Friday, November 12, 2021

Ford: Assad won the war and Washington failed to unite the opposition

    Friday, November 12, 2021   No comments

The former US ambassador to Syria, Robert Ford, admits the failure of US policy there, and the unification of the Syrian opposition, considering that the recent visit of the UAE Foreign Minister to Damascus confirms Assad's victory in the war.

The former US ambassador to Syria, Robert Ford, said that "US policy has failed to establish a Syrian government through negotiations."

Ford added in an exclusive interview with "France 24" that "there are many divisions within the ranks of the Syrian opposition, from the beginning, and US policy has failed to unite the ranks of the opposition groups."

Noting that "the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is present, and controls 70 percent of the Syrian territory, including major cities, the armed opposition is unable to remove al-Assad," he stressed that "despite the destruction of the Syrian economy, but in the end al-Assad won the war." eligibility.”

He continued, "I think that the Arab countries, not only the UAE, but also Egypt and Jordan, have recognized that the Syrian government is staying and continues to be in power."

The former US ambassador to Syria acknowledged that "the Syrian government will remain, and the Arab countries must find a way to coexist with it."

While he revealed that "there is no American politician who supports the idea of ​​restoring diplomatic relations with Damascus," he considered that "the United States has circumstances that differ with the Arab countries, Syria's neighbors."

He also admitted that "Washington understood that it would be difficult for it to oppose Arab efforts to find a way of coexistence with the Syrian government that continues in power in Damascus. This does not mean that Washington is happy with Arab efforts to coexist with Damascus," stressing that "Washington is unable to offer an alternative to the Arab strategy." That we saw with UAE Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan."

Ford also ruled out imposing sanctions on Arab regimes that restore relations with Damascus, noting that "President Biden's administration is currently focusing on the Asia file."

Ford's position came after the UAE Foreign Minister's visit to the Syrian capital, Damascus, last Tuesday, where he met President Assad, and said from there that "Syria, led by Assad, is capable of overcoming challenges."

And the UAE foreign minister said last March that "Syria's return to its Arab surroundings is inevitable, and it is in the interest of Syria and the region."

In conclusion, the former US ambassador to Syria also acknowledged that “the United States bears responsibility for what happened in Syria,” and said, “We sent arms to groups open to the idea of ​​finding a negotiated solution,” referring to the opposition, which he had assured in the year 2019 to "expect nothing from Washington."

On June 17, 2017, Ford admitted that the Americans had given the Syrian opposition false hope, contrary to American expectations and ambitions.

And the former US ambassador admitted last May that "Washington cannot remove Assad, and the elections are a failure of its policy," and that "the Americans are convinced that Assad will remain president of Syria until the next elections."

In a similar position to Ford, former US official Jeffrey Feltman said last January that "Washington's policy in Syria in the past two eras failed to achieve any tangible results, and that President Assad is now militarily stronger."

Two days ago, Algerian Foreign Minister Ramtane Lamamra confirmed that "the time has come for Syria to return to the Arab League."

In the context of these developments, the Israeli newspaper "Jerusalem Post" commented on the visit of the UAE Foreign Minister to Damascus, and asked: Does the UAE's openness to Syria indicate a major transformation in the region? It said that "the UAE and other countries made quiet initiatives to Damascus for years, and there is consensus emerging between the UAE, Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and its partners, that the time has come to bring Syria and its regime out of isolation.

"The visit is widely seen as an indication of regional efforts to end the diplomatic isolation of President Assad," France 24 said.


Friday, November 5, 2021

Saudi Arabia: The Hariri and Khashoggi files are an example of media failure

    Friday, November 05, 2021   No comments


Exactly four years ago, Saad Hariri spent his first night in detention in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, by order of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The latter was in the process of carrying out a coup in Lebanon, re-shuffling the cards in the Levant. After this coup failed inside Lebanon, Western and Arab countries intervened to rescue Hariri from captivity and return him to Beirut.

Bin Salman did not preach, and repeated the crime a year later, in his country's consulate in Istanbul, where Jamal Khashoggi was murdered. No one in the world objected to what the Rising Prince had done within the confines of his kingdom. But the two crimes of kidnapping Hariri and killing Khashoggi left him in more embarrassment than the aggression on Yemen. The crime that a besieged people has been subjected to, continuously for more than six years, is being waged by Ibn Salman with full Western support, breached from time to time by slight criticism from American or European officials, while they leave their official positions, or when they want to blackmail the milking cow in Riyadh.

