Picture source: Louai Beshara / Getty Images / AFP

Syria turned down an offer from the US to withdraw their forces from Al Tanf, a US base in the southeast and the East Euphrates zone in exchange for three concessions from the Syrian government, according to a report from Lebanese daily Al Akhbar.

Officials of “several US intelligence and security agencies” reportedly landed in a private UAE plane at Damascus International Airport in late June. They then took off in a convoy towards the center of Damascus for a meeting with the head of Syria’s national security office, Major General Ali Mamlouk.

The meeting reportedly lasted for four hours. The sides discussed multiple aspects of the seven-year war in the country before the Americans made their offer: a withdrawal of its troops from Al Tanf and the East Euphrates on three conditions, including a complete Iranian withdrawal, a share in Syria’s oil spoils, and intelligence on terrorists.

“I find the report almost entirely credible,” former UK Ambassador to Syria Peter Ford told Sputnik News.

The first condition was that Iran also withdraw fully from the country. Unlike the United States, Iran was invited by the Syrian government to help it fight Islamist insurrectionists and foreign proxies.

“Open sources were already reporting in June that the US was offering to put Al Tanf in the mix of a deal concerning the conditions under which Washington would acquiesce in the Syrian government’s campaign to recover the South,” Ford told Sputnik News. “It was also being reported that those conditions included Iran’s withdrawal from the south.”

Israel has been warring with fighters in the south of Syria near the country’s Golan Heights, which Israel illegally occupies.

Offering up Al Tanf “reflects the weakness of the US position in Syria,” Ford said. “In June the Americans knew they could not prevent the Syrian government’s campaign to take back the south — what could they do, risk conflict with Russia and retaliation by Iran against Israel by large-scale sustained bombing of Syria without any pretext?” Ford wondered.

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Nonetheless, US President Donald Trump couldn’t appear weak to critics, and “hence the idea of striking a deal and throwing Al Tanf into the mix.”

“Unfortunately for the Americans, the Syrians no doubt assessed Al Tanf as low value. To some degree Al Tanf is more a liability to the US than an asset, containing as it does thousands of refugees living in pitiful conditions with hundreds of jihadis amongst them. Why should Syria pay a price to relieve the invader of a burden?” Ford posed.

“Looking forward, the lesson from this failed negotiation is that the Americans will no doubt come back at some point to suggest a similar deal with regard to the northeast, though again they will be holding a weak hand, because their position in the area is not tenable in the long term: they are already having the rug pulled from under their feet by the Kurds’ negotiations with Damascus,” he added. “In any case, the US devalue their own land-based assets every time they use their battle fleet to attack Syria.”

On Monday, Al Akhbar reported that Hezbollah had received a formal request from the Syrian government to stay in Syria after the liberation of the Idlib province from jihadists in order to help with “post-conflict reconciliation.”

As a second concession for an Al Tanf withdrawal, Al Akhbar said that the Americans also demanded a share in the oil sector of eastern Syria, which until recently was occupied by Daesh militants with a stronghold in Deir ez-Zor.

Third, the US officials also reportedly sought Syrian intelligence on terrorists who could present threats to Western countries in the future.

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“The request for intelligence cooperation was not earlier divulged, but it makes logical sense. What seems to make less sense is that the US should demand concessions for US companies in the oil sector,” Ford said.

“Given that the US through its Kurdish/SDF [Syrian Democratic Forces] proxy controls large swathes of the oil producing region of the northeast, this would only seem to make sense in the context of a US withdrawal from that area as well as Al Tanf. Maybe this possibility was floated as well.”

“As to the demands for oil concessions and intelligence cooperation, Trump’s advisers may have thought that douceurs for Big Oil and Big Secrets (the intelligence agencies) would also help sweeten the bitter pill of the US ‘losing’ the South,” he added. “The inclusion of oil concessions certainly doesn’t sit well with US claims to be in Syria exclusively to defeat ISIS and protect human rights, though that will not overly worry this business-minded president.”

“With overall victory in sight, Damascus might only be interested in deal-making if the US put on the table not just withdrawal but also the chemical weapons card, the reconstruction card, the sanctions card, the Geneva card and possibly the Golan,” Ford said, adding, “This is not likely to happen.”

“Syria’s rejection of the deal reflected an astute assessment of the limited American options, as was borne out by subsequent events and recovery of the south without making any concessions to the US,” Ford said. “It also reflected the strategic view taken by Damascus of the partnership with Iran, not to be sacrificed under any circumstances.”

