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Pepe Escobar: And the winners in the post-Daesh era are… (updated)

BelieveInAleppo
Syrians walk past Aleppo’s citadel as life returns to normal after the expulsion of Jihadi terrorist groups by the Syrian army and its allies Russia and Iran. Photo from the #believe_in_aleppo hashtag in Twitter.

An excerpt from Pepe Escobar’s latest article in Asia Times:

[…] Mesopotamia and the Levant, in the post-Daesh era, are indeed unrecognizable compared to the state of play in the early 2010s.
The facts on the ground in the Syrian war theater are stark.
While the Beltway was blinded by regime change, Moscow swooped in and with a small expeditionary force turned the Middle East game upside down. While Russian jets fully coordinated with an array of forces on the ground, Russian diplomacy ended up closing down all manner of war fronts and imposing ceasefires or de-escalation zones.
A New Syrian Army (NSA?), instead of those walking dead FSA, is now fully battle-tested, in both conventional and guerrilla warfare, and with morale extremely high to the point that Hezbollah now needs to deploy only a few of its officers to coordinate each Syrian unit.
Popular national units, Hezbollah-style, or even PMU-style, are being built by Damascus as the backbone of future resistance forces against any invaders, direct or by proxy.
While the CIA and the House of Saud, Qatar (which later repented) and Turkey (which later aligned with Russia) were obsessed by their regime change crusade, “investing” in chaos spread by “moderate rebels” and demented jihadis alike, Iran invested billions of cold hard cash in Syria – including paying salaries to troops, buying oil, logistical support and building medicine factories.
So apart from the NSA, the ones fighting jihadis on the ground are an array of Shiite militias. They include resistance groups sometimes referred to as Iraqi Hezbollah as well as the Local Defense Forces in Aleppo and National Defense Forces uniting Alawites and Sunnis, all backed by Iranian military advisers.
Hezbollah, for its part, is even stronger today than in 2006. In a nutshell, it was essentially Hezbollah that defeated al-Qaeda in Syria.
Most of all, the divide-and-rule Takfiristan project is dead. Daesh and al-Qaeda are being smashed – and will be reduced to squalid hit and run ops. The Trump administration ditched “Assad must go” as well as CIA financing of “moderate rebels.”
Both Syria and Iraq won’t be partitioned. And on the Pipelineistan front – a key reason for the war – we may even find in the foreseeable future Iran and Qatar teaming up to sell natural gas to Europe.
So there will be no neo-con New Middle East. Instead, the “4+1” – Russia, Syria, Iran, Iraq, plus Hezbollah – has gained the upper hand. Live with it.

The joys of leading from behind

Right into the fray steps in the Damascus International Fair, starting this Thursday. It is indeed the foundational stone for the revival of the Syrian economy.
What nations are represented at the fair tells everything one needs to know about the future. All the BRICS are there, as well as Iran, Iraq and Cuba.
Who’s not there? France, the UK, Turkey, the House of Saud and the US – all previous supporters of regime change, “moderate rebels” and, by proxy, Salafi-jihadis.
No wonder Russia, China and Iran – crucially, the three major poles of Eurasia integration – will receive “high priority”, according to Damascus, on Syria reconstruction. So it’s not only the “4+1” who are gaining the upper hand; enter the Chinese juggernaut. […]

DamascusFair2017The Damascus International Fair opened in the Syrian capital in July 17 of this yeart after five years of forced absence due to the conflict which has ravaged the country.

Related:

[…] The political and media adviser to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad says the six-year militancy in her country is nearly over as foreign states cut their backing for Takfiri terrorist groups, vowing that government troops would fight against any “illegitimate” forces, whether Turkish or American.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with Lebanon-based Arabic-language al-Mayadeen television news network on Friday, Bouthaina Shaaban said the inauguration of Damascus International Fair and regional participation proves a “U-turn was achieved” in the foreign-sponsored crisis.
She added the war has reached its “penultimate stage” as foreign powers that backed militant outfits are changing their policies.
“The exhibition is a defeat for their project, but it does not mean that we have won the war completely. We are just at the beginning of the road towards reconstruction and rebuilding Syria,” Shaaban commented. […]


 

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