By: Zuheir Kseibati
Is Russia America’s “proxy” in the management of the Syrian war and file or is Washington Kremlin’s “agent” in covering up its project for a new Middle East?
This is a paradox for some of those who do not favor the Syrian regime and have started perceiving the opposition and the National Coalition with pity. To the latter, the picture is no longer ambiguous: the Kurds who did not fight the regular army have found themselves caught between the authority and the Jihadists, thus resisting them and coming up with the civil administration solution. Their situation quickly changed in Northern Syria and the northeast regions, at a time when the Free Army, which is caught between the jaws of the regime and An-Nusra Front, is retreating.
The transitional government announced by the Coalition from Istanbul has quickly been caught between An-Nusra and its likes, the regime and the Kurds with their civil administration. This administration will erode the transitional government’s authority, while the Syrian army is gradually undermining the victories of the Free Army. In the meantime, despair is prevailing over the sympathizers with its factions, because Damascus is preparing to settle the Aleppo battle prior to the Geneva 2 conference – if it is held – to allow the regime to head to Geneva victorious and seek interlocutors under its own conditions.
Where is America at the level of all the opposition’s setbacks? Was it convinced by Moscow that the military exposure and defeat of President Bashar al-Assad’s opponents will push them to practice realism and accept the best possible option, i.e. the extension of the regime’s stay with a few improvements? The best example for that is the appointment of figures from outside the Baath party as ministers in the context of the game to polish its image, although their loyalty in the face of the “terrorists” is recognized.
In reality, the proclamation of the transitional government from Istanbul, which should have been considered an accomplishment in favor of the revolution had it emerged one or two years ago, saw its momentum stolen by the Kurdish civil administration and the dubious American silence. Was Washington not the one that repeatedly encouraged the Coalition to form its own executive body, in order to organize the mechanism supporting the changing of the regime and spare Syria from the repercussions of vacuum if the state institutions were to collapse? This odd silence was said to convey reservations or reluctance, under the pretext that the Geneva 2 conference might be threatened or even annulled because of Ahmad Tomeh’s transitional government. It is as though the Americans truly believe that the regime will negotiate with those seeking its death and as though the Russian is convinced of its ability to tailor an opposition that suits Al-Assad.
Kremlin was certainly able to win hearts with a campaign of terrorization from the liver-eaters among the brothers of Al-Qaeda and its offshoots, ones who did not disappoint President Vladimir Putin as they are proceeding with their decapitations, even if the heads belong to the regime’s oppositionists.
Whether or not Geneva 2 will be held at the beginning of 2014 is no longer the question. Indeed, the major setback which might topple the Free Army is the Aleppo battle, its possible inability to fight back, and the fall of all its positions there in the hands of the Syrian army. As for the pretext related to the presence of fighters from Hezbollah and the Revolutionary Guard in the fierce confrontations with those dubbed by the regime and its allies as terrorists, it is no longer useful in changing the facts or the doubts surrounding Washington’s abandoning of the armed oppositionists between the jaws of the regime and the Jihadists.
Is it not odd that the regime troops and allies regained – one by one – areas that were under the opposition’s control, in parallel to the Americans’ disregarding of the transformation affecting the balance of power on the ground, as opposed to what they used to reiterate in public to justify their reluctance to undertake any action aiming to end the massacres on Syrian soil?
If the utmost wish of President Barack Obama’s administration for now is to lead the oppositionists who are part of the Coalition to Geneva, will it try to reach an agreement with the regime over the selection of figures from this Coalition who are qualified to negotiate? Or will the march onto Aleppo suspend the conference for an additional period of time, which might not be long if the Damascus-Moscow-Tehran alliance is able to oust the opposition from Aleppo and its countryside? And if this is achieved, will there be any need to stage the conference?
Seeing American Ambassador Robert Ford giving the Coalition the choice between the Geneva train or leaving the oppositionists to their fate between the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant and Al-Assad’s regime was not without meaning. Obama’s need to activate this train appears to be tactical in order to improve his image at the level of foreign policy, at a time when the fighting of terrorism after the destruction of the chemical weapons supersedes all the human calamities that are witnessed in Syria and have become regular news which does not affect the West.
Between the proxy and the agent in the new Arab land of catastrophes, there is mobilization, tragedies, bulk complicity and another dying country.