Syrian Ceasefire failed, what now?

By Aram Mirzaei from The Saker


The “Ceasefire”

One week ago I and many other analysts predicted that the ceasefire agreement brokered by the US and Russia last week was doomed to fail. I said this because of the fact that there are no “moderate” rebels, and that any group trying to disassociate itself from Jabhat Fateh Al-Sham (formerly Jabhat Al-Nusra) would commit both political and military suicide. Right from the first day of the implementation, Western backed Jihadists and their allies declared that they would not take part in the cessation of hostilities, which really rendered the whole agreement useless since it became clear that they would use this opportunity to regroup and rearm.
This week long ceasefire was also supposed to allow for humanitarian aid to reach besieged areas such as East Aleppo which is currently under the control of Washington’s “moderate” rebels. Despite the Syrian Army withdrawing up to 1 km north of the imperative Castillo road leading into the eastern parts of Aleppo and handing over the control over the checkpoints in this area to Russian Marines and Syrian Red Crescent Society, the humanitarian aid destined for eastern Aleppo were severely delayed due to constant attacks on the Russian Marines by the Jihadists. In a video posted by RT on their Youtube page, one can clearly see the Russian personnel coming under attack by Jihadist fire, yet despite this, mainstream media in the West shamefully reported that the “Assad regime” were the ones who were guilty of both violating the ceasefire and disrupting the delivery of humanitarian aid.
The Jihadists and their supporters refused to allow for humanitarian aid to be delivered because they refused to acknowledge the ceasefire, instead claiming that both the ceasefire and the humanitarian aid being sent to them was part of a “UN conspiracy” and that they “refuse to accept this humiliating and pathetic aid”. In a video posted online, a rally takes place in eastern Aleppo where Jihadists and their supporters declare that they refuse to accept this “humiliating” aid in the name of the religion (of Islam).
It should clearly be concluded then that these Jihadists and their supporters were not interested in any kind of reduced violence, not even for a week it would seem, with Jihadists clearly showing their intentions of using this ceasefire to break the siege of Aleppo by even attacking Russian Marines.
This ceasefire was doomed from the start because Washington will not and cannot separate any “moderates” from the rest of the Jihadists. In an Op-Ed posted on RT in June, experts agree that Washington has no control over its proxies in Syria, with Journalist Willy van Damme saying that Al-Nusra and “moderate rebels” have been cooperating for about five years fighting together against the Syrian government. “To think that they would split from Al-Nusra is dreaming,” he added.
In another video posted online last week, the “spiritual leader” of the Jihadist Jaysh Al-Fateh coalition Abullah Muhaysani, a renowned Saudi Wahhabi cleric who illegally entered Syria in 2013, declared that “the other factions’ [moderates] rejection of the ceasefire is not only a slap in the face of Kerry and Lavrov, but it is also a slap in the face of all those who are trying to incite the factions against each other”. He goes on to reiterate the unity among the plethora of Jihadist factions working together as one against a common enemy, the Syrian government.

The US-led Coalition massacre of Syrian Army personnel

As if the rejection of the ceasefire and the blocking of humanitarian aid wasn’t proof enough that the ceasefire was doomed to fail, Washington also did its utmost to make sure that it didn’t by flagrantly attacking the Syrian Army in the besieged city of Deir Ezzor. Although I was shocked, I was not surprised to read on Saturday night that the US-led coalition had struck the Syrian Army with phosphorous bombs over the Jabal Al- Thardeh area in southwestern Deir Ezzor, killing at least 62 and injuring over 100 Syrian Army soldiers.
Washington being used to dishonesty, immediately tried to put the blame first on Russia with the Pentagon claiming that they had informed Russian of the upcoming strike and that he bombardment only concluded when Russia had told Washington that it was possibly targeting the Syrian Army and not the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). Some hours later Russia flatly denied the earlier CENTCOM press release claim of Russian knowledge about the bombardment beforehand with Major General Igor Konashenkov of the Russian Defense Ministry adding that:

If the airstrike was caused by the wrong coordinates of targets then it’s a direct consequence of the stubborn unwillingness of the American side to coordinate with Russia in its actions against terrorist groups in Syria”

Russia, furious with the Americans, immediately summoned the UN Security Council for an emergency meeting on the matter with the Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova being blasting Washington as she said that:

If previously we had suspicions that Al-Nusra Front is protected this way, now, after today’s airstrikes on the Syrian army we come to a really terrifying conclusion for the entire world: The White House is defending IS [Islamic State, formerly ISIS/ISIL]”

She added:

We demand a full and detailed explanation from Washington. That explanation must be given at the UN Security Council,”

But there was no explanation from Washington. Instead, Washington offered us the despicable US ambassador to the UN, Samantha Power. Instead of explaining the actions of the US-led coalition’s massacre of Syrian Army soldiers, she walked out of Russian UN ambassador Vitaly Churkin’s speech and later on went on to address reporters with nonsense about “the crimes of the Assad Regime and Russia”. She even mocked the Russians decision to call for an emergency meeting, calling it a “stunt”.

