Syria Now Has Chance to Liberate East of Euphrates, Swedish Analyst Says
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – A senior human rights activist and commentator from Sweden highlighted the Turkish military’ recent pressures on the US-allied YPG-militia in northern Syria and said now Syria has the chance to attack Daesh east of the Euphrates close to Albu Kamal.
“The Turkish military has started to pressure the US-allied YPG-militia in northern Syria, forcing YPG to move their troops from the Deir ez-Zor region,” Ulf Sandmark said in an interview with the Tasnim News Agency.
“This has made it possible for Daesh to reconquer territory from YPG/USA,” he said, adding, “Now the Syrian army has gotten the chance to attack Daesh east of the Euphrates close to Albu Kamal and possibly reconquer former YPG territory including oil wells.”
Sandmark is a Swedish analyst, economist and human rights activist as well as a longtime collaborator of American political figure Lyndon H. LaRouche. Sandmark is the chairman of the Schiller Institute in Sweden and the Stockholm Correspondent for the Executive Intelligence Review (EIR). As a child, he lived for three years with his family in Addis Ababa and became active in Third world development issues at the time of his studies at the Stockholm School of Economics. He has written many articles and proposals for development programs, including "The Phoenix program - Discussion points for the reconstruction of Syria" (coauthor Hussein Askary) about how to realize the major potential for recovery in linking up Syria to the New Silk Road. As a chairman for 20 years of the Anti-Drug Coalition in Sweden, he has written about how to dismantle the drug banks and their narco-terrorist bands. He has also delivered speeches to various international conferences, including a two-day conference held in London last year to “support the Yemeni people against the Anglo-American-Saudi imperial war”.
Following is the full text of the interview:
Tasnim: Turkey recently rejected Syrian government accusations that it is not meeting its obligations under an agreement to create a demilitarized zone around the insurgent-held Idlib region, saying the deal was being implemented as planned. Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem had said that Turkey appeared unwilling to implement the deal. What is your opinion about the comments and the future of the Idlib province, which with adjacent areas is the last stronghold of insurgents?
Sandmark: Turkish President Erdogan wants to keep his militant project in Syria alive as long as possible to keep up the money flow from both the Western (like my country Sweden) and Persian Gulf governments enrolled in supporting proxy militants in the illegitimate and very brutal war on Syria. I say enrolled because none of them have any benefit from this war. It is just a gigantic geopolitical provocation by the British Empire trying to push destabilizations throughout Asia to block any cooperation between Germany, Russia, China and India, and especially today to block the Belt & Road Initiative of China. It is the same British geopolitical policy which instigated World War I to block the transcontinental railway projects of that time, like the Trans-Siberian Railway and the Berlin-Baghdad Railway. A good way to celebrate the end of WWI 100 years ago would be to immediately stop the British-directed geopolitical wars of today in Syria, Yemen, and Afghanistan.
Tasnim: A four-way summit on Syria recently ended in Turkey’s Istanbul without any major breakthrough. In a joint communique following their meeting, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron and Russian President Vladimir Putin called for "an inclusive, Syrian-led and Syrian-owned political process" and said conditions needed to be created for the safe and voluntary return of refugees. The comments came as the summit was not attended by any Syrian groups. What do you think about the summit?
