Original article: http://www.alraimedia.com/ar/article/special-reports/2015/12/07/640822/nr/syria via @alraimediagroup
Elijah J. Magnier – @ejmalrai
To expand its military bases in the Middle East, the United States position was systematically against Iran, pushing the Gulf countries to purchase more weapons to “defend itself”. As Iran is now regarded as “moderate” in the U.S administration eyes, the nuclear deals has been struck. On the 4th of June 2014, Foreign Secretary John Kerry asked Iran, Russia and Hezbollah to intervene in Syria, to start a more effective war on terrorism in Bilad al-Sham with the help of the Russian Air Force.
What has happened since? The US is now focusing on Russia following its intervention in the war in Syria. Suddenly, for the US, the Salafist Jihadists, al-Qaeda fi bilad al-Sham (Jabhat al-Nusra), Ahrar al Sham, Jund al-Aqsa, Jund al-Sham, Jaish al Muhajereen wal ansar (pledge alliance to AQ) are claimed by the international community as potentially “moderate”. Even the danger of ISIS is at times omitted as over focused concern on Russia’s new deployment is shifting the attention.
Russia sent effective Air Force carrying thousands of attacks and agreed with Damascus, Tehran and Hezbollah Lebanon that they would be the ground force to benefit from the air strikes against terrorists. This is when the U.S and its related media directed the attack against Russia to hide the incompetent military campaign of 62 countries since over 14 months against ISIS. In fact, in 50 days, Russia has bombarded objectives of terrorists groups and their allies more than the U.S led coalition in 14 months.
Moreover, the U.S administration and western media suddenly woke-up after years of ISIS usage of stolen oil to initiate another attack on the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad claiming he is “the only one buying ISIS’ oil”.
However, facts claim otherwise: The Russian Air Force destroyed over 500 oil trucks carrying ISIS oil from around Palmyra, Deir-ezzour, Raqqa and Iraq to Turkey. The U.S led coalition never bombed any of ISIS oil trucks despite drones covering the sky of Syria. ISIS is selling its barrel for 17$ that is generating between $1.5 and $3m per day. They numbers are speculative as none of the analysts around have access to ISIS oil revenue books. One part of the oil is sold inside Syria for domestic usage and to Syrian distributors. The biggest part goes to Turkey. That was considered a substantial income for the Turkish economy that Russia began to destroy. Russia wasn’t aiming at Turkey but to cripple ISIS revenue and help Damascus recover the control over the oil fields. Russian Air Force imposed its control on the Syrian-Turkish borders, bombing the pro-Turkish Turkmem Syrian groups who fight along side al-Qaeda in Syria. Again, Russia wanted a safe perimeter to its forces in Latakia and in another airport, Basel al-Assad, under preparation to be used in due course to create more space for its newly coming air jets. Moreover, Russia helps the Syrian Government to recover its lost territory in reef Latakia.
But bombing its oil partner and the proxy militia were sufficient reasons for Turkey to react, seeing the danger coming from Russia that is blowing up the Turkish dream to annex a part of Syria and impose a non-fly-zone.
Turkey responded by ambushing and downing the Su-24 (On November 24, a Turkish Air Force F-16 jet shot down a Russian Su-24 bomber over Syria) as it was “approaching the border” according to the Turkish leaked radio warning issued by the Turkish ground tower control to the Sukhoi pilot, as claimed. One of the two pilots was captured by the pro-Turkish forces, killed and mutilated by the rebels. Pieces of the body, extremities and face, were taken away.
Russia has responded to the downing of one of its jets by destroying, to-date, a total of 1250 oil trucks transporting stolen Syrian and Iraqi oil from ISIS land to Turkey. It has imposed gradual, and still continue, sanctions on Turkey, cancelling some and suspending billions of dollars worth economic and gas deals between the two countries. The war in Syria is starting to take a different shape and size.
ISIS claim of the terrorist attack against the Russian Airbus 321 that crashed into the Sinai desert last Octobre – planned in Egypt – was followed by the 13/11 Paris attack – planned in Raqqa -. These attacks changed the course of the Syrian war. Russia wanted to “defend itself” and France has no other a choice but to show more efficient war on terror to slow down ISIS from planning possible further attacks on its soil. The “containment” war against ISIS, as declared by the US and partners for over 13 months, can no longer remain as such. Britain and Germany replaced Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrein, Jordan and the Emirates in the war on ISIS as these pulled out from the coalition. Yet, the war on terror is still ineffective from the air and needs ground troops with a define objective and enough determination to fight thousands of ideologist groups in Syria. The British Prime Ministre David Cameron surprised the world with the sudden existence of 70.000 “moderates”, disregarding the United States recognition, only few months ago, that there are only “4 or 5 rebels moderates” to rely on. Even if half of the number “70.000 moderates” is real, it could be enough to fight both ISIS and al-Qaeda. Britain’s incorrect number of “moderate” includes many al-Qaeda allies. The world forgets that the U.S declared war on Taliban for hosting and supporting AQ after the 9/11. The U.S is allowing AQ in the Arabian Peninsula to expand for the first time in Yemen, taking control of a big part of Mukallah, Rayan in Hadramount and have a direct access to the sea. Only a determined ground force supported by air strikes could be effective in the war against terror, on the basis that that a clear enemy is identified and a consistant policy is adopted.
Indeed France can’t walk along all the way with Saudi Arabia despite its billions of dollars deal in armaments. Moreover, Paris knows that it is not an option for its troops to land in Syria and engaged a fight with ISIS. As Russia, France needs the Syrian Army on the ground, ready to continue battling terrorists and accepts losses. This is how Assad becomes a “necessary evil” as he has an army and allies engaged in the war against terrorism. He is also a vital ressource for the western intelligence services as he is holding a bank of information on many of the 20.000 foreign fighters, estimated by Damascus, on the Syrian soil. Some of these can turn into “lone wolves” and continue their private war regardless what is going to happen to ISIS. The San Bernardino attack in the U.S and the latest stabbing in London are part of the ideological war that has no borders but travels as long as terrorist organisations keep existing, giving a little push to radical Muslims to raise.
For now, Paris that never sleeps is sleeping from fear of another terrorist attack as long as the “war on terror” is not seriously carried out in Syria and Iraq to start with.