The liberation of the Syrian city of Aleppo from ISIS militants along with all sorts of other militant groups fighting alongside them has become a veritable breakthrough in the settlement of numerous armed conflicts in the Middle East. This breakthrough manifested in a fragile ceasefire in Syria that came into effect on December 30 with Russia and Turkey playing the role of guarantors of the truce.
However, the fact that this milestone was reached without Washington and a number of major European players, resulted in the White House expressing overt frustration. Against this background, a number of prominent European politicians that remain particularly loyal to the sitting US administration have begun forging an alternate perception of the events that unraveled in Syria in a bid to derail any peaceful settlement of the Syrian conflict, even though Russia, Iran and Turkey are determined to arrive at one.
One can hardly use any other word than absurd to describe the fact that Germany, which took no part in the liberation of Aleppo and failed to provide even a single truckload of humanitarian aid for the population it was allegedly so concerned about, has recently released its “recommendations” regarding the political future of President Bashar al-Assad, along with a list of topics that are to be discussed at peace talks in Astana.
The Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), John Brennan went a step further in his interview with PBS, claiming that Russia in Syria applied “scorched earth tactics”, which led to a tremendous amount of damage inflicted upon the Syrian civil infrastructure. Of course, one would assume that a man like John Brennan would know all about “scorched earth tactics”, since Washington has been using them throughout the last century in Southeast Asia, bringing it to perfection during the Vietnam War. The same tactics were used in Iraq, Afghanistan and other countries where hundreds of thousands of civilians suffered under barrages carried out by the US Air Force and its drones. Still, if Brennan is unable to tell one thing from another, it would be highly inappropriate for someone who represents Washington to accuse other states of committing what the US has perpetuated by choice worldwide and for decades.
And, for sure, Reuters was quick to jump on the disinformation bandwagon by stating:
Syria would be divided into informal zones of regional power influence and Bashar al-Assad would remain president for at least a few years under an outline deal between Russia, Turkey and Iran, sources say. Such a deal, which would allow regional autonomy within a federal structure.
It seems that nobody really cares about the fact that only reliable information obtained from reliable sources count as news. For sure, sacrifices are to be made if rivaling parties are to come to an agreement but Reuters was hardly trying to assist anyone in reaching a consensus. Instead it chose to make contradictions more distinct, trying to make peace unobtainable for those who are reluctant to invite Washington and its Western allies to the negotiation table.
It is also no secret that Syria’s Kurds have been pursuing federalization for a long time in vain hopes of obtaining autonomy. However, such discussions result in both Damascus and Ankara becoming fairly concerned about their own respective futures, therefore any propositions regarding the division of Syria into zones of influence – is a clear path to the disruption of the upcoming meeting, a disruption Reuters was knowingly pursuing.
There’s yet another tactic that the West is employing to disrupt the negotiations in Astana. It demands opposition groups that it controls to denounce the ceasefire under various pretexts. The leading actor fulfilling this role is the so-called Ffree Syrian Army (FSA), sponsored by the US and the Gulf monarchies. However, it is necessary to clarify that the FSA claims that the ceasefire is being violated in areas that are controlled by designated terrorist organizations – organizations no side – even the West – would invite to negotiations.
No one can suggest that it is possible to sign a peace deal in Syria without extensive effort put into negotiations. Yet this deal which was pursued by the international community for years has thus far failed to achieve success. However, it is clear that Russia, Turkey and Iran want to play a decisive role in finding a solution to the Syrian conflict.
Martin Berger is a freelance journalist and geopolitical analyst, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.”