Sandmark: I think it is very important that they met and especially were seen standing hand in hand. The meeting reaffirmed exactly what is necessary, namely the concept of national sovereignty and peaceful cooperation among nations, which is opposite the neo-imperial policy used in the war on Syria of so-called "humanitarian intervention" also named in 1999 by (then) British Prime Minister Tony Blair as "responsibility to protect (R2P)". The meeting was especially important to push Turkey back to a policy of serving their own sovereign interests and away from being a satrapy for British interests and the interests of the British faction in the US military and intelligence services. To achieve peace for Turkey both with Syria and domestically, the militant menace must immediately be dismantled. In reality, the Syrian government and army are the best allies of Turkey in achieving peace. Syria can defeat the terrorists inside Syria and reconcile with the Syrian nationals among them. Even though most of the defeated foreign terrorists will end up in Turkey, they will be disarmed and probably sent on to other theaters of British orchestrated destabilizations around the world. Turkey will in this way be able to get rid of an enormous criminal and disgraceful trafficking in arms, drugs, human sex slaves, human blood, human organs, stolen property, etc. partly financing the war. The main remaining problem for Turkey will be their war with the PKK. Here again, Syria is their best ally, in controlling the Turkish southern border. Any "free" Kurdish entity would never be able to control the movement of terrorists. Not only because such a Kurdish entity would have an ethnic affiliation with Kurds in Turkey, but such a mini-state, installed by a foreign superpower, would never be independent enough to block all kinds of geopolitical destabilization operations using terrorists against Turkey. Only Syria is strong enough in the region to protect Turkey from that. Summits like this one are important in encouraging Turkey to start to look for its own national interests and realize that its old policy of peace with all neighbors was the right one. It shortens the time until Turkey starts to implement the agreement of demilitarization in Idlib and finally pulls out of Syria totally.
Tasnim: Iran, Russia, and Turkey - the three guarantor states of de-escalation zones in Syria - have held several rounds of peace talks in Kazakhstan’s Astana and elsewhere to help end the conflict in the Arab country. The fourth round of those talks in May 2017 produced a memorandum of understanding on de-escalation zones in Syria, sharply reducing fighting in the country. What is your assessment of the parallel talks between the three countries on the Syrian crisis and Tehran’s role in the peace process?
Sandmark: The Astana talks have been indispensable in starting to move the Syrian peace process, as the UN-led negotiations in Geneva have been under the control of those members in the UN Security Council running the war against Syria. In Astana, the allies of Syria - Russia, and Iran - have been able under the Kazakh leadership to start real negotiations with Turkey. Iran’s role here is not only as a participant in the war but also as a neighbor and important trader with Turkey. Just as the Russian economic cooperation projects and tourist exchange with Turkey, the Iranian economic soft power (as well as China’s) have been very important to convince Turkey of their real national self-interests. Now, with the economic crisis in Turkey, this could be even more convincing to Erdogan. The earlier deconflicting zones were important in freeing up the forces of the Syrian Army to reconquer vast territories and longtime occupied enclaves of their land from other terrorists. The new agreement on demilitarization zones was important to outflank a very dangerous international escalation of the Syrian conflict into a war between Russia and USA. Now, this agreement is set to deal with the biggest terrorist army in the world, starting to enroll Turkey in these efforts which could save a lot of Syrian soldiers’ lives. It gives Turkey time to change its relations with the militants, which changes as fast as the money flows from Western and Gulf sources diminish. It also gives time to the other important peace negotiations going on about Syria between Presidents Putin and Trump. Although not recognized by almost any other party in the conflict, the meeting in Helsinki with the two presidents led to an important good agreement for Syria. Their pledge to together "protect" Israel sounded very much pro-Israel and that was, of course, its intended effect towards Israel and in the US However, "protection" from a superpower (or a gangster mafia) means the opposite, which is the loss of sovereignty to run one’s own defense. What happened was that both the US and Russia told Israel to accept the liberation of the Syrian territory close to the occupied Golan Heights. In the end, the whole region was reconquered by the Syrian army and the border crossing to Jordan was reopened. We are now waiting for the next meetings between Putin and Trump to deal with other dirty involvements in the war against Syria, as well as in the war against Yemen. In the meantime, the Turkish military has started to pressure the US-allied YPG-militia in northern Syria, forcing YPG to move their troops from the Deir ez-Zor region. This has made it possible for Daesh to reconquer territory from YPG/USA. Now the Syrian army has gotten the chance to attack Daesh east of the Euphrates close to Albu Kamal and possibly reconquer former YPG territory including oil wells. In this way, the NATO member Turkey, who is able to fight the US-allied YPG forces without risking world war, makes it possible, in effect, for the Syrian army to reconquer YPG/US controlled territory. Are we here seeing the beginning of a future alliance between Turkey and Syria against terrorism?