Syria: The Creeping Partition

by Peter Ford, October 24, 2018, Syriana Analysis

The September crisis over Idlib was brought to a conclusion by the Russian Turkish agreement to create a partially demilitarised border strip. This should have been implemented by 16 October but hasn’t.

Idlib

Some armed groups have pulled back their heavy weapons from the 15-20 km wide 250 km long strip but others haven’t, while the groups internationally categorised as a terrorist, including Hayat Tahrir Ash Sham (HTS), Hurras Ad Deen, and the Turkmenistan militia, have not vacated the area as the Turks promised. Russia was supposed to be allowed into the area to monitor but isn’t. In blatant violation of the ceasefire, some of the groups are shelling neighbouring government-controlled areas including the outskirts of Aleppo and northern Lattakia.

The Turks claim all is well. The Russians, putting a brave face on a very unsatisfactory situation, call for patience. The reality appears to be that the Russians don’t think the Syrian government forces are strong enough to overcome the approximately 90,000 jihadi fighters in Idlib, many dug in in areas of difficult terrain, and all promised air cover by the US if Asad advances.

It has barely been noticed that the US has moved the goalposts on what it gives itself permission to do in Syria. The new US envoy for Syria, James Jeffrey, a former diplomat emerging from that neocon haven, the Washington Institute for the Near East Policy, stated explicitly recently that the US no longer felt itself bound to bomb Syria only if Asad used chemical weapons: henceforth the US would bomb ‘if Asad advances. Period’. (In such an eventuality it would be interesting to see how the British government went about following suit, although it is worth noting that its much contested legal opinion which was offered in April (attached) would startlingly licence the government to bomb under any circumstances whatever as long as it claimed to be acting for humanitarian reasons.)

Some claim that the standoff and emergence of an effectively separate entity in the North could force the Syrian government to make concessions at the negotiating table. This is wishful thinking. The Syrian government would never regard the recovery of a lost province as a fair price for surrendering power. That being the case what we are witnessing appears to be the beginning of the emergence of a safe haven for terrorists under the guardianship of the Turks and the air umbrella of the Western powers: a replay of US/Saudi support for the Taliban in the days when removing the Russians from Afghanistan seemed like a good idea.

The North East

The dismemberment of Syria continues also in the North East (Al Hasakeh province and part of Deir Ez Zor province) which is under the joint control of the Kurdish-dominated SDF (Syrian Democratic Forces) and the US. Here too the US recently moved the goalposts virtually unnoticed, Secretary of Defence Mattis declaring that the purpose of the US forces’ presence was to combat Iran, which has no presence whatever in the North East. The US barely even pretends now that the purpose is to defeat the lingering remnants of ISIS, a task which the Syrian forces could handle easily if they were allowed to enter the parts of Deir Ez Zor and Hasakeh provinces where ISIS lurks effectively under US protection. The US plan appears to be to condition the withdrawal of the US presence on the withdrawal of that of the limited number of Iranian military advisers in Syria and of the rather larger number of Iranian–funded militia forces, considered essential to its security by the Syrian government. As many have pointed out this is a recipe for another open-ended US commitment to a military presence in the Middle East.

When the US-led coalition does move against ISIS remnants it is careless of civilian casualties: 62 civilians were killed this week in an air strike on two villages in Deir Ez Zor. This being the conveniently anonymous ‘coalition’ we have no way of knowing if the RAF was involved.

Hopes had been aroused that the US might pull out because of the costliness of propping up local civilian services, which for Trump is anathema. The arrival of 100 million dollars from Saudi Arabia in the Pentagon’s bank account last week (totally unconnected of course with the current predicament of Crown Prince Mohamed Bin Salman) may have upset the Turks, unhappy to see another  Kurdish statelet emerging, but it has eased the financial burden of de facto US occupation.

Al Tanf

The US had given some hints that it might be willing to draw back from the Al Tanf enclave it controls with UK military support near the apex of the Syrian, Jordanian and Iraqi borders. Displaced persons started to go home from the jihadi-infested Rukban camp which lies within the Al Tanf perimeter. The Syrian government is offering to facilitate more returns but will not acquiesce in US control over sovereign Syrian territory. Hopes of US departure appear to have been dashed, however, as it becomes clearer that the new US strategy for Syria requires the US to keep its all its assets in Syria, however vulnerable they would be in the event of major conflict, and however much they complicate the humanitarian situation, as potential bargaining chips to force the Syrian government to make concessions in terms of relinquishing Iranian military protection, preparatory to a reinvigorated Geneva negotiating process with a weakened Asad which would deliver the yearned for ‘transition’ away from him.

