Syria: Why did the US now take the Russian offer for a truce? What next?

Arrival of John Kerry, US Secretary of State in the conference "Supporting Syria and the Region". The event was co-organized by the Britain, Germany, Kuwait, Norway and the United Nations. Date: 04/02/2016. Location: London. © European Union, 2016 / Source: EC - Audiovisual Service / Photo: Jack Taylor.

Arrival of John Kerry, US Secretary of State in the conference “Supporting Syria and the Region”. The event was co-organized by the Britain, Germany, Kuwait, Norway and the United Nations. Date: 04/02/2016. Location: London. © European Union, 2016 / Source: EC – Audiovisual Service / Photo: Jack Taylor.

The US-Russia plan for a “cessation of hostilities” in Syria, endorsed by the UN Security Council on Friday 26 February kicked off in the early hours of Saturday and two days after is still more or less observed. Understandably the cease-fire may collapse at any moment but the US and Russia seem determined to keep it alive. The truce doesn’t include the Islamic State and the Nusra Front controlled by al Qaeda. Damascus forces under President Bashar al-Assad and his foes, the various rebel groups, have largely stopped the hostilities.

However, the Kurdish People’s Protection Units of YPG and their adversary Turkey both said they will abide by the UN resolution to stop fighting, but they will respond by force to any breach of the Security Council resolution. It goes without saying that the US and Russian air raids have stopped except when it comes to bombing the jihadist forces.

Rather too late for the people

Alas, it’s rather too late for Syria, a country that has actually ceased to exist, with the various conflicting forces having dissolved and partitioned it and now fighting for some more square miles of land. After five years of hostilities more than 11 million are homeless and almost six million of Syrians have abandoned their countries. They have been seeking refuge in the neighboring countries the Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey, with more than one million of them having reached Europe through the Greek islands and the Balkan corridor. Another five million are thought to be refugees in their own country trying to avoid fighting and famine.

This newspaper has extensively covered the Syrian issue, but this is not the time to analyze who is to blame for turning the ‘Arab spring’ peaceful protests for democracy in Damascus and the other major cities of the country, into an inferno of deadly civil war. At this point is much more important to assess the weight of the US-Russia plan for the “cessation of hostilities”.

Turkey: The reluctant ally

As expected, the Islamic State fighters would try to undermine the cease-fire in which they are not participating. Understandably, the US – Russia plan foresees that the butchers of the hard-line Sunni ISIS will continue to be fought until they are totally extinct. In this context, last Saturday morning, the ISIS militants attacked a town near the Turkish borders held by the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia. Their purpose was obviously to implicate the Turkish forces against the Kurds, given that Ankara is clearly looking for opportunities to attack the Kurds.

However, the US coalition war planes swiftly came to help the Kurds with at least 10 air strikes. This was also a reminder to Ankara that the American forces implicated in the Syrian fighting consider the Kurds as their close ally. It seems that this was necessary because during the last few weeks the Turkish air forces have been hitting the Kurdish positions everywhere in Syria. The Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has repeatedly provoked the US to decide on which side they are, Turkey’s or her enemies the Kurds.

The Americans are now convinced

In any case, the Americans seem finally convinced that apart from the Kurds, on the Syrian soil there are no other effective and determined foes of ISIS. The same is true for Assad but he is under Moscow’s spell. The various rebel groups that Turkey and Saudi Arabia have been backing for years in the Syrian civil war are either neutral or even cooperate closely with the Islamic State and the Nusra Front.

All of them have only one common cause, to extinguish the Bashar al-Assad regime and together with it the entire Alawite population of Syria which numbers some three million people. Alawites are a small sect of the Shia Islam. That’s why the Shia followers of the Lebanon Hezbollah and the Iranian government have been very decisively and successfully helping Assad and his Alawites. This proves then that it’s impossible to extinguish an entire people of three million and Russia made sure that this will not be the case.

Assad: A part of the solution

In view of this reality, it seems that Washington finally was forced to come to terms with Moscow and accept that the President Bashar al-Assad and the part of the population he stands for cannot be absent from the final arrangement. Russia has been insisting about that since the very beginning of the hostilities and Vladimir Putin had made it quite clear that he will not abandon Assad to the be slaughtered by the Sunni militias.

Apparently, the Americans also had to consider the views of their closest allies in the Syrian issue, the French. After the Charlie Hebdo massacre of January 2015 and the bloody Paris attacks of last November that left 130 people dead and hundreds wounded, the French government along with other Europeans understood that there was no other way to deal with ISIS and the other jihadist forces than total war. Seemingly, the Americans are now also convinced of that and understood that Turkey and Saudi Arabia cannot be trusted in this affair.

