The Russian delegation to the UN presented the security Council a draft resolution on security zones in Syria, approved may fourth at the peace talks in the Kazakh capital Astana. We are talking about the Memorandum of main actors: Russia, Turkey and Iran agreed with the representatives of the Syrian opposition. The authors of the project expect that the agreement will be a significant step towards the establishment of peace in Syria after six years of bloody war and a million dead and wounded.
Security zones four. They all include developed regions of Syria and are in the depths of the country at a distance of 250 kilometers from the coast. All areas of the big cities, where are concentrated most of the economic resources of the country. The first zone forms Idlib, the part West of Aleppo and North of Hama. The second is the North of the province of HOMS, the third — Eastern Guta, a suburb of Damascus, and the fourth province of Deraa and Quneitra near the border with Jordan.
The only option
The goal is to limit the confrontation to a minimum and to resolve all issues by negotiation. The Syrian and the Russian side undertook not to apply in these zones, their aircraft, and, of course, the same obligation applies to the bombers of the American coalition. The United States and Saudi Arabia supported this new plan, about security zones, because in fact there’s nothing else left. From them, a long time not coming any significant initiatives that could contribute to de-escalate the Syrian conflict. The talks in Astana, how imperfect they may be, are virtually the only option, but Washington directly to them is not involved.
The security zone is not a new idea. Talking about them long ago, and the proposal under the same title came from the American coalition, but, unlike the new plan, the proposal was completely unacceptable to Damascus. The first condition of the proposal prepared by the experts of the Pentagon, was the cessation of the actions of the Syrian aircraft, and this confirms the recent history of the Middle East, a direct path to the defeat of the main forces, and hence to plunge the country into chaos and destruction. According to the proposal, the Syrians were unconditionally to transfer sovereignty in the airspace to the coalition forces, thereby pre-losing the war for the preservation of their country.
The Americans were periodically announced plans to create security zones, including, after the accession of the Russian air forces and special forces in the war in October 2015. American hawks like John McCain, have consistently called for the establishment of no-fly zone over Syria, disregarding the Russian factor, and this is the position taken by presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. If, as expected, she became the head of state, today we probably would be observed for the implementation of one of the scenarios of security zones in Syria, in the skies over where you could only fly the Americans and their allies. Need to be reminded that, in addition to creating a no-fly zone, the list of other measures it was about the suffering of Iraq and Libya, which today is a destroyed country and a source of refugees and terrorists arriving in the European Union.
The agreement on security zones, signed by Russia, Turkey and Iran supports Bashar Assad, and this is the main difference from all other plans of the same title. The President of Syria may be more than happy with the current developments. First of all, in the past there were two deadly plan. In the first, so-called, who for several years defended Washington with its European allies, Assad was the main target. To remove him from power-good or bad — through negotiations whether, if a direct hit cruise missiles, or publicly linewow as Gaddafi — has been a priority of the American military coalition and supported the rebels from almost 163 armed groups. They pursued this option to “solve” the Syrian problem throughout the presidency of Barack Obama.
A Russian invention
Since Russia’s entry into the war the position of Assad was more secure, and some of the pressure Washington was moved to Moscow, demanding to stop supporting Assad. There were various conversations up to claims for asylum to the Syrian President, his wife and daughter in Moscow while the Russians diplomatically soften someone else’s wrath. It is worth mentioning that during this time the President of Syria has turned into an uncomfortable example of “dictator”, which it is impossible to overthrow the threats and invasion of his closest circle. Allawi, a representative of the Shiite branch, and someone will say — sect, has surrounded himself with loyal people who could not bribe, nor take blackmail.
In General, the alawites known for its internal cohesion. One of the key instruments in the overthrow of Assad was supposed to be a gas attack on civilians committed in 2013, and recently, but after the Assad resist.
He survived and the prospect of a plan B. What is plan B? First, Syria was divided under the pretext of security zones. It was planned to create enclaves that are inaccessible to the Syrian forces. These enclaves was supposed to make the reference points for the transition to plan to overthrow the government in Damascus.
That means the consent of Assad on the latest plan of the security zones? The answer is simple. The plan is the invention of an ally, i.e., Russia, and proposed it in the moment when, according to the calculations, the opposite side will not be too resist. For Moscow the key role played by Trinity with Iran and Turkey.
