Salamah Kilah: America Sold Syria to Russia

US betrayed Syrian revolution because it wanted to destroy the country's military infrastructure as it did in Iraq, says prominent thinker and author

The Syrian-Palestinian writer and intellectual Salamah Kilah said that the United States of America has sold Syria to Russia, and had worked for Moscow to be the overseer of any political solution.

In a video meeting with Madar al-Youm, Kilah said that America had found nothing wrong in the increasingly violent conflict in Syria nor in the increase of brutality of the regime, because it wanted to destroy the military infrastructure as it did in Iraq. However, the expansion of the conflict’s problems to Europe through the rising number of refugees, and the confusion of the European countries in dealing with this, had pushed Washington to pressure the Russians to find a political solution.

Kilah added that America’s fear that Turkish confusion would lead to a Turkish-Russian confrontation as a result of Ankara’s need to take control of Syria had increased American pressure on the Russians, which led to the beginning of Geneva 3. However, the negotiating process had shown that the issue was not serious for the regime and Russia.

Russia, he said, is not overly concerned, especially given that it wants to impose its own political solution, based on an essential victory for the regime and introducing forces close to it into the solution, thereby achieving a sort of political solution which leaves the regime in tact. From this viewpoint, Russia returned to activate the conflict.

In this context, Kilah said that he believed no one wanted regime change — not Russia, not America, not Saudi Arabia, not the Gulf, and not Iran. He said that these reasons would keep the regime in place, but the dispute today was over the role of Bashar al-Assad in the transitional governing body. He noted that Russia had tried since the start of the revolution to take control in Syria, and in the first stage had worked on supporting the regime politically and especially in the Security Council, based on the regime’s fear that Washington wanted to intervene in Syria.

He said that the regime’s delusion of the possibility of American intervention had led to it signing an agreement with Moscow based on protecting it politically with Russia obtaining major economic interests, as well as expanding the Tartous naval base. This was achieved in summer 2012.

Over the last few years Russia had tried to work on changing the regime’s situation to agree with the opposition, but found itself more concerned with keeping up relations with Bashar and his regime to achieve its interests, especially after its role was marginalized with the Iranian intervention.

Russia has come back to take over the Syrian issue after Iranian forces grew weaker in Syria and a clear imbalance of forces appeared in favor of the opposition. It then become necessary for Russia to intervene directly to prevent the collapse of the regime. It entered into a confrontation with the revolution despite its slogans against the Islamic State group and terrorism.

Moscow wants to preserve its military bases in Syria and this is what it has achieved within the agreement it made with the regime, according to Kilah. It also wants economic control and to preserve Syria as a center for regional hegemony in the Middle East after the American withdrawal. At the same time, it is working to cement its global role as the major emerging power in the world today.

This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.

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