The Syrian Status Quo
Assad claims he won the war in Syria, although he was losing till in 2015 the Russians intervened to his support under the false pretext that they would fight ISIS. Instead, Russia together with Iran and its Shia Mujahideen proxies such as Hezbollah in Lebanon, attacked the Syrian opposition and left the battle against ISIS to the US, the Coalition and the SDF (Syrian Democratic Forces). Netanyahu and Trump are screwed by Russia’s Novatek and prostitute Sarah Abdallah @sahouraxo in Syria.
This led Assad to rule together with Iran, its proxies and Russia in the Western part of Syria, which is almost 60% of the territory. Turkey invaded a small but strategic portion of the country in the North West, and the U.S. led SDF fought ISIS and took over the rest of the 35% of Syria, located in the northern, the eastern and the eastern southern part along Turkey’s, Jordan’s and Iraq’s borders.
This status was till a year ago subject to change, if only Israel and the U.S. would have not decided to embolden Assad and Putin, by backing them against Iran, which proved to be a failed strategy. Since the start of the civil war in Syria, Putin has sought to seize gains from the West and Israel at each opportunity and he succeeded. Meanwhile, Assad, Nasrallah, Rouhani and Putin seized Daraa, the city in which the revolution against Assad’s dictatorship began, by tricking Trump, Netanyahu and the European leaders. This was not the first time, during all phases of war the quartett Assad, Rouhani, Nasrallah and Putin repeatedly created the same scenario and the West, Turkey, Gulf and Israel fell over and over again in their trap.
Harmful Incoherent Strategies of the West
The astigmatic and inter-opposing strategy between the Western partners did not yield to the required result, just at the opposite, it strengthened the quartett (Assad, Rouhani, Nasrallah and Putin). They had previously tried to help topple Assad, but failed, due to their weak war strategy. They did not understand that a war means first of all inducing a moral defeat to the enemy before it can be won on the battlefields. Russia, Iran, Assad and Hezbollah coordinated the best media warfare, morally defeated their enemies and won. Then the West tried to seperate Iran from Russia through the Iran Deal and failed. Then, Trump and Netanyahu thought it would be possible to separate Russia from Iran, by offering Russia specific privileges, if it drops Iran. This did not only fail, it emboldened Assad, who is gaining from the incoherent Western strategy, and harmed the U.S. and Western allies.
On the one-side, the U.S.-led SDF, which rules over the economically richest part of Syria, is now seeking to settle an agreement with the Assad dictatorship over the SDF areas. This also includes launching a war against Turkey to regain Afrin. By having a short-visioned strategic view, the U.S. Administration is losing a unique regional ally, which also shares its values and would have locally supported it to expand.
Also, on the other side, in Lebanon, the U.S.-Israel strategy has emboldened Assad and Hezbollah. While Damascus is preparing to declare a political victory, in Beirut, some are reconsidering their policies and other ministers are preparing to visit Damascus in the coming period.
Assad Is Practicing the Victor’s Arrogant Policy
Analysis on the climate in Damascus and the surrounding capitals or those concerned with the Syrian occurrences lead to one conclusion, a new stage is on its way, and it is a dark phase. Damascus is practicing the victor’s policy, despite or due to the status quo. This presumed victory is disseminated at home and abroad regardless whether this victory will be achieved or not. Emboldened by Trump and Netanyahu, now Assad is dictating on others his policy everywhere. Careless of reactions, thousands of citizens arrested during the war for opposing Assad, were simply declared dead.
So the Assad regime basically updated its prison databases & marked 100s of people dead by torture. Dozens of families are discovering daily that their loved ones died years ago. What a cruel world we live in – when murder is not only openly admitted but openly accepted. #Syria
— Lina Sergie Attar (@AmalHanano) July 25, 2018
Sameh Souror, a talented basketball player was arrested by Syrian Security in 2012. His family knew recently that he died under torture in 2014 in Saydnaya prison, the Human Slaughterhouse. 390 athletes have died in Assad prisons since 2011. pic.twitter.com/vjhEBUK61E
— Mazen Hassoun (@HassounMazen) July 31, 2018
Some countries even began re-considering diplomatic ties and opening embassies. Russia is rotating between governments and blackmailing them: Money for reconstruction so that the refugees can return. An imposed reality due to an incoherent and wrong strategy by Trump, Netanyahu, Erdogan, the European leaders and certainly the Syrian Opposition.
