Syria: US intervention, Iran and Russia. Part 2

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?

My reply:

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.

 

What if Bashar al Assad and Iran were to win the war in Syria?

Let’s say that Assad wins this war with Iran’s backing, what would happen?
The price would be virtually total control of the government in Damascus, even before the revolution Bashar had allowed Iranian influence into Syria much more than his father Hafez ever did. The Iranians aren’t helping Assad out of love. The have hegemonic ambitions to dominate the entire region. It is only with their help that Assad holds on to power, and they will also have the power to remove him if he doesn’t tow their line.

So the war is won. What next? It is clear that Assad would go on a killing spree, slaughtering everyone who he felt was in opposition to him. This would amount to millions of people. There is precedent, his father killed thousands in Hama back in the 80′s when they showed discontent with the regime. The next time will be on a much larger scale and he will have the help of the Iranians in this.

After this, when the clean up is finished, will be when Shia are encouraged to move to Syria and take over certain areas. Someone said that the Shia would be murdered if this were to happen, what you have to remember is that if Assad/Iran win this war there will be such an iron fist of control in the country that the situation before the revolution will seem like a happy time in comparison. The Shia with Iranian backing will in effect have more control in many ways than Assad. He would become no more than a figurehead and he wouldn’t have any choice in the matter. Under these circumstances it will be easy for many Shia to move into Syria.

The impact of all this is that Israel would now have many Shia on its border which effectively means that Tehran will now be next door to them. The balance of power and spheres of influence will have dramatically changed. Why else would Israel have directly armed the Sunni rebels when they were fighting Hezbollah close to its border if it doesn’t feel threatened by having Shia on its Eastern border?

 

An insight.

When the Assad regime recently took control of the road between Daraa and the Jordanian border from the FSA the Jordanians offered to supply ammunition to the FSA ( Free Syria Army) The problem was that when they, the FSA, tested the ammo it was mixed with tracer bullets, the type that leave a streak of light when you fire them. A great way to give away your position to the other side, basically they were betrayed. Behind all of this is a defected Colonel from the Syrian regime, Achmed al Namah, he is the leader of the so called ‘Military Council’, which is based in Amman, Jordan. The only thing is, he has no interest in anyone but himself and is actively working with Jordan to weaken as much as possible the FSA for his benefit, Jordan is also using him to their benefit. It was he, through Jordan that organized the supply of these tracer bullets to the FSA.

The first ever public picture of……

Palestinian General in the FSA.

Palestinian General in the FSA.

This is quite a symbolic picture. On the left is Abo Hafs (nome di guerre), he is sitting with Bashar al-Zoubi. Abo Hafs is a Palestinian and a General in the FSA in the Daraa region of Syria. In all the middle east, Palestinians are looked upon as second class citizens by the governments of the countries where they reside as refugees. Here we have a Palestinian who is viewed as an equal.He grew up in Syria and for him it is home. The people, not the Assad regime of Syria, are demonstrating that all are equal, no matter their background.

So young, yet with so much power

During my project and when I was in Jordan I had the opportunity to see this young Syrian girl reciting her poetry about the war in Syria. She has so much energy and she writes everything herself. The translation of what she says is below the video but take a moment to listen to the Arabic, it is really quite beautiful and you can feel the rhythm and power of her words.

Transcript from Arabic to English

Excuse me loyalist, this is what your regime has done to your children and brothers and your religion
and still this tyrant enjoys your support even if it is little ,oh loyalist of Asaad , shame and disgust paints your clothes , and your children’s clothes .
if you had done otherwise it would be a crown on your head and the head of your grand children,
this tyrant beat all tyrants with his tyranny
he was left to destroy the country of Damascus ( bilad al sham = Syria , Iraq , Jordan , Lebanon and Palestine )
he was left to destroy your wealth
rescue Damascus and its foundation for if not, regret won’t do you any good,
your excuses will not do you any good
to the leaders of the Arabs , know that one day you will meet God and you will see the shame you feel in front of him , with the blackness of your eyes and faces
then America and all your allies will not do you no good
and there will be a day when the ground shakes from under your thrones ,
if you want earth , earth is yours , but god help you from his wrath ,
but if you wanted heaven , saddle your horses in the name of god and give us your help
for victory will come from god , on the arms of our free army , from our sons and you together for we depend on god and those brave men , not you and your money
for a people like the people of Syria do not kneel for injustice and you have taken injustice as a crown upon your head
for we are a people who if we wanted a dignified life we fight for it
but you spend your life in your selfishness
but there are still amongst us those who are honorable , men like the hero Bashar al Zoubi, and others who put the fear of god between their eyes .
god help our victorious soldiers and may god reward their deeds.

Syria. A brief update.

I’m really busy. So far I have had the opportunity to meet and interview some very interesting people from Syria, including some exclusives. The 2 photos here are me with General Mousa Zoubi who defected from the regime and was one of the regime’s most senior people. This is the first time he has ever given an interview about why he defected and how he went about it. The second picture is me with Sheikh Ahmad N. Qassem Al-khatib. I will be telling more about him later. He decided to make me a gift of a watch, it completely took me by surprise but it was very nice.

 

General Mousa Zoubi

Sheikh Al-khatib

A picture says a thousand words. These boots are a silent memorial

I don’t know exactly how he was killed but all he left behind were his boots in the middle of the road. This road is notoriously targeted by Syrian regime snipers.

Silent memorial