The Syrian war materializes Assad’s Five Seas vision

By Mahran Nizar Ghatrouf

As the Syrian war broke out in mid March 2011, a plethora of new paradigms and terminologies began to surface. A lot of changes impactingalmost everything both in the theatre of conflict in the Middle East and on the international landscape have since taken place. Such changes had to do with a lot of things, including the pattern of the war, itself.

The war on Syria was waged with a new pattern of warfare known as   “the fourth generation of warfare” or what is better known as the “asymmetric warfare”.

This pattern of warfare seeks to coercively initiate a war (on a specific targeted country) to destabilize it and render it a failed state, in order to enforce a new reality that would be more conducive to the US interests. According to American Professor Max G.

Manwaring, this pattern of warfare was launched for the first time by the “National Israeli Security Institute.” To counter it, new means of resistance and retaliation were developed and worked out.

The concerned parties (that have been targeted by this kind of warfare), namely Syria and allies, slowly absorbed the tactics of the war and gradually started to contain and encircle offensives until they eventually managed to render them futile and irrelevant.

Lost territories were soon retaken either militarily by direct armed confrontations or, more often, by reconciliation deals.

With the war dragging on and entering  its eighth year now and as it has shifted from being a war on Syria to a war with Syria and her entire axis  and as the Syrian state and allies have managed to enforce an almost full control on the battlefield, especially following the recent accomplishment of the  South and the South-West battle in a record short time, the Russian-Iranian-Syrian axis seems to have deemed it essential to open up a new front of full-scale confrontation with the regional and international parties involved in the conflict, foremost of whom the United States.

Hence comes the question: Could it be now the best chance to put into motion the “regional inter-locking” theory suggested by President Bashar al-Assad in 2004 with the aim of making best benefit of Syria’s geographic position so that Syria would be a hub and epicenter of a broader  regional energy and transport network?

The question stems significance from the fact that the state of balance and supremacy accumulated by this axis during the years of the war, is now self-evident and even the Americans are now feeling it.  The recent attitudes and actions can be viewed as a mere translation on the grounds of this new state of balance.

Of them, one might cite the following: “The Red Sea is no longer safe for the US military presence,”  this was the content of a message addressed by Major General QassemSoleimani Commander of al-Quds Force in the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps to the US Administration last July 26. Few days later, on August 2, 2018, the Iranian Navy Commander Hussein Khazandani stated that Hormuz Strait would no longer be “safe” for those  ‘who use the money  of the oil transported through this strait’ to threaten Iran and/or jeopardize Iran’s security.

Back then, he made it clear that for Hormuz Strait to remain open, Iranian interests should be respected and the international community should honor their commitments towards Iran. At the invitation of Russia, a summit meeting was held by the Presidents of the five littoral countries of the Caspian Sea  on August 12, 2018.

At this meeting, the leaders of these five Caspian Sea countries signed a “historic” deal determining the situation of the Caspian Sea and limiting the US influence in this region. The deal was the culmination of 20 years of hard negotiations.

The British Daily Mail paper said that Russia has deployed at least 10 frigates and two submarines to the East Mediterranean Sea. This is the largest Russian naval military mass up in Middle Eastern waters since the beginning of the Russian military intervention in Syria in 2015.

Following up these sequential stances and developments as they came in succession, it is most unlikely to view them  as mere reflexive reactions randomly voiced in response to statements made by  the current Trump Administration.

They are not restrictedly so and should no longer be viewed as restricted. These stances featured by key parties of the axis opposing the hegemonic US presence  in the Middle East are much more than mere strongly-worded messages to Washington warning it that the understandings and partnerships worked out in the region have created a new situation that Washington can no longer ignore or transgress.

The new evolving situation shows that Assad’s strategic vision of regional cooperation that would inter-link countries of the region in a network of mutual cooperation  is being materialized.  Damascus would be the central pivot of this regional network and each of Iran and Russia would be the flanks ensuring its safety and security.

Each country of  the region would have a stabilization role. This means that  countries of the region would shift alliances and move from the current state of engagement into a forthcoming state of partnership and cooperation.

What is going on right now, as summed up by the  Idleb political and military battle  – the last and most important battle on the Syrian territories and the one which would bury once and for all Washington’s fourth generation of terrorism – explains the state of confusion and disorientation sustained by Washington and its associates either within their own fold (the US, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar) or between them and the countries of the Russian-Iranian-Syrian axis.

They ostensibly realize the fact that what was once a mere “strategic vision” about  regional inter-connection and networking is being materialized and is coming true now, one way or another.

The source: Translation into English of a piece published by


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