I received an email commenting on my previous post which I would like to show as well as my comment. I hope you find it interesting.
The email I received:
This is a very interesting post/analysis and I agree with you on many parts.
I am a Syrian Political studies student at the American University of Beirut
I agree with you for the most part regarding the fact that there is a bigger “plan” for the whole region with outside interests and that the events in Syria will define the path of this “plan”.
However, I would have liked to read about the US interests in the region as well, and not only Russia and Iran’s. Also, as far as I know and based on what I read, the evidence regarding the CW attack is not conclusive and does not point to one side. However, in the beginning, you seemed very convinced that it is an Iran-backed attack by the regime.
Can you please give me your input regarding these points?
Thanks for your comments. I will try my best to answer your questions. Before I do though I want to say that I have many friends in Syria and this was part of my motivation for going. I wanted to see the reality on the ground. It breaks my heart to see the country torn apart. I don’t know if you are pro Assad or pro revolution, in the end we are all people and there has been too much death, I think that you will agree with me when I say that 99% of the Syrian people have had enough and just want to live in peace.
You asked about the US interest in the area. It was always pro Assad because relations between him and Israel were stable, Syria was no immediate threat. The fear of the US is if Assad is toppled then who will be running the country and how will they view Israel. Seeing as political opposition to Assad is confused to say the least there is no way of knowing who would get the government and what actions they might take.
Aside from this, when the revolution became an armed conflict with Iran and Hezbollah getting involved from the very start, the US saw this as an opportunity to make Iran and Hezbollah bleed in Syria. So the US helps the FSA, never enough to help them make any big wins but enough to help them resist and continue fighting. The longer this goes on the more resources Iran and its proxy Hezbollah have to put into the war. Even Israel helps the FSA sometimes if fighting gets too close to the border.
My opinion is that the US has made a big miscalculation of the situation and the strategy of limited help to the FSA will not pay off in the end. If things continue the way they are now then Iran will win this war. As you are probably already aware the US plan has always been to divide Syria into different parts and by doing so make it weaker. The Kurds get the northeast as they already have. The west of the country from Damascus up through Homs to Tartous and Latakia will remain under the control of Assad. The south with its fresh water will be allowed to go to Jordan. Jordan will give citizenship to the Syrians living in this area. As for the rest of the country it will be left to the various Sunni and Shia militias to fight it out. The US idea being to create a balance of power between Sunni and Shia from north to south and east to west which cancels each other out. It is a balance that will never happen. Iran wants the entire country and will not stop until it has it. This is the US miscalculation, Iran can do it, it is now in a good relationship with Russia which has the view that the enemy of my enemy is my friend and will help Iran just so they can give a black eye to the US. The US and Russia have never been further apart at any time since the collapse of the Soviet Union. Russia under Putin is feeling the need to flex its muscles and extend its influence.
Moving on to the CW situation, my friends in Damascus saw some of the dead, all asphyxiated. Only CW would have done that, a hypobaric bomb will suck the air out of your lungs but the blast injuries would be very apparent. The dead were unmarked. Of course they are going to say results for CW usage are inconclusive. Sarin for example is an organic compound that degrades quite rapidly after deployment. By the time inspectors eventually got to the site all physical evidence of CW would have degraded so much there would be nothing to find. One of the things that Iran is doing is using Syria as a testing ground for new weapons and warfare technique. CW is simply a part of that experimentation.