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Home Topics in Depth Foreign Affairs The war in Syria coming to an end: the Kurdish card still to play

  • bemildred (5282 posts)
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    The war in Syria coming to an end: the Kurdish card still to play

    Elijah J Magnier

    As the siege around the northern city of Deir al-Zour has been lifted, the war in Syria is heading towards its end, largely due to the political and military intervention of Russia and its allies. Moscow has provided full air coverage for ground forces, and diplomatic support, preventing a US-Turkish military pact against Damascus and also freezing any possible sanctions at the UN. Russia invested also in building up a substantial air force in the Levant, and supporting it with naval and special forces to show the capability of a superpower not only to alter the course of the war but also to impose peace when necessary. By being involved in Syria, Russia has disrupted the unilateral domination of the US over the Middle East since Perestroika.

    But why is the war ending? Well, simply because Russia has managed to impose three de-confliction zones, one each in the south, middle and the north of Syria. Russia is even preparing to introduce a fourth one in Idlib, a city under the total control of al-Qaeda- who were once called “moderate rebels”. Al-Qaeda – under the name of Nusra (changed to Hay’atTahrir al-Sham) – managed to impose its full control over the city : Turkey, however, believes it can “control the situation”.

    Actually al-Qaeda is preparing itself to change skin again, to create a fake split between “radicals” and “moderates”: still within al-Qaeda, however. In fact, the terrorist group is aware that the last battle would be fought between the walls of Idlib because the Syrian Army is militarily capable of regaining the control of the last occupied northern city. The train of diplomacy and negotiation is on the right track and won’t stop, with or without al-Qaeda and its plans. Today the Syrian Army and its allies are more relaxed in al-Badiya (south-east) after Jordan recalled its proxies and the US stopped supplying weapons to all anti-Damascus forces (including al-Qaeda). And once ISIS is defeated in Deir al-Zour, the remaining cities of al-Mayadeen and albu Kamal will be easy to recover.

    So Syria is heading towards ending six long years of war that resulted in hundreds of thousands killed and wounded, and created millions of refugees. However, the end of the war does not mean Syria will automatically recover its sovereignty.

    https://elijahjm.wordpress.com/2017/09/14/the-war-in-syria-coming-to-an-end-the-kurdish-card-still-to-play/amp/

    Jefferson23, iggy, bbgrunt and 2 othersbroiles, Eggar like this
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  • bemildred (5282 posts)
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    1. Russian navy fires cruise missiles into eastern Syria

    ABOARD THE ADMIRAL ESSEN (AP) — Russia fired a salvo of cruise missiles from the Mediterranean on Thursday and said they struck Islamic State targets in eastern Syria. Activists there said at least 20 civilians were killed in what they described a “fanatical” bombardment – blaming some of it on Russia and some on the United States.

    It was not clear whether there was a connection between the Russian military strikes and the activists’ accounts, reflecting the challenge of verifying the conflicting claims in the hostile environment of Syria’s civil war, now in its seventh year.

    The seven Kalibr cruise missiles, launched from the submarines Veliky Novgorod and Kolpino, hit IS installations in Deir el-Zour province, the Russian Defense Ministry said. The province is where forces backed separately by Washington and Moscow are racing to seize territory in the jihadist group’s shrinking Euphrates River valley domain.

    But Turkey-based activist Omar Abou Layla said their local contacts reported “fanatical” levels of bombardment on three IS-held towns and villages along the valley – far more than could be accounted for by seven missiles – including an attack on the national hospital in the IS stronghold of al-Mayadeen, where six civilians were reported killed. Abou Layla put the toll at 20 killed across the province. He added that the provincial capital, also called Deir el-Zour, suffered heavy airstrikes as well.

    http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/M/ML_SYRIA?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2017-09-14-16-21-31

    It ain't the things you don't know that hurts you, it's the things you know that ain't so.
  • bemildred (5282 posts)
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    2. U.S.-backed forces not planning on entering Deir al-Zor city

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S.-backed militias fighting Islamic State are not planning to enter the city of Deir al-Zor in eastern Syria, a U.S. military spokesman said on Thursday, reducing the chances of the American allies coming face to face with Syrian government forces.

    The Syrian army and its allies recently broke an Islamic State siege of an enclave in Deir al-Zor that had lasted three years.

    The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a U.S.-backed alliance of mostly Arab and Kurdish fighters, meanwhile have also launched a separate assault in Deir al-Zor province, which has become Islamic State’s last major foothold in Syria.

    Earlier this week, the SDF said it had reached an industrial zone miles to the east of Deir al-Zor city.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-sdf-usa/u-s-backed-forces-not-planning-on-entering-deir-al-zor-city-idUSKCN1BP2H9

    It ain't the things you don't know that hurts you, it's the things you know that ain't so.
  • bemildred (5282 posts)
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    3. Russia said to reject Israeli plea to keep Iranians 60 km. from Golan frontier

    Russia has reportedly rebuffed an Israeli demand to ensure that Iranian forces and Iran-backed Shiite militants not be allowed to operate within 60-80 kilometers of the Syrian frontier with Israel in the Golan Heights.

    The demand was initially raised by Israel in July, when negotiations were under way for a ceasefire deal in southern Syria between President Bashar Assad and Syrian rebels, under the auspices of the Washington and Moscow.

    Russian has rejected the plea, according to reports Thursday on Israel’s Channel 2 TV and in the Haaretz newspaper. Instead, it has committed only to keeping Iranian forces five kilometers from the Golan Heights frontier.

    Israel had wanted a buffer zone of between 60 and 80 kilometers from the border on the Golan Heights, and has been repeatedly warning against Iran’s military ambitions in the area, Tehran’s bid to establish a territorial “corridor” all the way to the Mediterranean, and an increased Iranian presence on Israel’s northern border.

    https://www.timesofisrael.com/russia-said-to-reject-israel-plea-to-keep-iranians-60-km-from-golan-frontier/

    It ain't the things you don't know that hurts you, it's the things you know that ain't so.
    • bemildred (5282 posts)
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      4. nt

      It ain't the things you don't know that hurts you, it's the things you know that ain't so.