك لأنّ المراقبين لما يجري ليسوا بالمغفلين، كي يصدّقوا أنّ حماية انسحاب كتيبة عسكرية، من أيّ مكان في العالم، يحتاج إلى فرقة كاملة 15 ألف جندي لتأمينه…!

ونحن نتحدث هنا عن قوات أميركية محمولة جواً تابعة للفرقة 82 والفرقة 101 الأميركيتين، والتي تمّ نشرها في قاعدة كركوك وعين الأسد الجويتين وفي قاعدة الرمادي وقاعدة التنف الأميركية الشهيرة.

ج ـ وإذا ما نظر المراقب الى مواقع هذه القواعد الأميركية، في سورية والعراق، فلن يكون من العسير عليه اكتشاف الهدف من تواجدها، ألا وهو السيطرة على محاور الطرق الدولية، التي تربط بغداد بكلّ من طهران ودمشق وعمّان، وذلك بهدف قطع التواصل الجغرافي البرّي بين هذه العواصم عند الضرورة. الأمر الذي قد يحصل بصورة مباشرة، عبر تحرّك وحدات قتالية أميركية للسيطرة على قواطع بعينها من هذه المحاور، او من خلال تحريك عصابات فلول داعش وغيرها من العصابات المسلحة، التي تقوم القيادة المركزية الأميركية، عبر غرف عملياتها الميدانية في عين الأسد والتنف، بإعادة نشرها في غرب الأنبار باتجاه الرطبة جنوباً والنخيب ووادي القذف شرقاً هذا المحور يهدّد النجف وكربلاء بشكل مباشر .

د ـ ولا يخفى على أحد أنّ كلّ هذه الإجراءات جميعها تهدف الى التأثير على قدرات حلف المقاومة من جهة وتنفيذ عملية مشاغلة، أو حرب استنزاف طويلة الأمد، لقواته سواء في سورية أو العراق. أيّ أنّ هذا التكتيك هو نفسه الذي اتبعه البنتاغون في فيتنام، إبان الحرب الأميركية عليها في ستينات القرن الماضي، إذ عمدت الى فتنمة الحرب لتخفيف الضغط العسكري، من قبل ثوار الفيتكونغ الفيتناميين، على قواتها العسكرية في فيتنام الجنوبية.

وكما كان الفشل والهزيمة الساحقة هو مصير القوة العسكرية الأميركية في فيتنام آنذاك فإنّ مصير قواتها وقواعدها في الدول العربية لن يختلف كثيراً عن مصيرها في فيتنام، حيث سيأتي اليوم الذي سيفرّون فيه من بلداننا ومعهم مستوطنو القاعدة العسكرية الأميركية في فلسطين المحتلة والمسماة إسرائيل ، وذلك عندما تحين الساعة الصفر لتنفيذ المرحلة الأخيرة من الهجوم الاستراتيجي الذي تنفذه قوات حلف المقاومة على مراحل والذي لن يتوقف الا بدخول القدس وتحريرها تحريراً تاماً من الاحتلال ومستوطنيه. وما قيام نتن ياهو بقطع زيارته لواشنطن والعودة مسرعاً الى فلسطين المحتلة وطلبه المستعجل من القيادة المصرية للتوسط سريعاً مع فصائل المقاومة الفلسطينية في قطاع غزة لوقف إطلاق النار، الا دليل قاطع على عجز رئيس العصابة هذا وجيشه عن مواجهة أيّ هجوم محتمل لقوات حلف المقاومة في المستقبل…!

4 ـ أما الهدف الآخر من التمثيلية الأميركيه شرق الفرات، والتي قلنا إنها هدفت لكسب الوقت لتنفيذ عمليات إعادة انتشار، سواء على الصعيد التكتيكي، كما أوضحنا أعلاه، او على الصعيد الاستراتيجي كما سنوضح الآن.

إذ قامت القيادة المركزية الأميركية في الدوحة CENTCOM، قبل عدة أسابيع، بنشر المنظومة الصاروخيه المضادة للصواريخ، المسماة ثاد THAAD، في قواعد جيش الاحتلال «الإسرائيلي» في جنوب ووسط فلسطين المحتلة. وهو الإجراء الذي لا يمكن اعتباره موجهاً ضدّ إيران فحسب، وإنما ضدّ روسيا وبشكل مباشر ومكمّل لمثيلات هذا النظام الذي نشرته الولايات المتحده في كلّ من رومانيا وبلغاريا قبل حوالي عام.

