Russia – US in Syria: Selling Afrin to Turkey but facing off ruthlessly for Ghouta

Nikki R. Haley, Permanent Representative of the United States to the United Nations, addresses the Security Council meeting on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question. 25 January 2018. United Nations, New York. UN Photo/Evan Schneider.

How many more dead and wounded human beings are needed to convince Russia and the US that they must come to terms about the future of Syria? At a time when the mainstream western media are extensively and exclusively reporting the woes of the desperate inhabitants of Ghouta, at another Syrian front in Afrin, the Turkish air force and artillery are obliterating hamlets and towns without photographers and journalists monitoring or bothering them.

For a peculiar but easily explicable reason the Americans have decided to effectively counter the Russians in Ghouta. This latter foreign power decisively supports the government forces of Bashar al-Assad to exterminate the Islamist fighters encircled in Eastern Ghouta. Of course, along the way they obliterate the homes of 300.000 civilians living there. Theoretically, the Americans are in Syria to exterminate the Islamists, who have been reinforced in Eastern Ghouta by relic Jihadist fighting elements after Mosul and Raqqa fell, the once powerful capitals of the ‘Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant’, the infamous butchers’ “caliphate”.

Defending the Islamists?

But not this time; the US doesn’t want to see Russia and Assad throw away the Islamists and take this key territory, adjacent to capital Damascus, seat of the Assad regime and government. Eastern Ghouta was the first region of Syria in the 2011 revolt to defy Assad. So the American involvement – probably using long-range missiles – is expected to rather multiply the damage the Russians and Assad are inflicting upon the population there. Elsewhere in Syria though, things are different and not so hostile between the Americans and Russians. In Afrin they both have given the green light to the Turkish ‘Sultan’ Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, to bomb this Kurdish region from the air and the ground.

Theoretically, again, the Kurds are the only reliable ally the Americans have on the ground, in the many years long Syrian conflicts. Actually, many wars are taking place simultaneously in Syria. In these two latest confrontations, the ferocity of the warring sides, their complete coldness about the civilian population’s fate and the fully distorted ‘truth’ of eight o’clock news, about what is really happening and what is at stake for the two major powers, would have surprised even George Orwell.

Chemicals in Ghouta?

In Ghouta the government forces of Assad, effectively supported by the Russians, have being reportedly using poisonous chemicals. Despite that, the UN appears rather inactive. The Security Council vote for a ceasefire has being postponed more than once. Finally, it took place on 24 February, but nobody cared less to observe it. Only during the past few days the Russians allowed some hundreds of civilians to leave the inferno. In view of the UN inaction, the Americans through their Ambassador Nikki Haley clarified, the US “remains prepared to act if we must”. It’s not clear what this ‘act’ may mean. They most probably will prepare a long range missile attack, as in April 2017 when they destroyed an Assad air base. Theoretically, the Assad air force planes, which had then used gas bombs, had flown from there.

Again, the US accusation about the use of chemical gases by the government forces in Ghouta, constitutes a good legitimizing argument for a missile attack. However, the Russians have warned against that. The Russian U.N. Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia told Reuters, “We are very much concerned that the alleged chemical use might be a pretext for something bigger and much more dangerous”. The question arises then, what will the Russian response be, if Trump decides to deal a strong and decisive strike against the Assad forces, under the protection of Moscow? This direct confrontation between the US and Russia may trigger a dangerous escalation, as Nebenzia implied.

Afrin left to Turks

In the case of Afrin, things are even more twisted. In a rare concurrence, both the Russians and the Americans have left the local Kurds at the mercy of the Turkish autocratic ruler Erdoğan. And this, despite Washington being a strong supporter of the Kurds at least for two years now. The Kurdish successful military units have constituted the only reliable force on the ground the Americans can count on.

It seems though that in the case of Afrin, the US has ‘sold’ this region to Turkey, a NATO ally, as geography in this case is on the side of Ankara. Yet, here also the civilian population will suffer a severe and deadly blow, both during and after the fight. If the Turks finally occupy Afrin, no Kurd family will feel safe to stay at home there. As for the Russians, they never had any ‘profitable’ relation with the Kurds, so Moscow happily ‘sold’ them to Ankara.

