The name of the game around the Syrian War is a mosaic of intertwined, conflicting interests of all political players. No two countries or political groups have the same goal in precise terms while generally many support some vague, mostly meaningless ideas about how to end the conflict open to broad interpretation, often tailored to particular benefit of one side or another.
There are specific ideas that political players in the conflict have. I will try to define them in a series of posts on this blog. Today I ask: What are interests and political objectives of Kurds and the Assad regime in context of this war ?
The Kurds are politically divided. The Iraqi Kurds and the KRG, US puppet regime run by a Barzani clan rather than a political formation, want to increase their influence and oil rich territory in Iraq while continuing profitable oil trade with Turkey on their own with no Baghdad’s control or involvement. This attitude of this CIA infiltrated Iraqi-Kurd leadership is an obvious betrayal of Kurdish independent movement that sees Turkey as an enemy number one.
In contrast Syrian Kurds are looking to gain internationally recognized strong autonomy within Syria, which could become, upon Turkey disintegration, a seed of Kurdistan independent state, with its independent security forces and independent civic institutions and relatively independent economy within the some kind of federal framework of future Syrian Federation. They are much more interested in supporting Kurds and their political strive in Turkey, support that corrupted US backed Iraqi Kurds failed to provide.
As they successfully did with KRG and Peshmerga, a Barzani Clan Militia in Iraq, the US became interested in taking over YPG and Syrian Kurdish leadership of PYD, in an attempt to corrupt/control them as well in order to calm down of some of Turkish well-founded fears about highly trained YPG under command of PYD sister party of PKK at Turkish borders.
Facing with annihilation just 18 months ago, YPG temporary and seemingly accepted the US air support in fighting ISIL, and tolerate some US boots on the ground, in Kurdish areas but this marriage of convenience cannot last and is politically so fragile that could be broken on a moment notice. And as soon as ISIL is substantially weaken or defeated, US Special Forces, illegally operating on Syrian soil, will quickly be forced out under any pretext of Syrian national sovereignty or something else.
It is important to note that PYD shares the political program with PKK (Kurdish Workers Party) which is based on Marxism-Leninism, not something look favorably in Washington, nor makes PYD leadership a believer in benevolence of US neocons and possibility of any long-term alliance or friendship with the US Imperial power, they swear to defeat as a matter of policy of Worker’s International.
Again, US wet dream of doing the same with Syrian Kurds as with they did with Iraqi Kurds is bound to fail, first of all because the situation in Syrian is diametrically different.
Back then, in 1990-ties US provided the only possible protection against still strong Saddam Hussein army for the Iraqi-Kurdish forces under CIA control while now in Syria, Assad is much weaker and already conceded strong Kurdish autonomy and local self-rule, facing the fact of infeasibility of enforcement of his political reign over Kurds for many years after the war.
However, he demanded Syrian territorial integrity, and Damascus veto in the Syrian defense and international relations being respected by Kurds. Both sides are considering Turkey as being common enemy and a threat to their particular interests and both would do anything possible to find a compromise, with Turkey on a losing side. They have no illusions that, for global geopolitical reasons, the US ultimately will support Turkey and hence the PYD political/military embrace of US is treated as temporary and tactical measure.
On the other hand, Kurds refuse to be involved in military plans of Damascus beyond traditional Kurdish territories and wisely trying to avoid even more dire complications, such as encroachment on ethnic Arab, Yezidis or Assyrian or even Turkmen lands that could result in disturbing Syrian/Iraq ethnic mosaic even more than it already has been.
What Asaad’s regime likely objective at this point is, to keep territorial integrity and unity of power in Syria, to regain control over governmental system within the country, return control to local and provincial authorities including biggest cities of Greater Damascus, Hama, Homs, Aleppo, Daara etc., symbols of protest and resistance in 2011 where most of the Syrian people currently live in their destroyed homes or in internal refugees camps.
Assad desperately wants to rebuilt resemblance of a functioning state with its law and order and social services, the state, which was under brutal, mostly external assault for over five years now.
And hence rebuilding revenue sources such as oil and international trade, reestablishment of local financial and communication hub is a priority however complicated by Russian and US assault on Syrian industrial and transportation infrastructure, substantially in tact as of a year ago.
