DAMASCUS/ANKARA/BERLIN (Own report) – The German Bundeswehr is possibly on the verge of a deployment directly at the Syrian border. According to reports in the media, today, Turkey will officially request that NATO station “Patriot” surface-to-air missiles on its southwestern territory, supposedly as protection from Syrian combat jets and missiles. The German government has agreed to participate with up to 170 military personnel. As a matter of fact, the stationing is planned not only for the territory, where, for quite some time, conflicts with Kurdish separatists have been escalating. According to concrete plans drawn up by top-ranking Turkish and US officers and presented to the White House, they also lay the groundwork for establishing a no-fly zone over Syrian territory. The objective is to create conditions, over the next few weeks, allowing the recently – in Qatar – founded Syrian exile leadership to leave exile and become established in northern Syria, which requires security from aerial attacks. Continue reading
Does anyone really know what is going on in Syria? Who are the combatants? Who is supporting the regime, both internally and externally? Who is supporting the opponents of the regime of Bashar al-Assad? Where is aid actually going and why? With so much conflicting information, it’s very hard for anyone, including our own intelligence and diplomatic services to understand the composition of the ‘freedom fighters’, their needs, and the forces they face, internally and externally.
One thing we do know, there are parties here in the US and in other capitols that have the ear of the administrations and have vested interests in the region. However, these are not the interests of the people on the ground actually fighting. The Syrian National Council (SNC) has a PR firm working for them, but not for the true freedom fighters. A man named Ausma Monajed speaks and lobbies for the SNC, but who lobbies for the people on the ground?
Due to the fact that these questions, ones the State Department, the White House, the Armed Services Committee, and others cannot or will not answer, MG Paul E. Vallely, US Army (ret.) and his team accepted an invitation to go on a fact finding mission to the region to see this first hand, and they just returned on Friday, June 30. With the team’s long and robust relationship in the Middle East, they met with key leaders of Syrian opposition forces at the border of Turkey and Syria, and toured the area.
Full article: MG Vallely goes to Syrian Border (Family Security Matters)
With the Marshall Plan serving as a model and Germany at the helm, a planned market economy for a post-Assad Syria is already underway:
DAMASCUS/BERLIN (Own report) – Berlin is preparing for Syria’s transformation to a liberal market economy. Under German leadership, a multinational “Working Group” began its work late last week. Immediately following the overthrow of the Assad regime, this “Working Group” is planning to launch urgent economic measures, including the coordination of aid projects and the implementation of economic reforms. Together with the United Arab Emirates, the German government is establishing a “secretariat,” under the leadership of a German with Afghanistan experience. In cooperation with the Assad regime, Berlin had already promoted the Syrian economy’s privatization. However, the nascent liberalization drove sectors of the population into bankruptcy, thereby contributing to insurgence against the regime. Berlin has already received first drafts for Syria’s new economic order. They were written by an activist of the Syrian National Council (SNC), which is under strong criticism by a large part of the opposition because of the pre-eminence of the Muslim Brotherhood. Washington-based Syrian exile politicians hold leading positions in the SNC. They are demanding a Kosovo-style western intervention and consider Kosovo’s KLA to be a model for the Syrian opposition.
Germany in Charge
According to German diplomat, Clemens von Goetze, who, along with a colleague from the United Arab Emirates, had co-chaired the meeting last week, the “Working Group” not only has plans for emergency aid for the immediate aftermath of the regime change, but he finds “it is a good time already to start now for a long-term perspective of the country once change comes in Syria.” The Marshall Plan, implemented by the United States after World War II, to provide the material foundation for the establishment of the Western alliance, serves as a model. The “Working Group” set up several sub-committees along the lines of special issues. The member countries have officially agreed on an international division of labor, with Germany in charge of “economic policy and reform.” According to reports, the explicit goal is a “long term strategy”  for the transition “from a centralized economy to a market economy.” The “Working Group” will set up a secretariat, with Germany and the United Arab Emirates each providing 600,000 Euros. It will be headed by Gunnar Wälzholz, of Germany, who had been the director of the Afghanistan branch of the German Development Bank (KFW).
Full article: Market Economy for Syria (German Foreign Policy)
Reinforcements from the Iranian Revolutionary Guards have just arrived in Syria, raising the number of Iranian and Hezbollah operatives helping the Assad regime to the “high hundreds.” The majority of foreign assistants are training Assad’s thugs and helping them gather intelligence, which presumably means operating the electronic communications monitoring equipment that the Iranian regime uses. Some are even involved in the physical attacks on the Syrian opposition.
The report says that Iran’s financing is being used to stabilize Damascus and Aleppo, two of the regime’s power centers that have yet to erupt into full-blown protests. In recent weeks, the opposition took over some suburbs of Damascus and demonstrations spread to Aleppo. The regime launched a military offensive that took back the suburbs from the rebel forces.
Full article: Iranian Reinforcements Arrive in Syria (World Threats)