20.02.2020 Scott Ritter
Fighters from the Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham terrorist group, backed by Turkish forces, carried out an attack against the Syrian Army that was doomed from the start. The main question now is, why?
An explosive situation is developing in Idlib province where the Syrian army is conducting a major offensive that has triggered a harsh response from Turkey. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is threatening to attack Syrian forces anywhere in the country if the Syrian government does not stop all military operations in the so-called Idlib “de-escalation […]
In light of the messages conveyed on behalf of Syria by the President of the Arab Republic of Egypt, H.E.Mr. Hosni Mubarak and by the Iranian Foreign Minister H.E.Mr. Kamal Kharrazi on behalf of the Iranian President H.E.Mr. Seyid Mohammed Khatemi and by the Foreign Minister of the Arab Republic of Egypt H.E. Mr. Amr Moussa, the Turkish and Syrian delegations whose names are in the attached list (annex 1) have met in Adana on 19 and 20 October 1998 to discuss the issue of cooperation in (…)
Quelle: The Adana Security Agreement
Full Dokument in english and german attached:
A bird’s eye view of the vineyard
Revisiting the win-win-win-win outcome in Syria
[this analysis was written for the Unz Review]
In his recent article “The Road to Damascus: How the Syria War Was Won” Pepe Escobar summarized the outcome of the war in Syria in the following 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.”
This otherwise excellent summary overlooks two out of three members of the “Axis of Kindness”, including Israel and the KSA. Of course, later in his analysis Pepe does address these actors, and also includes Kuwait. Furthermore, a thorough discussion of what took place would have to also include China, Hezbollah, Yemen and the EU (well, the ones that matter, the UK and France. The rest are just voiceless colonies of the USA).
Most of the analyses of what just took place focused on the “what”. I will try to look into the “why” and the “how” of what just happened in Syria. Still, I don’t propose to make such a detailed analysis, but I do want to re-classify the actors in a somewhat different way: by their relative strength.
|The “Axis of Kindness”:United States+CENTCOM+NATO+Israel+KSA||by far the most powerful actor almost by any measure: a bigger military force then all the other actors combined (at least when looked at regionally), huge economic power (the dollar is still THE #1 currency on the planet), total control of the region (via CENTCOM) and quasi unconditional support from Europe (via NATO). Finally, Israel does pack a powerful military punch. This actor has only ONE weakness, but more about that later.|
|Iran+Hezbollah+Houthi+Shia forces in Iraq||in regional terms, Iran is the local superpower which can even successfully defy the Axis of Kindness forces (and has done so since the Islamic Revolution of 1979).|
|Russia+Syria||I placed Russia and Syria in the same group and I could have added Iran, but since I believe that Russia objectively has more power over the Syrian government than Iran, I think that it is important to put Russia and Syria together simply because Damascus cannot say “no” to Moscow, but could do so, at least in theory, to Tehran. Finally, Russia and Iran agree on the main issues, but have different visions for the future of the Middle-East. Thus this is another reason to look at them separately, even if not necessarily in opposition to each other. In military terms, Russia is very strong, then very vulnerable, then very strong again, it all depends on your level of analysis (see below)|
|Turkey+pro-Turkish factions in Syria||That one is a difficult one to classify. On one hand, Turkey does not have any regional allies (the Ottoman Empire left only hatred and deep resentment in its former colonies). For a while, the pro-Turkish factions, which were liberally showered with weapons, money, training, logistical support, etc, by the US and the KSA, but eventually these factions grew weaker and weaker until they reached a state of advanced impotence leaving Turkey pretty much alone (we will also look into that below).|
|The Kurds||For a while, they sure looked potentially powerful: not only did the Kurds have a pretty big military power (albeit mostly one restricted to infantry), they had the support of Axis of Kindness and, especially, Israel which saw any form of Independent Kurdistan as a great tool to weaken and even threaten Iraq, Turkey, Iran and Syria. Furthermore, the Kurds happened to control a lot of oil rich regions and they could always retreat in the mountainous areas if needed.|
|The Takfiris (i.e. the many and constantly name-changing franchises of what used to be called “al-Qaeda”).||In reality, the Takfiris really ought to be classified together with the Axis of Kindness since they have been the foot-soldiers/cannon-fodder for the AngloZionist since the 1980s (from Afghanistan then to modern day Syria). Nonetheless, we will consider them as distinct from the rest of the Axis of Kindness forces.|
Of course, and just like any other taxonomy, this one is necessarily somewhat subjective and others might use different criteria or categories. Now let’s look at what I believe is the key to the control of the entire region: the ability to place “boots on the ground” or the lack of such an ability: (…)
Press statement following Russian-Turkish talks
President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr President, ladies and gentlemen,
We thank the President of Turkey for accepting our offer made during a recent telephone conversation, and today he and representatives of his delegation arrived in Sochi to discuss the developments in the Syrian Arab Republic, including in the northeast, beyond the Euphrates.
