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

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.


[…] 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. […]


co-founding editor of OffGuardian (retired)

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co-founding editor of OffGuardian (retired)

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“I don’t want to express solidarity with Hizbullah. I’m going to honor Hizbullah. They show discipline and courage that I respect,” Dr. Norman Finkelstein told Lebanese Future TV during his visit to Lebanon.
Lebanon’s icon singer, Julia Boutros, was educated at Rosary Sisters Schools, Beirut. She began her singing career at the age 12. On October 11, 2006, Boutros released two of her songs celebrating Hizbullah victory over 30,000-strong invading Jewish army in Summer 2006. The music was composed by Julia’s brother Ziad and arranged by Michael Fadel. The sale of songs garnered over $3 million for the families of Hizbullah fighters and 1,200 Lebanese civilians who died from Israel’s carpet-bombing.


Reblogged this on Worldtruth.


As always Pepe Escobar’s analysis on the mid and far east is much more insightful and useful than the guff, or lack of it, in the WMSM.
While the snowflakes at the Guardian and their sisters in arms, worry about such things as more fake news websites, in a failing attempt to look relevant, they are unable to contemplate/admit their part in the whole Neo-con faked news project…
When you can’t read about something, you realise that the media control and justification for it is at issue here.
No reporting on what is happening in Syria, Ukraine, Russia China’s BRI etc. leads you to conclude that they are not providing news but set narrative.


I’m agree with you.


On July 12, 2017, The Daily Beast, published an article, entitled, “How the Russian Suckered Trump in Syria, and Iran Comes Out the Big winner”,
The article, gaves the impression that Putin-Trump meeting resulted in looking after the Iranian interests and not the US and Israel’s interests which planned the conflict in the first place.
The author of the said article is no other than Brooking Institute’s Middle East expert, Charles Lister. Interestingly, Neri Zilber, a fellow at the Israel advocacy group WINEP admitted at the Daily Beast (August 2, 2016) that Israel is using Syrian civil war to its own interests in bringing an anti-Iran regime change in Syria.

To Shay

Reblogged this on News and Events.


O, they will HATE them for their FREEDOM – to speak with George Bush jr. in september 2001.
But with Al-Qeada gone, with Daesh gone, there is still Kurdistan, full of arms and spirit.


On August 7, 2017, Israel’s former foreign minister Shlomo Ben-Ari in an Op-Ed at the Project Syndicate Org. urged Washington to snatch Muslim Kurd majority territories from Turkey, Iraq, Syria and Iran to establish an Israel-friendly Kurdish state.
The Project Syndicate Org is funded by Jewish billionaire George Soro’s Open Society Institute and Danish Politiken Foundation which publishes country’s anti-Muslim daily Jyllands-Posten.
Currently, Ben-Avi is Vice President of the Toledo International Center for Peace (for Jews occupying Palestine).
After dishing the old Zionist mantra: A Land Without a People for a People Without a Land Ben Avi suggests in order to bring peace and stability in the Middle East, United States and its allies must help Kurds to have their own Kurdistan as they helped Jews to establish a Jewish state in Palestine in 1948.
Ben-Avi claims that Washington’s policy of a unified Iraq is not practical as country’s Shi’ite majority hates country’s Sunni, Kurd and Christian minorities.
“After 14 years of failed military intervention in Iraq, the US should recognize that a unified, stable, democratic, and federal Iraq is a chimera. Since the US-led invasion in 2003, Iraq’s political system has become highly polarized along sectarian lines, with the ruling Shia majority marginalizing the Sunnis, including the Kurds,” said Ben-Avi.


“Ben-Avi claims that Washington’s policy of a unified Iraq is not practical as country’s Shi’ite majority hates country’s Sunni, Kurd and Christian minorities.” Except that that has nothing to do with reality, but I guess, like other ‘leaders’, Ben-Avi hopes and depends on people’s ignorance to push his propaganda successfully. The Arab, nationalist, socialist countries targetted by the West (and its proxies, including Kurds), were Democratic, not Islamist and intolerant. In other words, Sunnis and Shia were united and not at war with each other. Again, Stephen Gowans sets the record straight. Read his book on Washington’s long war on Syria or visit his blog to get the details.


Sooner or later though, the Kurds (with the exception perhaps of the YPG) must realise that the US is an unreliable and untrustworthy partner whose interests don’t align or overlap with their own. There is an opportunity for Damascus to invite Kurds into becoming part of an all-inclusive Syrian state. If Damascus were to do that, will the Kurds resist their own leaders and take up that offer?


I’m sure that, to the extent that they inform themselves, regular Kurds don’t like where they are being led. As for the Kurdish leadership, it would be nice to see some principles, some decency and some concern for their people and the wider society in which they reside. But that would be exceptional. From ISIS to the Muslim Brotherhood (behind ISIS) to any number of other tools, the biggest monster seems to always be able to get its way and can persuade, via rewards and punishments, some group or another to serve its godless interests.


Axis of Resistance……and moral humanity are the winners…….The losers and war criminals are a disgrace and shall fall from grace internationally as is deserved…..