5 ـ كما انّ القيادة العسكرية الأميركية، ومن خلال تعزيز قواعدها في العراق، خاصة قاعدة عين الأسد، تدرس حالياً إمكانية نقل عدد من قاذفات القنابل الاستراتيجية الأميركية، من طراز /ب 52/ المنتشرة في بريطانيا، الى قاعدة عين الأسد العراقية، كي تكون هذه القاذفات مكملاً للأسطول الجوي الاستراتيجي الأميركي الموجود في قاعدة جزيرة دييغو غارسيا Diego Garcia الأميركية، الواقعة جنوب الهند في المحيط الهندي، وذلك في مواجهة كلا من الصين وروسيا على المدى الاستراتيجي، وهذا بالضبط هو جوهر كلام الرئيس الأميركي حول تركيز قواته في العراق من أجل «مراقبة إيران» وتنفيذ عمليات عسكرية في سوريّة عند الضرورة. أيّ انه يسعى الى تعزيز قواته، من أجل تقطيع أوصال حلف المقاومة، تمهيداً للتفرّد بكلّ ساحة من ساحاته على حدة، وصولاً الى ضرب إيران وإنهاء نظام الجمهورية الإسلامية في هذا البلد. الأمر الذي سيؤدّي، إذا ما تمّ ذلك حسب الخطط الأميركية لا سمح الله، الى انقلاب في ميزان القوى الاستراتيجي، وذلك من خلال وصول القوات الأميركية الى الحدود الجنوبية لروسيا واقترابها من غرب الصين، بكلّ ما يعنيه ذلك من تهديد استراتيجي لهذين البلدين الصديقين للدول المعادية لسيطرة القطب الأميركي الواحد على مقدرات شعوب العالم.

6 ـ بناء على ما تقدم، وبالنظر الى استمرار المحاولات الأميركية الرامية الى سلخ العراق كلياً عن محور المقاومة، تلك المحاولات التي كان آخرها القمة الثلاثية في القاهرة، والتي تمّت بطلب أميركي مباشر، لكلّ من الأردن ومصر، بإقناع رئيس الوزراء العراقي بالانتقال الى المحور السعودي مقابل تكفل السعودية بتكاليف إعادة إعمار العراق وتعويض كلا من مصر والسعودية والأردن عن مشاريع إعادة الإعمار في سورية بمثيلاتها في العراق.

لذا فإنّ أولى الأولويات، في مواجهة هذه المخططات الأميركية في المنطقة، كما يرى المتابعون من أهل الشأن تتمثل في ما يلي:

ـ العمل بكلّ الوسائل على منع الحكومة العراقية من الانزلاق للانخراط في هذا المخطط الأميركي التدميري.

ـ مواجهة التحرك الاستخباراتي السعودي الأردني مع رؤساء العشائر في غرب وجنوب غرب الأنبار.

ـ الحذر الشديد من التواصل القائم بين تيار عراقي معلوم الحال والسلطات الأردنية…!

ويمكرون ويمكر الله والله خير الماكرين.

بعدنا طيبين قولوا الله…

SYRIAN WAR REPORT – MARCH 25, 2019: US DECLARED 15TH VICTORY OVER ISIS SINCE DECEMBER

South Front

On March 23, the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) released a statement stressing that ISIS had been fully defeated in Syria, including the area of the Euphrates Valley. The SDF operation against ISIS in the Euphrates Valley lasted for over six months. In the course of the battle, thousands of ISIS fighters were killed or surrendered to US-backed forces.

At the same time, according to the SDF, about 11,000 of its members had been killed since the start of its campaign against ISIS a few years ago. The SDF said that during the same period it captured 52,000km2 and rescued nearly “5,000,000 people”.

Additionally, the US-backed group once again demanded the Damascus government to recognize its authority over the captured part of northeastern Syria. This signals that the SDF-Damascus negotiations have not led to notable progress so far.

On March 22, the US declared a full victory over ISIS. White House spokesperson Sarah Sanders told reporters that acting U.S. Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan briefed President Donald Trump and told him that ISIS no longer holds any territory in Syria.

At a conservative estimate, this was the 15th time when the US declared victory over ISIS since December 2018. However, it seems this is not the end. A day later, on March 23, Joseph Votel Commander of U.S. Central Command, recalled the ISIS defeat in a separate statement.

“While our collective efforts liberated more than seven million civilians from Daesh’s brutality, we recognize the fight is not over.  We remain committed to continuing our efforts to pursue and destroy remnants of Daesh, which are attempting to live on as an insurgency.  We will continue our collective fight to bring about the enduring defeat of ISIS,” Votel said.

