InoPressa. Syria on the path to peace or a regional war?

In Munich, the world powers have agreed on a speedy «cessation of hostilities» in Syria and the supply of humanitarian aid to besieged cities. This pause, in fact, enshrines the status quo, favorable to Assad and the Russians, but hardly moderate rebels, supported by the Turks, the Saudis and the USA will go to the Kremlin and Assad, in mass media. «Their victory in Aleppo is not the end of the war. This is the beginning of a new war, — said the ex-President of Tunisia. Now would interfere with all».

«World powers have agreed on a «cessation of hostilities» throughout Syria in the framework of the measures to rescue the failed peace talks,» reports Sam Jones in The Financial Times. About it declared the breakthrough at a meeting in Munich meeting of the International support group Syria (MGPS).

In the communiqué MGPS presents three key components of the agreement: 1) the obligation to achieve a cessation of hostilities throughout the country by the end of next week; 2) the obligation to comply with all existing requirements of the UN for the provision of access to the territory of the country of humanitarian organizations; 3) the need for an immediate resumption of the formal peace process under the auspices of the UN.

«Russia came to the meeting MHPS with a proposal to declare a truce since March 1, but Washington dismissed it on the grounds that military operations conducted by Moscow in support of the land forces of Assad, to that point in time to inflict fatal damage moderate opposition», — the correspondent.

«After five months of suffering and destruction in the unceasing attacks of the Russian HQs of the Syrian people finally have received the good news early Friday morning in Munich, it was announced that it reached an agreement the U.S. and Russia on the delivery of humanitarian aid to besieged Syrian towns, must be followed by at least temporary cessation of violence,» reads an editorial in The New York Times.
U.S. Secretary of state John Kerry has questioned «whether the parties will abide by the commitments». «Given the brutality and dictatorial ambitions of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and duplicitous actions of its main ally, Russian President Vladimir Putinis a big question, comment the authors. But at this point it is worth welcome step».

Some diplomats say that this pause, in fact, enshrines the status quo, favorable to Assad and the Russians, the article says.

«So far, Putin took a very active part in the destruction of Syria and its people, the authors of the article. — Russian planes and bombs have killed almost 1.4 thousand civilians.» The Russians attacked residential areas, using cluster munitions and unguided bombs, which are prohibited by international law.

«From the beginning, Putin is playing a duplicitous role in Syria, the article says. Under the guise of fighting ISIL he attacks antiasadovskih rebels with a view to consolidation of the forces of Assad, the preservation of Russia’s Mediterranean port in Syria and defending its significance in the middle East. He allowed the foreign Minister to work with the U.S. and the UN on a political settlement, but only last week began talks in Geneva, broke them, leading to the furious opposition to increased air attacks».

Now Putin shows more sympathy for being in a bad situation for ordinary Syrians. «The resumption of aid and a temporary cessation of fighting may well be the first step on the long road to peace. But this will require genuine change in the position of Putin and the sustained application of diplomatic pressure by the U.S. and its partners,» the authors conclude.

«Black in the West is white in Russia, writes German political commentator Yulia Smirnova of Die Welt. — While tens of thousands of refugees fled to the Turkish border, Russian state TV has broadcast a report about the success of the offensive the Syrian government troops called «the Terrorists are fleeing from Aleppo». While the Deputy head of the Russian Foreign Ministry called accusations by the West that Russian airstrikes lead to an increase in the number of refugees, «nonsense».

«It is a constant discrepancy between words and actions makes the Russian President the man who can’t be trusted and with whom it is hardly possible to negotiate,» writes the author. The actual situation on the ground testify that Moscow is only interested in military support of Syrian President and to increase his influence until the peace talks.

«This tactic of simultaneous use of diplomatic and military ways known to the West over the conflict in Ukraine, — says the article.

The agreement on the ceasefire in Ukraine is not respected and a year later, and Russia continues to blame Kiev. This is truly a «heavy a starting point for negotiations of heads of the Russian and American foreign Ministers in Munich,» concludes Smirnova.

«Since Bashar al-Assad and Russia is currently winning, they have little incentive to strive for long-term settlement of the Syrian war,» writes USA Today in General, United States army, retired Wesley Clark, during the Kosovo war who commanded NATO forces. The decision by President Obama to refrain from a ground operation in Syria he calls «wise.»

