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

Advertising

Advertising

the European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

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

Eurozone: Negative statistics bring deflation and recession closer

Bayer’s cross at night (Copyright: Bayer AG)

The EU clears Bayer-Monsanto merger amid wide competition and environmental concerns

‘Negative forces’ at work in DR Congo threaten ‘largely peaceful’ relations across Great Lakes region, says outgoing UN envoy

All sides in Yemen conflict could be guilty of war crimes, UN experts find

EU and China discuss economic and trade relations at the 7th High-level Economic and Trade Dialogue

5 factors driving the Chinese lawtech boom

5 ways to bridge the global health worker shortage

Service and Sacrifice: Ugandan ‘Blue Helmets’ support UN efforts to bring peace to Somalia

100 years on, UN labour agency mission focussed on growing inequality, says Director-General

Groundbreaking cancer-fighting drugs now included in updated UN list of essential medicines

Parliament makes it easier to organise a European Citizens’ Initiative

Large parts of the world are growing more fragile. Here are 5 steps to reverse course

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

A new way to teach active citizenship to students?

The four top Americans who flew to Europe perplexed things about Trump’s intentions

This is what the gender pay gap looks like in eight countries

MWC 2016 LIVE: Xiaomi looks to revive growth with flagships

Mobile 360 Africa 11-13 July 2017

‘Virginity testing’: a human rights violation, with no scientific basis – UN

Latest tragedy in the Mediterranean claims over 100 lives – UN refugee agency

Preserving biodiversity vital to reverse tide of climate change, UN stresses on International Day

Korea should adapt its migration programmes to ensure continued success in the face of expected challenges

EU gas market: new rules agreed will also cover gas pipelines entering the EU

Afghanistan: Bring ‘architects’ of latest ‘appalling’ suicide bombing to justice, says deputy UN mission chief

The European Parliament x-rays the troika’s doings

Hiring more female leaders is good for profits. Here’s the evidence

A Valentine’s Special: we can never overdose on love

Russia accepts what the EU has to offer and settles to negotiate with Ukraine

This Netherlands football stadium creates its own energy and stores it in electric car batteries

We probably should go back to the therapy in Primary Healthcare

Global Compact on Refugees: How is this different from the migrants’ pact and how will it help?

European Commission: Does Apple, Starbucks and Fiat really pay their taxes?

Corporate tax remains a key revenue source, despite falling rates worldwide

The megatrend that will shape our working future

Why rich countries are seeing more poverty

So, what is your favourite Sustainable Development Goal?

GradList Launched At TheNextWeb 2014

Here’s why leaders need to care about mental health

Haiti stands ‘at the crossroads’ between peacekeeping, development – Bachelet urges strengthened ‘human rights protection’

Joint UN, OSCE engagement can address crisis in Ukraine, other ‘dark spots of conflict’ in Europe

Basel III rules relaxed: Banks got it all but become more prone to crisis

Two major EU projects falter; the Schengen Agreement now freezes and Eurozone fails to resolve the Greek enigma

What has a year of experiments taught us about basic income?

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

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

Europe, US and Russia haggle over Ukraine’s convulsing body; Russians and Americans press on for an all out civil war

Anti-vaccination movement affecting youth in Europe

Chatterbox Rome Declaration cannot save the EU; Germany has to pay more to do that

Turkey: MEPs cut support by €70m due to no improvement in respect for EU values

Innovating together: connectivity that matters

Future of EU farming: MEPs push for modern common policy with fair funding

France is about to start giving free breakfasts to disadvantaged schoolchildren

Human Rights Council election: 5 things you need to know about it

Why Eurozone needs a bit more inflation

Children in crisis-torn eastern Ukraine ‘too terrified to learn’ amid spike in attacks on schools

US and Mexico child deportations drive extreme violence and trauma: UNICEF

The Commission unsuccessfully pretends to want curbing of tax evasion

Millennials (and Gen X) – Here are the steps you should take to secure your financial future

New Disability Inclusion Strategy is ‘transformative change we need’, says Guterres

Nuclear weapons in Lithuania: defence against Russia or target for terrorists?

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