The Syrian war is about to enter a new phase. As the world powers are preparing for a limited ceasefire in Syria, the “civil war” chapter can finally be closed, and the Syrian conflict can perhaps for once be recognized for what it really is and always was: A terrorist insurgency.
The war is heating up by the hour, as it enters this new phase, a dangerous phase. With Saudi Arabia and Turkey threatning to invade Syria, the risk of the Syrian war turning into a major global conflict has hardly escaped many peoples minds.
Last week Saudi Arabia and several of its allies conducted some major military exercises in Jordan, with speculations arising that they were prepared to invade from the soth. This came as Ankara has been renewing its push for creating a “bufferzone” inside Syrian territory. As the “Syrian Democratic Forces” (SDF) have been capturing ground near the border town of Azaz and reducing Islamist presence in northern Aleppo into a small pocket, Turkey has been beating the drums of war again.
The Ceasefire deal
The ceasefire deal struck last week is supposed to involve a nationwide cessation of hostilities. I have serious doubts about this ceasefire deal, for the obvious reason that it has not been struck between the main belligerent parties, thus it can hardly be seen as a deal that is going to be respected. Russian ambassador to the UN, Vitaly Churkin did not sound too optimistic, just a week before the ceasefire deal was struck.
One also has to take into consideration the fact that neither the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, nor Jabhat Al Nusra (Al-Qaeda) were included in this deal. These two terrorist groups control virtually all “opposition” controlled territory in one way or another, that is, if you consider Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham, Jaysh Al-Islam and all other groups affiliated with Jaysh Al Fateh among others, to be terrorist groups linked to Al-Qaeda to different degrees.
The ceasefire deal does not seem to be any real attempt at ending hostilities in the country, but rather an invitation by Russia to Washington. Moscow is calling out Washington’s “moderates” to show themselves, wherever they are, and agree to a cooperation against a common enemy. Should this deal be implemented, Washington now has to make the tough choice to at least officially cut its endorsements of Al-Qaeda linked Islamist militants, a seemingly doomed side in this war.
Turkey invades as Washington backs out
Washington seems to have lost interest in toppling Assad lately as their propagandist media chants the “Assad must go” hymn louder than Washington itself these day. Yet its allies are seemingly still desperate for regime change. Turkey and Saudi Arabia were quick to rush in to save their Islamist proxies, apparently providing them with some GRAD missiles. http://presstv.us/DetailFr/2016/02/13/450040/Syria-Takfiri-militants-missiles-Russia-airstrikes-Syria-conflict )
As if that wasn’t enough, Turkey seems poised to stop the US backed Syrian Democratic Forces and the Syrian Arab Army from completely destroying terrorist presence in northern Syria. Any invasion, whether Saudi or Turkish will only add more fire to the conflict, something Ankara and Riyadh are fully aware of.
The Turkish threat is in direct conflict with Washington’s supposed allies on the ground, the Kurds. Turkey and Erdogan have declared that they will never allow the kurds to link up the Afrin and Kobane cantons, despite the areas between them being mostly controlled by ISIL. This has been manifested in the recent days shelling of the SDF/YPG controlled areas by the Turkish army, Washington’s response to this Turkish aggression has been rather timid. Ankara and Riyadh are staunch supporters of the Islamist “opposition”, and will continue to be so, regardless of the cost of human life.
The Saudis are, however mighty and powerful they try to portray themselves to be, rather hesitant to send their troops into Syria and are looking for a US green light, meaning that they are looking for NATO involvement, this could be because of the casualites suffered in the war on Yemen being fresh in mind. The Saudi foreign minister Adel Al-Jubeir himself admitted to be waiting for the US order, when speaking at a news conference.
Yet two weeks after making this threatning statement, Washington still seems to be undecided on the matter as the Saudis are looking for other options.
Washington has a tough choice to make, either it adds to the peace process that it has been calling for, or it destroys any hopes for peace by siding with Ankara and Riyadh in a potential World War.