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G7 Couldn't Change Putin's Mind on Assad – Even if They Wanted to
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It is very unlikely that Russia will change its support for President Bashar al-Assad of Syria, despite calls to do so from foreign ministers from the G7 nations gathered in Italy in the aftermath of the use of poison gas in Syria and the US missile strikes.

Russia owes its return to great power status in the eyes of much of the world to its military intervention in Syria and will not want to change its previous stance. Mr Assad’s forces, which are backed by Russia, Iran, Hezbollah and Shia militias from Iraq, are close to winning the civil war and it is doubtful if President Putin, even if he wanted to, could remove the Syrian leader from power.

Boris Johnson said that the chemical attack on Khan Sheikhoun on 4 April had “changed everything fundamentally”. But on the contrary the balance of power on the ground in Syria is very much as it was before, and it is improbable that US policy will really switch from giving priority to eliminating Isis and al-Qaeda.

A problem in getting rid of Mr Assad as Syrian leader – as advocated in the past by the US, Britain and France – is that there is no reason to suppose that it would end the war in Syria or modify the savagery with which it is fought. Mr Assad leads one side in a civil conflict that believes that it would be slaughtered or forced to flee if the other side won. It would fight on, with or without his presence.

The other important aspect of the Syrian crisis that remains unchanged by the chemical attack is that, if Mr Assad and his forces were defeated, then the beneficiaries would be the Salafi-jihadi opposition. Isis and al-Qaeda-linked groups dominate the armed resistance to the Assad government even more firmly than they did a year ago.

The Italian foreign minister Angelino Alfano was more cautious than Mr Johnson about getting rid of Mr Assad, saying that decision should be left up to the Syrians. “I have to say, the Libya experiment did not go well,” said Mr Alfano, referring to the aftermath of the killing of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011 after he was defeated by a Nato-backed opposition military campaign and the country collapsed into anarchy. “We are still paying the price.”

A further difficulty facing any insistence by G7 states that there be a political “transition” in Syria is that Russia is not Mr Assad’s only foreign ally. Prior to Russian military intervention in Syria in 2015, Iran was Mr Assad’s most important foreign supporter, sending military advisers and leading an axis of Shia powers and movements who see victory in the Syrian war as crucial to their very existence. Before the fall in the price of oil in in 2014, the Iraqi government gave significant financial assistance to Damascus.

It is still unclear how far President Trump’s policy in Syria has really changed from what it was before the 59 cruise missiles were fired last week at a Syrian airbase near the central city of Homs. Until then, Mr Trump’s policy in Syria and Iraq was much the same as that pursued by President Obama and seemed to be reaching a successful conclusion.

Isis is on the retreat in both Syria and Iraq, having lost three-quarters of the city of Mosul, its de facto Iraqi capital, in addition to other Iraqi cities which it once held. In Syria, Isis has lost most of the northern end of the Euphrates valley and is under severe pressure in Raqqa from the Syrian Democratic Forces in which the main military punching power comes from the Syrian Kurdish paramilitary forces backed by the devastating firepower of the US-led air coalition.

(Reprinted from The Independent by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Donald Trump, Russia, Syria 
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  1. It seems the biggest criminals of the Syrian War are Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Turkey that did most to send and support Jihadis and terrorists in Syria. These nations have been aiding some of the heinous terrorists we’ve seen in our times. Indeed, they are not only terrorists but theocidal lunatics: Sunni radicals who will slaughter any number of Shia, Christian, and secular people in the most horrifying way. And yet, there’s been no Western condemnation of Saudi, Qatarese, and Turkish support for the crazies in Syria.

    It just goes to show that the West is under the control of the Zio-GLOB, and ANYTHING that hurts Syria is good since Israel sees it as an ally of Iran.

    But then, the Zio-GLOB even recruited neo-Nazi types in Ukraine to bring down the pro-Russian government.

    Read More
    • Replies: @JL
    Finally, an actual fact-based article by Cockburn.

    But then, the Zio-GLOB even recruited neo-Nazi types in Ukraine to bring down the pro-Russian government.
     
