A truce for de facto: 3rd world war in slow motion
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A truce for de facto: 3rd world war in slow motion

Date: 2016-02-23 19:08
The US-Russian Joint Statement on cessation of hostilities in Syria looks so serious and balanced only in treating the two concerned parties, the opposition and Assad regime, on equal footing. 

The statement however carries with it the seeds of unimplementability. 

It is not up to the Assad regime to commit itself to UNSC Resolution 2245, as the statement calls for, when its protector, the signatory of both the resolution and the Joint Statement, does not respect or commit itself to them. One cannot be the opponent and the judge at the same time. 

Today in Syria, Russia has monopoly over fire power. It has achieved for the regime almost full control over northern Latakia, Aleppo, Daraa. And as for Idlib, it would take few hours of Russian bombardment to be like other areas, especially when al-Nusra Front is there; and it is a “legitimate” target according to the joint statement. When the Joint Statement excludes Daesh and al-Nusra Front from the ceasefire, adding to them “other terrorist organizations designated by the UN Security Council,” it left the options open and the specification loose, so that any party opposing Assad could be considered as such. Moreover, when it talks about al-Nusra, it is well known where it is located, probably in small numbers amongst civilians in certain areas. That was used as a pretext for Russia to bombard Syrians as it saw fit. And it would continue to do so under the pretext of al-Nusra’s presence in certain areas. 

The most important thing Russia achieved in this statement is turning what it has done militarily in Syrian geography into a de facto, thus “legalizing” further the Russian presence that can least be called a mandate if not a colonization, especially when it rebukes Assad for making statements not in line with its set policy (We will wait for the Russian reaction to Assad’s announcement of holding parliament elections in April.)

This statement’s insistence on cessation of hostility concerns basically who and what Russia targets. This is a change in the rules of engagement dictated by Russia’s actions. According to the new rules of engagement, Russia intends to silence the noise coming from Turkey and Saudi Arabia concerning a ground intervention against Daesh. Such a move by both countries or any Islamic alliance is prohibited according to the Joint Statement.

The shy mention of “political transition process” in Syria has received an immediate blow in the face by Assad regime when it announced hours after the statement was issued that he was going to hold parliament elections in April. 

The joint statement is serious and balanced only in bearing the seeds of failure inside its unrealistic layers. It is a cover for Putin’s brutality and war crimes. It is sidelining the crimes perpetrated by the regime over the past five years. 

Russia cannot be blamed; it is specialized in such brutality; Chechnya, Ukraine and Georgia are cases in point. This US Administration that has selected to cover the cover is to blame for not being so indifferent to the Syrian historic human tragedy but probably for being an accomplice as well.

If the Americans and the Russians in this joint statement mean to add a scene to this political acrobatics through “cessation of hostilities” agreement, they are mistaken; because hypnotization cannot stop a world war even when it is in slow motion. 

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