It is clear that the United States must come up with some very serious actions. What actions, I can not say now, but what I saw today, unfortunately, was very concerning, as my American colleague Samantha Power behaved very strange at the least,”

…said Russia’s permanent representative to the UN Churkin about the results of the consultations of the Security Council. Churkin was correct to say that:

…in all my years in the United Nations, that is over 10 years, and all my years in international life, which is over 40 years, I have never seen such an extraordinary display of American heavy-handedness as we have seen today”

And I understand him. One look at Samantha Power is enough to understand that she is mentally deranged. Her behaviour was shameful for a representative of a leading country at the highest international body, behaving as a teenager that has just been dragged out of bed with a hangover.
If it wasn’t clear before this incident, it should be clear by now that Washington cannot be trusted, ever. Moscow should now understand that it can never reach a deal with Washington that will hold, because Washington is only interested in weakening Syria as much as possible, and will go to lengths unimaginable to achieve it, one way or another.
It therefore comes as no surprise that according to an Iranian military source, ISIL launched an offensive on the Jabal Al- Thardeh area just 7 minutes after the US led airstrikes, who added that that the air and ground assault were highly coordinated. Initially ISIL captured the Jabal Al-Thardeh area but were later repelled after a Syrian Army counterattack backed by Russian airstrikes, that same night. The source said the simultaneous raid of the ISIL terrorists immediately after the coalition airstrikes is the best evidence of the high coordination done between the US and the terrorists.
In Iran’s view, this flagrant attack on Syrian Army personnel violated the truce; “We strongly denounce the US measures, and do not believe that it was a military mistake,” said Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, Iranian Parliamentary Director General for International Affairs on Sunday during a meeting with Syria’s Ambassador to Tehran, Adnan Hassan Mahmoud.“Attacking an army which is battling terrorism means backstabbing and helping Daesh,” he added.
Iran reiterated its support for Syria on Monday when deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Jaberi Ansari travelled to Damascus to meet with Syrian officials. “Iran is determined to provide Syria all the possible facilities in its fateful fight against terrorism,” Jaberi Ansari said in a meeting with Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad. He added that “strategic and one-of-a-kind” relations between Iran and Syria go beyond the two nations’ interests and are based on common views and understanding of the threats facing all regional nations such as terrorism and extremism.
One can conclude that the attack on the Syrian Army by the US-led coalition was indeed intentional, which leaves us with the question of why they would do such a thing? A quick look at a map of who controls what in the Deir Ezzor province gives us a clue. The province of Deir Ezzor in southeastern Syria (see map below) is mostly controlled by the ISIL terrorist group except for parts of the city of Deir Ezzor that has been under siege for years now, with ISIL facing stiff resistance from the Syrian Army comprised of the heroic 104th Brigade of the Republican Guard, led by the iconic Druze Major General Issam Zahreddine and the 137th Artillery Brigade. To the northeastern part of the province, there is a Kurdish/FSA presence as a result of the US-backed Kurdish-led “Syrian Democratic Forces” (SDF) largely expelling ISIL from the neighbouring Al-Hasakah province earlier this year.
SDF has since made their intentions publicly clear that they intend to advance on both the province and city of Deir Ezzor. This is something that Washington sees as an opportunity to carve up the country in order to achieve its ultimate goal; to separate Syria from Iran indefinitely. Washington has previously made it clear that if it cannot achieve its plan A; regime change, it will go for its plan B; to balkanize the country and help to create a Kurdish and/or Sunni state in eastern Syria. Achieving this will “isolate” the Syrian government and its Lebanese allies Hezbollah from Iran, thus protecting Israel, Washington’s main imperial ally in the region.
Attacking the Syrian Army, and allowing ISIL to capture the city will make Deir Ezzor a probable target for the US-backed proxies to attack and annex. It does not matter for Washington if 100 000 civilians are trapped along with the Syrian Army personnel stationed there, and that they will meet a fate far worse than anyone of us can imagine if the city falls into terrorist hands, as long as Washington achieves its goals, it is content with whatever price the Syrian people must pay for Washington’s imperial ambitions.