    Ukraine, in its entire short history of existence, never had a pro-Russian government. Perhaps if it did, it would still exist as a country, Crimea and all.
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  2. @Priss Factor
    It seems the biggest criminals of the Syrian War are Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Turkey that did most to send and support Jihadis and terrorists in Syria. These nations have been aiding some of the heinous terrorists we've seen in our times. Indeed, they are not only terrorists but theocidal lunatics: Sunni radicals who will slaughter any number of Shia, Christian, and secular people in the most horrifying way. And yet, there's been no Western condemnation of Saudi, Qatarese, and Turkish support for the crazies in Syria.

    It just goes to show that the West is under the control of the Zio-GLOB, and ANYTHING that hurts Syria is good since Israel sees it as an ally of Iran.

    But then, the Zio-GLOB even recruited neo-Nazi types in Ukraine to bring down the pro-Russian government.

    Finally, an actual fact-based article by Cockburn.

    But then, the Zio-GLOB even recruited neo-Nazi types in Ukraine to bring down the pro-Russian government.

    Ukraine, in its entire short history of existence, never had a pro-Russian government. Perhaps if it did, it would still exist as a country, Crimea and all.

    Read More
  3. and it is improbable that US policy will really switch from giving priority to eliminating Isis and al-Qaeda

    But that was never the plan. On the contrary, the plan is to place something militantly anti-Iranian – Isis or al-Qaeda – into the middle of the ‘Shia Crescent’. If you don’t understand the fundamentals, why do you write all this stuff? Well, okay, I suppose you could be a scriboman, but why is it being published?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Don Bass
    If you don’t understand the fundamentals, why do you write all this stuff? Well, okay, I suppose you could be a scriboman,
    but why is it being published?

    Agree,
    Agree,
    Agree.

    It seems the comment section has more validity and insightful geo-political analysis that the puppet "scriboman"
  4. Assad represents Syrian civilisation, which was a major element of classical civilisation predating European dominance. The alphabet was developed by the Punic culture, coastal Syrians. Those opposing Assad are the barbarian element. The yankee regime and its vassal states, which seem to include most, but perhaps not all, of those countries subsumed in NATO, are supporting the barbarian element. Indeed, if they weren’t “our” barbarians, they would be characterised as towelheads or some similar political incorrect term. We can see this “civilisation” among those who have been let in to European countries. Those backing the barbarian element for machiavellian reasons are traitors to civilisation and the rule of law. G7 needs to exit the yankee shadow. Looking at the commercial media in major western countries is reminiscent of the nazi regime. Diversity is allowed within close parameters, but the official propaganda line is paramount. Mainstreams like Cockburn are allowed a measure of independence but, when the chips are down, they revert to their status as regime lackeys as evidenced by this piece. The western world has degenerated in the 21st century into a sort of Nazi regime without the ovens.

    Read More
    • Replies: @HdC
    Every civilized country has ovens or, more accurately, crematoria.

    Furthermore, the Naaazis improved the living conditions for the workers in Germany tremendously.

    What other government can claim this? HdC
    , @Father O'Hara
    "...sort of a Nazi regime without the ovens." That would also be an apt description of the Nazi regime.
  5. Reconciliation of opposing sides
    March 29: 2017

    A Reconciliation Agreement (ceasefire) between the democratically- elected government of Syria and the armed opposition was signed on Feb 27, 2016.

    So a little over a year ago.

    It was brokered with the assistance of the Russian Federation.

    What has been achieved?

    136 armed formations have stopped fighting.

    1,374 cities, towns and villages are peaceful because leaders have signed and abide by the Agreement.

    195 inhabited areas have liberated by the Syrian troops from ISIS.

    Negotiations on joining ceasefire regime have been continued with field commanders of detachments of armed opposition in the Aleppo, Damascus, Homs, Hama, and al-Quneitra provinces.

    Syrian government troops have liberated 3,426.1 square kilometers since January 1, 2017.

    Have Syrians got their entire country back under legitimate governance?
    Not yet. But the national army continues to succeed. Once this happens the Syrian president has agreed to elections- that will be internationally monitored.

    The area of Khan Sheikhoun (where the unverified and increasingly implausible “sarin” attack is alleged to have occurred) is still controlled by al quada. Remember al quada? the terrorists who were accused of the atrocity of 9/11? Remember that event prompted the “war on terror” and the US wars on Afghanistan and Iraq?