However from political standpoint Assad ultimate objective is to develop international legal framework of guaranties for Syrian state and to entice political, economic and military allies to support for enormous efforts of rebuilding the country after devastated war as its social legacy.
That’s why Syrian foreign ministry officials are frantically shuttling between Beijing, Tehran and Moscow to gain support for Syrian “Marshall” plan rumored to be about 250-500 billions over next 10-15 years, with speculation of more permanent Chinese, Russian and Iranian naval and air bases in Syria.
However, in such an international framework, Baa’th party unchallenged domination and Assad’s own political lineage is no longer assured within war devastated Syrian society, and hence Assad’s keenness to embrace any opposition that would fit into a narrative of united Syria under Secular Arab Nationalist umbrella demanding constitutional separation of religion and the state, as it was done in Turkey under Ataturk and in the US under Washington presidency and afterward.
All those Assad’s requirements regarding opposition while not particularly radical, novel or unfamiliar to US political system, at this point are simply unacceptable for Americans and their allies who want nothing but small Islamic Fiefdoms in partitioned Syria unable to challenge Theocratic State of Israel.
Realizing this conundrum, Russian and Syrian governments, via continuous consultations between Russia and ME diplomats, for over half a year now are trying to “create” such a truly moderate opposition operating within framework of Secular Arab Nationalism since no such an opposition exist in Syria right now. They joined Assad regime or are dead.
But all the Assad’s efforts of reconciliation with Baa’th party opponents and garnering support and loyalty among religious and social institution and agencies as well as immense efforts to win back tribal loyalty and support from population at large via social programs and general amnesty, would be very problematic at best and futile at worst if not for the fact that there is no other viable leader in Syria or foreign sponsored political group or military force that would declare their support and allegiance to the idea of unified Syrian state within prewar borders.
And that’s why at this point there is no alternative to Assad even in minds of those who politically oppose him, not because of his particular accomplishments, warranting support but to create condition for rebuilding devastated country and economic development in unified Syria as a prerequisite to further democratization of political system.
In other words no one within Baa’th party or outside, who cares about fate of Syrian people, even want to take power in this very uncertain juncture, when outcomes are still so uncertain and while as a result of recent SAA military operations and Russian support, Assad regime will not be deposed via blunt military force of western sponsored terrorists, there was no breakthrough so far that would open a path to ending the war anytime soon as long as western belligerence continues.
“POLITICAL MOSAIC OF SYRIAN WAR: Part II. Turkey” is coming up soon.
SOUTH FRONT: Turkey continues preparation for limited invasion and no fly zone to prevent YPG from cutting off the remaining supply route to ISIL strongholds. While there is no chance to truly open up all supply routes to ISIL being pounded from the air by Russians it may give an excuse to derail any real progress in peace talks if that it the aim of those talks and not, like before, insane demands that Assad and Putin surrender after a winning momentum is on their side.
Russian “Specnaz” (Special forces) several miles from Turkish Border. A Syrian soldier took this selfie in recently liberated city of Salma. Is this reponse for planned Turkish invasion of the north to protect ISIL?
1600 y.o. church destroyed by ISIL:
Homs, City of Death; Recommended viewing. What’s interesting is the last frame showing city divided. The devastated part of the city was destroyed mostly by Syrian Army shelling with artillery and warplanes and this goes for many of hugely destroyed cities in Syria with some exceptions of Mosques, churches, military installations, or historic sites purposefully targeted by terrorists. It was Assad regime that destroyed many of the cities to “save” them after terrorists went down into tunnels and sewage lines and fought from there.
Tunnel busting by SAA;
Syrians return to Quadam, Damascus suburb after terrorist evacuated to Idlib area.
Daraya (Daara Province)
Russian Bombing against ISIL targets near Turkish Border supporting YPG positions.
These are true living conditions of refugees in the suburb of Damascus.
CIA operations in Iraqi Kurdistan, Falcon mercenaries.
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Russian Robotic warfare in development. What’s important to note that they are not autonomous but locally networked robots meaning they do not make decisions about targeting but they programatically support decision of human commander to hit certain targets by multiple robots.
World financial crisis hit ISIL cash flow. Reforms needed.
Turkey supported terrorists at their camp just within a mile of so of the Turkish Border, the only place they still feel safe. The mood is clearly depressed, no usual propaganda slogans about near victory Allah willing.Their only defense is the long range artillery of Turkish army just few miles away.