What happens now?

The Syrian Arab Army’s High Command announced on Monday that the nationwide ceasefire is over after a 7-day period.

Rebel forces committed more than 300 violations by targeting residents and the Syrian military around the country,”

…the High Command added. Several civilians and military personnel were killed as a result of these ceasefire violations committed by the Jihadist forces. The High command also declared that Jihadist groups had taken advantage of the ceasefire to regroup and attack Syrian military positions, while the Army had done its utmost to implement the truce with the highest degree of professionalism, but that ultimately it had to respond to the provocations against the Syrian Armed Forces.
As soon as the ceasefire expired at 7 pm Damascus time yesterday, fighting began to rage on in the Aleppo, Hama and Damascus provinces, with both the Syrian Army and the Jihadist groups launching offensives on different fronts. The Russian Air Force also began targeting Jihadists in Aleppo who led by Jabhat Fateh Al-Sham were trying to launch a new offensive. Meanwhile on Monday, new accusations were made by Washington and its vassals against Russia and Syria, claiming that they had struck a UN aid convoy heading for Aleppo City, an incident that the Russian Foreign Ministry dismissed as an attempt to distract attention from the US-led coalition’s bombardment of the Syrian troops on September 17.
The Russian Foreign Ministry said:

We are considering, with resentment and indignation, attempts by some foreign curators of rebel units and terrorists in Syria to put the blame for the incident on the Russian and Syrian Aerospace Forces who allegedly bombarded a relief convoy,”

Before stressing:

Such attempts, which are unconfirmed by any facts, are designed, among other things, to distract attention from a strange ‘error’ made by pilots of the US-led anti-ISIS coalition on September 17 when its planes bombed the Syrian government troops positions near Deir ez-Zor,”

In fact, it has been established that this was not even a UN aid convoy that had been attacked, but rather it was a Syrian Red Crescent convoy that was attempting to deliver weapons to the Jihadists. The humanitarian convoy that was attacked on Monday in the Syrian province of Aleppo was followed by a militant group’s pickup truck carrying a large-caliber mortar launcher, the Russian Defense Ministry Spokesman Igor Konashenkov said on Tuesday. He said:

Analysis of video records from drones of yesterday’s movement of the humanitarian convoy across Aleppo’s territories controlled by militants has revealed new details. It is clearly seen in the video that a terrorists’ pickup truck with a towed large-caliber mortar is moving along with the convoy,”

I am in agreement with the Russian Foreign Ministry in their analysis over the situation. It is clear that these accusations are intended to lay the blame for the failure of the ceasefire on Russia and the Syrian government, and try to divert attention from their own crimes in Deir Ezzor last week. It therefore comes as no surprise that a senior Obama administration official speaking to reporters on condition of anonymity said that “We don’t know if it can be salvaged,” when speaking of the collapsing ceasefire. “At this point the Russians have to demonstrate very quickly their seriousness of purpose because otherwise there will be nothing to extend and nothing to salvage,” he added.
Washington was never interested in a ceasefire, rather it wanted to give its Jihadist proxies time to regroup and regain their strength after a month of hammering by the Syrian Army, especially in Aleppo. During this entire week, Washington and the Western mainstream media have been looking for excuses to lay the blame on Russia and the Syrian government for the failure to implement the ceasefire. From an Iranian point of view (and my own), these ceasefires have always been useless because Iran has always maintained that Washington can never be trusted. Instead of benefitting the Syrian Army and its allies, the ceasefires have served to not only benefit the Jihadists, but also to sow discord between Russia and Iran who on several occasions have made it clear that Moscow’s constant faith in Washington and Secretary Kerry endangers the war effort against terrorism.
It remains to be seen now what will happen with this ceasefire agreement, but from the looks of it, it is all but over as the Syrian Army and its allies have restarted their operations across the country. Hopefully, Moscow have proved once and for all that there is no way to separate any “moderate opposition” from Jihadist rebels and that they must now all be deemed as legitimate targets for aerial bombardment. Moscow must hold nothing back and coordinate more than ever with its Syrian and Iranian allies on the ground in order to defeat this terrorist plague that has been wreaking havoc in Syria for almost six years now.


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Sep 26, 2016 12:16 AM

I simply don’t understand why the US is being so deceitful and why it is supporting terrorism in the Middle East! Why do that? With the whole World watching, the US is showing that is is untrustworthy and intent on making terrorism the scourge of the World for decades to come. Why? What possible benefit could doing that bring to the American people or does benefitting Americans not even register in Washington and the Pentagon?

