It is beyond question that at this stage in the Syrian conflict, the Syrian Arab Army does not act without careful coordination with the Russian Defence Ministry. This is not to imply that Russia is subordinating Syria on its own soil. Rather, it is the case that Syria has accepted that while it maintains its own sovereign political system, laws and army organisation, the Russian Defence Ministry along with the Russian Foreign Ministry are helping to prevent Syria from encountering any further unnecessary conflicts with any state power that may seek to provoke new tensions which typically lead to bloodshed.
The same is true of Turkey and Iran. While Russia is the strongest ally of Syria in terms of military might, Moscow, Tehran and Ankara have developed a relationship based on mutual respect for one another. This is why any minor disagreements about the conflict will not force Russia, Turkey and Iran to break-off their Astana alliance which if anything continues to grow stronger in the face of a universally detested illegal US presence in Syria. Russian, Iranian and Turkish officials have already agreed to meet in Istanbul in the near future to discuss the Syrian peace process in the Astana format.
The US Has Proxies Not Allies
At this point in the conflict, the US has its own forces in Syria who primarily stay behind the lines of contact, while its proxy forces which are mainly Kurdish YPG forces and some allied Takfiri groups, execute the orders given to them from US military officers. The US has inadvertently admitted just how closely intertwined its forces are with the YPG in two ways.
1. The US has stated that its men are “embedded” within YPG/SDF Kurdish terrorist forces, thus vindicating an earlier claim by Turkey.
2. When some SDF/YPG units vowed to leave US occupied territory to travel to Afrin and fight Turkey, the USA clearly became upset and even threatened to cut off supplies to any Kurdish militants who travel to Afrin to reinforce the YPG in that region.
Thus it becomes clear that the US isn’t merely aiding “volunteers”, but has instead turned a guerrilla force (YPG) augmented by mercenaries (random Takfiris) into a formal proxy force (SDF). When such a force even considers marching to their own orders, the US threatens to pull the financial plug.
Syria Has Allies Not Proxies
This contrasts sharply with both Syria and Iran’s relationship to the Lebanese Resistance group Hezbollah and so-called Popular Mobilisation Units (PMUs), the latter comprising of volunteers of primarily Shi’a militias and self-described “Daesh hunters”. Hezbollah as well as PMUs from both Iraq and Syria have joined the war against terrorism in order to aid the Syrian Arab Army’s struggle against Takfiris and separatists. While Hezbollah and the PUMs have been welcomed as legal allies of Syria, most of their units are not in sync with the Syrian Arab Army and by extrapolation, Russia.
Furthermore, while Iran has been a consistent friend to Hezbollah, the idea that Iran controls the troop movements and strategy of Hezbollah’s resistance fighters on the ground in Syria, is one of the most dangerous of the many dangerous lies told throughout the Syrian conflict.
States and Militias Will Always Have Different Priorities
Russia, Turkey and Iran are responsible states and therefore careful not to step on each others toes in the conflict. Instead they have decided to focus on the broad and manifold areas where all three countries have the same goal and work to put plans for peace, aid relief and anti-terrorist military actions into place. By contrast, Hezbollah and Popular Mobilisation Units have minds of their own and sometimes the decisions such units take clash with the official policy of the state allies of Syria at a strategic or logistical level.
For example, Russia has made it clear that last night’s attempted engagement of SDF terrorists by Popular Mobilisation Units, which resulted in a US attack on the PMUs, was in no way coordinated nor sanctioned by Russia. Russia has likewise stated that no one in Russia was informed of the PMUs’ plans vis-a-vis the SDF east of the Euphrates. There is nothing unusual about this, unless one is foolish enough to believe that PMUs are a proxy force of Russia, Syria or Iran – they are in fact self-contained units who ultimately answer only to themselves. Syria has also reiterated that the troops attacked by the US are volunteers and not Syrian Arab Army regulars.
