Idleb: Thestory of the end of behind-the-scenes maneuvering

By Dr. Mohammad Bakr

The advice given by former US Ambassador to Syria Robert Ford to the “armed opposition” not to expect any help from the United States because Washington would not start a third world war for them and would not intervene to stop the bombing of Idleb can be viewed as a summation  of the US assessment of the actual eventuality  of the years of war on Syria. It also comes as a part of the practical application of the  theory of “mud & death” in Syria. According to Trump, seven trillion dollars were spent on wars in the Middle East in vain.

Hence comes the US trickery and maneuvering:  The Russian Ministry of Defense made it public that the Americans were training armed groups, mainly Maghaweer al-Thawra and a plethora of smaller formations affiliated to the so-called “Arab Battalions Army” in the 55-km area of al-Tanf base.

The Russians also said that US planes stationed in East Euphrates  airlift these fighters once they finish training at al-Tanf. These revelations rouse so many questions as they come in direct contradiction with Trump’s statements.

So, the US is still maneuvering and still trying to pressure the Russians who, together with the Syrian Arab Army, are engaged in military operations inIdlebcountryside to regain this territory. These operations were inevitable as all other means, including Sochi and other negotiations platforms, proved a failure.

The Americans are trying to exert pressure on the Russians although they know very well that the “end” of the story is the most probable scenario  dominating  the Syrian political landscape.

They know that the final touches are being put and that whole chapters would be closed. It is a matter of time only. So, the US maneuvering can be viewed through two main points: First, the US behavior can be labelled as a sort of diversion and/or distraction.

They try to deflect the attention of their foe away from a particular  front, without slamming the brakes to decelerate the venture or the strategic decisions. Second, it is a message to Turkey who irritated Washington with their courting to the Russians (the purchase of the Russian S-400 was the most visible example), in response to which the Americans spoke publicly about their support for the Kurds. Such an explicit support might be viewed as a retaliation to the Turkish move.

We do not know if the US move was taken in response to the report run by Haaretz claiming that Iran has moved 700-km long-range sophisticated and high-precision missiles to Iraq, or just to please Israel, which has reportedly bombed an Iraqi military position few days ago. This explains what Robert Ford was trying to say in his interview with al-Mayadeen TV channel. “Washington does not want to see any close cooperation, contiguity or continuum between Damascus and its allies in Baghdad.

We do not think that the US move in al Tanf base would be change the course of the military operations of the Syrian Arab Army and allies, nor would it impede the strategic decision taken in this regard. Although watching Idleb closely, but Trump’s eyes would remain focused on the strategically significant matters.

What is strategic would remain strategic, while maneuvering would remain a mere maneuvering. Of all the details and complexities of the scene, Ford’s  expertise-based statement that the US-Russian de-confliction agreement concerning their flights over the Syrian air space and  his country’s support for the Kurds would end once day, remain the only true real-time fact today.

Translated into English by Syrianfacts. The piece was published by the Arabic Ray al-Yaoumnewspaper.



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