US – Russia bargain on Syria, Ukraine but EU kept out

The 7588th meeting of the United Nations Security Council focused on talks on ISIS and Syria. Staffan de Mistura, Special Envoy of the United Nations for Syria, Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations, John Kerry, US Secretary of State, and Sergei Lavrov, Russian Minister for Foreign Affairs (from left to right). © European Union. EC - Audiovisual Service / Photo: Kena Betancur.

The 7588th meeting of the United Nations Security Council focused on talks on ISIS and Syria. Staffan de Mistura, Special Envoy of the United Nations for Syria, Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations, John Kerry, US Secretary of State, and Sergei Lavrov, Russian Minister for Foreign Affairs (from left to right). © European Union. EC – Audiovisual Service / Photo: Kena Betancur.

President Bashar al-Assad’s regular Syrian army aided by Lebanon Hezbollah fighters plus some Iranians, and of course under the air cover of Russia’s fighter jets last week pushed the ISIS murderers out of the ancient city of Palmyra. Reportedly, a Russian ground special force played also a role in this decisive battle, that probably constitutes a major downward turning point in the terrible existence of ISIS.

To be noted, that during the past few months, Russia has played a key role in changing the course of the war in favour of Assad, by targeting key elements of ISIS structures. Moscow also made sure that there can’t be a final political solution in the country without Assad in the picture. He authentically represents and stands for a large part of the Syrian population, the Alawites, a distinctively mild version of Shia Islam.

Assad to stay

These are some four millions souls of them, who would be under threat of extinction, if the murderous extreme Sunni forces of ISIS and the other Sunni groups, supported from Saudi Arabia and Turkey, would have prevailed. Both those last regional powers had sought Assad’s extinction. Had they been left undeterred, the Syria’s Alawites would have had a difficult time under a Sunni domination.

Palmyra then is not a win to offer Assad just a consolidation of his personal position in the picture. It’s a strategic victory for the regular Syrian army and more so for their Russian patrons, opening the way to target the ISIS capital Raqqa in the center of the country. It also proves that an effective combination of ground and air forces could a long time ago have deterred ISIS from expanding its destructive state.

Who fought ISIS?

This last observation means that the other side, that is the rebel or opposition forces supported by the Saudis, the Turks, the Americans, the French, the Belgians and practically by the entire West were not able or didn’t really want to severely threaten the ISIS existence. It’s now evident that the primary target of the opposition/rebel forces was not ISIS but Assad, and this not only for religious reasons. The anti-Assad alliance didn’t seek the extinction of ISIS – if they didn’t help it flourish – because it presented a good check for Assad.

What about the Kurds?

Apart from Assad and Russia, only the Kurds, who at the beginning fought alone a desperate war against ISIS, managed to resist its murderous force. After all that, the Americans finally understood that the Kurds were the only reliable ground military force that Washington could count on, in the fight against ISIS.

It seems then,l that from the very moment the Americans were convinced that ISIS could threaten even Bagdad, they decided to wholeheartedly support the quite effective Kurdish People’s Defense Units (YPG) and they also started contemplating to come to terms with Assad. A loss of Bagdad to ISIS, even for a few days, would have dealt a tremendous blow to the US political and military presence in the entire world.

That’s why the US has definitively decided that ISIS has to go. This means that the terrorist state has to be cornered and exterminated firstly in Syria, where it has established its headquarters and pursues its main activities. However, to accomplish this difficult task, the US needed more than the Kurds. The Syrian Kurds- and the much closer to the Americans Iraqi Kurds – cannot to do the job alone. Then Assad and Russia entered in the equation.

Damascus revived

Understandably, the White House didn’t want to start a new war, with American boots on the deserts of Syria and Iraq, more likely because it would have cost very dear in lives and money. The fact that in November a new President will be elected must have also played an important role in the White House refusal to start a major ground US operation in the region. Such a prospect would surely damage the chances of the Democratic candidate to win the election, while it would have exasperated a possible Republican President.