«You have to understand that «Islamic state» is not just a terrorist group, but rather a geo-strategic «artifact» resulting from the power struggle between Iran and its «almost ally» with Iraq, on the one hand, and Turkey and Saudi Arabia on the other,» reads the article.

«First of all, the group was kept afloat the decades of enmity between Iran and Saudi Arabia. And the US is definitely not interested in is still hostile to America, Iran has become the hegemon in the region between the Mediterranean sea and the Persian Gulf,» writes the author.

In today’s conditions made possible the creation of an effective coalition against ISIS, we must find some lever that will reduce the importance of the role played by Russia. «While the Assad regime again starts to threaten it, neither he nor Iran will have no reason to make concessions,» writes Clark. He adds that the pressure on Russia, furthermore, «will ease the humanitarian crisis in Syria and weaken the pressure on Turkey, a NATO member, and facilitate the migration crisis in Europe.»

Former commander of NATO forces warns: «Putin aims to restore domination in Eastern Europe, to maintain control over energy supplies to Europe, strengthening its presence in the middle East and, ultimately, the lifting of sanctions. If this happen, it would effectively mean the end of the EU and NATO failure. Putin does not behave like a frightened, cornered the head of weak power, and as a purposeful and deceitful leader, ready to achieve goals to use force and take risks major conflicts. History shows that such leaders cannot cajole — they need to confront.»

The tool of influence on Russia, in the opinion of Clark, could become «tougher sanctions from Europe», informed the «Russian contribution to the humanitarian catastrophe, which begins in Northern Syria». NATO would «more strongly to strengthen the boundaries of Western values in the Baltic States and Ukraine». Finally, «our friends in Saudi Arabia controlling the oil valve could punish Russia by persistence of low oil prices or to agree to reduce oil production and raise prices on it to convince the Russians to return home in exchange for the economic recovery,» says retired General, proposing a number of measures.

«Successful diplomacy requires more leverage, added Clark. — Vice President Biden recently said that the U.S. might try to find a «military solution» in Syria, but more needs to be done».

Disproving predictions USA of a «Syrian quagmire», Russia is seeking strategic victories thanks to the February offensive on Aleppo, The Wall Street Journal writes. Reporter Yaroslav Trofimov examines, «whether this will become a turning point that will speed the end of the five-year war, or about the counter-escalation of the situation, resulting in other countries in the region will be drawn into the conflict.»

Few people believed that the main target of Moscow — moderate rebels supported by Turkey, Saudi Arabia and the U.S. — will now have to resolve the conflict on the Kremlin and Bashar al-Assad.

«Their victory in Aleppo is not the end of the war. This is the beginning of a new war, said the former President of Tunisia Moncef marzouki. Now would interfere with all».

While the Obama administration has long minimized the participation of the USA, from the point of view of Turkey and Saudi Arabia, the prospect of Syria falling under the influence of Russia and Iran is a disaster for national security, the article says.

«The whole situation, not only for Turkey but for the entire Middle East will change. Western influence will disappear, — says the former permanent representative of Turkey to the UN and NATO Umit Pamir. The question is: can we assume that Russia and the Iranians have held sway in the region?»

Trying to strengthen the Syrian rebels, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, is likely to activate the flow of advanced weapons, especially anti-tank missiles, diplomats say. But this influx will have only a limited effect, because there are Russian HQs.

«It is fundamentally important, will the use of potential defense (…) This will be the only factor that will change,» the former envoy of the Obama administration in the Syrian opposition Frederic Hof. But the Saudis or their allies are unlikely to give anti-aircraft missiles to the rebels without the approval of the U.S., he added.

«Now is a critical time, says a Turkish commentator and analyst on security Metin Gurkan. — Political leadership knows that Aleppo is the last opportunity for Turkey to be active and independent player in Syria. If she can’t use it, then get out of the game.»


The dispute ground operations: the Prime Minister warned that «another war on Earth» can begin over Syria (Der Spiegel)

Translation InoPressa

InoPressa. Syria on the path to peace or a regional war? 12.02.2016

Февраль 12th, 2016 by
36 queries