In the Wake of the Bombs

 

BERLIN/DAMASCUS/MOSCOW(Own report) – The German government, after having applauded the bombing of Syria, is now demanding participation in the country’s reorganization, once the war has ended. Chancellor Angela Merkel announced her intentions to have a meeting with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin “in the foreseeable future,” to discuss particularly the development in Syria. The enormous costs for Syria’s reconstruction, which can hardly be covered by Russia alone, are viewed as a means of leverage on Moscow. Berlin also sees itself in a position to mediate between Russia and the USA in view of Washington’s threat to attack Russian positions in Syria. While the German government is going on the offensive to win influence, new foreign policy controversies are developing among the EU member states. In addition, questions are also being raised about the legitimacy of Saturday’s illegal air strikes: A renowned British journalist reported that doctors in Douma have doubts that chemical weapons had been used in that city on April 7. According to the OPCW, the research institute that had been bombed on Saturday had had nothing to do with poison-gas.

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Regulatory Forces

BERLIN/DAMASCUS (Own report) – The ceasefire, set to begin today in Syria, mutes Berlin’s hegemonic ambitions. Negotiated between Washington and Moscow the ceasefire has placed Moscow, for the time being, on an equal footing with the USA in the Middle East, while ignoring Berlin and its claim to become a regulatory power for the region. This is a clear setback for the German government and the hopes it had had four years ago. At the time, German government advisors and foreign policy experts were drawing up plans together with Syrian opposition members for reconstructing Syria after Assad’s expected overthrow. The implementation of these plans would have provided Germany exclusive influence, while pushing Russia, politically, to the sidelines. But, this did not happen. However, the ceasefire cannot be considered stable. On the one hand, it is uncertain that the insurgent militia will respect it and, on the other, if Washington will – as was decided – really engage in joint operations with Moscow against the al Qaeda offshoot Jabhat al Nusra, or its successor, Jabhat Fatah al Sham. Because of the latter’s close cooperation with the so-called moderate militias, the USA risks hitting its western allies, when bombing Fatah al Sham.

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