Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Fisk: This Moment in History- The US Gives Up on Assad Overthrow

As promised, back to Syria

First up, Robert Fisk from the Independent: This moment will go down in history: the US has given up on the overthrow of Assad in Syria
 When Washington ‘understands the difficult conditions’ its militia allies are facing and says it ‘advises’ the Russians and Syrians not to violate a ceasefire – which was Moscow’s idea in the first place – you know that the Americans are pulling the carpet from beneath another set of allies.
It will be called the great betrayal. And it was a long time coming. But the grim message from Washington to the anti-Assad fighters of southern Syria – that they could expect no help from the West in their further struggle against Assad’s regime or the Russians – will one day figure in the history books. It’s a turning point in the Syria war, a shameful betrayal if you happen to belong to the wreckage of the “Free Syrian Army” and its acolytes around the city of Deraa, and a further victory for the Assad regime in its ambition to retake all of rebel Syria.
Already Russian missiles and Syrian bombs are embracing the countryside south and east of Deraa and outside Quneitra and Sweida after the opposition fighters refused a negotiated peace last week. Refugees are again fleeing the towns. But the words of the American message to the fighters, seen by Reuters and so far not denied by the US, are both bleak and hopeless: “You should not base your decisions on the assumption or expectation of a military intervention by us … We in the United States government understand the difficult conditions you are facing and still advise the Russians and the Syrian regime not to undertake a military measure that violates the [de-escalation] zone.”
When Washington “understands the difficult conditions” its militia allies are facing and says it “advises” the Russians and Syrians not to violate a ceasefire – which was Moscow’s idea in the first place – you know that the Americans are pulling the carpet from beneath another set of allies.
As mentioned the taking of Daraa was vital for Syria. It also sends a clear message to the US backed Kurds in the north east of Syria. (keeping an eye on that situation)
Neither the Hezbollah nor the comparatively fewer Iranian Revolutionary Guards appear to be involved in the battle for southern Syria; and be assured that the Americans and the Russians – and thus the Syrian government – have agreed that this should be a Russo-Syrian offensive. Both Vladimir Putin and whoever thinks they speak for Donald Trump will have assured the Israelis that this will be an internal battle and will not endanger the Israeli-occupied Syrian Golan Heights.
Sorry to read that! Hoping there wasn't a deal made to take the southern area of Syria back? 
But that may have been the case.
The Israelis have hitherto attacked Syrian and Iranian targets in Syria – but never the cult-Islamist Isis executioners nor Nusra/al-Qaeda. US policy, despairing of ever “collapsing” Assad, now appears to have given up on the armed opposition to the Damascus government, presumably advising Israel that a return to the status quo on Golan which existed before the Syrian war where Israeli and Syrian forces were separated by a UN buffer zone – is preferable to risking a shootout with Iran or, indeed, with the Syrian army.

Saw this news the other day:  Syrian Military Takes Over Abandoned UN Post Near Israeli Border
 "An abandoned United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) post in the no-man’s land between Syria and Israel in the Golan Heights was taken over by
Image from above article
pro-Assad military forces, according to Israeli media on Sunday"

If Israel hasn't and doesn't move against Syrian Military it's likely safe to say there is a deal. 

"Syria fears that the Israelis will now create their own “buffer zone” below Golan, similar in style, weaponry and ruthlessness to Israel’s former occupation zone in southern Lebanon. This lasted for 22 years, but fell to pieces when Israel’s local Lebanese militia, the South Lebanon Army – as inefficient, untrustworthy and occasionally as fictitious as the “Free Syrian Army” – retreated along with the Israelis in 2000"
 But maybe not exactly the deal the Israelis would like? Time will tell.
Across the map of Syria, however, it is the West’s power which now appears to be in retreat. If it is prepared to turn its back on its erstwhile allies in southern Syria and in the north, then Russia is the winner (as well as Assad) and all the eggshell militias which remain – in Idlib, along the Turkish border and certainly in the south, are doomed. The instruction from the US to its allies outside Deraa – “surrender” might sum it up best – may be presented as a small victory: Washington can claim to have kept Iran away from Israel. But it will also mean that America and Nato have given up on the overthrow of the Assad family

Additional reading :

Update from Ziad Fadel- Have read Ziad's updates since he started posting them: NUSRA TAKES HUGE LOSSES IN SOUTH AND NORTH AS SAA LIBERATES NEW AREAS;

 Advancing Damascus-led forces bisect eastern Daraa countryside in battle for Syria’s southwest

AMMAN: Pro-government forces vying to recapture southwestern Syria from opposition fighters made their first significant advances there on Tuesday morning, capturing a key rebel town and dividing the eastern Daraa countryside in two, local sources said.

The pro-government advance trapped opposition fighters in the sparsely populated al-Lajat region—40 kilometers northeast of Daraa’s provincial capital—and prompted their allies to retreat deeper into rebel-controlled territory in southern Daraa.

“Rebels withdrew [from Busra al-Harir and Maleehat al-Atash ] as they were attacked from the air,” the rebel commander said via WhatsApp, requesting anonymity as he is not authorized to speak to the press.

Tuesday’s pro-government capture of Busra al-Harir—a large town situated along a major east-west highway—bisected rebel territory in Daraa’s eastern countryside and linked Damascus-led forces in central Daraa with their allies in the adjacent, mostlygovernment-controlled Suwayda province.

Syrian state news also reported the government capture of Busra al-Harir and several surrounding towns and villages from rebel forces on Tuesday.

From earlier today:


  1. This is really great news... The US is running out of bullets.

    1. I hoped it was going to be but after the news regarding OPCW- I'm less certain :(