Alternative Insight

Resolving the Syrian Conflict

The turn in the Syrian conflict, where Turkey, after resisting a coup, suddenly aligns with Russia and indirectly with Assad, has prompted foreign affairs analysts to decipher the twists. Who knows what is hidden in the minds that craft contradictory events? Few officials are allowed complete knowledge of the secret arrangements and efforts are taken to make certain no observer can follow the situation from inception to culmination. Assuredly, there is a deal and a revised scenario for finally resolving the Syrian conflict and bringing peace to the Syrian people. Donald Trump insists he knows how to deal. If he obtains entry to the real political world, he will learn that he is an amateur; world leaders have shown how it is done and without revealing their hand.

Here is a stab at the deal and its emerging scenario.
The major deal of the decade started in December 2015 when Agence France-Presse reported that "US Secretary of State John Kerry traveled to Moscow this week to assure Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's key ally that Washington is not seeking regime change in Syria."

The deal continued with small hints and gained momentum with the announcement on June 14, 2016 from Turkey's new Prime Minister Binali Yildirim who said that Turkey needed to "increase its friends and decrease its enemies." The hints became loudly expressed a month later when PM Yildrum declared "We have normalized our ties with Israel and Russia. Now I'm sure we will normalize ties with Syria. We need it."

The next step toward the deal was the August 9, 2016 meeting between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin, which re-established economic ties between the two nations but did not disclose other arrangements. Those arrangements surfaced when Turkish troops entered Syrian territory in "Operation Shield," The claim of pushing Daesh from a slice of territory it held, which bordered on Turkey, seemed more of an excuse for preventing the Kurdish militia (YPG) from capturing the same territory and forming a contiguous Kurdish enclave along the Syrian/Turkish border.

Following the script, Syria's Foreign Ministry condemned Turkey's military incursion as a breach of its sovereignty, Syrian state television reported "that any counter terrorism operations inside its borders had to be conducted in coordination with Damascus."

Erdogan exposed his hypocrisy; as long as Daesh posed no threat to Turkey, the Turks allowed and even assisted the Islamic terrorist group to maintain control of a 60 mile (100 km) portion of the Turkey/Syrian border, which ensured Kurdish militants could not seize that territory and link the two main Kurdish-controlled areas of northern Syria, known to the Syrian Kurds as Rojava. With Daesh causing havoc in Turkey and the YPG exhibiting advantage over Daesh, Erdogan acted decisively to defeat Daesh and have Turkish Special Forces seize the region.

Despite President Bashar al-Assad's angry remonstrations, the Syrian government must have reluctantly welcomed the Turkish "liberation" of the Daesh controlled area. The Syrian military forces have shown neither strength nor willingness to combat Daesh in the Northern Province. Turkey's military excursion saves Syria from future military commitments, deters Daesh from performing harassing rear guard actions against Syrian forces, and partially cuts Daesh supply lines from the border to Aleppo. The long term future of the area will become a problem but Syria has no future until Daesh is completely defeated.

The United States' contribution to the alliance was a warning expressed by U.S. Vice President Joe Biden on August 25:

ANKARA,- US Vice President Joe Biden on Wednesday said Washington had made clear that pro-Kurdish forces in Syria must not cross west of the Euphrates River, a prospect alarming for Turkey.
"We have made it absolutely clear… that they must go back across the river," Biden said at a news conference with Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim.
"They cannot, will not and under no circumstances (will) get American support if they do not keep that commitment. Period."

The remainder of the deal has been reported by Lebanon's As-Safir newspaper:

…the Syrian regime and Turkey made a deal to leave Aleppo for Assad, while Turkey could focus on preventing the Kurds to unite their cantons. This report is not confirmed yet by official sources, but Turkey has recently held several meetings with the Russians and Iranians. According to activists, the handover of Darayya city in Damascus suburb to the Syrian regime is part of the deal, and Aleppo will be next.

The principal driving forces behind the deal are:
(1) The major powers do not want another Iraq or Libya, and
(2) Europe does not want any more refugees.

The deal benefits the involved nations;
The United States and Russia decisively defeat Daesh.
Turkey and Syria halt the Kurds in gaining more territory.
The Kurds will receive autonomy but in a smaller region.
Assad will re-establish Syria under control of his Baathist Party.
Hezbollah and Iran will be vindicated, victorious and strengthened.

But mainly it benefits humanity. The grandfather of Alan Kurdi, the three year old child who drowned in the Aegean Sea, clearly expressed the sentiments of those who desire peace. In a NEWSWEEK interview on September 2, 2106, he said,

My message to EU and other world leaders, I beg you to end this madness, this war has to end. The reason why my daughter and her children drowned is that they had to flee, ISIS attacked and the invasion of Kobane was a hell. Where is the humanity?

September 09, 2016