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According to Al Akhbar, Mamlouk addressed each demand. Regarding the terrorists, he said that Syria has a “huge information structure” on them, but its disclosure is “linked to the evolution of your [the US’] political position on Syria.” He added that such information has already been shared with the Emiratis and Jordanians.

When it came to Syria’s oil reserves, Mamlouk reportedly told the Americans to get in line. “US companies can then enter the Syrian energy sector through Western or Russian companies,” Mamlouk said, adding that Syria isn’t interested in doing business with nations seeking their government’s overthrow, describing other Western and Russian firms as based in “countries that have not conspired against the Syrian people.”

“We will not have to give facilities to companies belonging to countries that have fought us and are still,” Mamlouk reportedly said.

When it came to an Iranian withdrawal, the Syrian official underscored his country’s sovereignty and position that the US is an “occupying force,” reportedly telling the Americans, “You entered our territory forcibly, without permission, and you can go out in the same way.”

“Syria is not a country cut off from a tree; it is part of a broad axis,” Mamlouk reportedly said, highlighting Syrian President Bashar Assad’s alliance with Tehran and Hezbollah.

“The demand for Iranian withdrawal was pushing at an open door,” the former ambassador told Sputnik News.

“The presence of Iran and allied militia in the south had already been greatly reduced, simply because it wasn’t required. The Americans must have known this but needed something for the Washington gallery.”

 

 

Source: Sputnik

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USR
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USR

Good move by Syrian government. US doesn’t have any right by any written international law to demand anything from Syrian government. In addition, they are not in position to ask for any oil share. They must leave Syria and they know it. What they are trying now is to leave with heads up. Well, time is changing and all those US invaders of Middle East soon will be kicked from behind as they deserve it. Middle East is not US territory, US doesn’t own anything in Middle East and they must leave. Not only Syria, also Iraq and Afghanistan. Their… Read more »

Daeshbags-Sux
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Daeshbags-Sux

Gringos? For a few years now, the maority of brths in the US is no more ‘Caucasian’… So you want the Talebans to rule Afghanistan? And well, the majority of Syrians are Arameans = ethnic… Jews… Do you consider Syria getting rid of Arab or Persian invaders and becoming part of a “greater Israel”? “Middle East is not US territory, US doesn’t own anything in Middle East” => Only the desert owns something, it’s called oil. The day oil runs dry, nobody will still give a fück about the Middle-East and do note expect the EU to take 400 millions… Read more »

n.md.148
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n.md.148

zio ameritards are war criminals – murderers of the syrian people and elsewhere – only h**l will have to listen to their lies/excuses – when they are in it infinitely

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Cyriak Papasissis

Exceptionally important piece , thrown into the public arena at the present crucial time through Al-Akhbar . At the time when Americans are threatening again punishing air attacks , with pretext of ”chemicals”, it is meant to put a breakwind to these plans, by exposing the US real marauding agenda behind the packaging.

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Cyriak Papasissis

Mr Ford exceptionally brilliant , real Scot.

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Weldon Cheek

If even half acirate that was a huge middle finger to the u.s.! Go Syria!! What a country!

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Willing Conscience

Ford thinks the Al-Tanf area isn’t a high value asset to either the US or the Syrians, is he kidding, if he’s not, he’s just a stooge working for the other side and spreading more confusing nonsense. Both the proposed Iranian and the Saudi gas lines to Europe go through or close by to this area, the person that controls this area decides on who’s pipeline wins out. If it’s Syria the Iranians build their line, but if it’s the US, the Saudi’s may yet get to build theirs instead, the US needs just a little more Syrian territory to… Read more »

Deo Cass
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Deo Cass

Completely false report and nothing more but speculation. Iran has already offerred to withdraw its military advisers from Syria if US withdraws its illegal occupation forces. Iran would of course still keep high level military cooperation with Damasus, military aid and advisers in all other fields. So this news is false because probably a deal would have already been struck.

Daeshbags-Sux
Guest
Daeshbags-Sux

This meeting was totally denied by US DoS.
I also verified on Flyradar : NO private business-jet from UAE flying to Damascus in June = fake news!

Daeshbags-Sux
Guest
Daeshbags-Sux

ROFL!
Al Akhbar is on Hezbollah payroll. We’re totally in Nasrallah fantasy land, the kind he’s in after having smoked a dozen doobies of Red-Lebanese hash added with 2-3 lines of Colombian CC!
There are a good dozen of points showing this is serious fake news filled with wishful thinking targetting domestic consumption.
Anyone with understanding of foreign relations, geopolitics and military+intelligence can ONLY facepalm reading this.