If we talk about Iran, his agreement clear. From the very beginning of the Syrian conflict Moscow and Tehran were not prominent in public their differences and not allow them to make among themselves a split in the Syrian issue, although the contradictions were many, especially in the tactical aspects. The agreement with Iran is not surprising, unlike the arrangement with the stubborn Erdogan. The Turkish consent to the plan of Moscow is, of course, diplomatic defeat Union, NATO, the EU and Saudi Arabia. Since 15 August last year in Turkey there was a coup, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who heads the most important from a geostrategic point of view, the country in Eurasia and the largest army in the region, much more readily cooperates with Vladimir Putin than with the us leadership.
Russia is a strategic partnership recently began laying the pipeline in the framework of the project “South stream”, which runs from Russia under the Black sea to Turkey. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg of Russian-Turkish relations. In recent months, Turkey is negotiating the purchase of anti-aircraft missile systems s-400, which is more than clearly demonstrates the increased cooperation between Ankara and Moscow. Some believe that Erdogan is only bluffing, but nobody knows exactly. An important member of NATO buys weapons from Russia, not compatible with NATO system?!
Erdogan is against Assad
If we talk about Turkey in Syria, here lies another paradox, which the Russians managed to overcome. Since the war began in Syria, the Damascus accuses Turkey of aiding terrorists and any attack of Turkish troops regards as aggression, which you need to answer. The Syrians accused the Turks that in the border with Syria areas they have stolen everything possible, and even dismantled and took the whole production line. On a personal level, Assad and Erdogan continue to exchange accusations. Comes to ridicule. So, in Damascus joke that Erdogan does not like Assad because he’s young and pretty wife.
What Edogan wants to achieve, agreeing to a security zone “for the Russian style”? It is clear that the strategists in Moscow want to achieve maximum results. The war in Syria is very cumbersome, the road leads to casualties, and the outcome is still unclear. The Russians continue to successfully pretend to be that in any case can’t compete with the Americans in terms of resources.
The purpose of the Federation is in a minimum amount of military action and diplomacy to the maximum share directly in the deadly conflict of the warring factions. So the Russians deskalert tension. With the start of the intervention, they negotiate with the leaders of the different armed groups, tame them and include in the system. The second objective is to separate the insurgents from the recognized terrorists, to isolate the latter and to defeat by military means. It concerns “An-Nusra” and “Islamic state” (banned in Russia — approx. ed.). In addition, freezing the conflict in the developed regions of Syria, the Russians release forces for operations in the desert oil fields near Palmyra and Raqqa.
The American position
After making the Russian-Turkish-Iranian plan is difficult to assess the American position, which varies from “we agree” to statements like: “Our air force will act as it needs”. Donald trump — after dessert, sitting with President of China XI Jinping to your residence, Mar-a-Lago in Florida, he gave the order to hit 59 “Tomahawks” in Syria — suddenly lost interest in the Middle East and turned all his attention to the far East or North Korea.
A single bombing operation of the US contributed to strengthen the precarious position of trump among American hawks and became a cover for cooperation with Putin on Ukraine and Syria — these assumptions made some Israeli media. Anyway, at the beginning of the presidency, trump said that he would leave the settlement of the situation in Syria, the Russians and the countries of the region. Isn’t the proposal, approved in Astana, the hidden beginning of this process?
Before the announcement of the peace plan, Moscow was visited by Rex Tillerson, and ten days later, Putin and trump held telephone talks. There is no doubt that they were talking about Syria and Ukraine, the two most topical issues of interest to both parties.
In addition, diplomatic efforts around Syria bring much more than the fighting there. With security zones or without them, but terrorist groups are becoming weaker. The proposal of the moderate opposition, if it really massively respond to it, will further weaken the position of the real terrorists and will contribute to the resolution of the conflict. However, you should not believe that a few signatures will fundamentally change the situation on the battlefield.
And how Israel perceives the new Russian plan? In short, the media, specializing in intelligence, convey one thing: we are seeing incredible bluff in the performance of Vladimir Putin and his diplomats. In a situation when the Pentagon looks at the map of North Korea, Moscow is trying to steal the diplomatic initiative, offering plan, which the USA can’t refuse — at least openly.
Paper and words are one thing and do another. The rebellion in Syria from the beginning to the present is based on hidden sponsors. Yet none of the peace plan have not stopped the flow of money and weapons to Syria. And it is unlikely that the new plan will succeed.