Sep 26, 2016 3:53 PM
Reply to  archie1954

Hi archie: to answer in a word – gas; to answer in a sentence – because they can. All imperialist wars are about the acquisition and control of resources – and this is no different. If you haven’t read Sen Kennedy, jr’s analysis, please do: http://www.ecowatch.com/syria-another-pipeline-war-1882180532.html (I would caution that his contention that this was a popular uprising brutally reppressed is not accurate – see “American in Latakia” on this site.) So, Assad was Dictator-du-jour until he backed the wrong pipeline; then he became the main impediment to the Qatari’s opening up the South Pars/North Dome gasfields. The wider geo-political motive is obviously to curtail Russias economic leverage over Europe – which, along with ongoing sanctions will isolate them politically as well. A useful adjunct to this would be to cut off Russian access to the naval facility at Tartous (one of but a handful of bases it maintains abroad… Read more »

Sep 23, 2016 1:40 PM

The so far unconfirmed Russian Kaliber missile attack puts Kerry and the Coalition in a quandary – if they admit to it they also admit to a covert command centre/ forward operating post near Aleppo – which surely is tantamount to an invasion (especially if they were using it to coordinate the attack on Dier ez-Zor ie carry out a war crime.) If they do call the Russians out over it – the Russian response is that (as an ally of Syria) they were acting in self defense: or better still – “Whoops, sorry!” Carter and the JCOS must be spitting their dummies out! Of course, this is all hypothetical; but I’d say 30-15 Lavrov.

Sep 23, 2016 2:53 PM
Reply to  BigB

Sorry, Whats next? Also from the Saker – the Admiral Kuznetsov arrives in the Med with its mobile airforce – a huge kick in the teeth to Kerries proposed no fly/no bomb zone around Aleppo (a de facto imposition of a NFZ by a foreign power.) Think again – it ain’t happening – 40-15 Lavrov!

Sep 23, 2016 8:17 AM

This is an interesting, though worrying, wide ranging interview with Steven Cohen, who is an esteemed American professor of Russian history and politics. He believes we are in New Cold War and that’s dangerous.
He argues that powerful forces in the Pentagon want to undermine the tentative agreement with Russia about how to move forward in Syria. The part about the Pentagon threatening that it wouldn’t implement the ceasefire agreement hammered out by Lavrov and Kerry is startling information. That they’ed do this publically is frightening. Putin asking, again in public, who is in charge of US foreign policy, the White House or the Pentagon, shows how bad and dangerous things are.

Sep 25, 2016 8:45 AM
Reply to  michaelk

Daniel Ellsberg was quoted several years back saying that an inside coup took place in the US government that transferred power away from the executive branch to the Pentagon. This inside putsch occurred in the months after GW Bush was ‘annointed’ president. It makes sense. It would explain how the subsequent 9-11 attacks were the false flag done by the coup instigators to start the whole, massive interconnected multiple wars we’ve been witnessing in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Ukraine–and now Syria. There will most likely be a massive final showdown against Iran. It is not a question of if, but when. You’ve got some of the very worst of humanity in charge of the Pentagon/US government, needless to say.

Sep 23, 2016 8:13 AM

Re the Aid Convoy attack… The presence of the “White Helmets” at the point where the Aid convey was attacked is a “dead” giveaway to me “White Helmets” is an NGO funded by UK Govt among others. ( The Canadian NDP want to nominate it for a Nobel Peace Prize http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/white-helmets-nobel-peace-prize-1.3764121 ) It has released many “humanitarian” videos of heroic white helmetted bare chested men carrying helpless children to safety. However the authenticity of these videos has been questioned at Moon of Alabama. http://www.moonofalabama.org/2016/06/the-usuk-financed-white-helmets-shtick-fake-child-rescued-videos.html http://www.moonofalabama.org/2016/06/gallery-dramatic-rescue-man-with-kid-runs-towards-camera-43-staged-pictures.html Questioned even more, by one Vanessa Beely She is a writer who has spent most of her time in the Middle East as a independent researcher, writer, photographer and peace activist. [ Her CV may resonate with the founders of OG ] In particular she documents the duplicity at http://21stcenturywire.com/2015/10/28/part-ii-syrias-white-helmets-war-by-way-of-deception-moderate-executioners/ Particularly gruelling is a clip of the White Helmets assisting in summary execution, http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=fd8_1430900709 For… Read more »

Sep 22, 2016 11:05 PM

We know all this. We read Syr.persp, fars, sputnik etc. What next? Dumb Q. Keep smashing all the terrs. Not mentioned is the 3 Kaliber cruise missiles launched from the Ru destroyer in the Med that killed over 20 US, Isra-hell, Arab intel in the Syr mountains top in their main control center. BTW on the convoy strike there are no bomb craters and.. a US drone was in the area. That was a desperate act to divert attention from the US bombing of Sy army.