Abu bakr
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Abu bakr

Zionist roaches working al along since the beginning nothing new here, Kurds saa Shias alawis atheist Satanist but Islamic state the only righteous force fighting them all alone

Russian
Guest
Russian

The zionist roach #1 is your saudi king – an Izrael’s puppet.

Abu bakr
Guest
Abu bakr

Russian you had to much vodka again, it’s not Saudi king in tel Aviv meeting Netanyahu every week like yiur master Zionist roach Putin, and his little b***h Assad is fighting exactly every single enemy of Israel inside Syria loooooool hey how about Afghanistan we made Russia cry and run for life with your choppers jets tanks you got kicked by few guys with ak47 just like you are getting in Syria

Russian
Guest
Russian

Shalom aleykum, abu bakr, you zionist slave.
How is your goat? Still refusing your molesting? Don’t cry, just ask your zionist friend – daeshbagsux, he will help you out.
Dream on about Afghanistan, we’ll throw yankees out and then make talibaners civilized people. Now go and ask your goat to let you in.

Daeshbags-Sux
Guest
Daeshbags-Sux

Yeah, I will help him to oin his72 virgin goats… I’m a bit bigot-phobic if you didn’t noticed.
Sad I didn’t met him when in Afgha : he’d have ended as food for the pigs 😉

Daeshbags-Sux
Guest
Daeshbags-Sux

Hey, Abu-Bark : Tel-Aviv isn’t Israel’s capital city : Govt and Knesset are in Jerusalem, so is Bibi 😉
Tel-Aviv has only embassies (minus 3 since Yank and 2 others moved to Jerusalem).
Your few “heroes” with AK-47 (well, not even AK-47 since it was discontinyued in 1962) now still only hold 0.2% of Syria.
Never heard about an expression cookeed by Lenin : “useful idiots”?
That’s what you are.

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Dean Davis

I think we were there to mostly protect the Kurds they have the most to lose

Daeshbags-Sux
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Daeshbags-Sux

More complicated : Iran created ISIS and is also associated with Turkey+Qatar=Muslim Brotherhood=AQ, thus it’s also for containment purposes and derailing Imamah and Sultanate imperialistic goals since you do not want Ottoman+Persian empires 2.0 led by religious fanatics and moreover allies and likely with nukes to appear…

Russian
Guest
Russian

Stop your zionist lies. It is THE proven fact that USA and its’ masters in Izrael created, funded and supported haliphate all along.

Daeshbags-Sux
Guest
Daeshbags-Sux

That’s why Zarqawi hid in Iran before being smuggled into Iraq by Quds-Force, that’s also why Iran funds/arms Hamas while they openly say they belong to Muslim Brotherhood and openly back al-Nusra and ISIS/Sinai!
Two Fakestinians even just surrendered to Egypt 3 days ago at Raffah crossing as ISIS/Sinai members!

nusrabags Sux
Guest
nusrabags Sux

why iran should create isil when it had assad in syria and maliki in iraq? iran got
these two countries under its control before jihadist came in.

USR
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USR

I wouldn’t try to explain the obvious to someone who is on payroll to troll here 24/7 with nonsense…

Daeshbags-Sux
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Daeshbags-Sux

@nusrabags Sux :
because :
1.) Majority of Syrians are Sunni and also are ethnic Jews (Aramaeans)
2.) Assad is Secular
3.) No sharia
4.) He’s NOT their puppet and prefers the Russians
5.) They want to rebuild a Persian Empire and have a deal with Qatar+Turkey (Muslim Brotherhood) since Erdogan wants an Ottoman Empire 2.0. Hey, Khamenei even translated Sayyid Qutb in Farsi! Qutb was #1 inspiration for Osama, Zawahiri’n’Co.
6.) All are shitlamists.
7.) Read Machiavelli analysis of Alexander the great strategies : he EXACTLY used the very same one to build an empire!

Russian
Guest
Russian

You (USA/UK/EU) are there by the command of Izrael, other than to obey their (zionists’) wishes – you have NOTHING to do there.
Ask your advocate below – daeshbagsux, – he will confirm the anti-Iranian agenda of all the USA-centered coalition.

Daeshbags-Sux
Guest
Daeshbags-Sux

LOL, I can confirm the anti-“Christian” agenda of all shitlamists over 1400 years. By the command of Israel? ROFL!!! Israel GDP in 2017 : about $350 billions. Both USA and EU are around $20 trillions, so is China which is also targetted by shithaddists. Russia and India and all other are on their kill list too since they want a global califate under the sharia and Iran is absolutely part of it. As Israel is the ONLY democracy in the region, it’s thus VERY important other democracies not letting ’em down, that’s all. BTW, as a Russian, just look where… Read more »