InoPressa. Paradoxes, doubts and the chances of a Syrian truce

The media are actively commenting on the agreement of Moscow and Washington ceasefire in Syria. Those countries that want peace, is fueling this «chaotic» war, observers say. «The US actually lead a proxy war with yourself», supporting the diverse forces, and to trust Putin in light of his actions in Ukraine is impossible.

The joint communiqué on the cessation of hostilities in Syria brings back memories of the era of the bipolar world, Marc Semo writes in the newspaper Libération. The Russians and the Americans called for an end to the fighting since Saturday. Obama and Putin spoke by phone for further details. But skepticism continues to prevail. The French foreign Minister stressed the «urgency» of the «upright» of the implementation by parties of the truce. «An elegant way to point to the dualistic game of Russians», — says the correspondent.

«It’s really a question of how Moscow is actually trying to fulfil their obligations», — said in the article. The cessation of hostilities will allow Damascus to analyse the situation and after a while, with the assistance of Iranian and Russian allies to resume the attack, the author. Washington runs the risk of imposing a truce opposition groups fighting against the regime and ISIS and their Saudi and Turkish «godfathers».

The author of the article calls the farce of the announcement by Assad of conducting the parliamentary elections on 13 April. «The Russian representative in the UN Vitaly Churkin had to convince him in an interview to the newspaper «Kommersant» in the need to realistically assess the situation,» says Semo.

The Russian economy is in poor condition, hence the hope of Americans for a compromise, the article says. However the former candidate in US presidents John McCain warns Putin «the appetite comes during meal».

«It’s hard to imagine that the truce, agreed between the United States and Russia, gave substantial a chance to achieve something more than a brief respite from the carnage. One of the reasons is the incredible weave of competing interests and agendas,» reads an editorial in The New York Times.

«The Russians have not only changed the fate of Assad, but has achieved that now in any attempt to end the conflict and stop the influx of refugees to Europe, they hold the strongest cards,» says the publication.

But whether Putin inspires trust in connection with these initiatives? In Ukraine it is already clearly demonstrated that the cessation of fire for him — a tactical element, even a smokescreen, not a goal, the article says. In whatever its geopolitical objectives, with 2012 all outweighs one goal: to convince the U.S. and its allies to recognize Russia as a great power.

In a sense, Washington and Brussels have no choice: trying to end the war in Syria, they are forced to deal with Moscow. However, Putin should not confuse a strong position with a victory or with respect to the country, writes the edition. Remembering the humiliation experienced by the Soviet Union in Afghanistan, he ought to know that in the middle East sustainable «wins» don’t happen, but because of the fall in oil prices Russia is devoid of resources, that allows to support Assad.

«No matter how bad the cards of the West in Syria, we cannot allow Putin into the support it provides to the bloody dictator, in respect to his power or according to his cynical games in Ukraine», — concludes the edition.

«A temporary truce in Syria was the culmination of the triple a foreign policy win for President Putin: the Kremlin power has made decisive role in the middle East, Ukraine is experiencing difficulties, and the EU will crack as badly burnt pot», — continues the theme in The New York Times Neil MacFarquhar.

In Syria, Russia has completed the task — to strengthen the position of Assad. However, her ultimate goal is unclear, and as a way to «cleverly to emerge from a chaotic conflict», says the journalist.

The author believes that the Russian military intervention in Syria had five main objectives: to stop the regime change with the support from abroad; to disrupt Washington’s plans to isolate Moscow; to prove that Russia is a more reliable ally than the United States; to demonstrate new Russian weapons; to arrange to the Russian public, tired of war in Ukraine, a new foreign policy performance.

To some extent all five of the goals achieved, the journalist writes. So far, the Kremlin may consider Syria their success. «On the screen you can see that we are strong, important, great, sarcastically says Professor of political science higher school of Economics (Moscow) Nikolai Petrov. — It’s very cheap, bloodless, there are no Russian victims, and is seen positively by the Russian society».

«Syria has also diverted the Russian people from war, slowly stretching in the neighboring Ukraine. However, the Ukrainian conflict still serves Moscow’s interests, destabilizing the government of President Petro Poroshenko and preventing warmer relations between Kiev and Europe, which, along with the removal of economic sanctions imposed because of the annexation of Crimea, is Russia’s goal,» reads the article.