For sure then the US had to find a way to drastically contain ISIS in Syria. Given that the Kurds couldn’t or probably wouldn’t undertake such a task alone, the US came to terms with the Russians. For a start, Washington accepted that Assad does not have to go, and instead he can play an important role in a final political solution.

Then came the Russians

Of course it’s not Assad with whom the Americans have to negotiate with. It’s the Russians who have supported and kept him in his position all along the war years. On top of that, Assad wouldn’t mind if the Russians got more from the Americans in the negotiation table, in exchange for a decisive containment or obliteration of ISIS by his own forces.

It’s pretty clear by now that nobody else, except Assad and the Kurds, really wanted the full destruction of ISIS. Very simply Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the West sat back and waited for Assad and ISIS to kill each other. Some of them even helped the rebels who fought just Assad not ISIS. But all that has changed now.

It’s not only Syria

The new arrangement may have two very important consequences. For one thing, the Russians may and actually have demanded more from the Americans, not necessarily regarding only Syria. For example, Moscow may have a lot to discuss with the Americans about Europe and Ukraine. Probably Moscow may also have even found the opportunity to press Washington to recognize that Russia is a world power and to stop secluding her.

All this is not unfounded guesswork. The U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry last week visited Moscow for a third time in five months, which made him a frequent traveler to the Russian capital. According to strategic analysts, just this fact can be considered as a proof of success of Russia’s foreign policy. Undoubtedly, this relates to the latest developments regarding both issues, where the American and the Russian interests collided, of course Ukraine and Syria.

It’s Ukraine too

Kerry had more than four hours talks with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov. Afterwards, they delivered a joint Press conference. The tone was visibly milder on both hot issues that present a strong interest for the two sides. Kerry even said that he “reached a better understanding of the decisions that President Putin has made of late.” This marks a full U-turn in the standard frosty climate between the two countries, which prevailed until now. There is more to it.

Some hours later, Dmitry Peskov, the spokesman for President Vladimir Putin, made some interesting comments about the US – Russia relations. He said that the Americans should do more than just accept that Assad should be part of the final political solution in Syria.

He explained that the US has to come to terms with two more prospects. First, he said the Americans have to recognize that Russia is a great power and this has to be reckoned with, when it comes to the other ex-USSR countries. Under this light, there should be a negotiation on Ukraine. Until today, the US had not accepted to speak with Russia about Ukraine. Peskov also stressed that the US should stop considering the EU-Russia cooperation, mainly with Germany, as a threat for American interests.

Moscow want more

Of course, this is all Moscow saying, but the last Kerry-Lavrov Press conference in Moscow was a major breakthrough in the US – Russia relations. Peskov simply set the agenda for the next discussions / negotiations between the two sides, given that the Americans seem ready to continue on this platform. In any case, it’s rather certain that Washington is gradually changing its policies in reference to Syria, Ukraine and also about isolating Russia.

Coming back to our main issue, the cornering of ISIS in Syria and Iraq may drive its cruel leaders to plan more terrorist attacks against EU countries. Paris and Brussels have already paid this deadly price. Not to forget also the downing of the commercial flight plane full of Russian tourists over Sinai last summer, when coming back from holidays in a Red Sea resort.

US, Russia care only about their interests

Unfortunately, both Kerry and Lavrov didn’t seem to mind (at least they didn’t say anything) about what their new policies may mean for the average man and woman in Europe. If ISIS is cornered in Syria, those butchers may and rather have already decided to extend their unholy business to Europe. The US and Russia obviously focus on what they can gain strategically from each other. They don’t seem to mind much about the repercussions of this horse trade. In conclusion, the US and Russia are cutting the EU out of their table.

