الثلاثاء, 22 كانون الثاني, 2019

د. أحمد مرعي ضيف سيريا تايمز

The unofficial alliance of Russia, Syria and Iran, which has emerged on the back of the US defeat in Syria, poses a challenge to Washington’s hold over the Middle East, according to the British political analyst Dr. Marcus Papadopoulos, who clarified to the Syria Times e-newspaper why Washington seeks to separate Iraq and Iran from each other and what are the outcomes of the US defeat in Syria.

“Mindful of, and furious at, their defeat in Syria, the Americans are determined to reassert their dominance over the Middle East and, in doing so, reassure their allies in the region - Israel, Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf countries - that America will resist any attempts by other countries to challenge its influence there. And what better way of demonstrating that resolve than by Washington attempting to exert further pressure on Iran,” said Dr. Papadopoulos, the founder and editor of Politics First magazine.

He has affirmed that Washington’s pressures on Iran will both satisfy and reassure the Israelis and the Saudis who are alarmed at how the American defeat in Syria has resulted in Russia and Iran gaining political ground in the Middle East.

The analyst referred to the fact that the Americans are examining the economic option as a way of bringing down the Iranian Government.

“Whilst overturning the Iranian Government and returning Iran to how it was under the Shah - namely, a client state of the US - has been a longstanding aspiration of Washington since 1979, the ambition for doing so has received a massive boost from Donald Trump being in the White House. In fact, Trump constitutes an opportunity of a lifetime to those on Capitol Hill who want to destroy the Islamic Revolution. So the Americans are examining the economic option as a way of bringing down the Iranian Government; namely, strangling Iran’s economy by pressurizing countries such as Iraq to not trade with the Iranians. Iraq is an important trading partner of Iran, as well as a good political friend to Tehran, and so the Americans are aiming to reverse this.”

Dr. Papadopoulos added that the US is striving to economically isolate Iran hence why Washington is also telling Germany, France and the UK to stop doing business with Iranian companies. “America’s extraordinary economic leverage is a grave threat to the Iranian economy.”

In response to a question regarding the outcomes of US defeat in Syria, Dr. Papadopoulos said: “The American defeat in Syria has heralded the return of Russia to the Middle East, with Moscow now being in vogue across the region - something that the Russians have not enjoyed since Soviet times. Furthermore, an unofficial alliance of Russia, Syria and Iran has emerged on the back of the US defeat in Syria, which will pose a challenge to Washington’s hold over the Middle East.”

He sees that many ordinary Arabs in the Middle East, as well as in North Africa, now look to Syria as an example of how Russia does not let its friends down and how Russia is resolute to destroy Islamist terrorism.


“It is important to note that Russia’s success in Syria has acted as a springboard for the Kremlin gaining a significant strategic foothold in Libya,” the analyst added.

As long as Turkey has its soldiers in Idlib, then America will continue to have influence in Syria

He replied to another question about the effects of the US withdrawal from Syria on Israel, saying: “ Israel understands that as long as Turkey has its soldiers in Idlib, then America will continue to have influence in Syria which means that the Israelis will have influence in the country, too. Despite the US having serious grievances with Erdogan, the American and Turkish establishments remain firmly entrenched in their mutually beneficial strategic alliance. Where you find Turkey in the Middle East, you find America (and vice versa). 

“However, the Israelis realized that the American defeat in Syria - and the-soon-to-be liberated Idlib, through the actions of the Syrian Army - coupled with the coming together of Damascus and Moscow with the Syrian Kurds, means that the US has no choice but to pull its forces out of Syria .

“The Americans will be reassuring the Israelis that the blank cheque of political, economic and military support that Washington gives to Tel Aviv each year, will continue unaffected, while the Americans will also be confiding in the Israelis about their plans for Iran - plans that will make the Israeli leadership feel most delighted about.”

British special forces have been operating illegally in Syria

Concerning Britain’s attitude towards US President Donald Trump’s announcement to withdraw US troops from Syria, the analyst made it clear that without America, Britain's influence on global affairs would be severely curtailed.

“Therefore, Britain will have to go along with Trump's pledge to withdraw American forces that are illegally stationed on Syrian soil.  Furthermore, Britain, like America, understands that hard power has defeated its objectives in Syria and that the country exercising this hard power is Russia hence there is, more or less, nothing that London, or Washington for that matter, can do to usurp Moscow's position in Syria.  That is why I suspect that the British have no choice but to support the planned withdrawal of US forces from Syria”, Dr. Papadopoulos said.

He suspects that if Trump does honour his pledge and withdraws American forces, the British will have no choice but to withdraw theirs, too. 

“British special forces have been operating illegally in Syria for a few years now, as part of the American-led coalition's so-called war against ISIS.  Indeed, there have been recent reports from some Syrian Kurdish media outlets that two British soldiers were injured in north-east Syria as a result of ISIS fire.  I have two observations about the presence of British soldiers in Syria: Firstly, the British Government can neither confirm nor deny their presence there because the UK parliament did not approve the deployment of these troops and because Downing Street and the Foreign Office know fully well that there is no basis, under international law, for Britain's military presence in Syria; and secondly, it is believed that the two British soldiers wounded by ISIS fire had to be rescued by American helicopters so where will that leave the security of British forces in Syria as and when American forces leave the country?” the analyst concluded.  .