«Top advisers to President Obama among the military and employees of intelligence agencies, convinced that Russia will not abide by the ceasefire in Syria, looking for ways to increase pressure on Moscow», — writes. Among the options being examined is the expansion of the secret military assistance to some rebel who now suffer from Russian air strikes, writes
The Wall Street Journal. However, the tightening measures of the USA against Moscow is the risk to drag the United States deeper into the «war by proxy» in Syria.

According to us officials, the Russian bombing campaign in Syria is particularly outraged by the CIA, as the strikes are on «relatively moderate rebels» that the CIA was supplying anti-tank missiles and other military equipment.

Meanwhile, «any decision to promote the direct blows of the insurgents by the Russian military or Russian aircraft can result in a sharp escalation», the author writes.

According to officials, currently several variants: «the expansion of the program of the CIA, providing intelligence to the moderate rebels, so they fastened a defense against Russian air raids, and possibly made more effective offensive operations».

Obama advisors are widely supported the idea of new economic sanctions against Russia. «But senior administration officials doubted that the European powers would follow suit, because they attach great importance to the trade with Russia», — said in the article.

U.S. intelligence agencies warned the politicians: if the United States will not prevent the destruction of the moderate rebels upon the occurrence of Assad, Saudi Arabia or someone else will direct to North Syria MANPADS to destroy Russian bombers, and the likelihood of expansion of the conflict would increase, the article says.

Another material in The Wall Street Journal on the report of the Independent Commission on Syria to the UN. «While world powers try to agree on a peaceful way to end the Syrian war, a UN report has revealed a paradox: those countries that seek peace, feed the war, writes columnist Farnaz Fassihi. This ambiguity led to the radicalization of the conflict, has raised the political stakes and became one of the causes of suffering civilians.»

On Monday in an interview with Paulo Pinheiro, the Chairman of the Commission, said that the Syrian government has categorically rejected its recommendation to provide humanitarian organizations access to besieged regions and stop attacks on civilians. According to him, the opposition has also ignored calls to respect international humanitarian law.

«In addition, the report blames «international powers and regional significance» — namely, the US, Russia, France, Britain, and Saudi Arabia and Iran — in that they prolong the conflict by providing military aid to the warring parties and use their influence to promote peace. The UN report also says that both sides in the conflict committed grave human rights violations and ferocious war crimes», — transfers the edition. Pinheiro singled out the repeated attacks on schools and hospitals.

The correspondent of The Los Angeles Times Scott Martelle writes: «If this time the truce in Syria will work, until someone from hundreds of thousands of civilians caught in cross-fire in this chaotic war, can finally be reached with humanitarian assistance. But for pessimism more than optimism… given the fact that the war involved many small groups, some actors overlap, probable provocations and acts of retribution for them.»

«Mess with whatever side you look — the author continues. — USA is now actually lead a proxy war with themselves — they simultaneously support Turkey, and that group that is attacking Turkey». Syria, with Russian support, began to conquer territory, but winning the war is also unlikely.

«The war has created a humanitarian crisis of incredible, and the rest of the world got tired of that insolubility,» says the author. According to the Council on human rights, civilian population «often becomes subject to deliberate attacks from the warring parties». Mostly civilians, kill the Syrian «Pro-government forces», but also «the forces acting with the support of the USA, as the air strikes the United States, can be related to the death of civilians in the territories controlled by the «Islamic state».

The Council’s report described the appalling conditions in which people live in Syria: «Access to electricity and safe drinking water difficult. Medical care is difficult. Access to food is either difficult or missing… Kidnapping, torture and executions have become commonplace (especially in the territories controlled by ISIS), and the main method of warfare was the siege».

However, the conclusions of the authors of the report are even worse than the report itself, with its «careful wording». «As the war seems the natural state of this chaotic region, the final cessation of dreadful crimes against humanity seems to be a thing of the distant future,» concludes Martell.


Terrible game Putin (Süddeutsche Zeitung)

Translation InoPressa

InoPressa. Paradoxes, doubts and the chances of a Syrian truce 24.02.2016

Февраль 24th, 2016 by
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