 

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

4 steps towards wiping out cervical cancer

European Parliament and Eurovision sign partnership for European Elections

Innovation for a smarter world: ITU Telecom World 2018

White Coat, Stained red

Germany fears that Americans and Russians want to partition Europe again

Italy and Greece zeroed their fiscal deficits, expect Germany’s response

Iran cannot be allowed to develop nuclear weapons: Israeli Foreign Minister

EU@UNGA 74: Working towards a more peaceful, secure and prosperous world

Are you breathing plastic air at home? Here’s how microplastics are polluting our lungs

Four ways Europe can become a global innovation leader

5 Ways Companies Can Progress More Women into Leadership Roles

FROM THE FIELD: Conversations about Conservation

National parks transformed conservation. Now we need to do the same for the ocean

Who can compel Wallonia to unlock CETA, the EU-Canada free trade pack?

State aid: Commission refers United Kingdom to European Court for failure to fully recover illegal tax exemption aid of up to around €100 million in Gibraltar

Voice tech and the question of trust

Access and hesitancy as major challenges surrounding covid-19 vaccination campaigns

Council strongly criticised over failing to act to protect EU values in Hungary

What can smallpox teach us about how we’ve managed COVID-19?

Tackle ‘tsunami of hatred’ across the world urges Guterres, to counter anti-Semitism, racism and intolerance

Bigotry makes politicians ‘complicit in the violence that follows’ : UN independent experts

Plastic waste from Western countries is poisoning Indonesia

Finnish Prime Minister calls for a more united EU of concrete actions

Will Turkey abandon the refugee deal and risk losing a bonanza of money?

Sexual exploitation and abuse: latest UN quarterly update

Two refugees explain what COVID-19 means in their precarious world

Mental health: privilege in coronavirus times

Should trade continue to be global after the pandemic?

These are the benefits of learning a second language

IMF: Sorry Greece, Ireland, Portugal we were wrong!

Close to 7,000 evacuated from Syrian towns after enduring nearly 3-year siege

Tuesday’s Daily Brief: Hunger crisis in DR Congo, Swine Fever in Asia, Venezuela death investigation call, updates on Eritrea and Syria

LEAGUE OF YOUNG VOTERS LAUNCHES TOOL FOR YOUNG PEOPLE TO COMPARE POLITICAL PARTIES AHEAD OF EU ELECTIONS

3 ways digitalization will help end crime

Most US students aren’t learning about climate change. Parents and teachers think they should

To build a resilient world, we must go circular. Here’s how to do it

Mobile World Congress 2015 first to debate EU’s new stance on Net Neutrality and Roaming Charges

EU takes again positive action on migration crisis while Turkey asks for dear favors in exchange for cooperation

Cambodia: Giving back to UN peacekeeping

Only one in five countries has a healthcare strategy to deal with climate change

Yellen and Draghi tell Trump and markets not to expedite the next crisis

Long-term EU budget: MEPs demand safety net for beneficiaries

International cooperation and the era of digital currency growth

Destroying nuclear waste to create clean energy? It can be done

This is what happens when a school swaps french fries for quinoa

Help African farmers cope with climate change threats, UN food agency urges

UN climate summit aims to speed up transition to cleaner, greener future

The US Congress and European Parliament vote are TTIP’s 10th round’s lucky cards

Migration and asylum: EU funds to promote integration and protect borders

Aid stepped up to Syria camp; new arrivals say terrorists blocked their escape

Amazon, a pair of shoes and my Data Privacy walks away

State aid: Commission approves €106.7 million restructuring aid and €30.2 compensation for damages suffered due to coronavirus outbreak in favour of French airline Corsair

Keep talking. Why every organization needs a chief negotiator

New US President: MEPs hope for a new dawn in transatlantic ties

The power of digital tools to transform mental healthcare

New rules to help consumers join forces to seek compensation

Amsterdam has a bubble barrier to catch canal plastic

EU-US ties to break over Iran; Democrats’ electoral win may not change it

‘True’ peace, requires standing up for human rights, says UN chief Guterres

Commission to decide definitely on genetically modified Maize 1507 seed

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 )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google 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 )

Connecting to %s