Return of refugees and reconstruction

With most territory clawed back and fighting now virtually on pause, the Syrian government is working hard to resettle the internally displaced and encourage the return of refugees. Syria’s enemies have discouraged return but many Syrians have voted with their feet: 50,000 have already returned from Lebanon in 2018. Much has been made by those enemies of Law 10 which required property owners to register their claims, an essential step before large scale reconstruction of heavily damaged districts could proceed and new housing be allocated. This was disingenuously portrayed as a land grab by the government. Reports suggest that registration has been put on hold.

Funds for reconstruction remain elusive. The Western powers continue to block any international development assistance as long as the holy grail of ‘transition’ has not been attained.

Meanwhile, ordinary Syrians continue to groan under the handicaps of sanctions and government red tape.

Israel

Israel’s mis- step in causing the shooting down of a Russian plane has been heavily punished. Syria has now taken delivery of several Russian S-300 anti-aircraft systems, as well as aircraft communication jamming equipment. As a result, Israel which carried out over 200 air raids on Syria before the incident, has not carried out a single one since, possibly pending delivery by the US of more stealth fighter bombers. The US has categorised Russia’s delivery of the new (defensive) systems as ‘destabilising’ ….

Farewell Staffan de Mistura

The UN envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, has announced his intention to step down in November, citing ‘personal reasons’. His great achievement in the eyes of Western powers was to keep the Geneva process alive when it was clearly moribund. Without Geneva, they would lose the commitment to ‘transition’ which Russia conceded in a moment of great weakness in 2014. The Geneva process has been void of significance, however, for years. The besuited opposition representatives who attend the Geneva discussions are transparently stooges of the Western and Gulf powers and have absolutely no influence over the Islamist battalions, who have not the slightest interest in the refining the constitution or sharing power and who listen only to Turkey, which controls their logistics. The only meaningful negotiation takes place between Turkey and Russia.

White Helmets

The government declined to answer Baroness Cox’s parliamentary question as to their plans for receiving White Helmets who fled Syria via Israel in July, citing the protection needs of this particularly ‘vulnerable’ category of refugee, only to leak details via the Daily Telegraph a few days later. It transpires that the country can look forward to receiving 28 of these ‘heroes’ with their families.  Meanwhile, a White Helmets local leader who remained behind, giving the lie to those who claimed they would all be rounded up, told a Western journalist that half of the evacuees were not White Helmets at all but jihadis masquerading as such.


Peter Ford was a British Ambassador to Syria.  He is now an independent commentator on the regional and international conflicts.

 

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vexarb
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– IT’S OFFICIAL: MOSCOW DETERMINES U.S IS OCCUPYING PARTS OF SYRIA –

https://www.fort-russ.com/2018/10/its-official-moscow-determines-u-s-is-occupying-parts-of-syria/

Call UNO who!

Nicolas Maroudas
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Nicolas Maroudas

U$: The Creeping Retreat. A prolonged U$ occupation of Syria is unsupportable given the state of US economy, and the growing strength of the Syrian Resistance which ys already supported by Hezb’Allah, Iran, Russia and China, with Iraq and Turkey now wavering against NATZO, and an increasing number of non-Aligned statelets re-opening their Embassies in Syria. The Irresistible Power of Reality will force the U$A to retreat from Syria eventually, same way as it retreated from China, N.Korea, Cuba, Vietnam and Iraq. The longer it takes Uncle $cam to face reality, the weaker the U$ bargaining position in the ME… Read more »

vexarb
Reader

Sweden: The Creeping Degradation. A ciip from Nussimenin BTL Saker Vineyard: “Nussiminen’s law: Whenever there are conflicting interests between the Big Bourgeoisie and the Petty Bourgeoisie, the former always wins out, hands down. And I’ll start right at home (Sweden). In the parliamentary elections of 1991, the winners were the _notorious oligarch criminal scumbag and Washington stooge Carl Bildt_ plus a lesser creature from within the ’science’ of economics, Anne Wibble. Bildt (prime minister) and Wibble (finance minister) came to power after a barrage of successful neoliberal propaganda openly paid for and skillfully promoted by Sweden’s business community throughout the… Read more »