Mr Erdogan gave a detailed explanation of the goals of the Turkish military operation along the Syrian border. We have noted many times that we understand Turkey’s desire to take measures that would guarantee its national security.
We share Turkey’s concerns about the growing threat of terrorism and ethnic and religious disputes in that region. We believe these disputes and separatist sentiments have been fueled artificially from the outside.
It is important to prevent members of terrorist organisations, such as ISIS, whose militants have been taken prisoners by Kurd military groups and try to break free, from taking advantage of the actions of the Turkish military units.
Syria must be liberated from illegal foreign military presence. We believe that the only way to achieve strong and long-lasting stability in Syria is to respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country. This is our principled position, and we have discussed it with the President of Turkey.
It is important that our Turkish partners share this approach. The Turks and the Syrians will have to protect peace on the border together, which would be impossible without mutually respectful cooperation between the two countries.
In addition to this, a broad dialogue between the Syrian government and the Kurds living in northeastern Syria must be launched. It is clear that all the rights and interests of the Kurds as an integral part of the multi-ethnic Syrian nation can only be fully considered and fulfilled via such an inclusive dialogue.
Of course, during our talks with the President of Turkey, we discussed further steps to promote the peaceful political process in Syria, which the Syrians will conduct within the Constitutional Committee in cooperation with the United Nations.
The guarantors of the Astana format have meticulously worked on it for many years.
We believe the situation on the ground must not prevent the long-awaited launch of the committee in Geneva next week – October 29–30.
Naturally, we also discussed humanitarian issues. We consider it necessary to continue helping Syrian refugees to return home, which will substantially alleviate the socioeconomic burden shouldered by the countries that agreed to take in Syrians. First and foremost this applies to the Republic of Turkey.
We urge the international community, primarily relevant UN agencies, to be more active in rendering humanitarian aid to all Syrians going home, without any discrimination, politicisation and preconditions. We also used today’s meeting to discuss current bilateral issues.
We noted with satisfaction our growing trade. Last year it increased by 16 percent. We exchanged views on what to do in the near future and expressed confidence that the implementation of the agreements on settlements and payments in national currencies signed in early October will also facilitate the further growth of trade.
We spoke about an important document that provides not only for more active use of the ruble and lira but also broader acceptance of the Russian Mir cards in Turkey and the connection of Turkish banks and companies to the Bank of Russia’s financial messaging system. I believe this is yet another step forward on expanding tourist exchanges.
We spoke about the whole package of our relations, including major projects that we are actively and successfully developing. We are also deepening our military-technical cooperation. I would like to note that cross-years of culture and tourism are held with success in Russia and Turkey.
In conclusion, I would like to thank the President of Turkey and all our friends and colleagues for a business-like and sincere conversation. We intend to further develop our cooperation in all areas on the principles of neighbourliness and respect for each other’s interests.
I am pleased to say that as a result of lengthy and intensive work we managed to make decisions that the foreign ministers of our countries will voice after our statements.
I think these decisions are very important, if not historic, and will allow us to settle the fairly acute situation on the Syrian-Turkish border.
* * *
After the presidents of Russia and Turkey made statements for the press, the foreign ministers of the two countries read out the text of the memorandum of understanding adopted following the Russian-Turkish talks.
February 4, 2019
Russian President Putin working to revive old treaty to bring stability to the border but Kurds stand to lose
Syrian Government Regains Control Over Country’s Northeastern Parts
Eight days ago U.S. President Donald Trump gave a green light for another Turkish invasion of Syria. We explained why that move made it inevitable for the Kurds to submit to Damascus and to let the Syrian Arab Army back into northeast Syria:
While the YPG might want to fight off a Turkish invasion they have little chance to succeed. The land is flat and the YPG forces only have light arms.There is only one solution for them. They will have to call up the Syrian government and ask it to come back into the north east. That would remove the Turkish concerns and would likely prevent further Turkish moves.
After Trump had spoken with the Turkish president Erdogan, the U.S. military removed a few of its forces from some areas near the Turkish border. The Pentagon was still under the false impression that Turkey would limit its invasion to some 5 kilometer in depth. It was obvious, as we wrote, that Turkey wanted far more: (…)
Putin is capitalizing on the chaotic retreat of the US and Turkey’s brutality toward the Kurds in order to assert Russia’s leadership.
It was not a protest movement, it was an armed insurgency integrated by US-Israeli & allied supported “jihadist” death squads. From Day One, the Islamist “freedom fighters” were supported, trained & equipped by NATO & Turkey’s High Command.