Impact of U.S.-Israel Policies on Lebanon
In Beirut, there was a belief, that the new version of the 2018-2019 regime in Damascus would be different from the version of 1976-2011, a revised version of everything, with constitutional changes impacting international relations. But Assad declared in an articulate speech at the Syrian People’s Assembly that the next phase belongs only to those with a strong relationship with the Syrian regime.
Also Damascus’ visitors were explicitly told that only its partners will have the privilege of entering the paradise of investment in reconstruction. It made a promise to those involved in this sector, that the parties classified as “conspiratorial” during the war will not be able to arrange any deals.
However, what was conveyed to Beirut through the main visitors from Damascus, is that the arrangement of the situation in the coming period between Lebanon and Syria does not only require an official framework between the governments of the two countries, but also “non-provocative figures”, who are responsible for this task on all levels: social, economic and trade-wise. In other words, Damascus told its visitors that “we want a full package and not selected pieces.”
Damascus also recently confessed to an official Lebanese visitor that it would prefer having the file of the refugees tackled by a “non-provocative and balanced figure.” This means that Assad wants the refugees file to be dealt with by his allies: The axis of Islamic Resistance and Russia.
Damascus Listed PM Hariri as Persona Non-Grata
The Syrian capital is waiting for a visit by a Lebanese high-level official in the foreseeable future. Although it has been confirmed that the Minister of Public Works Youssef Fenianos, Minister of Agriculture Ghazi Zuaitar and Minister of Economy Raed Khoury will separately take a trip to Damascus to discuss matters related to their ministries, some speculated that with “high-level” either Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri or Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri could also be among the visitors. The answer by Damascus was: “President Berri is welcome, and Damascus usually does not deal with him on the basis of a prior notice. As for Hariri, Damascus has informed the Lebanese officials, that he is an undesirable person. Damascus appears to be currently unwilling to welcome Hariri or those who have ventured against Syria, but maybe the decision will change after a while. Until Saudi Arabia changes perhaps.”
Meanwhile, Hariri declared that he will not visit Syria.
#Hariri will either be pressured by #Syria & #Hezbollah via threats and under duress to submit to #Assad or it will be #Israel that’ll unite them both against “the #Zionist entity/regime” in the #MiddleEast. https://t.co/GvosaLoe9v
— David Soiza (@david_soiza) August 2, 2018
Will the U.S. and Israel Have a New Strategy?
Now that the Kremlin declared that it cannot, will not and does not want to remove Iran from Syria, will the U.S. and Israel resort to a new strategy before it is too late? Firstly, a lost battle is not a lost war. The West must learn from the mistakes committed in Syria. An aggressive media campaign is the begin to a Western victory: Shut down social media accounts of those who sow discord, spread hate and disinformation like the Hezbollah terrorist: Sarah Abdallah @sahouraxo, in order to frame Assad, Rouhani, Putin and Nasrallah. Secondly, it is important to strengthen the Western allies instead of bargaining on the enemy over and over again but expecting a different outcome. Further, it is required by Trump to use Putin’s diplomacy and drag him in a trap, which reduces Russia’s influence all over the Middle East. The support of locals to boycott Russia’s economic deals is a begin, with focus on oil and gas deals in Lebanon and Syria, to be administrated by Western companies instead. An economic war in form of change of deals in these countries will weaken Russia and the Islamic Axis of Resistance. Read more: Russia is successfully advancing in the Middle East – Part I and Russia is successfully advancing in the Middle East – Part II
Turkey’s sanctions to be used to pressure on its withdrawal from Afrin, Al-Bab, Jarablus and delivering the regions to SDF in return to an economic deal and U.S.-SDF support to take over Idlib. Saudi Arabia and U.A.E. must be rallied to finance and militarily support the SDF region. Will the West stop failing and falling?