    Now the US has committed a war crime based on some very obviously contrived You-tube evidence posted by the very same al quada.
    Why is al quada to be believed?
    Why is the Russian Federation call for an independent examination of the site by qualified investigators mocked?
    Let’s try a scenario:
    A house in your neighbourhood burns down. A known arsonist says you did it. You are immediately arrested and jailed. Hey! You would say. What about getting some investigation? What about me having a defence and a trial?
    So what has happened in Syria?: known terrorists have made some ridiculous claims. Without stopping to think the US has launched 59- missiles. Killing civilians and legitimate soldiers. That is a war crime.

    Read More
  6. @Mao Cheng Ji

    and it is improbable that US policy will really switch from giving priority to eliminating Isis and al-Qaeda
     
    But that was never the plan. On the contrary, the plan is to place something militantly anti-Iranian - Isis or al-Qaeda - into the middle of the 'Shia Crescent'. If you don't understand the fundamentals, why do you write all this stuff? Well, okay, I suppose you could be a scriboman, but why is it being published?

    If you don’t understand the fundamentals, why do you write all this stuff? Well, okay, I suppose you could be a scriboman,
    but why is it being published?

    Agree,
    Agree,
    Agree.

    It seems the comment section has more validity and insightful geo-political analysis that the puppet “scriboman”

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous Nephew
    He's maybe writing as much truth as he can if he wants to be published outside of Unz. The Indie was an oligarch-owned globalist newspaper, and now it's a similar website.

    Interesting to see how pro-war the Guardian is these days.

    And Boris Johnson is, while entertaining, a pretty unprincipled human being, his only visible principle being the welfare and status of Boris Johnson. Teresa May isn't much different.
  7. This representative of the lugenpress writes:
    …..The other important aspect of the Syrian crisis that remains unchanged by the chemical attack ….
    What chemical attack?
    Where exists ANY verified, investigated, authenticated evidence of a “sarin” /”chemical” attack.

    Just some bad acting on YouTube by known terrorists?

    In fact fellow readers – notice the subtle “walking back” of the claim.

    First reports screeched “sarin” “sarin” “sarin” …..
    But as voices of authoritative sources have slowly emerged ( despite the cacophony of “sarin” “sarin” “sarin”) — toxicologist and others with professional knowledge have debunked the “sarin!!!” hysteria.
    So now it’s just a “chemical” attack.
    Only liars need to keep revising their lies to accommodate what has been refuted and disproven. This claim by al quada has no connection to the truth….

    Read More
  8. Boris Johnson said that the chemical attack on Khan Sheikhoun on 4 April had “changed everything fundamentally”.

    This boorish stupid is using emotion, bias,distortion of facts and jettisoning reasoning ,obscuring the facts and creating false reality in order to commit violence. Just the way fiery clerics or the tyrants or the dictators do .

    Boris is pretty good at inciting violence on a large scale on those who can’t decide by voting or writing or through court to influnece his fate .

    Read More
    • Replies: @Joe Wong
    Boris Johnson is either using what works on the 99% to get his fake news across or he is one of the 99% he does not know that he is trolling fake news.
  9. The way Trump’s actions are being hailed as exemplary and bold by the neocons and the media ,it seems a warlord from Mexican Cartel or from Afghanistan would have met their needs longtime ago leaving the author to figure out how to arrange words in a sentence to make it look exemplary and bold .
    Only it might look a little difficult on the margin -nothing but nuisance which could be addressed by some old authorization for war preserved on some frayed yellow papers -like the war against Korea or Vietnam or Iraq.

    Read More
  10. @Don Bass
    If you don’t understand the fundamentals, why do you write all this stuff? Well, okay, I suppose you could be a scriboman,
    but why is it being published?

    Agree,
    Agree,
    Agree.

    It seems the comment section has more validity and insightful geo-political analysis that the puppet "scriboman"

    He’s maybe writing as much truth as he can if he wants to be published outside of Unz. The Indie was an oligarch-owned globalist newspaper, and now it’s a similar website.

    Interesting to see how pro-war the Guardian is these days.

    And Boris Johnson is, while entertaining, a pretty unprincipled human being, his only visible principle being the welfare and status of Boris Johnson. Teresa May isn’t much different.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Uebersetzer
    Yes, when I first bought the Guardian (c.1981) it had a liberal, semi-pacifist reputation and during the South Atlantic conflict it was seen by many Brits as borderline treasonable. Its circulation has declined, so has its general journalistic reputation and it is now a house journal for "humanitarian interventions" and colour revolutions.
  11. anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    The illiterate pimp and its Zionist criminal regime must be destroyed now. YOU are the evil and evil must be purged at any cost. Long live Assad and Syria. Death to Assad’s enemies.