In other words, the US military will continue to keep troops in Syria pretending that they are needed there to combat the terrorism.

Since the first announcement on December 19, the US troops withdrawal decision has already faced 7 transformation in meaning, timeline and scale. According to experts, the main issue faced by the US is the need to compose public statements and real actions, which often contradict each others.

On the other hand, it may be a kind of sophisticated disinformation campaign against US competitors, to confuse them in a sort of psy-operation. After all, the enemy can’t know what the US is doing, when it doesn’t know what it is doing itself.

At the same time, the Israeli military and security forces have started preparing for a possible unrest in the occupied Golan Heights if Washington moves forward with its idea to recognize Israeli sovereignty over them. “We are preparing for the possibility of tension in the northern Golan Heights,” the Israeli military said in a statement on March 23, without providing any additional details. Israel’s Channel 13 news said that snipers have been deployed in the region and riot control measures, such as tear gas and rubber bullets, have been supplied to forces stationed in the area.

Several U.S. Senators, led by Lindsey Graham and Ted Cruz, are already working to pass a new bill in the Senate and the House to recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights. The bill would also promote the U.S. conducting “joint projects” with Israel in the Golan Heights, including “industrial research and development.”

This bill if it’s accepted will likely lead to the growth of tensions between Israel and other regional states. So, Tel Aviv is preparing for a new round of escalation in the region.

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Israel becomes adjusted to the American withdrawal “but in case Al-Assad does not emerge victorious «إسرائيل» لاحتواء الانسحاب الأميركي: «المهمّ ألا يخرج الأسد بشارة النصر»

Israel becomes adjusted to the American withdrawal “but in case Al-Assad does not emerge victorious

فبراير 15, 2019

Written by Nasser Kandil,

Dozens of reports and studies issued in Washington and Tel Aviv meet on one result regarding the decision of the American withdrawal; the Syrian President is close to his victory and the reaping of the fruits of his steadfastness. While Israel lives its worst situations since its birth as an entity seventy years ago. Veteran Middle East correspondent Elijah Magnier in Moon of Alabama site the most expanding site summarized the forthcoming scene by saying that “the United States is leaving, and the Arab Gulf states are coming back to Damascus to balance against Turkey. The Kurds will stay with Syria, and Idlib will be liberated”. He concluded “Syria has advanced precise missiles that can hit any building in Israel. Assad also has an air defense system he would have never dreamt of before 2011 thanks to Israel’s continuous violation of its airspace and its defiance of Russian authority. Hezbollah has constructed bases for its long and medium range precise missiles in the mountains, and has created a bond with Syria that it could never have established if not for the war. Iran has established a strategic brotherhood with Syria thanks to its role in defeating the regime change plan and an exceptional bond between Syria and Iraq has been built”. He concluded “The anti-Israel axis has never been stronger than it is today. That is the result of 2011-2018 war imposed on Syria.”

The Economist and the American Interest magazines met on reading the results of the American withdrawal. The US journalist Leon Hadar started his article published in the “National Interest magazine” saying “It is possible to understand the almost hysterical reactions among members of the Israeli political establishment and its media outlets to President Donald Trump’s decision to evacuate 2,000 American soldiers from Syria. Israel would now be left alone without American protection. The Economist magazine said that it did not take long for America’s decision to withdraw from Syria to be felt across the Middle East. The Syrian regime, along with its Russian and Iranian allies, rejoiced. Arab states hurried to make up with Syria’s leader, Bashar al-Assad. The Arab League will soon debate his return to the fold. America’s Kurdish allies, crying betrayal, urged him to help fend off a looming Turkish invasion. Israel scrambled to contain the damage.”

How did Israel react to contain the damage is the fundamental question. The answer is through the dual round of the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the US National Security Advisor John Bolton to the region countries. This dual movement has one title “It is important that Al-Assad does not emerge victorious and Israel defeated”. Therefore, the race towards Damascus among the Arabs, Kurds, and Turkey should not continue. It is required to coordinate the withdrawal in a way that ensures the smoothness of the successive steps to maintain a kind of Turkish-Kurdish-Arab integration that ensures that Syria will not emerge victorious, thus it averts Israel the bitter defeat.

