Was hoping to get to this last week- no such luck- Still worth reading.
I'm omitting the parts about the recent success in Daraa including the taking of the very strategic border crossing between Jordan and Syria since that was all covered in friday's post: What of Daraa? Israel Warns Syria- "Rebels" Reach Deal with Russia
Without further adieu...
Pepe Escobar- Asia Times excerpts in blue
"Ahead of the Eagle-meets-Bear Trump-Putin summit on July 16 in Helsinki, Syria-centered spin has gone into overdrive. Unknown sources have leaked what is billed as President Trump's alleged Syria deal discussed with Jordan's King Abdullah"
I did read news of these leaks, so called. Took them with a grain of salt. What was leaked became pretty much meaningless after the success of the southern campaign. The Kremlin didn't appear to take the news seriously- There were articles around late last week that basically came down to 'we have no idea where this stuff is coming from'
Pepe has a different take on what may be discussed. Syria's territorial integrity and the legitimacy of the Damascus government.
I'm hoping the YPG/PKK are banished back to where they came. The syrian kurds, like the syrian arabs, who foolishly got on board with this destabilization are offered the chance to reintegrate- no special anything. Treacherous behaviour should not be rewarded. Syria can get back to rebuilding, her people can heal. What a terrible long time this will take. It's really appalling to think about what has gone on all these years.
"The CIA and the Pentagon are not exactly enthusiastic with Trump's alleged Syria gambit, to say the least. For assorted neocons and powerful factions of the industrial-military-surveillance complex, "Assad must go" Syria simply cannot be traded off.
And yet there's nothing to trade. Syria cannot be "offered" to Russia because Russia is already the major player in deciding what happens in Syria, not only militarily but via the ongoing Astana format alongside Iran and Turkey. No wonder the alleged Trump "deal" was duly dismissed by the Kremlin.
What will be negotiated in the Trump-Putin summit, as Asia Times has learned, is something completely different. This negotiation, incidentally, will happen after the NATO summit in Brussels and before the next Astana format meeting in Sochi on July 30, as confirmed by Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Vershinin."
The heart of the matter remains Syria's territorial integrityand the legitimacy of the government in Damascus. Russia, Iran and, after countless circumvolutions, even Turkey are for it. The NATO-Gulf Cooperation Council alliance is ferociously against it - especially after having, over the past few years, funded and weaponized those notorious "moderate rebels," the overwhelming majority of which are nothing but takfiri jihadis"
As I've explained for some time now Turkey is on board, alongside Russia and Iran with the idea of Syria territorial integrity remaining as is. It's good to read someone else mentioning this fact, finally. The remaining problem is the US backed Kurds holding one third of Syria's territory along with massive water and oil resources.
"Damascus wants to reopen full trade connectivity between Lebanon, Syria and Jordan, a route that goes all the way to the Gulf via Masna, between Lebanon and Syria, and Naseeb between Syria and Jordan, that is essential to business for all concerned."
And Turkey- That trade connectivity is between Lebanon, Jordan, Syria through Aleppo and into Turkey.
"Once again, the holy of the holies concerns al-Qaeda. Actually, Jabhat al-Nusra, as in al-Qaeda in Syria, is now rebranded as Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, and their allied collection of 54 takfiri militias, trained and weaponized in a base in Jordan, for years, by the CIA and British Special Forces"
The current Damascus offensive in Daraa will be compounded with an inevitable, further offensive towards the US base at Al Tanf, on the Syria-Iraq border.Al Tanf is absolutely key to the whole plot, because that's where US advisers have been for all practical purposes rebranding takfiris into something called Maghawhir al Thawra (Commandos of the Revolution). These takfiri commandos are backed by US air power and have been attacking the SAA outside a "deconfliction zone" that the US has - unilaterally - set up within a 50-kilometer radius of Al Tanf.The Pentagon narrative is that the US must remain in Syria to fight Daesh. That does not add up considering the Commandos of the Revolution takfiri rebranding coupled with the fact it was the SAA, Iranian advisers, Hezbollah and Russia air power who did the heavy lifting against all takfiri outfits, including Daesh."
Ah yes, I can recall doing an entire post on that topic. April 2017
" The report published Wednesday by the London-based IHS Jane Terrorism and Insurgency Centre, one of the world's leading security analysis agencies, says 43 percent of ISIS's battles between April 1, 2016 and March 31, 2017 were fought against the Syrian military and its allies, which include Russia, Iran and pro-government militias. Meanwhile, the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a majority-Kurd coalition of Arabs and ethnic minorities, accounted for 17 percent of the action against ISIS."
Sick and tired of reading how it was the US backed Kurds that were the fiercest ISIS fighters around. When they weren't. That claim was a total insult to those persons and that little nation that had actually fought against ISIS. Too many in the alt 5 eyes media insulted those that were actually in the line of fire. Syria, SAA and their allies. Not the US. Not the US backed Kurds. Not the coalition of the displacing and killing. Syrian Arab Army and allies.
No Takfiri left behind
Takfiri being the US backed Kurds as well. I see no difference between them and any of the other 'rebels'
"The key problem remains how to make Trump understand what's at stake in terms of US forces leaving Al-Tanf. The Pentagon and the CIA absolutely love the idea of having the Maghawhir takfiris constantly attacking the SAA on the only available crossing between Syria and Iraq on al-Qaim-Albu-Kamal.
The reality, though, will soon set in. Russia is sending extra Special Forces. The SAA is already preparing for the offensive. And the Iraqi People Mobilization Units (PMUs) will also join, everything coordinated by an operations command in Baghdad.
All that is evidence the US does not "have" southern Syria.
What the US does have is roughly 2,000 Special Forces embedded with the Kurdish YPG in the landlocked northeast and eastern Syria near the Turkish and Iraqi borders. Absolutely no one wants them there, except the YPG."
The US and Israel are quite happy the YPG/PKK is in place. After all they put them there.
Based on what I've read there are likely more then 2,000 international forces and mercenaries in that locale. I've seen numbers as high as 4000 ensconced in anywhere from 12 to 15 military bases in the stolen territory.
"It's no secret the usual War Party suspects want Syria balkanized and unable to concentrate on economic recovery, with help from Russia, China and Iran, to become a key node in Eurasia integration"
If you haven't been following along with Syria's Eurasian integration it's been discussed as recently as, again: Russian/Turkish deal for Tell Rifaat. The Micro & Macro along the Silk Road: Pepe Escobar
"As for Putin's priorities, they are crystal clear: Syria's territorial integrity, the stability of the government in Damascus and The Gates of Hell for all takfiri jihadis, whatever their denomination, so there won't be any furtherblowback in the Caucasus"
No blowback in the Caucasus- As stated a weakened destabilized Turkey will lead to a weakened destabilized Russia- This has to do with Black Sea access via the Dardanelles
Another piece of the puzzle that has been discussed repeatedly at PFYT's and pretty much nowhere else.
What's that saying in real estate? Location. Location, Location. Turkey's location on the planet is equal to prime real estate in some desired locale.
*Turkey is the land bridge between Asia and the Middle East
*Turkey is also nation state that ties Europe to the Middle East
*An ability to traverse or an ability to deny travel in the Turkish Straits is extremely geo-strategically significant- To say the least.
*Particularly if one has an eye to marginalizing Russia!
How this is going to play out is still anyone's guess.