Turkey and Saudi Arabia forced into the deal

Towards the same direction, the newcomer in the world affairs Tehran pressed Paris and Washington to respect the rights of the Syrian millions of Alawites. The result was that the US had to come to terms with the other elephant in the room which is Russia. Understandably, the Americans didn’t like it at all but it seems that the US presses on with its foreign policy plans to their limits, but when those limits appear insurmountable Washington appears ready to compromise.

This is what is now happening in Syria. Undoubtedly, the final arrangement will comprise Assad leading his Alawite compatriots and the Kurds in the north. As for the truce, it holds well despite some isolated incidents that do not alter the overall positive picture. In any case, there is every indication that it will lead to the negotiations table under the UN Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Featured Stings

Trade protectionism and cartels threaten democracy

The financial war touches Frankfurt and Berlin

COP21 Breaking News_12 December: Another sleepless night for the negotiators before Indaba meeting

EU to relocate 40,000 migrants across the bloc: first step of a long due substantial reform?

My Mothers

ECB: Euro area should smooth out the consumption and income shocks of its members

EU Parliament: ECB accountable for not supporting real economy

Will ECB win against low inflation by not following Quantitave Easing?

My unlimited China

COP21 Breaking News_09 December: List of Recent Climate Funding Announcements

Brussels to tear down the trade wall with Mexico as opposed to Trump’s “walls”

The new European Union of banks is ready

EU migrant crisis: Germany, France and UK to show the way. Will the rest of the EU follow?

UN-based World Summit Award (WSA) presents its master list on digital innovation with impact on society from 24 countries

False promises to Small and Medium Enterprises

Half of Eurozone in deflation expecting salvation from monetary measures

The banks first to benefit from the new euro trillion ECB plans to print

Brexit talks started with a London handicap and Brussels’ sternness

EU cracks under the weight of its policy on the Ukraine-Russia nub

Consumers suffer three defeats

Eurozone: Sovereign debt decreases for the first time since 2007

Greferendum: the biggest political gaffe in western modern history to tear Europe apart? #Grexit #Graccident

IMF: European banks do not perform their duty to real economy

Only the Americans are unhappy with the ceasefire agreement in eastern Ukraine

CDNIFY @ TheNextWeb 2014

The EU Commission does nothing about the food retailing oligopoly

Lessons from the Global Entrepreneurship Index

Germany and France only care about keeping their borrowing cheap

WEF Davos 2016 LIVE: “No other problem has jeopardised the EU as much as the refugee question” Joachim Gauck, President of the Federal Republic of Germany, cries out from Davos

ECB’s unconventional monetary measures give first tangible results

Do the EU policies on agro-food smell?

European Youth Forum welcomes strong stance on human rights in State of the Union

Gender Equality and medicine in the 21st Century: we want the fair share

ECB asks for more subsidies to banks

A new Europe for people, planet and prosperity for all

Crimea, a wicked game of political chess and a ‘big’ coincidence

The G7 fails to agree on growth but protects the big banks

Eurozone examines the prospect of issuing debt paper jointly

Who will secure Lithuania?

The EU banking union needs a third pillar guaranteeing deposits

Switzerland to favour EU citizens in immigration quotas as the risk of a new referendum looms

Matthias in Canada

Journey of my life

EU: Huge surplus in the trade of services with the rest of the world

France pushes UK to stay and Germany to pay

The European Commission to stop Buffering

Changing the EU copyright law won’t bring us much closer to Digital Single Market

Draghi’s ‘quasi’ announcement of a new era of more and cheaper money

A ship with containers at the port of Rotterdam. (Copyright: European Union. Source: EC - Audiovisual Service. Photo: Robert Meerding)

US follows the EU in impeding China market economy status in WTO

Connectivity and collaboration in the ICT industry: the key to socio-economic development

The Ukrainian crisis to destabilize Europe and the world for a long time

Europe enters uncharted waters with Kiev-Moscow standoff

Pro-EU forces won a 70% triumph in the European elections

Japan to invest in euro values

Twenty days that may remold the future of Europe

Why and how Germany had it again its own way in Cyprus

Eurozone: GDP development heads to naught; the expensive euro serves only Germany

Does the EU want GMOs and meat with hormones from the US?

ECB: The bastion of effective and equitable Europeanism keeps up quantitative easing

Lithuania vs Parliament over 2014 EU budget

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s