( Check out Syria – War of Deception, my new e-book on the Syrian war, the most consequential but least understood war of recent times)
The most consequential war in recent decades is coming to an end. Future historians may cast the Syrian war as the Waterloo for globalists. For six years, powerful politicians around the world kept chanting, “Assad must go.” They are all gone now and Assad has remained in power. However, there are still crucial battles and tough negotiations ahead. Here’s a look at the current situation and the monumental challenges that Syria faces in the near future.
First, let’s look at some good news. More than 600,000 Syrian refugees have come back to areas liberated by the Syrian government. Which, by the way, debunks the mainstream propaganda that these people were fleeing from “brutal” Assad. No, they were fleeing from the terrorists and the war.
Children are going back to school, although not all schools have been fixed.
Schools in rebel-held areas are also functional, though the kids have a slightly different experience:
Churches are being rebuilt in areas secured by the Syrian army. Assad is personally visiting some of these churches and immensely helping the Christian community. He recently gave a speech in which he assured Christians that there is no Syria without them. About a million Christians were subjected to ethnic cleansing and driven out of their homes by Islamic fundamentalists in the last six years. That’s why it’s not surprising that when Christians hold parades, they carry Assad’s picture along with the cross.
Syria held its famous Damascus International Fair after a five-year hiatus. More than 40 countries and 300,000 people attended the fair. Many countries signed up to help Syria in the reconstruction efforts. China is expected to play a leading role, since Syria can be a prominent hub in China’s Silk Road. On the other hand, the “moderate rebels” contributed to this event by firing mortars and killing six attendees.
As for the war itself, Syria has made massive gains since the beginning of the year. However, as you can see below, there are still many colors within the borders: red – Syrian government; brown – ISIS; yellow –Kurds; green/purple – Al Qaeda.
ISIS: The abominable terrorist group has lost about 80% of its area (brown color in the map) in 2017. On one hand, Trump partnered with the Kurds (“SDF”) and has been attacking Raqqa, the capital city of ISIS in Syria. The city is now on the verge of being liberated.
On the other front, Assad and Putin have freed vast areas from ISIS. Just last week, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) had a strategic victory over ISIS in a city called Deir Ezzor, which had been under ISIS siege for more than three years.
To sum it up, ISIS will be defeated in a month or two. Of course, like a mutant virus, you can’t completely get rid of them. Many will flee to neighboring Iraq and will wage hybrid war for the foreseeable future. The truth about ISIS, it’s rise to power, and its future are discussed in depth in my book, Syria – War of Deception.
Kurds: Next are the Kurds (yellow in the map). They are the new BFF for America, Israel and Saudi Arabia, since the original proxy war using Sunni extremists has failed. You can see below Kurds waving the Israeli flag; and also American soldiers wearing the patches of YPG, the Kurdish militia.
There are many geopolitical machinations and complications here. First, Kurds are hoping for a new country or at least an autonomous region carved out of Syria, just like in Iraq. They are also frantically trying to capture as much oil-rich land as possible. In return, in the future, they will host permanent US military bases, give lucrative deals to Exxon, and sell oil to Israel at a huge discount.
The Kurds also held a non-binding secession referendum in Iraq on Sep 25. This is vehemently opposed by not only Iraq, but also Iran and Turkey, who fear that the referendum will fuel uprisings among their own Kurdish population (there are 18 million Kurds in Turkey and 5 million in Iran).
Kurdistan in Iraq has been operating quite well as an autonomous region since 2005. However, since 2014, Kurds have been expanding their territories, while taking advantage of the chaos created by ISIS. Now Kurds also claim control over Kirkuk, an oil-rich area in Iraq. In response, the Iraqi government is threatening to send military forces into Kurdistan. The entire situation is very volatile and might spark a new civil war.
The US-Kurdish adventure is forcing Turkey – a NATO member and a strong ally of the West for 80 years – to turn towards Russia. Now, Turkey has agreed to buy Russia’s air defense systems for the first time. In the last few months, Turkey also signed off on Russia->Turkey->Europe pipelines, held military talks with Iran for the first time since 1979, and rescued Qatar from Saudi sanctions and blockades. Qatar is also forging new relations with Iran and Russia, after having financed the Syrian rebels for six years. All these are tectonic shifts in geopolitical alliances.
The US-Kurdish alliance might also push Iraq towards Iran (Iraq is 62% Shiite, thus making it a natural ally of Iran). If it happens, there will be a so-called Shiite Crescent of 4 contiguous countries: Iran-Iraq-Syria-Lebanon. This scenario is dreadful for many in Saudi Arabia and Israel. Note that Lebanon, in this context, translates to Hezbollah, Israel’s nemesis.
As for Syria, it certainly feels betrayed by the Kurds. However, Assad is currently focused on liberating the rest of Syria, since the US forces are protecting the Kurds.
Al Qaeda: The original notorious group now rules a region – Idlib – that has become the largest terrorist haven in the world. This demonstrates how the corporate media lied for the past six years about the mythical “moderate rebels.” Idlib is now the wild west for terrorists – not a day goes by without explosions, assassinations and mafia-style executions.
There are now negotiations to see if this region can be liberated without a full-fledged war. Perhaps the foreign militants can be allowed to go home, and the Syrian militants can be given some sort of amnesty. If the negotiations fail, the Russia-Iran-Turkey coalition will launch a major assault. The terrorists got a taste of Putin’s resolve this week when more than 800 jihadists were annihilated by Russian planes. Turkey’s cooperation in liberating Idlib is supremely ironic, since Turkey was the primary conduit for terrorists and weapons going into Syria for six years.
So, that’s the story in a nutshell. ISIS will soon be defeated, for sure; Al Qaeda will either leave voluntarily or will be crushed; and the Kurdish issue will remain complicated and controversial for a while. Meanwhile, reconstruction plans are being prepared, which will be daunting. Syria’s GDP is down 70% from its pre-war years, and the damage to the nation’s infrastructure is staggering. Without outside assistance, it will take decades to rebuild Syria. However, if Assad can strike optimal deals and leverage China’s construction prowess, then Syria can rise again within a couple of years.
(This article was also published on Nation of Change and Activist Post )
Author: Chris Kanthan is the author of a new book, “Syria – War of Deception.” It’s available in a condensed as well as a longer version. Chris lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, has traveled to 35 countries, and writes about world affairs, politics, economy and health. His other book is “Deconstructing Monsanto.”