vexarb
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EU$A: the Creeping Disintegration. Clipped [and edited by Vexard] from an interesting but lengthy post by novice “Daniel” BTL SyrPer: “… the U.S. is undergoing economic retrenchment to compensate for its relative imperial decline and obsolescence in terms of manufacturing, R&D, et al. as China emerges to be the new global economic powerhouse, fully integrated with Russia, Iran, and, sooner or later, India. The powerful Israel-Zionist lobby in the West now aims to salve its failed “Greater Israel” / U.S / NATO project in the region, by shoring up [its only Zionist ally in the ME] — the Saudi regime… Read more »

DunGroanin
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DunGroanin

Vexarb, a very interesting analysis you quote. Certainly a lot more rounded consideration of the geopolitics there. A lot more than the western MSM, which seems to have coordinated a ‘blackout’ of the continuing coverage of ALL the developments in that part of the ME – and is now concentrating on US hoax bombers and killings using glock weapons! The latest news of the 4-way meeting between Putin, Erdogan, Merkel AND Macron (!?*) is BIG news – but mostly relegated if not completely ignored. Al-jazeera at least manages to give a much bigger picture covering most of the developments. For… Read more »

vexarb
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@Done Groaning (that’s the spirit!): “the western MSM, which seems to have coordinated a ‘blackout’ of the continuing coverage of ALL the developments in that part of the ME – and is now concentrating on US hoax bombers and killings using glock weapons!” Yes indeed. In the old days when Nelson didn’t want to read the signal, “He clapped the glass to his sightless eye / And I’m demmed if I see it! he said”. Nowadays the modern Consumer Sheeple do it more effectively by clapping on a pair of Virtual Reality Glasses to view Fake News via MSM. “Distracted… Read more »

vexarb
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You’ve read “Syria: the Creeping Partition” by Syria ambassador Peter Ford. Now read “EU$A: the Creeping Financial Bloodbath” by SyrPer analyst Canthama. “Canthama As I commented few times at Syrper and twitter, the period of late 2018 and all the way to 2023 will witness many geopolitical and economic shifts around the world. Late 2018 promises some rough rides on global stocks and equities, Banks are extremely vulnerable at the moment, including few central banks, losses are mounting globally as USD 8 Trillions just evaporated this past week. Anyone with connections to industrial outputs and markets is already noticing raw… Read more »

Paul
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Paul

When the spotlight first fell on US Forces in NE Syria directing an Arab army a very frank American spokesmen said one thing was for sure, there was no way the profits from the enormous oil fields there were going to Assad. He didn’t add that such big business in oil was best done by an American company. In return for a slice of the profit an ‘Independent’ Arab administration would keep everything ultra secure.

FuckemAll
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FuckemAll

Our PM must surely be grateful to Putin for so far not capturing our mercenary forces holed up on the turkish borders, and having them on show with their ‘beards’. Though reports seem to say they are blowing themselves up in their makeshift chemical factories. Now the Saudis are out of that game (it is high irony that Kashogii’s final influence would be to give peace a chance where he and his family have spent their lives selling war and conquest and misery). Erdogan will force the US out and restore these parts to Syrian control. There already is a… Read more »

chris
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chris

“Meanwhile NATO has decided to poke the bear in the Artic regions! ”
comment image

NATO: It’ only blanks……………….we don’t really mean you

Jo
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Jo

Yup thanks Peter Ford and the efforts by your associates such as letters that regularly appear. Hope we get an optimistic update from this…
“MOSCOW, October 25. /TASS/. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will hold a meeting with a delegation of the Syrian Negotiations Committee headed by Nasr al-Hariri on October 26, Russian Special Presidential Envoy for the Middle East and Africa, Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov told reporters, adding that the parties would discuss the situation in the Syrian province of Idlib, the separation of opposition members from terrorists and the formation of a Syrian constitutional committee.”