All in all, the Machiavellian calculations put on by both the Russians and the Americans in Syria, do not attach the slightest factor for human suffering in their unbelievable equations. “All of them are equally harmful to Syria”, as Konstantinos Kavafys has written, for the poor country in his poem, “They should have cared”.

 

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the sting Milestone

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

‘World’s deadliest sea crossing’ claimed six lives a day in 2018: UN refugee agency

Victims of terrorism remembered

2019 EU Budget: Commission proposes a budget focused on continuity and delivery – for growth, solidarity, security

A Sting Exclusive: China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi on South China Sea issue at the ASEAN Regional Forum

Macron leads EU-wide minimum wage call as Merkel, Medvedev warn of global injustice

EU elections: The louder the threats and the doomsaying the heavier the weight of the vote

I have a rare disease. This is my hope for the future of medicine

5 ways to #BeatAirPollution

‘Deteriorating’ human rights in Belarus amounts to ‘wholescale oppression’: UN expert

Parliament ready to fight for a different EU budget

Here’s how we solve the global crisis of tribalism and democratic decay

Terrorism ‘spreading and destabilizing’ entire regions, Guterres warns States, at key Kenya conference

Health should be central to the conversation around climate change

Is the ECB enforcing the will of the big Eurozone member states on the small? Can the euro area live with that?

Russia must urgently step up fight against foreign bribery

Eurozone’s bank resolution mechanism takes a blow

Insecurity and violence turn Nigeria into a ‘pressure cooker’ that must be addressed, says UN rights expert

As human genome editing moves from the lab to the clinic, the ethical debate is no longer hypothetical

Gender inequality in the medicine field: two commonly issues

A long German political winter is on the way

EU and Japan select first Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Programmes

With millions of girls ‘at risk’ today of genital mutilation, UN chief calls for zero tolerance

Three UN workers killed following Benghazi car bomb attack, as Security Council meets in emergency session, honours their ‘ultimate sacrifice’

Charlotte in Ghana

Parliament to ask for the suspension of EU-US deal on bank data

Parliament criticises Council’s rejection of money laundering blacklist

European Solidarity Corps: Commission opens new call for project proposals

AI can wreak havoc if left unchecked by humans

The Eurogroup offered a cold reception to IMF’s director for Europe

Half of all mental illness begins by the age of 14

Female African coders ‘on the front-line of the battle’ to change gender power relations: UN chief

Health & Sustainable Development Goals: it’s about doing what we can

WEF Davos 2016 LIVE: “It is the implementation, Stupid!”, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaueble points the finger to Greece from Davos

Gloomy new statistics signify no end to Eurozone’s economic misery

The business case for diversity in the workplace is now overwhelming

The psychology of pandemics

Here’s how data could make our cities safer

The Parliament sets the way for the European Banking Union

The deforestation risks lurking in the banking sector

European Commission: the LED lights of your Audi A6 shall save our planet

Thousands risk lives fleeing fighting in Syria’s last ISIL stronghold

UN chief calls for ‘far greater support’ for Cyclone Idai response

This is what happened to CO2 emissions in the EU last year

Hydrogen power is here to stay. How do we convince the public that it’s safe?

What lessons to draw from the destruction of Syria

Greece will probably stay in the Eurozone but at what cost?

FROM THE FIELD: Hardy seeds bear fruit to protect Colombia’s environment

Mental Health Policy, a significant driver for growth

Children suffering ‘atrocities’ as number of countries in conflict hits new peak: UNICEF

UN says ‘many humanitarian achievements’, one year after ouster of ISIL from Mosul

Convincing the Germans to pay also for the unification of Eurozone

Antitrust: Commission fines US chipmaker Qualcomm €242 million for engaging in predatory pricing

Iran: women hunger strikers entitled to medical care, UN rights experts urge

Second Ebola death confirmed in Uganda as UN health agency mulls global emergency call

Technology can help solve the climate crisis – but it will need our help

Direction Wakanda: finance methods to make Africa a superhero continent

4 things President Trump could learn from Jimmy Carter

COP21 Breaking News_03 December: Europe’s children urge leaders to commit to climate action at UN Climate Summit in Paris

The secret weapon in the fight for sustainability? The humble barcode

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