Monday, 12 September 2016

U.S. Caves In to Russia on Syria: Washington Won’t Continue Protecting Al Qaeda

On Friday, September 9th, America’s Secretary of State John Kerry, and Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, came to an agreement on Syria, for the second time. (The previous agreement fell apart). Like the first ‘cease-fire’, this one concerns the ongoing occupation of many parts of Syria by foreign jihadists, who have been hired by America’s allies Saudi Arabia and Qatar, in order to overthrow Syria’s President, Bashar al-Assad. (It’s nothing like a democratic revolution there; it’s a war over pipelines.)

The main sticking-point in these negotiations has been much the same as it was the first time around: America’s insistence that Russia and Syria be prohibited from bombing Al Qaeda in Syria, which is the international group under the name of “Al Nusra” there. The United States has not tried to protect ISIS in Syria — only Al Nusra (and their subordinate groups), and it protects them because Nusra has provided crucial leadership to the jihadist groups that the United States finances in Syria for overthrowing and replacing Assad.

Whereas the U.S. government doesn’t finance all of the jihadist groups in Syria (as the allied royal owners of Saudi Arabia and of Qatar do), the U.S. does designate some jihadist groups as ‘moderate rebels’, and this second round of cessation-of-hostilities will protect these groups (but this time not the Nusra fighters who lead them) from the bombings by Syria and by Russia. This new agreement is a complex sequence of sub-agreements laying out the means whereby Syria and Russia will, supposedly, continue to bomb Nusra while avoiding to bomb the U.S.-financed forces in Syria. Now that the U.S. has 300 of its own military advisors occupying the parts of Syria that the U.S.-sponsored jihadists control, Nusra will (presumably) no longer be quite so necessary to America’s overthrow-Assad campaign.

In the joint announcement on Friday night in Geneva, Secretary Kerry said, “Now, I want to be clear about one thing particularly on this, because I’ve seen reporting that somehow suggests otherwise: Going after Nusrah is not a concession to anybody. It is profoundly in the interests of the United States to target al-Qaida — to target al-Qaida’s affiliate in Syria, which is Nusrah.”

However, as the Washington Post had reported on February 19th regarding the impasse  during the negotiations for the first round of cessation-of-hostilities: “Russia was said to have rejected a U.S. proposal to leave Jabhat al-Nusra off-limits to bombing.” The reason for this protection was that Nusra’s “forces are intermingled with moderate rebel groups.” However, the reporter there didn’t mention that Nusra was “intermingled” because it was providing essential military leadership for these ‘moderate rebel groups’. In other words: the U.S.-designated ’moderate rebel groups’ were providing cover for America’s support, actually, of Al Qaeda in Syria.

The problem with the ceasefire deal is that there will likely not be a ceasefire. Many groups will keep fighting regardless.

Related Info:

US-Russian Syria deal: Nationwide ceasefire to begin at sundown on Monday

[Posted at the SpookyWeather blog, September 12th, 2016.]

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