More:
http://tass.com/politics/1027835

Mark Gobell
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Mark Gobell

Jan 2016 : Syrian Free Press : Creating Sunnistan: Foreign Affairs Calls for Syria and Iraq to be Balkanized https://syrianfreepress.wordpress.com/2016/01/12/creating-sunnistan/ By Steven MacMillan Journal-Neo On the 29th of November, 2015, Foreign Affairs [the publication of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR)] published an article titled: Divide and Conquer in Syria and Iraq; Why the West Should Plan for a Partition. It was written by Barak Mendelsohn, an Associate Professor of Political Science at Haverford College and a Senior Fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute. In the article, he argues that the “solution” to the current crisis in Syria and… Read more »

Mulga Mumblebrain
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Mulga Mumblebrain

That is just the Oded Yinon Plan, the Zionazis’ decades old intention to destroy and vivisect all its neighbours, the better to dominate the region and steal their God-ordained lebensraum of ‘Eretz Yisrael’ at their leisure. Barak Mendelssohn would be a devout Zionazi supremacist, one assumes.

Stonky
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Stonky

Thank god for people with a bit of integrity like Peter Ford and Craig Murray.

tutisicecream
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Good report on the Syrian continuing situation. One which is hidden in the WMSM.

A detailed report here from Vanessa Beeley exposing more about the UK created MI6 propaganda construct called the White Helmets:

https://21stcenturywire.com/2018/10/17/syria-exclusive-vanessa-beeley-meets-the-white-helmets-and-armed-group-leader-in-daraa-al-balad/

FUKUS are being protected by their paid for media cohorts in what are and have been blatant war crimes in Syria.

vexarb
Reader

The liberation of NorthWest and SouthEast border regions of Syria was reserved for last, because the first was occupied by terrorists from NATZO member Turkey, and the latter was occupied by terrorists from NATZO members UK Z U$A via Jordan (with unwilling compliance of Harrow educated, Sandhurst-trained King Abdullah). And diplomacy (persuading UKZU$A to forego their sense of entitlement to other peoples property) was always going to be an important part of the liberation campaign.

archie1954
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archie1954

The US as usual is acting despicably! Not one treaty, not one promise, not one international relationship is safe, while the World’s biggest bully is flexing his disintegrating synapses. Nothing is sacred, nothing is immune from cash sales. The US signs a solemn pact and if a better offer comes along the pact is thrown in the dustbin. So much for trust and there is no honour among thieves.

antonym
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antonym

A two state solution?
Meanwhile next door: The Fatah-led Palestinian Authority in the West Bank and Hamas authorities in Gaza routinely arrest and torture peaceful critics and opponents, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. https://www.hrw.org/news/2018/10/23/palestine-authorities-crush-dissent

Mulga Mumblebrain
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Mulga Mumblebrain

‘Human Rights Watch’ is a cabal of New York Jews and their Sabbat Goy stooges, racists whose latest confection was the ‘one million Uighurs in detention’ lie, nicely illustrating the Zionazis’ hatred and fear of China, a state they will never totally control as they do the West. Racists, through and through.

Admin
Moderator
Admin

“New York Jews and their Sabbat Goy stooges” – translation – some of the people running HRW are Jewish and some are not. You think their race/religion worth mentioning and attach a slant to it. There’s a HELL of a lot wrong with HRW, but being run by some people who may be Jews isn’t really it. You claim you aren’t racist and that you don’t blame “the Joos” for everything, but in practical terms it sure looks like you are and do. At very least in taking the tone you do you only help the cause of the people… Read more »

BigB
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BigB

Why the two state solution is apartheid:

https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2018/10/39091/

Antonym
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Antonym

Assad might prefer to keep those assembled fanatics outside; Erdogan too – maybe.
Then again, they might start shooting rockets over the borders….

vexarb
Reader

Here is someone else who knows what she is talking about when it comes to the suffering of Syria. Britain’s very own Vanessa Beeley:

Vanessa Beeley with Eva Karene Bartlett and 6 others.

https://www.facebook.com/vanessa.beeley/videos/10158464178623868/

”This was one of the most moving interviews I have done. I met Hassan Ali Kanani and his wife, Samiah, in their home in the northern countryside of Latakia, in September 2018…
They told me the story of their courageous son, Tarek Hassan Kanani, who fought with the SAA and participated in many battles in Syria to liberate territory from the Western-backed terrorist plague…”

writerroddis
Reader
writerroddis

Thank you Peter Ford. Good to have this kind of detailed assessment from one who actually knows what he’s talking about re Syria.