Pompeo and Bolton suggested that “the Arabs should not return Syria immediately to the Arab League, but to set conditions, that the return must seem as Syria’s compliance to Arab conditions”. The quick surprising response was from Egypt which hosted the Head of the National Security in Syria the Major General Ali Al Mamlouk few days ago. The speech of the Egyptian Foreign Minister about conditions that must be met by Syria for the acceleration of the course of the political solution is practically a meaningless invitation, because the future of the political process on the parallel axis is governed by Turkey, therefore Egypt and Saudi Arabia’s feeling of danger of Turkey’s uniqueness in Syria must encourage them to open up to Syria. The only result is to raise doubts about the usefulness to respond to the efforts of openness. The public opinion in Syria refuses every return to the Arab League which was a partner in the conspiracy against Syria. It doubts the usefulness of tolerance and not setting conditions for the return as public apology and the compensation of the devastation resulted from the Arab position against Syria.

On the other hand, the Kurds have to stop giving offers to the Syrian government to avoid a Turkish military action that Washington ensures that it does not happen. While the Turks must stop attacking the areas under the Kurdish control in exchange for Washington’s ensuring of their managing the Syrian opposition issue in Geneva path and supporting the groups affiliated to Turkey in Idlib. Bolton succeeded with the Kurdish leaderships, but he lost in Turkey, since Turkey has ensured the issue of the opposition from Moscow. Its groups in Idlib are falling in the face of Al Nusra front; therefore the only compensation is a role on the border areas at the expense of the armed Kurdish groups. Bolton lost because he is dealing with a country in the NATO and it cares of it interests, while Pompeo succeeded because he deals with governments that do not dare to put their interests above the US and the Israeli interests.

Certainly, the outcome will not be as the Israeli’s wish. The Arab rulers may lose the opportunity to return to Syria through their League except under Syria’s conditions. The Syrian army will enter Idlib and the Eastern of the Euphrates, while the Arab rulers at the Arab League will cry the loss of their role as their ancestors cried the loss of the rule of Andalusia, they are crying as the children for their role which they do not defend it as men.

Translated by Lina Shehadeh,

«إسرائيل» لاحتواء الانسحاب الأميركي: «المهمّ ألا يخرج الأسد بشارة النصر»

يناير 9, 2019

ناصر قنديل

– المهمة التي جاء بها وزير الخارجية الأميركية مايك بومبيو إلى المنطقة واضحة كما نظيرتها زيارة شريكه مستشار الأمن القومي جون بولتون، فقد خلف قرار الانسحاب من سورية زلزالاً في المنطقة عنوانه الهرولة إلى دمشق، وحفلت الصحف والمواقع الأميركية بالتحليلات التي تقول إن صورة الرئيس السوري يرفع شارة النصر باتت قريبة وإن الخطير هو أن حلفاء واشنطن الذين قاتلوه سيعودون إليه تائبين بمسكون بيده وهو يعلن النصر على حرب هم من خاضها ضدّه ومن موّلها، وأن «إسرائيل» حليفة كل هؤلاء لا مكان لها في دمشق رغم العروض الكثيرة، وأن كل ما حولها سيكون قاتماً، وخياراتها محدودة، وهي عاجزة عن الحرب ومرفوضة في السلم، وها هي تنتظر الساعة التي ستبقى فيها وحيدة ومحاصرة، فكانت الجولة المزدوجة محاولة لتغيير الصورة، لكن دون أن يحمل الموفدان بأيديهم ما يغيّر الصورة، فقط حملوا وعوداً هي بمثابة شيكات موعودة بالصرف، تحت شعار ثقوا بأن أميركا لن تترككم، وهي لم تنهزم.

– فشل بولتون على الجبهة التركية الكردية، كان واضحاً لأن الأكراد والأتراك لا يتعاملون بالشيكات، ولا يتاجرون إلا بالمال النقدي، ولذلك سأل الأكراد بولتون من سيضمن بغيابكم عدم مهاجمتنا من الأتراك، فما كان عنده من جواب سوى الدعوة لانتظار لقائه مع الرئيس التركي رجب أردوغان، وعندما سأله الأتراك من سيضمن عدم قيام الأكراد بتأمين بنية تحتية لمن يستهدف الأمن التركي قال لهم إن عليهم أن ينتظروا لقاءه بالرئيس التركي، فطار اللقاء وعاد بولتون ومعه شيكاته التي لم يقبضها منه أحد.

