Since 2011, when the conflict in Syria kicked off, it has virtually been a game of King of the Hill, involving several power shifts. In part, this is due to the intervention of outside players who helped various sides establish control over Syrian territory. As a result, Syria has become a sort of playground for international forces to strut around, wrestling for the upper hand they need to further their own interests. Millions of refugees have fled the countries and hundreds of thousands of lives have been taken in the crossfire.
Each respective side is knee deep in the bloody Syrian conflict for their own reasons. In addition to the armed forces of President Bashar al-Assad, which Russia supported at the request of Damascus, while the United States created its own coalition under the guise of combating terrorism and ISIS (banned in the Russian Federation – ed.). Turkey is active in Northern Syria. To counter Syria’s clout and in the region of Iran and Hezbollah, Israeli Air force bombards their positions on a continual basis.
Until recently, the participation of Arab League countries in the Syrian conflict did not involve any direct military support. First of all, the armed forces of the Sunni monarchies, despite their advanced weaponry, are weak and lacking in combat effectiveness; secondly, the Arab League is not a single force, and a number of countries have their own specific and sometimes conflicting opinions on the Syrian issue.
Given that the development and settlement of the situation in Syria largely depends on the participation of Russian and US military on Syrian territory, the scientific service of the Bundestag analyzed military operations in Syria and criticized in its report American operations, including those carried out with the participation of the Bundeswehr. At the same time, German experts emphasized that Russia’s actions are permissible, since they are carried out at the invitation of the Syrian Government and President Assad, while the legality of the US coalition’s operations is questionable at best, not to mention the arming and training of Syrian rebels infringing on the prohibition of applying force.
Experts from numerous countries have written and commented on the US’s reasons for meddling in Syria. Their key interests revolve around the following two points. First, there is Washington’s lack of desire to solve any real issues in the occupied region, while draining the local economy by running Syrian oil fields dry. Second, the US simply can’t have Russia or Iran strengthening their positions in the region.
Additionally, these goals were clearly highlighted in the June speech of UN Ambassador Kelly Craft on strengthening sanctions against Syria, who proposed preventing Damascus from achieving a military victory, restraining the sides providing the Syrian government with military and financial assistance. Analysts agree that this de facto points to Washington repeating its actions in Iran, i.e. stifling with sanctions.
Meanwhile, the economic climate in Syria continues to decline. An additional painful blow was the US instigated extension of the EU sanctions, as well as the so-called “Caesar’s Law” (another name for this US sanctions package is the Syria Civilian Protection Act), which looks like a clear mockery, since ordinary Syrians can hardly get any protection from these sanctions, rather the opposite. Today, Washington is threatening sanctions even to its regional allies, in particular the UAE, after the Emirati embassy resumed work in Damascus and the recent visit to the Syrian republic by a delegation from the UAE.
Hardly anyone would doubt that American occupation forces, if they so wished, could have stopped the economic crisis in the region long ago, stabilized the operation of enterprises and, most importantly, put an end to the inequality between the Syrian and Kurdish populations created by SDF leadership. Given the fact that the Kurdish formations are fully supported and sponsored by the United States, there is no doubt that SDF forces would instantly fulfill any desire of their masters from Washington.
So it comes as no surprise that push back to the US presence in Syria is getting stronger. For several days, the Trans-Euphrates has been in a fever with protests from the Arab population. Again, the source here is clearly Washington’s lack of desire to solve any real issues in the occupied region, while draining the local economy by running Syrian oil fields dry. For these purposes, Washington just has to control Kurdish formations ready for arms and support, in the face of the Turkish threat, to sell off any national wealth. Meanwhile problems plaguing the remaining population hardly interest the United States.
Therefore, not only the international community, but also the population of Syria sharply criticizes the agreement signed by SDF leader Mazloum with the American company Delta Crescent Energy LLC “to optimize and modernize oil production in Syria.” Its not hard to guess what “optimizing” speaks to: in fact, it is the legalization of the transferring oil fields to the American side by illegal armed groups created by the United States itself. However, due to the fact that oil production is overseen by an American company on a large scale, Kurdish militants risk losing a significant part of the benefits.
As a result, today the United States controls the oil fields of Al-Omar, Rumeilan and Al-Jubsa, as well as the Coneco energy complex. Over 150 tank trucks, accompanied by mercenaries of the American PMC G4S, cross the border daily. Further, hydrocarbons from Iraq are distributed in the interests of corrupt US military-industrial officials and American oil companies, which have recently suffered from the provocative “oil war” involving Saudi Arabia.
Today, as a result of the actions of the United States in Syria, the Trans-Euphrates population has lost its traditional crafts and ties with the government territories of the country. Residents of the Trans-Euphrates are unable to receive government subsidies and loans, their settlements are laid bare, and their enterprises are in ruins. Sources tell us that Kurds are acting as if they occupy Arab territories, stealing from the locals and forcing their ways on them. Currently, nobody is safe from imprisonment, or being killed for suspicion of ISIS affiliations (criminal formation banned in the Russian Federation – ed.).
These and other facts all lend to heightened tempers in the region. Thus, in the village of Khail Veliad, hundreds of residents are protesting against the illegal presence of the American occupation forces in Syria, holding posters with slogans condemning the actions and policies of the United States, and illegal mining. American flags are being burned, with many calling for the immediate withdrawal of US troops from Syria and the observance of international law, reaffirming the need to preserve the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Syria, expressing support for the Syrian army in the fight against terrorism.
Conflicts in North-East Syria may, according to experts, again lead to serious destabilization in the region. Before, in the province of Deir ez-Zor, a series of murders of sheikhs (leaders of local Arab clans) had already taken place, in response to which the tribal militia established control over the settlements of Al-Khaveij and Diban north of the Euphrates, drove out SDF groups from there and seized their hardware. Protests against Kurd forces have broken out in the Raqqa and Hasaka provinces.
Thus, Uncle Sam’s intentions leave little room to wonder, proving that “establishing a democracy”, as many on The Hill in Washington would have us think, fade in the distance, replaced by a painfully banal struggle for power in the region (including fighting the enemies of its main ally – Israel), in hopes to hinder the restoration of Syria. Which, it turns out, leaves the people of Syria no choice but to wade through this swamp of economic turmoil concocted by the US’s “well meant” efforts in the region.
However, Syria still has many allies that will by no means let Washington’s schemes become a reality.
Vladimir Platov, expert on Middle East, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.