InoPressa. The truce in Syria: «preliminary», «interim» and «partial»

Kerry is the second time in 10 days announced a «cessation of hostilities» in Syria, but in the negotiations Kerry is reputed to be the eternal optimist, I notice the media. Bashar Assad gave an interview to El Pais. Russia is conducting a broad campaign of cyber espionage, aiming to influence the flow of information about the humanitarian crisis in Syria and the true scale of their military operations.

«On Sunday, U.S. Secretary of state Kerry declared that Russia agreed that Syria will be soon (but temporarily) establish partial truce, only to wait until presidents Obama and Putin in a conversation between a square away the last details,» reports The New York Times.

Kerry is the second time in 10 days announced a «cessation of hostilities». «The term is chosen carefully to avoid connotations associated with the notion of a «complete ceasefire», — stated in the article. February 12, Kerry said that the fighting will cease on February 19, but the deadline passed and Syria still only five in besieged cities has started delivery of humanitarian aid.

In the field of negotiations, Kerry «has a reputation for the eternal optimist», says the author of the article, but Syria remains the most serious test. In the Obama administration, many (at least informally) acknowledge that it is not enough energetically reacted to this humanitarian disaster.

Kerry stressed that there is a progress already — started delivery of humanitarian aid, and warned: now the alternative to diplomacy is a potential «complete destruction of Syria itself».

The author comments: «One of the difficulties is that the ceasefire, conceived by Kerry and Russia — partial». It does not encompass attacks on «Islamic state» and «Dzhabhat EN Nusra». Russia says: as in Aleppo, the object of her brutal air campaign, the militants remain «An-Nusra», the bombing of this city can continue. Kerry and the White house believe that these allegations Russia is a pretext for air strikes on opposition fighting Assad — groups that have received weapons with the assistance of the United States.»

The leader of the negotiating Committee of the opposition Riad Hijab stated that there is «preliminary approval of a temporary truce,» but subject to «safeguards, which will force Iran, Russia and their militias to stop fighting».

On Saturday Syrian President Bashar al-Assad gave an interview to El Pais. He’s talking about returning control of the entire country and victory in the war, notes journalist David Alandete. Assad assured that his next mission is to pursue the «Islamic state» in raqqa.

«Assad told the refugees that they can return to the country without fear of reprisals and accused the Islamist governments of Qatar and Turkey that they caused the conflict in Syria,» — said the author.

Russia and the United States declared a truce. «Are the Syrian government to respect the ceasefire and suspension of military action in Syria?» — asked the reporter.

«Of course,» replied Assad, but not enough to declare readiness for a truce: «it depends on what we will do on the ground.» There are also other factors: «for example, to prevent the terrorists took advantage of the suspension of hostilities to improve their positions and to prevent other countries, especially Turkey, to send the terrorists more people and weapons, or to provide them any logistical support.»

Answering the question about the situation in Aleppo, Assad said: «We are already in the city centre, and a large part of the metropolis is under the control of the government. The majority of people living in the suburbs moved from areas controlled by armed groups, to areas controlled by the government.»

The journalist recalled the Russian campaign of air strikes. If Assad believes that he can without outside help to seize the initiative in the conflict?

«Undoubtedly, the Russian and Iranian support played an important role for the achievements of our army. But to say that we would not be able to achieve this — the question is hypothetical, no one can answer it accurately. And yet we definitely need this help for a very simple reason: more than 80 countries are supporting terrorists in various ways. Some of them directly, money, logistical support, weapons or manpower, others political support at various international forums,» replied Asad.

«About Russian air raids — you are not concerned about civilian casualties? Monday was bombed hospital, killing 50 people. The U.S. blamed the incident on Russia», — said the journalist.

Assad replied: «Other U.S. officials said they did not know who did it, that’s what they said later. In the USA these contradictory statements are common, but no one has any evidence that would point to those who perpetrated the attack, and demonstrated how these attacks occurred. With regard to victims, this problem exists in any war». According to Assad, any war is evil, and innocent people will always pay for war.

«There is no evidence that the Russians attacked civilian targets. They attack with great accuracy and always, every day, attacking bases and positions of terrorists. It is the Americans killed a lot of civilians in Northern Syria,» — said Assad.

How will Assad react if Turkey and Saudi Arabia will enter into Syria troops under the pretext of fighting ISIL?

«As you said, it’s an excuse. But, if this happens, we will treat them the way you are now treated as terrorists. Protect our country,» said Assad.

Assad acknowledges any of the armed opposition groups as a legitimate party with whom you can negotiate? — asked the reporter.