– في القاهرة وجد بومبيو فرصة توزيع شيكاته، فقال إن حكومته لن تسمح لإيران بالبقاء في سورية، ولم يسأله أحد كيف تفعلون ذلك بعد انسحابكم وقد فشلتم فيه قبل الانسحاب، وكان أول شيك بدون رصيد، وتابع أن حكومته ستمنع حزب الله من الاحتفاظ بترسانة صاروخية تهدد «إسرائيل»، ولم يسأله الحاضرون كيف سيحقق ذلك، وقد فشل بتحقيقه وهو يملك قوة في المنطقة وسيفعله بعد سحبها، وكان شك ثانٍ بدون رصيد. واضاف أن حكومته ستضمن تفوق «إسرائيل» عسكرياً، ولم يقل كيف وقد وضعت واشنطن بتصرف «إسرائيل» آخر جديد ترسانتها العسكرية وفشلت «إسرائيل» في اختبارات القوة مع لبنان وسورية وغزة، وكان شك ثالث بدون رصيد. وتابع بومبيو أن حكومته لن تسمح لإيران أن تستمر في التمدّد بنفوذها في المنطقة، وهم يرون تسوية اليمن تتقدم ويثبت فيها من قالوا عنهم مصدر النفوذ الإيراني كشركاء في مستقبل اليمن، شك رابع بدون رصيد. وتابع بومبيو توزيع شيكاته، والسامعون يعلمون أنها دون رصيد، ويعلمون أنهم سيسدونها من حساباتهم لاحقاً، لأن الرصيد الوحيد الذي تدفع منه واشنطن هو رصيد جماعاتها العرب.

– يرحل بومبيو وقد حقق نجاحاً وحيداً هو إحراج مصر بموقف سلبي من سورية وهي لم تكد ترمّم ما تسبّب به ارتضاؤها السير وفق الروزنامة الأميركية، وهو لم يمنح مصر لا شراكة في الحلّ في اليمن ولا دوراً في التسوية السورية وقد فوّض الدور لتركيا، التي تصفها مصر بالخطر الأول على الأمن القومي العربي.

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The US Syria Withdrawal and the Myth of the Islamic State’s “Return”

February 7, 2019 (Tony Cartalucci – NEO) – At face value – the notion that the US occupation of Syria is key to preventing the return of the so-called “Islamic State” (ISIS) to Syrian territory is unconvincing.

Regions west of the Euphrates River where ISIS had previously thrived have since been permanently taken back by the Syrian Arab Army and its Russian and Iranian allies – quite obviously without any support from the United States – and in fact – despite Washington’s best efforts to hamper Damascus’ security operations.

Damascus and its Russian and Iranian allies have demonstrated that ISIS can be permanently defeated. With ISIS supply lines running out of NATO-territory in Turkey and from across the Jordanian and Iraqi border cut off – Syrian forces have managed to sustainably suppress the terrorist organization’s efforts to reestablish itself west of the Euphrates.

The very fact that ISIS persists in the sole region of the country currently under US occupation raises many questions about not only the sincerity or lack thereof of  Washington’s efforts to confront and defeat ISIS – but over whether or not Washington is deliberately sustaining the terrorist organization’s fighting capacity specifically to serve as a pretext for America’s continued – and illegal – occupation of Syrian territory.

The US Department of Defense Says It Best 

A recent report (entire PDF version here) published by the US Department of Defense (DoD) Inspector General himself would claim:

According to the DoD, while U.S.-backed Syrian forces have continued the fight to retake the remaining ISIS strongholds in Syria, ISIS remains a potent force of battle-hardened and well-disciplined fighters that “could likely resurge in Syria” absent continued counterterrorism pressure. According to the DoD, ISIS is still able to coordinate offensives and counter-offensives, as well as operate as a decentralized insurgency.

The report also claims:

Currently, ISIS is regenerating key functions and capabilities more quickly in Iraq than in Syria, but absent sustained [counterterrorism] pressure, ISIS could likely resurge in Syria within six to twelve months and regain limited territory in the [Middle Euphrates River Valley (MERV)].  

By “continued counterterrorism pressure,” the report specifically means continued US occupation of both Syria and Iraq as well as continued military and political support for proxy militants the US is using to augment its occupation in Syria.

The report itself notes that the last stronghold of ISIS exists specifically in territory under defacto US occupation or protection east of the Euphrates River where Syrian forces have been repeatedly attacked – both by US-backed proxies and by US forces themselves.

The very fact that the report mentions ISIS is “regenerating key functions and capabilities more quickly in Iraq than in Syria” despite the US planning no withdrawal from Iraq seems to suggest just how either impotent or genuinely uninterested the US is in actually confronting and defeating ISIS. As to why – ISIS serves as the most convincing pretext to justify Washington’s otherwise unjustified and continued occupation of both Syria and Iraq.

