Syria: there is hope for peace, but the decisive word will tell the time

Wed, 12/04/2017 - 19:27

Recently, certain prospects for a peaceful settlement have emerged in the Syrian Arab Republic. The conditions for this were largely created thanks to the military successes of Russia. Of course, the West does not agree with this development. Despite the coming to power in the United States of forces, at least in words advocating for a dialogue with Russia, the leadership of the Pentagon retains certain inertia in this direction. This leads to continued attempts to cast a shadow on Moscow's peacekeeping activities. In particular, the commander of an international operation against IGIL (banned in Russia) in Iraq and Syria, American Lieutenant-General Stefan Townsend in early March stated that Russian aircraft allegedly stroke a mistaken blow on civilians, which led to "some victims".
In response, the Russian Defense Ministry responded that Russian and Syrian aircraft did not "work" in these areas and confirmed this with objective control data. In addition, Russia has repeatedly stated that it takes a decision on bombing only after a thorough check of intelligence.
In this connection, the arguments of the US military and NATO did not find any real confirmation. On the contrary, on the basis of the data obtained from the subsequent verification, the same Townsend on March 27 was forced to officially recognize: "We were probably involved in these victims. But the main fault lies with the militants ..."
At the same time, the UN Commission withdrew charges against Russian aviation in an attack on a humanitarian convoy near Aleppo in September 2016. On the same day, the Secretary-General of the League of Arab States, A. Aboul-Gheit, appreciated the peacekeeping work of Russia in the Middle East.
Such objective statements, moreover, voiced at sufficiently high international political levels, would seem to have given some hope of strengthening the positions of sensible forces in the West and, above all, in the United States. However, on the night of April 7, the United States attacked the Syrian government forces, using as a pretext the situation with the chemical incident in the province of Idlib.
Since the incident, it was not so much time to prepare this attack. Hence, the US cruise missiles attack was prepared in advance. As the Russian Foreign Ministry has noted in its statement on April 7, "for any specialist it is clear that the decision to strike was taken in Washington before the events in Idlib, which were simply used as a pretext for demonstrating power."
Further in the statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation it is fairly affirmed: "The USA pretend that they do not understand the obvious things. They turned a blind eye to the use of chemical weapons by terrorists in Iraq, as Baghdad officially reported. They dismiss the records on the use of chemical weapons by terrorists in Aleppo. Thus, one can only condone international terrorism, strengthen it and expect new attacks with the use of weapons of mass destruction. "
Similar behavior was also demonstrated by the US and its allies during the conflict in South Ossetia (1989-2008).
The Russian Foreign Ministry, exposing the motives of US behavior, comes to the conclusion that "the US military action is also an attempt to divert attention from the situation in Mosul, where as a result of actions, including the American coalition, hundreds of civilians were killed and a humanitarian catastrophe is increasing."
After the incident, Russia suspended the Memorandum on the prevention of incidents and ensuring aviation safety during operations in Syria, concluded with the United States.
But in order to better understand the sequence of mutual accusations, let's move on to figures and facts. Since the very beginning of the Syrian conflict, which has lasted for six years, the Russians are constantly helping the region with humanitarian aid. For these needs, according to the UN, it was allocated 52 million dollars. For the last four years, the Ministry of Emergency Situations has been delivering humanitarian assistance. Only from 2013 to 2015, the Ministry organized 35 flights to Syria and neighboring countries, delivering more than 600 tons of cargo. March 27, six events were held by the Russian Center for Conciliation of the parties, during which more than 6 tons of humanitarian aid was transferred to the needy, and on March 28, 25 tons of aid was donated to the province of Aleppo. For twenty-four hours it was received by 8100 people. This is food, tents, medicines, generators, fuel, textbooks for children and even toys. Do not forget about the work of Russian sappers, on account of which the disposal of hundreds of thousands of mines and ammunition. Moscow is actively working to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe and mitigate the suffering of residents of the affected areas.
Let us turn to the analysis of the military actions of Russia. So, on March 21 a number of bandit groups made an attempt to seize the city of Khama. For this purpose, a group of more than 10,000 militants was created. Its basis was formed by the "Jebhat an Nusra" detachments (the organization is banned in the Russian Federation).
However, thanks to the self-sacrificing actions of government troops and the support of Russian military security services, the situation was stabilized. Over four days of fighting, more than 2,100 militants, 55 armored vehicles, 22 "jihad-mobiles", as well as more than 100 cars with heavy weapons were destroyed.
The General Staff of the Russian Federation has stated that the regime for the cessation of hostilities continues to be maintained on the territory of Syria since December 30, 2016. The number of opposition detachments that have declared adherence to its observance has increased to two hundred. Only in the last month were signed the agreements on accession with representatives of 116 settlements. While their total number reached 1397.
This shows the success of the Russian strategy in Syria, the goal of which is precisely to bring the parties to an agreement on a long-term basis, taking into account respect for the legitimate rights and interests of everyone. This is the way to ensure a lasting peace in the future.