    Read More
  12. @exiled off mainstreet
    Assad represents Syrian civilisation, which was a major element of classical civilisation predating European dominance. The alphabet was developed by the Punic culture, coastal Syrians. Those opposing Assad are the barbarian element. The yankee regime and its vassal states, which seem to include most, but perhaps not all, of those countries subsumed in NATO, are supporting the barbarian element. Indeed, if they weren't "our" barbarians, they would be characterised as towelheads or some similar political incorrect term. We can see this "civilisation" among those who have been let in to European countries. Those backing the barbarian element for machiavellian reasons are traitors to civilisation and the rule of law. G7 needs to exit the yankee shadow. Looking at the commercial media in major western countries is reminiscent of the nazi regime. Diversity is allowed within close parameters, but the official propaganda line is paramount. Mainstreams like Cockburn are allowed a measure of independence but, when the chips are down, they revert to their status as regime lackeys as evidenced by this piece. The western world has degenerated in the 21st century into a sort of Nazi regime without the ovens.

    Every civilized country has ovens or, more accurately, crematoria.

    Furthermore, the Naaazis improved the living conditions for the workers in Germany tremendously.

    What other government can claim this? HdC

    Read More
  13. @ka
    Boris Johnson said that the chemical attack on Khan Sheikhoun on 4 April had “changed everything fundamentally”.

    This boorish stupid is using emotion, bias,distortion of facts and jettisoning reasoning ,obscuring the facts and creating false reality in order to commit violence. Just the way fiery clerics or the tyrants or the dictators do .

    Boris is pretty good at inciting violence on a large scale on those who can't decide by voting or writing or through court to influnece his fate .

    Boris Johnson is either using what works on the 99% to get his fake news across or he is one of the 99% he does not know that he is trolling fake news.

    Read More
  14. A problem in getting rid of Mr Assad as Syrian leader – as advocated in the past by the US, Britain and France – is that there is no reason to suppose that it would end the war in Syria or modify the savagery with which it is fought.

    That’s not a problem, that’s a fucking feature.

    Read More
  15. @Anonymous Nephew
    He's maybe writing as much truth as he can if he wants to be published outside of Unz. The Indie was an oligarch-owned globalist newspaper, and now it's a similar website.

    Interesting to see how pro-war the Guardian is these days.

    And Boris Johnson is, while entertaining, a pretty unprincipled human being, his only visible principle being the welfare and status of Boris Johnson. Teresa May isn't much different.

    Yes, when I first bought the Guardian (c.1981) it had a liberal, semi-pacifist reputation and during the South Atlantic conflict it was seen by many Brits as borderline treasonable. Its circulation has declined, so has its general journalistic reputation and it is now a house journal for “humanitarian interventions” and colour revolutions.

    Read More
  16. The problem with lies is that you cannot tell just one. One needs to constantly lie to cover the previous lies. In contrast, there is only one truth. Unfortunately nobody seems to dare to be true in our government. Total failure of humanity in the middle east.

    Read More
  17. @exiled off mainstreet
    Assad represents Syrian civilisation, which was a major element of classical civilisation predating European dominance. The alphabet was developed by the Punic culture, coastal Syrians. Those opposing Assad are the barbarian element. The yankee regime and its vassal states, which seem to include most, but perhaps not all, of those countries subsumed in NATO, are supporting the barbarian element. Indeed, if they weren't "our" barbarians, they would be characterised as towelheads or some similar political incorrect term. We can see this "civilisation" among those who have been let in to European countries. Those backing the barbarian element for machiavellian reasons are traitors to civilisation and the rule of law. G7 needs to exit the yankee shadow. Looking at the commercial media in major western countries is reminiscent of the nazi regime. Diversity is allowed within close parameters, but the official propaganda line is paramount. Mainstreams like Cockburn are allowed a measure of independence but, when the chips are down, they revert to their status as regime lackeys as evidenced by this piece. The western world has degenerated in the 21st century into a sort of Nazi regime without the ovens.

    “…sort of a Nazi regime without the ovens.” That would also be an apt description of the Nazi regime.

    Read More
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