The US Non-Paper: A Tool to Inhibit thePolitical Settlement, Enforce Zones of Influence

By Nasser Qindeel

Washington broke its silence and came forward with a “vision”  for the political solution in Syria. Earlier, it had rallied Saudi Arabia, Jordan, France and the UK to push  the so-called  “Group of Five  Initiative” through which it presented an informal document it termed as “Non-Paper” for the forthcoming negotiations for a political solution in Syria. The US non-paper featured a set of rules for  the political  solution principally meant to weaken the Syrians role in solution-making.  The rules set out by this document would  marginalize the Syrians’ role in drafting their own new constitution and would minimize their role in running the elections process. The proposed  form of supervision looks  like  placing Syria under a sort of “mandate” that would negate Syria as a sovereign state and would turn it into a sort of UN entity. The second  major  rule aims to broaden the sphere of  (foreign)  influence at the expense of the state’s central  institutions,  including those which would come under the UN responsibility. According to this proposal,   local parliaments and local “governing bodies” would come under the control of  foreign powers and their associate local powers in a  sort of agreed power-sharing agreement over what the non-paper  described as “regional zones”. (in other words, Syria would be turned into zones of  influence for various foreign powers).

Practically, the  ‘non-paper ‘  paper suggests that the  final political  settlement be indefinitely postponed and a long open-ended truce be enforced instead. This would  allow for dividing Syria into various zones: Zones in the North, Zones in the Centre and Zones in he South all to come under the UN Ceasefire management.  Under such an umbrella, local authorities  might be formed to run day-to-day affairs. Thus, we would end up with some sort of “local Administrations”  rather than a sovereign state.  The Syrian state would be dissolved in favor of a UN management aiming at negating  the regional role Syria  is playing in this most vital geography in which Syria is deeply-rooted and without  wish Syria has no chance of  sustainable survival. The paper  suggests that Syria be partitioned into border  zones for heavy-weight neighbors  to  have influence on.For instance, there would a southern zone to come under the Israeli sphere of  influence, a northern zone for the Turkish sphere of influence and a north-eastern one for the US.

They, would then tell  Russia and Iran,  you may have the rest, together with the structures of the Syrian Central State.

This disastrous  “initiative”  clearly unmasks the vile intentions of its authors and patrons towards Syria as a homeland and as a country. Not only it  lays bare their ill-intentions towards Syria’s unity and sovereignty, but also gives us an official and well-documented  text exposing these bad intentions in their own writing. Equally so, this document reveals  how unrealistic its patrons are and how disconnected from the realities in Syria they are. They are perhaps unaware that the  southern and northern zones of  influence are now eroding  and the north-eastern zones of influence are dying.  Time-buying would not  help neither the “Israeli” nor the Turkish and the US to  prolong their stay. Hedging the bets on the  possibility of  luring Russia and Iran into the temptation of  some sort of “influence-sharing” is sheer ignorance and stupidity. After all these  crucial events survived by Syria bearing witness to the fact that  Syria and allies  have one crystal clear project, namely the  restoration of the Syrian state’s sovereignty and unity.

Syria and her allies are proceeding forward  militarily in Idleb until liberation is attained. Next would be Raqqa. The march would continue to proceed up to Hassakah.

And as  the march vigorously proceeds  forward for a military win, Syria and allies leave the door open for any potential political changes and retain a great deal of resilience  to deal with any such changes positively and openly. Such an openness and positive attitude applies to  any potential positive reach-out  from either Turkey, the Kurds or even the delusional opposition leaders. All of them would learn soon that  hedging their bets on the Americans was a loss,  that  trying to alter the Syrian geography is an absurdity, and that  the Syrian state is the warm cloak for all to come under for protection. The Syrian state is the only one which would ensure  border and cross-border security. Anyone  who fathomed the illusion that security can be maintained by weakening the Syrian statement would soon realize the fallacy of such an illusion.

Syria, as a homeland and a state, is  at the centerpiece of a region where regional and international equations are being charted.  Fanciful games of “neutralization”, “influence-sharing”, manipulation or  overlooking are all doomed.

Throughout history, the Syrians  have proven to be indivisible and independent. The “would-be” mandate will be gone and their choice is one of full independence.

They had been much weaker before. They were standing alone without these trusted  allies,  yet they refused to let foreign plans decide, on their behalf,   their future or the future of their country. Would they now, while  victorious and while their alliances are much stronger allow the weak foreigner bully them?  Surely not.

Translated from Arabic by syrianfacts. The above article was originally published in the Arabic-language Lebanese newspaper “al-Binaa” on January 26, 2018 .



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