The Constitution of Russia and the USA for Syria.

Similarly to 2012, Syria’s Constitution will only be changed by Syrians themselves through a referendum . However, both Russia and the USA have drafted a Constitution for Syria, to be implemented as part of the “transition” plan decided by Resolution 2254.

Even though Syria officially rejected the draft, it is crucial that people know the plans Russia and the USA have for Syria. Those plans completely change Syria’s present and future, as seen from the proposed changes in the current Constitution.

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References:

The Constitution of the Syrian Arab Republic (2012): http://sana.sy/en/?page_id=1489

Overview of the Russian and American Constitution for Syria (in Arabic): http://www.al-akhbar.com/node/258466

The Constitution of Russia and the USA for Syria.

The Elephant in Syria’s Halls

In discussing the geopolitical climate of the war in Syria, the overwhelming majority of analysts and journalists tend to focus on the points of rapprochement between the different parties involved. However, focusing solely on the positives will lead to an ultimate bias, in which criticism is viewed as an attack, facts slowly become opinions and analysis turns into defeatism.

Benefits shape alliances.

Some groups (i.e. the West, Turkey and Gulf countries) came together with the goal of systematically destroying Syria. Others, such as the Syrian Army first and foremost, and its allies (i.e. Hezbollah and Iran) united forces and strategies in order to combat terrorism. Russia joining the Syrian Army and its allies evidently denotes that Moscow sees a strong ally in Syria.

In his latest article, journalist Sami Kleib outlines yet again the gains of Iran’s involvement: “Iran benefited from the resistance of the Syrian Army and the army’s alliance with Hezbollah”, writes the author. He continues: “the interest between Damascus and Teheran is mutual”. Indeed, one of the most important benefits of Iran was the new nuclear agreement, and the lift of the sanctions. In addition, “Iran became a partner in the fight against terrorism, and in finding peaceful solutions to wars in the Arab World”.

Concerning Russia, the benefits of its direct immersion in the Syrian war (since September 2015) have been extensively covered: from the Latakia base and its importance, to the historical relations between Damascus and Moscow – all point out to strategic points of accord between the countries.

But what about the points of disaccord?

One source of conflict between Syria/Iran/Hezbollah and Russia is Israel. Unsurprisingly, for aforementioned reasons, this specific source of conflict is frequently under-reported and under-analyzed in the Western mainstream media, but also in alternative media outlets. Conversely, in the Arab media in general, and the Levantine one in particular, the analysis of this divergence and its implication for the Levant are extensive.

Journalist Kleib, in the same article mentioned above, writes:

Israeli war minister Moshe Yaalon openly stated that Israel and Moscow have agreed on allowing Israel to air strike Hezbollah in Syria. In short, it was summed up by: “we agreed not to bother them and them not bothering us” («اتفقنا ألا نزعجهم ولا يزعجونا»).

This statement was made during Netanyahu’s meeting with Putin in Moscow on September 21, 2015, 10 days before the first Russian airstrikes on terrorist targets in Homs (September 30, 2015). One of the most recent Israeli violation of Syrian sovereignty seems to have the greatest implication. Indeed, three months after the first Russian airstrikes, Samir Kuntar was killed in Damascus (December 20, 2015). Even though some attributed the attack to a mortar fired by terrorists, and while the Zionist entity did not deny it, Hezbollah confirmed it was an Israeli airstrike that, in fact, killed Kuntar. Russia cannot be wronged for not retaliating. In fact, expecting Russia to retaliate against Israel is an emotive reaction as this is strategically absurd.

However, the concern arises when two and two are put together so to speak: the timing of Israel’s statement, the start of Russian airstrikes against terrorists, the Israeli strikes on Damascus. This concern is exacerbated by Israeli president Rivlin’s visit to Moscow, during which he met with Putin two days (on March 16, 2016) after Moscow’s announcement withdrawal from Syria (announced March 14, 2016).

To quote Rivlin:

We want Iran and Hezbollah not to emerge strengthened from this entire process. Everybody agrees that the Islamic State organization is a danger to the entire world, but Shiite Iranian fundamentalist Islam is for us just as dangerous.

What comes after?

