The battles in N. Syria will determine the fate of the peace process

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The US-Russian plan, approved by the UN Security Council as the lever for activating a political process towards ending the five-year Syrian war, can only go so far towards its objectives. The process is not capable of halting the fighting or removing Bashar Assad from power; just the reverse: progress in the talks is heavily dependent on the state of play on the battlefields of the north while the Syrian dictator’s ouster is a fading issue.

The limitations and obstacles facing the UN-endorsed US-Russian plan are summed up here by debkafile’s analysts:

1. The understanding reached by the Obama administration and the Kremlin in the past month was first conceived as a stopgap measure. It was never intended to bring the calamitous Syrian war to an end or remove Assad, but rather to provide a pretext to account for the expansion of Russia’s ground operation and gloss over America’s military deficiencies in the Syrian conflict. Taking it as carte blanche from Washington, President Vladimir Putin felt able to announce Saturday, Dec. 19, that “the Russian armed forces have not employed all of their capability in Syria and may use more military means there if necessary.”  Continue reading

US air force bombs Tikrit to aid Iran-led operation against ISIS. Saudi, Egyptian bombers strike Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen

 

Saudi Arabia, its Gulf allies and Egypt underlined their breach with Washington over its Iran policy as two separate air operations went forward early Thursday, March 26, in Iraq and Yemen. The US launched its first air strikes against Islamic State positions in the Iraqi city of Tikrit to help the Iranian-commanded Iraqi operation which had failed to dislodge the jihadis in two weeks of fighting, while the warplanes of Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies joined by Egypt began bombing Yemeni cities to halt the Iran-backed Houthi rebellion.

They were the first Middle East nations to rise up and take military action to thwart the US-Iranian strategy embarked on by President Barack Obama to buy a nuclear deal by empowering Iran to attain hegemonic status in the region.

Iran’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) are now leading war action in four Mid East arenas: Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Lebanon,while building Shiite “popular” armies deferring to Tehran in three: Syria, Iraq and Yemen. Continue reading