Thursday, January 30, 2020

Tribute

The tributes to Soleimani keep adding up:  "Moscow pips Pompeo at the Syrian post" (Bhadrakumar):
"recent report in the National Interest magazine based on briefing by highly-placed State Department officials openly bragged that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo “played a lead role in pushing for a military confrontation against Iran. He reportedly made it his personal message to kill Suleimani, and his State Department is inching towards an endorsement of regime change [in Iran].”  
The report added that the Trump administration is “resurrecting the push against [Bashar al] Assad as part of its quiet war on Iran.” Simply put, Pompeo who is wired to Tel Aviv, hopes to bring the US policies in Syria back on the track that Israel always wanted. 
However, Moscow has punctured Pompeo’s triumphalist balloon even before it really took off in Idlib. The US has suffered a major blow to its prestige as it watched helplessly the Russian airpower brutally taking apart its proxies in Idlib. 
Pompeo’s bitterness shows in his statement on Tuesday condemning “the combined forces of Russia, the Iranian regime, Hizballah, and the Assad regime” for conducting a “large-scale assault upon the people of Idlib and western Aleppo provinces.” 
The fall of Maarat al-Numan (after some 9 years) to Syrian government forces cannot be underestimated. The town is situated on the M-4 highway connecting the western province of Latakia (where Russian bases are located) with Syria’s northeastern regions, as it runs all along the Turkish border up to Mosul in Iraq.
Without control of M-4, an autonomous Syrian Kurdistan cannot have access to the Eastern Mediterranean coast. The security and safety of the Russian bases demands that Idlib is cleansed of the extremist al-Qaeda affiliates, which the US might use as proxies. Again, M-4 provides a land route from Iran via Iraq and Syria to Lebanon."
and (more Russian diplomacy, a skill set the Americans have absolutely no answer to):
"Paradoxically, the greater the territorial control over northern Syria bordering Turkey, the brighter are the prospects for a rapprochement between Ankara and Damascus. 
Put differently, the Russian strategic calculus is working on resuscitating the moribund Adana Accord of 1998, the reciprocal deal that encourages Ankara to work with Damascus on issues of border security. 
On Friday, in a desperate roll of the dice, the US President Donald Trump telephoned his Turkish President Recep Erdogan by playing on Ankara’s concerns over refugee flow from Idlib. But Erdogan didn’t take the bait. 
Interestingly, Turkey has since taken the stance that it will intervene in Idlib only if its 12 observation posts in the province came under attack. Meanwhile, Moscow too is taking care that there is no collateral damage to the Russian-Turkish entente, which of course is of high strategic importance to both sides. 
Evidently, both Moscow and Ankara are finessing the emergent situation so that Turkey can live with the new facts on the ground in Idlib. The contradictions can be fully resolved only if the nascent Moscow-brokered reconciliation between Ankara and Damascus gains traction and eventually leads to the vacation of Turkish occupation of Syrian territory."
Having such a stupid, stupid ass as Pompeo in such a position, completely unaware of what a moron he is, with Trump stuck with him, is a huge benefit to the resistance, and a powerful accelerant to the decline of the hegemon.
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