Facing defeat, US threatens to balkanise Syria
The acerbic remarks calling into question Syria’s future as a sovereign country by the CIA chief John Brennan at the Aspen Security Forum meet in Colorado on Saturday betray a very high level of US frustration over emergent ground realities. (Reuters ) The Syrian government forces, supported by Russian forces and Iranian and Hezbollah fighters have encircled the strategic northern city of Aleppo. The extremist groups supported by the US and its allies are trapped in the city.
Meanwhile, Russia has announced the opening of ‘humanitarian corridors’ to facilitate civilians to leave the city and for terrorists to surrender. The Russian announcement makes the US look very foolish regionally for having been outwitted comprehensively.
Secretary of State John Kerry thought he’d engage Moscow on the diplomatic track by discussing a ceasefire and a tantalizing proposal to undertake joint operations in Syria, while on parallel track gain respite for opposition groups to recover lost ground in Aleppo. As the recent announcement on Nusra Front snapping links with Al-Qaeda exposes, the US game-plan was to gain time to legitimise its support for Nusra and insulate the group from Russian air attacks. On their part, the Russians simply played along, while allowing joint military operations with Damascus and Tehran for capturing Aleppo to continue.
The ‘humanitarian corridor’ is a double-edged sword. The humanitarian situation is indeed critical and Russian relief supplies convey a political message of reconciliation. Having said that, the refugees coming out of Aleppo would have eyes set on European destinations and they could include terrorists, too.
The following excerpts of a commentary by FARS news agency (which is linked to the IRGC) would give a sense of the triumphalism in Tehran that the US and Saudi Arabia have lost the war:
- The foreign-backed attempt to regime change Syria and establish an ‘American Caliphate’ in the Levant has failed and is now history…. A large number of terrorists from Al-Nusra, Noureddin Al-Zinki, Free Syrian Army, Ahrar al-Sham and other groups have laid down their arms and surrendered to the Syrian Army in Aleppo province as allied forces (Syrian soldiers backed by Hezbollah, Iranian military advisors and Russian airstrikes) are racing towards Aleppo after completing siege of the city.
- President Bashar Assad has offered an amnesty for rebels who surrender within three months. The Syrian Army has dropped thousands of leaflets over militant-held districts in Aleppo, asking residents to cooperate with the military and calling on militants to surrender.
- Well, the party is clearly over and the foreign-backed terror machine seems to be a doomed project. This is the historical moment we are in… Those who backed ISIL and many other terror outfits are just going to have to own up to what Syria and Iraq have become… On the other hand, the trend lines on the War on Terror, refugee crisis, anti-Islam and anti-Muslim propaganda, failure of Western democracy and the vast militarised police and security system all point toward deep trouble in Europe as well. On refugee and humanitarian issues alone the crisis will deepen and most likely in a dramatic way. Recent terror attacks in France and Germany suggest they are woefully unprepared for what lies ahead.
The mother of all ironies will be that European countries face the spectre of terrorists knocking at the gates, who were trained and equipped by the CIA. Brennan’s threat to balkanize Syria is bravado, since any such misadventure will be opposed not only by Tehran, Damascus and Moscow but also by Ankara. (Al-Arabiya )
Tehran has announced that a delegation led by the chief of the foreign and security policy commission of Majlis, a key figure in the Iranian foreign-policy establishment, will go to Damascus on a 5-day mission to discuss with President Bashar Al-Assad the political and diplomatic trajectory ahead to garner the ‘peace dividend’. (Tehran Times )
Read a Russian commentary Four Reasons Why Liberation of Aleppo Would Mean an End to the Syrian War.
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