On October 1, Turkey and six other countries of the US-led coalition published a joint declaration expressing concern over Russia Air Force strikes against the militants in Syria. The signatories include the United States of America (as expected), the monarchies of Persian Gulf (Saudi Arabia and Qatar that were also expected to join), as well as Great Britain, Germany and France.
The statement actually does not say anything extraordinary. Russia stole the initiative from the West. Instead of following the example of «anti-terrorist coalition» and delivering strikes against Syria’s government forces (which together with Kurds conduct combat actions against the militants of so-called Islamic State), Russia bombed the positions of the terrorists. It allowed the legitimate Syrian government to regroup forces, get a break and finally launch a ground offensive to clear the territory from the terrorist plague.
The expression of concern by the United States is logical and natural: Washington has spent great effort to train the «moderate» Syrian opposition (which mysteriously has turned into a source of weapons and manpower for «immoderate» groups). The start of the Russian operation may incur direct financial losses, let alone damage the image of the US.
There is nothing surprising in the fact that the monarchies of Persian Gulf – Saudi Arabia and Qatar – were eager to sign the statement. One may forget what country Osama bin Laden and the majority of terrorists, who seized the aircraft on September 11, 2001, came from. But it’s impossible to reject the fact that the Gulf monarchies (no matter all the real or imaginary contradictions and disagreements dividing them) are the main sponsors of major terrorist groups operating in the Greater Middle East – from Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt to Al-Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan and, especially, in Pakistan. In case of Saudi Arabia the overthrow of Bashar Assad is just the first step on the way to do away with Iran, its main opponent in the region.
It’s easy to explain why the declaration was initiated by Turkey. Ankara views the Islamic State as the only force able to nip in the bud the aspiration of Kurds, the divided people, for statehood. It makes pale such things of ‘little importance’ like cheap oil exported by militants from Iraq and Syria with Turkey being the main customer.
It’s worth to mention the position of Europe. The fact that London signed the declaration can be explained by the inability of the 51st US state to stop playing the role of American poodle on a leash. It obediently dances to the US tune. The participation of France and Germany seems to be a bit irrational.
So many things have happened in Eastern Europe and the Middle East. Berlin and Paris could have realized that the events seemingly not interconnected meet the logic of US strategy aimed at creating an axis of instability. Its only goal is to preserve the unipolar world where West Europe plays the role of a passive satellite, not an independent actor.
The events in Ukraine occurred exactly when a Europe-Russia energy alliance started to loom and the US-led talks on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership got stalled. Just a coincidence, of course.
All these events let the United States to partially achieve the main goal – it has succeeded in driving a wedge between Europe and Russia, but the talks on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership did not make much progress. The United States had another ace up its sleeve. The civil war in Syria gave rise to the massive migrant flows threatening the very foundation of the European civilization and making European allies meekly ask the big brother overseas for help.
Russia’s resolute actions in Syria leave no chance for these plans. Supposedly, Europeans should breathe a sigh of relief. But it has not happened as yet.
What is the reason? Has the habit to snap to attention become so deeply enrooted? Have the Europeans left any thoughts about having a choice? Some analysts believe that the US National Security Agency has acquired serious compromising material to blackmail European leaders into agreement with Washington.
The hope is still looming that after some time Europe will realize where its real interests lie. The abovementioned declaration of the seven looks more like a creation of a new instrument of Washington. This time it has the form of an international alliance to support terrorists of the so-called Islamic State.
The development came after President Bashar al-Assad in a televised address in July pardoned all soldiers who have fled the army, saying that his words served as a general decree to relevant officials.
Hundreds of gunmen have been laying down their weapons and turning themselves in to authorities in areas across the country.
This number seems to be on the rise as the army has been making steady gains in the battlefield against the terrorist groups, recapturing an increasing number of regions, including strategic sites, which helped cut off many of the militants’ supply routes and forced them to surrender or run away.
Also in the past 24 hours, the Syrian air raids destroyed concentration centers of the ISIL, al-Nusra Front and other terrorist groups in Hama and Idlib.
The Syrian warplanes conducted airstrikes against positions of ISIL and the so-called Jeish al-Fath terrorists in the countryside of Hama and Idlib.
The airstrikes hit positions of the ISIL terrorists in al-Rahjan village, 50 km to the Northeast of Hama City, destroying a number of terrorists’ vehicles with all arms, ammunition and equipment on board.
The airstrikes also hit positions of al-Nusra Front and other terrorist groups in Aqrab village in the Southwestern countryside of Hama, killing scores of terrorists.
A number of vehicles belonging to Jeish al-Fath terrorists were also destroyed in airstrikes in Abdin village in the countryside of Ma’aret al-Nu’aman in Idlib countryside.
Meantime, the Syrian fighter jets pounded hideouts of the Takfiri militants in the countryside of Homs.
The Syrian air raids destroyed Takfiri terrorists’ hideouts and vehicles in al-Qaryatain, al-Sa’an, and in the vicinity of al-Sha’er field in Homs countryside.
The Russian air group in Syria is using Kh-29L air-to-surface missiles to conduct airstrikes against the ISIL militants, the Russian military said Sunday.
“A Kh-29L surface-to-air missile is equipped with a semi-active laser guidance system. When the launch is conducted, a pilot illuminates a target with a laser sight. At the same time an aircraft can continue the flight,” Aerospace Forces Spokesman Colonel Igor Klimov said.
Also, the Syrian army conducted military operations against the foreign-backed Takfiri militants in Aleppo province, leaving hundreds of them killed and injured.
Hundreds of terrorists were killed or wounded in Aleppo City and its countryside in the past 24 hours, a military source said.
Elsewhere, at least 28 militant fighters of the ISIL terrorist group were killed during clashes with the Kurdish forces in the Northeastern Syrian province of Hasaka.
“The YPG forces besieged the ISIL militants near Mount Abdulaziz and killed dozens of terrorists and destroyed several vehicles,” a spokesman for the YPG Media Center told ARA News.
Also, gunmen from the Jeish al-Fath coalition of extremist groups are pulling out their forces from Idlib and other towns in Northwestern Syria.
The radical group started moving towards the Turkish border on Saturday after having experienced “the efficiency of the Russian aerospace forces’ strikes,” the As-Safir Arabic-language daily reported.
The coalition is led by al-Nusra terrorist group, the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda, which is sponsored by Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar. The group seized the Idlib province this spring.
The report said field commanders fear at any moment the attack of Syrian forces supported by Russian warplanes on the key town of Jisr al-Shugour, on the Lattakia-Aleppo highway.