By its insidious attack on the armed forces of the country, which for the seventh year has been waging an unequal war against significant forces of international terrorism, the United States is trying to frustrate the process of intra-Syrian dialogue and nullify Russia's peacekeeping efforts. By the way, the already mentioned attack on the Syrian army unit on the night of April 7 immediately led to the activation of the activity of ISIS terrorists in the adjacent territories. It seems that this cannot but lead to certain suspicions about the true role and purpose of the US and NATO as a whole.
And, naturally, the achievements of the Western coalition in the declared struggle against terrorists are not so unambiguous. The Allied air strikes continue not only on the positions of ISIS, but also on peaceful targets. During these raids, hundreds of civilians were already killed.
Objects of civil infrastructure are being destroyed. In particular, the actions of Western aviation in the area of ​​the dam on the Euphrates River to the west of the Syrian Raki are alarming. The last such raid on March 26 resulted in damage to two dampers in the southern part of the dam, designed to discharge water and prevent the overflow of the reservoir. These actions can lead to a large-scale environmental catastrophe, the flooding of large areas and numerous civilian casualties.
In addition, on February 3, the coalition's aviation destroyed four bridges at once: two in Raki and two in the settlements of El-Kalta and El-Abbara. As a result, the communication between the northern and southern parts of the city was completely interrupted, where are still more than 200 thousand inhabitants. On February 18, El Megle Bridge was destroyed in the vicinity of the city of Maadan, 60 km to the east of Raki. It seems that strikes on critical infrastructure are being made with the aim to obstruct the postwar reconstruction of the country.
Almost daily coalition strikes on the city blocks of Mosul, where, besides the militants of the ISIS, there are tens of thousands of civilians. I would like to once again draw attention to the fundamental difference with the tactics of Russia in Syria, where one of the main components in the liberation of settlements is the disengagement of terrorists and civilians. The refugee camps around the city are overcrowded; there is an acute shortage of food, drinking water and medicines.
It is also a matter of concern that the Western coalition squeezes out militants from Iraq in the territory of Syria, where at the invitation of the legally elected leadership of the country, is operating Russia. For example, for the last week, more than 800 militants left Mosul towards the Syrian Dair-Ez-Zor.
Europe is trying to gain the laurels of a humanist, presenting as an incredible feat the reception of millions of refugees, but it wants everyone to forget about the reason for their mass migration to Europe. That today's refugees were quietly living in their countries, indulging in the pleasures of peaceful labor, until their quiet life was destroyed by barbaric military aggression and a flurry of missiles and bombs of NATO military aircraft.
We continue to remain on the previous positions: it is necessary to fight with the cause of the problem, but not with its consequences.
For Western military forces operating in the territory of the Syrian Arab Republic without a decision of the UN Security Council and without the invitation of the official authorities, it is not too late to draw the right conclusions, stop violation of international law and stop blaming the Kremlin for all sins. In addition, the European Union and the United States, calling for the restoration of peace, must move from words to action.
It would probably be an exaggeration to say that we have not any inaccuracies. And, at the same time, it is hardly fair to accuse NATO of excessive bloodthirstiness. But a comparison of the facts shows that they have more "unintentional mistakes" leading to the death of civilians. We note this without gloating, but only with regret, seeing the root of evil in excessive self-confidence and haste in making decisions without due diligence.
Nevertheless, recently there was a hope for establishing constructive cooperation on the Syrian issue with America, interrupted by the administration of Barack Obama.
Recently, a representative delegation of the National Coalition of Opposition and Revolutionary Forces of Syria (political wing of the Free Syrian Army) visited Washington. They tried to persuade the new American President, Donald Trump of the advisability of the former "help" to the armed opponents of the legitimate leadership of Syria, headed by President Bashar Assad.
The results can be judged from the fact that after that the Syrian opposition in Moscow and then in Astana, Cairo and Geneva discussed the options for a peaceful settlement of the conflict in the SAR, advocating the withdrawal of all foreign troops from there, with the exception of Russian ones.
I would like to make a special emphasis on this important indicator of confidence in Russia, and therefore - the correctness and effectiveness of the Kremlin's peacekeeping efforts in Syrian affairs.
Of course, despite the help of Moscow, the significance of which is great, the further fate of the Middle East conflict depends to a certain extent on the social accord in Syria itself. Thanks to numerous talks conducted by Russian representatives from the "Center for reconciliation of warring parties", tens of thousands of armed oppositionists, dozens of large settlements voluntarily abandoned the armed struggle. This shows the effectiveness of peacekeeping efforts of Russian representatives, acting with persuasions and exhortations. Those representatives of the armed groups of the Syrian opposition, who really love their people, must understand that at the present stage military actions only weakenthe Syrian people, leading to unjustified human casualties and further destruction not only of the Syrian state, but also of the unique Syrian civilization.

Inal Pliev, international expert of IA "Res"
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