The interests of the factions involved do seem too conflicting. How will those interests converge? How will they diverge? What are the implications of Syrian Kurds’ recent declaration of a ‘federal region’ on Syria’s integrity? Will this declaration reinforce or diminish Russia’s support for Syrian Kurds?

As with each US election, the nearer to the election time, the worst the situation becomes. What will this year’s election bring the Levant?

Sami Kleib’s article: http://assafir.com/Article/481886/MobileEmail

The Elephant in Syria’s Halls

There are no friends in times of war, only allies.

In an interview with SputnikNews, Russian Prime Minister Medvedev asserted the following:

 The Russian Aerospace Defense Forces are in Syria at the request of the legal authorities of the country. Our goal is to help the Syrian people rid their country of ISIS [Islamic State] militants, not create a new war there. Iran, with which we are coordinating, is also helping Syria at the request of its government. And that’s the kind of coordination we are offering everyone who is ready to stand up against Daesh (Islamic State/IS/ISIS/ISIL), including the patriotic opposition, the Free Syrian Army.

Even though the proponents of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) are adamant that the group forms a legitimate and moderate opposition, this claim has been discredited years ago. Indeed, the FSA are terrorists and their massacres have been widely documented throughout the war on Syria (check the references at the end of the article). In addition, it seems that the FSA has become a ghost, as many officers from the group have been reported to defect to ISIS, proving once more that the ‘moderate rebel’ vs ‘terrorist’ distinction perpetuated by many alike is void.

This distinction ploy was carefully orchestrated. Firstly, the Western media was slow and reluctant in condemning the FSA. Secondly, the Western media, alongside that many other non-Western media channels, focused solely on ISIS ever since the group “separated” from Al-Qaeda in 2014. This well-calculated distinction, which seems to be also made by Medvedev, is extremely dangerous for a myriad of reasons. Most importantly, it goes against what the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) has been doing for the past 5 years.

In combating terrorism, the SAA first, and later on its closest allies, never distinguished between the FSA and ISIS, or any other terrorist group, as all factions terrorized the Syrian people, sold its oil, massacred its people, destroyed its ruins, demolished its infrastructure, amongst many other atrocities.

There are no friends in wars, only allies. And allies have specific priorities in term of strategic interests, which are prone to change with time. No country would, or should, set itself on fire to protect an ally. For example, Russia would never bomb Turkey, Saudi Arabia or Israel, as many people have ‘hoped’. Hope has no place in geo-political decisions.

It is then time for us to use critical thinking in analyzing the strategy-making of Russia and other allies. Hyping up an ally, without being critical of it, is precarious as it will lead to mindlessly following said ally, ultimately acting against our own strategic interests.

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A reference list, mainly documenting FSA crimes as reported by both Western and non-Western media:

1) How The Free Syrian Army Became A Largely Criminal Enterprise: http://www.businessinsider.com/how-the-free-syrian-army-became-a-largely-criminal-enterprise-2013-11?IR=T

2) War crimes by Syrian rebels must be condemned too: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2012/aug/10/human-rights-abuses-syrias-regime-condemned

3) The Dark Side of the Free Syrian Army: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/daniel-wagner/dark-side-free-syrian_b_2380399.html

4) Free Syrian Army war crime – shoots unarmed civilians – graphic content: http://humanrightsinvestigations.org/2012/11/15/free-syrian-army-war-crime-shoots-unarmed-civilians/

5) Don’t underestimate Free Syrian Army: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2015/10/syria-fsa-isis-media-coverage-palmyra-101-divison.html

6) Syria: Atrocities Committed by US-NATO Sponsored “Opposition”. Executioner for Syria’s “Rebels” Tells His Story: http://www.globalresearch.ca/syria-atrocities-committed-by-us-nato-sponsored-opposition-executioner-for-syria-s-rebels-tells-his-story/30072

7) Massacres in Aleppo by Western-armed “Free Syrian Army”: http://www.globalresearch.ca/massacres-in-aleppo-by-western-armed-free-syrian-army/32205

8) Houla massacre carried out by Free Syrian Army, according to Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung: https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2012/06/syri-j13.html

9) http://www.syrianews.cc/russia-france-begin-mesphistophelan-waltz-syria/

10) http://sputniknews.com/interviews/20160212/1034628554/medvedev-sputnik-exclusive-interview.html#ixzz403qiZUdT

There are no friends in times of war, only allies.