Groups that are fighting on the ground, Assad does not recognize as legal and constitutional attitude, «whoever is arming against the people and the government, is a terrorist». «They can become a legitimate when will lay down arms and get involved in the political process,» said Assad.

Will the combatants to come back if lay down their weapons?

«We amnistiruut. This has happened in the last two years, and lately the process has accelerated,» — said Assad.

But who’s Assad conducts negotiations with Geneva? — asked the journalist.

According to Assad, in Geneva attended as «terrorists and extremists», and «opposition leaders who live in exile or in Syria.» «With the Syrians-patriots who maintain their ties, we can negotiate, but we absolutely cannot negotiate with terrorists, and why the conference failed,» the President said.

Launch Assad political process, if we return the entire Syrian territory under their control?

«The most normal would be to create a government of national unity that includes all political currents who wish to enter into it,» said Assad. The government should create conditions for the development of the new Constitution and should be «to bring to public referendum».

Assad assured: refugees who have left Syria have the right to return there. «They fled not from the government, if it’s not terrorists or murderers», — he assured.

What can the Syrian government to stop the Exodus of refugees?

It depends not only on Syria, said Assad. Europe should lift the arms embargo imposed on the Syrian people; Turkey has to stop the direction of terrorists in Syria; the Syrian government should improve the living conditions in the country.

According to the Minister of foreign Affairs of Turkey Mevlut Cavusoglu, the world community must stop the attacks on civilians in Syria and to put pressure on Moscow to implement a transition period without Assad, writes Francesca Sforza, journalist of La Stampa. He called Russia the main obstacle to the settlement of the Syrian crisis.

«The huge efforts made by my country to receive more than 2.5 million refugees and to control illegal immigration, are intended to alleviate the suffering of the people, the Minister said in an interview. — Joint efforts are needed (…) aimed at combating the causes underlying the conflict.»

Turkey began to confront the threat of penetration by foreign fighters to the conflict in 2011, continued Cavusoglu, long before the EU realized the seriousness of the threat. In Turkey were strengthened security measures — primarily at airports and major bus terminals. «We see that various countries have begun to adopt similar measures after the adoption of resolution 2178 of the UN security Council from September 2014 (…) If these measures had been taken earlier, the issue of foreign fighters wouldn’t be standing so badly. (…) The solution, in our opinion, consists in placing refugees, but many countries persist in reluctance to accept immigrants», — said the Minister.

Russia is part of the problem or part of the solution? — asked the journalist. «In September 2015, Russia intervened in the conflict in Syria under the pretext of «fighting ISIS», but since then had only attacked the opposition to the Syrian regime and the civilian population, said Cavusoglu. — It has struck more than 7750 airstrikes, and 89% for the opposition and civilians. But not only that. The Russians used the negotiations in Geneva as a smokescreen to intensify its bombing. They take in the sights of schools, markets, hospitals and densely populated areas. That is why the political process in Geneva stopped. (…) These attacks were specially planned to sabotage the process. But the most terrible that the Russian attacks on targets of the ISIS do not affect the «Islamic state». (…) Russia openly sided with the regime against the Syrian people. She needs as quickly as possible change course. If she wants to be part of the settlement, she must stop their attacks, to ask the regime to engage in the political process and begin a transition period without Assad. (…) The persistence of attacks on civilians show the real intentions of Russia, but our efforts for a political settlement, will continue,» — said the Minister.

«If we want to stop the humanitarian tragedy in Syria and to open opportunities for peace, the UN and member States in the UN security Council, needs to slow down Russian aggression. The international community must use all his pressure to pursue the implementation of humanitarian articles set forth in resolution 2254» — said Cavusoglu.

«Russia is conducting an extensive campaign of cyber espionage against the Syrian opposition groups and NGOs,» says The Financial Times. «Moscow is trying to influence the flow of information about the humanitarian crisis in Syria and to disguise the true scale of their military operations in that country,» — says journalist Sam Jones.

Among the objects of the spying turned out to be some of the most important organizations, including the Syrian Observatory of Human Rights.

FT journalists discussed the details of the «Syrian campaign» with two unnamed senior intelligence officials. «One from Europe, another from the country next door to Syria. One of them said that the operation was large scale and systematic nature. He added that the campaign was directed by the Russian secret service the FSB,» writes Jones. Massive action also began by governmental and private organizations in Turkey.

Western intelligence fear that, through these attacks, Russia will be able to organize «a large campaign of disinformation», the article says.

Translation InoPressa




InoPressa. The truce in Syria: «preliminary», «interim» and «partial» 22.02.2016

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