US DoD’s Own Report Exposes Weakness, Illegitimacy of “Kurdish Independence” 

The report is all but an admission that US-backed militants in Syria lack the capability themselves to overcome the threat of ISIS without constant support from Washington. That the report claims ISIS is all but defeated but could “resurge” within a year without US backing – highlights the weakness and illegitimacy of these forces and their political ambitions of “independence” they pursue in eastern Syria.

A Kurdish-dominated eastern Syria which lacks the military and economic capabilities to assert control over the region without the perpetual presence of and backing of US troops – only further undermines the credibility of Washington’s Kurdish project east of the Euphrates.

The Syrian government – conversely – has demonstrated the ability to reassert control over territory and prevent the return of extremist groups – including ISIS.

Were the United States truly dedicated to the destruction of ISIS – it is clear that it would support forces in the region not only capable of achieving this goal – but who have so far been the only forces in the region to do so.

ISIS as a Pretext for Perpetual US Occupation 

In reality – the US goal in both Syria and Iraq is to undermine the strength and unity of both while incrementally isolating and encircling neighboring Iran. The US itself deliberately created ISIS and the many extremist groups fighting alongside it.

It was in a leaked 2012 US Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) memo that revealed the US and its allies’ intent to create what it called at the time a “Salafist principality” in eastern Syria. The memo would explicitly state that (emphasis added):

If the situation unravels there is the possibility of establishing a declared or undeclared Salafist principality in eastern Syria (Hasaka and Der Zor), and this is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want, in order to isolate the Syrian regime, which is considered the strategic depth of the Shia expansion (Iraq and Iran).

On clarifying who these supporting powers were, the DIA memo would state:

The West, Gulf countries, and Turkey support the opposition; while Russia, China, and Iran support the regime.

The “Salafist” (Islamic) “principality” (State) would indeed be created precisely in eastern Syria as US policymakers and their allies had set out to do. It would be branded the “Islamic State” and be used first to wage a more muscular proxy war against Damascus – and when that failed – to invite US military forces to intervene in the conflict directly.

Several years onward, and with the abject failure of the US proxy war in Syria all but complete, the shattered remnants of ISIS are sheltered exclusively in regions now under the defacto protection of US forces and are being used as a pretext to delay or altogether prevent any significant withdrawal of US forces.

While many see the announcement of a US troop withdrawal from Syria by US President Donald Trump and attempts to backtrack away from the withdrawal as a struggle between the White House and the Pentagon – it is much more likely the result of a collapsing foreign policy vacillating between bad options and worse options.

The inability – so far – of Israeli airstrikes to even penetrate Syrian air defenses let alone cause any significant damage on the ground in Syria has further highlighted Western impotence and complicated Washington’s plans moving onward into the future.

Turkey’s teetering policy regarding Syria and the prospects of it being drawn deeper into Syrian territory to“take over” the US occupation – as described by the DoD  Inspector General’s report – will only further overextend and mire Turkish forces, creating vulnerabilities that can be easily exploited by everyone sitting at the negotiation tables opposite Ankara.

It is still uncertain what Ankara will do, but as an initially willing partner in US-engineered proxy war in Syria – it is now left with its own unpalatable options of bad and worse.

It is interesting that even the DoD Inspector General’s report mentions ISIS’ continued fighting capacity depends on foreign fighters and “external donations” – yet never explores the obvious state sponsorship required to sustain both. The DoD report and US actions themselves have all but approached openly defending the remnants of ISIS.

While the prospect of violently overthrowing the Syrian government seems to have all but passed, the US is still trying to justify its presence in Syria at precisely the junctions ISIS and other terrorist organizations are moving fighters and weapons into the country through – in northern Syria, in southeast Syria near the Iraqi border, and at Al Tanf near the Iraqi-Jordanian border.

Were the US to seek to consolidate its proxies and initiate a “resurge” of ISIS – the very scenario it claims it seeks to prevent – its control of these vital entry points into Syria and Iraq would be paramount. Allowing them to fall into Syrian and Iraqi forces’ hands to be secured and cut off would – ironically – spell the end of ISIS in both nations.

While Washington’s words signal a desire to defeat ISIS – its actions are the sole obstruction between ISIS and its absolute defeat.

Tony Cartalucci, Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazine New Eastern Outlook”.

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