Syria: Who’s Fighting Who?

Civil war in Syria? This assertion has been increasingly under attack and has now been contradicted by the direct intervention of foreign forces in Syria. In fact, what is happening in Syria is a plot hatched by the super powers with Arab and Muslim complicity. This is well verified by the presence of American Special Forces on Syrian soil, in support of the Syrian Democratic Forces, or “SDF,” and the arrival of Turkish tanks in Syria, which Ankara assures serve to “eradicate” the Islamic State and the Democratic Union Party.

This war also has aspects of a “mini world war.” Facing these powers and supporting the Syrian armed forces are the Russian air force, Iranian military advisors and Hezbollah militias. In truth, regardless of the human casualties and destruction that afflict the country, it has become difficult to understand who is fighting whom in Syria. Those who light the fires of unrest, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, are now discretely occupying Yemen where they are inciting inter-Yemeni violence. Looking at the geographical map of Syria today, with the Syrian regime confined to the capital and surrounding area, currently it is under attack everywhere. We must ask ourselves if a country called “Syria” even exists anymore. Without officially declaring war on Syria, third party countries are intervening militarily on the ground bringing multiform support, from remotely controlling the rebellion from abroad, to Kurdish separatists and jihadi fighters. The latter are supported if not officially then covertly by countries that do not want what is best for the Levant.

Since Wednesday, Turkish tanks have been operating in northern Syria, leaving in their wake Syrian rebels essentially eliminated from the battleground. In fact, that is when the Syrian regime started, with notable aid from Russia, to turn the tide in its favor when those who act from afar see the constraints of engaging openly. This is especially the case for the United States and Turkey, the first supporters of the rebels – even the jihadi fighters encouraged to attack the Damascus regime – following the so-called “Arab Spring” and the insurrection that followed, fueled both by the monarchies of the Gulf and by occidental powers. Thus the Free Syrian Army, formed by Turkey and composed of deserters from the regular Syrian army and mercenaries, had to “liberate” Syria.

Where is this army? Additionally, jihadi fighters, representing a plethora of Islamist groups bankrolled by Qatar and Saudi Arabia, have wreaked bloody havoc on Syria over the last few years. Nevertheless, they all wash up trying to collapse the Syrian regime. Five and a half years later, with the direct intervention of Turkey and the United States on Syrian soil, things are starting to become clearer. What was unofficial became official last week when, for the first time, the Syrian air force hit Kurdish SDF targets in Hasakah. On this day, the United States dropped the pretense, warning Damascus that they were ready to take out Syrian planes that “threaten the troops” of the international coalition against the Islamic State group. The United States put all of its cards on the table, saying that its special units help and advise the SDF on the ground.

Did the United States, which claims to be fighting the Islamic State group, ask for authorization from Syria to act on their territory? Doubtful, since Washington went to warn the regime in Damascus, dismissing Syria’s sovereignty out of hand. Peter Cook, spokesperson for the Pentagon, clarified: “We’re going to defend our people on the ground and do what we need to protect them” and added, “we would continue to advise the Syrian regime to steer clear of those areas.” These “areas” are Syrian territories forcibly occupied by foreign forces. On Wednesday, Turkey essentially followed in Washington’s footsteps by sending tanks across Syria’s border, with Syrian rebels and their luggage. Erdogan himself announced the news, saying that the forces “launched an operation against the terrorist groups the Islamic State group and the PYD (Democratic Union Party).” Damascus’ reaction to these two things was rather weak, ultimately admitting its powerlessness to defend and protect the integrity of its territory.

Since then, the questions have been: Is Syria still a sovereign nation? In the ancient Levant, who is fighting whom against whom? Especially, when Washington asks Damascus not to interfere with what is happening in its territory. How does and how will the ironman of Damascus face the affronts suffered by his country?

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