Hariri's kidnapping crime was the basis. The Saudi crown prince did not pay for it, which encouraged him to commit others. Khashoggi's murder may have been a direct result of bin Salman's impunity after he kidnapped the prime minister of a supposedly sovereign country in the twenty-first century. It can also be concluded that the failure to hold him accountable, even verbally, for his actions on November 4, 2017, made him dare to repeat the coup attempt in Jordan, where he could not invoke confronting the non-existent Iranian influence, nor fighting Hezbollah and its arsenal. Today, it is opening a new chapter of recklessness in Lebanon, by punishing it and seeking to bring about political change in it, through blackmail and threats, under the pretext of statements made by a media person who happened to become, after that, the Minister of Information. George Kordahi's case is also based on the passing of the crime that took place four years ago, without any blame. The former Lebanese prime minister acted like a Saudi citizen, seeking the consent of the guardian, by all possible means. But the problem was that official Lebanon had also given up its right. Despite the passage of four years since bin Salman’s aggression, the authority agreed to be in the position of the accused, not the accused, which prompted the Saudi regime to carry out more attacks on the “younger brother”: the Lebanese security services help their Saudi counterparts in the fight against drugs, so the reward is penalties in the commercial field . (Former) Foreign Minister Charbel Wahba makes a verbal mistake against Saudi Arabia, so he is forced to resign. George Qardahi says a word of truth about the criminal war on Yemen, so Ibn Salman decides to punish the whole of Lebanon.

The problem is not so much with the emir's recklessness as it is with the authority that has made Lebanon a country "with low walls". The strong performance of that authority in November 2017, which eventually led to the release of the prime minister, was quickly wasted in the following days. The crime of kidnapping Hariri, humiliating him and forcing him to resign, was an occasion to correct part of the distortion in the dysfunctional relationship between the Saudi regime and Lebanon. The latter was not required to wage war, but rather his duty was to manage the post-crisis phase in a manner that preserves the country's rights and dignity, and deters Ibn Salman from repeating his crime. Leaving him in this way, he turned the crime of kidnapping the prime minister, as was the killing of Khashoggi later, into a public relations problem that Ibn Salman addresses by spending some money on image-improving companies, and encouraging him to make Lebanon a servile country that obeys his orders. As usual, official Lebanon is looking for a way to acquiesce again, ignoring that whoever kidnapped a prime minister one day, without anyone questioning him, will repeat it in the coming days. This is the conclusion that Najib Mikati should be aware of today, while he is talking about “predominantly the national interest.” Achieving this “interest” by conceding to bin Salman again and again means placing the neck of the concessioner between two future options: slapping and kicking at the Ritz-Carlton, or sawing off in a consulate.


Source: Alakhbar

Wednesday, November 3, 2021

Two competing stories about the US-Iranian armed forces confrontation in Sea of Oman

    Wednesday, November 03, 2021   No comments

 On November 3, 2011, Iran’s Revolutionary Guards boarded a tanker carrying oil in the Sea of Oman. US forces in the area tried to recover the tanker, prompting confrontation between the two forces. The tanker was ultimately directed to Iranian territorial waters, US forces withdrew. Some media outlets explained that the second tanker was carrying Iranian oil, which was transferred from an Iranian tanker. This was the preliminary report.

A second report published by a telegram account connected with the Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps provide a different account. This report claims that sometime ago, US forces intercepted an Iranian tanker loaded with Iranian oil on its way to Venezuela. US forces boarded that tanker, transferred its content to a second tanker and let the crew of the Iranian tanker go. The Crew reported to Iranian authorities what happened and described the tanker used by US forces. Days ago, Iranian auth
orities identified the same tanker used by US forces in this earlier incident in the area and continued to monitor it. When the tanker was loaded with oil from some country in the region and started its journey out of the Gulf, it was intercepted by Iran’s revolutionary guards corps in the Sea of Oman and directed it to Iranian territorial waters while US tried several attempts to rescue the tanker, but failed.

As of this writing, no official statement was issued by US and Iran governments. It is likely that now the tanker is in Iranian waters, an official statement will be released by the Iranian authorities.

It should be noted however that the second report is the more likely the factual one when cross-referencing other events. US authorities under the Trump administration have already disclosed that US forces intercepted Iranian shipments of oil to Venezuela, seized the oil, and sold it. This event might be the payback for that event.

Developing Story: Iran says thwarts US attempt to 'steal' oil in Oman Sea

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