Whether going on apparent suicide missions against US backed terrorists who are protected by America’s state of the art weaponry or engaging in skirmishes with Turkish backed forces, Hezbollah and the PMUs sometimes do things which Syria, Iran and Russia would prefer they did not, but ultimately because Hezbollah and the PMUs are valiant allies whose moral clarity is beyond question, they are obviously not going to be criticised by their friends for having their heart in the right place. Often times Russia and/or Iran will merely correct false statements made on websites belonging to Hezbollah or PMU loyalists. Such was the case when Hezbollah stated that after the illegal US bombing of Shayrat Air Base in April of 2017, Russia and Iran would begin to target US assets in Syria. Russia and Iran quickly dispelled these rumours as groundless, in spite of the fact that many mainstream outlets, including the notoriously inaccurate Independent Newspaper in London, ran with the story.
When the mainstream media, as well as useful idiots in the so-called “alt media” conflate PMUs with the Syrian government and furthermore when they conflict Hezbollah with Iran, they are falling into a trap which has been carefully set by the “Israeli” regime.
A Uniquely “Israeli” Method of Psychological Warfare
“Israel” has recently violently reiterated that it seeks to collectively punish the sovereign states of Syria and Iran for anything Hezbollah does that Tel Aviv finds disagreeable. This serves several perverse purposes for Tel Aviv.
First of all, it is designed to frighten Syria and Iran into molesting Hezbollah’s much valued sovereignty as a Resistance organisation and secondly it serves to wage a propaganda war, whereby Syria and Iran are held responsible for things they did not do, irrespective of their opinions which naturally favour the Lebanese Resistance against the common enemy of “Israel”. It also serves to embarrass “alt-media” pundits who might wish for Iran, Syria, Hezbollah and the PMUs to act as a unitary monolith, which is not the case and likely never will be.
Collective punishment is a doctrine that has been used time and again by “Israel” so that it can escape scrutiny. It was early European Jewish colonists of Palestine who sought to hold the entire German nation responsible for the horrors of the Holocaust even though, many Germans were active members of the resistance. By holding the German people collectively responsible, it helped propagate the myth that the colonisation of Palestine was supported by all those who profess to practice the Jewish faith, even though this too was a lie.
In reality, the German resistance was so large that many of its leaders and supporters helped to form the progressive, Soviet allied Germany Democratic Republic (East Germany) after the war. Such people cannot rationally be blamed let alone punished for the crimes of their opponents who happen to share the same ethnicity. Today, little has changed, as “Israel” has rebuked Poland for passing a law which seeks to protect the Polish people from defamatory accusations that they were responsible for the crimes that the Hitler regime committed on occupied Polish soil – crimes which targeted both Roman Catholics Poles and Polish Jews. Here, one sees “Israel” trying to inflict punishment on Poland by tarring its reputation based on the acts of those who themselves occupied and harmed Poland.
In respect of the Syria conflict, “Israel” has used the big Hezbollah lie to repeatedly violate Syria’s territorial integrity and commit war crimes on Syrian soil, usually in the form of airstrikes which de-facto aid the position of Takfiri terrorists vis-a-vis Syria and her allies.
In reality, “Israel” has been attacking and occupying Syria long before the Islamic Revolution in Iran and long before the creation of Hezbollah in Lebanon. “Israel” doesn’t hate Syria for her allies, “Isarel” hates Syria for her Arab nationalism which priorities the liberation of the wider Arab world from its last vestige of foreign colonialism: aka “Israel”.
Overall, by attempting to link Hezbollah and the PMUs with Syria and Iran, “Israel” is trying to cover its own shame for the fact that while its own armed forces are drawn from conscripts including many religious Jews who object to fighting for such an army, Hezbollah is a genuine resistance movement that no one is forced to join or support. Hezbollah makes its own rules, unlike the citizens of the “Israeli” police state.
It is important not to fall into the trap of blaming strategically poor (however well meaning and moral) moves by the PMUs and Hezbollah on any of the states participating legally in the Syria conflict. To do so is to fall into the oldest “Isaeli” trick in the book – forcing its opponents to couch the terms of the debate according to “Israel’s” deceitful rhetoric.