Eurasia News Online
Eurasia News Online
Sep 22, 2016 9:09 PM

What now? Very simple – continue stretching murderous, genocidal Anglo-Saxon “five eyes” and their stooges anywhere in the world. They are very close to the breaking point. Force them to try to attack someone who can bloody their noses – you can guess who am I talking about. Russia and China are just waiting for right moment.

Greg Bacon
Greg Bacon
Sep 22, 2016 9:01 PM

What excuse is my deranged government offering up to validate their terrorism against Syria? If they say to enforce the ‘Authorization to Use Military Force’ against those who allegedly attacked the USA on 9/11, then how do they explain supporting al Sham, which was al Nusra, which was al Qaeda in Iraq?
Since we were not invited by the Syrians nor do we have a UN mandate, every action we take in and against Syria is a war crime, it’s that simple.

Sep 22, 2016 7:54 PM

There’s some rather interesting information here which puts the UK’s involvement in the Syrian catastrophe into a pathetic and grotesque perspective… war on a whim? The conclusion that the ‘moderate rebel forces’ on the ground in Syria are a ‘phantom’ is a startling result. How amazing is it that this information, hardly a secret, but shared by almost everyone who bothers to examine the Syrian conflict, isn’t part of media’s coverage?

Sep 22, 2016 5:52 PM

Thanks for this. I believe you are largely correct in your analysis but that utmost caution is also necessary as the US will use the slightest pretext to try to claim the moral high ground in international forums such as the UN. Clearly the secretary general and many UN apparatchiks are already in US pockets.
There are reports in Iranian media today that missiles fired from Russian ships have killed 30 foreign intelligence officers in a bunker near Aleppo who were directing operations by their jihadist proxies in the city. If this is true, perhaps the gloves really are off.
Eva Bartlett, Canadian citizen journalist, has posted some excellent first hand reporting from Aleppo in her blog “In Gaza” today, which also gives the lie to the garbage we are constantly seeing in the WMSM.

Sep 22, 2016 3:38 PM

Every ceasefire the US agree has diddly squat to do with trying to bring a resolution, it’s nothing more than stalling tactics to keep their head chopping rebels from being run off. It’s wholly ridiculous – the same format each time. Every time Russia/Syria blamed. Samantha Powers went in running her mouth off true to her psychopathic nature – commit the crime and then claim to be the one angered at the side you killed to spin your innocence to the audience. The presstitutes suck it up and print it. The media spin and bias is beyond lunacy. Just on a report today by CNN’s Barbara Starr on the convoy bombing http://edition.cnn.com/2016/09/20/politics/syria-convoy-strike-us-conclusion-russia/ she writes citing an anonymous US official: The official added that reports from the ground appear accurate about at least two waves of airstrikes — a common Russian military practice. When exactly did two waves of airstrikes become… Read more »

james carless
james carless
Sep 22, 2016 9:25 PM
Reply to  Sav

Kerry claimed in the UN special meeting,that it was 2 fighter aircraft that bombed the convoy continuously for 2hrs ! Clever these Russkis,they can not only refuel in midair but somehow also rearm with new bomb loads, all in the dark ! ! . . . . nor leave a crator in the road or hit any of those brave, non combatant,ubiquitous ‘white helmet volunteers’ and their camera crews ! Obama continues to bleat that the Syrian conflict will continue for years and that it cannot be solved militarilly,statements based more on USA/Israeli hope than fact. Were it not for the covert outsider support for the jihaddi proxies,ISIS,Al Nusra and 40,000 thieves,would be be turned into toast by the SAA,Russia,Iran alliance within a year at most. That is the biggest fear held by the Pentagon: A military victory over a terrorist army in the field,witnessed by the rest of the… Read more »

Eurasia News Online
Eurasia News Online
Sep 23, 2016 8:48 AM
Reply to  james carless

Send them to Srebrenica – we know what to do with them right there. Anglo-Saxon (yeah, “western’ pigs ass) is welcome but they will not turn up – they already have their version ready in advance. The only terrorists on this planet are the “five eyes” and their stupid population.

Sep 22, 2016 3:34 PM

Reblogged this on EU: Ramshackle Empire.