Cold War Realities
While many on both pro-Resistance “alt-media” and pro-Zionist media are busily predicting a new war between Syria and “Israel”, in reality Syria’s successful downing of an aggressive Zionist F-16 was not the opening salvo in a new war, but rather, one of many likely sporadic encounters of a new cold war.
During much of the current conflict in Syria, the Zionist regime had hoped that the Syrian Arab Republic would fall and consequently cease to exist. The new dynamic established by the downing of the F-16 is that Syria not only will respond to “Israeli” aggression, but can do so successfully.
Just as “Israel” had hoped the Syrian Arab Republic would cease to exist and was wrong, so too are Syria supporters who believe that now is the time that Syria and her allies will fulfil their longstanding goal of liberating Palestine. As geopolitical expert Andrew Korybko recently wrote in Eurasia Future,
“…There is no way that the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) is anywhere capable of freeing Palestine owing to “Israel’s” track record of responding with overwhelming force in the face of even the tiniest move in this direction, as was just evidenced by its large-scale bombing run against the country’s air defense systems after losing one of its jets”.
In this sense, both the aggressive Zionist regime and the defending Syrian Arab Republic have adopted a cold war style approach to their longstanding conflict, wherein small strikes back and forth will not lead to an all out war that both sides are privately afraid of losing. If this logic could be applied to the US and USSR during most of the 20th century, surely it can be applied to Syria and “Israel”. In this sense, while the rhetoric surrounding the Zionist-Syrian conflict is worrisome, it is naturally tempered by a a mutual understanding of mutually assured destruction. The combined armed forces of Syria, Iran, Hezbollah and possibly other Arab volunteers or even states could inflict devastating loses to “Israel’s” cut-and-run style conscripted armed forces. Likewise “Israel” has promised to drop nuclear weapons on the wider region if this were to happen, in an ominous plan known as the Samson Option. Thus, one sees a textbook example of a cold war scenario where both sides will bark and take small bites, but neither will take the plunge of total war, certainly not yet.
None of this should be surprising to those with a sense of reality, although there are many pundits writing otherwise. However, what is beyond surprising as well as pathological, is the fact that many still want Syria to fall into the trap that Kurdish terrorists have set for the Syrian Arab Army – one which would lead to national suicide.
The Kurdish Death Trap
The latest wave of voices calling for the Syrian Arab Army to aid the Kurdish YPG in its fight with the Turkish Army and its proxies, comes after YPG representatives stated that it is not within their self-imposed remit to attack Syrian forces.
This statement from the YPG is at best a half-truth designed to fool the Syrian Arab Army into doing something that could be more dangerous than declaring an all out war on “Israel”. While it is true that YPG forces would barely be able to survive in a war against both the Turkish Army and Syrian Arab Army, it also remains a fact that the US military recently targeted a group of Syrian allied Popular Mobilisation Units which included several Russian citizens, when Washington stated that its Kurdish proxies (SDF aka YPG) felt “threatened” by the presence of the pro-Damascus brigade of “ISIS Hunters”. This is just the most recent of many instances when the US rushes to the aid of its Kurdish proxies, whether the target is the Syrian Arab Army, Hezbollah, Popular Mobilisation Units or Russian contractors.
Moreover, if Syria did ally with the YPG, it would not only mean war with Turkey, but it could be a defining moment that could provide Turkey and the US their only meaningful opportunity for rapprochement. While US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and US National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster will shortly meet with Turkish officials, both sides have expressed very low expectations for what might come out of such a meeting.
Today, Turkey’s President Erdogan reiterated the fact that any productive results of a joint Turkey-US summit remain highly unlikely. The Turkish President stated,
“We have 911 kilometers of border with Syria. What is their [US’] connection with the Syrian border? They have already spent 550 million dollars [to help the YPG], but now they want to increase this figure to three billion. You say that you are fighting against Daesh. And how many Daesh members did you destroy? Those who fought against Daesh are now fighting against Turkey. No one has the right to use Daesh as an excuse. It’s time to finish this theater with Daesh, it’s time to remove the masks.
We are told: ‘If we are hit, we will respond.’ Those who say this, have never tried an Ottoman fist in their life.
If you say that the YPG is not a terrorist organization in our opinion if you are attacking a NATO ally, you should stand against it as a member of NATO”.
Russia: supporting Turkey and Syria in unspoken mutual goals
Thus, if Syria were to join the YPG as some foolish observers have repeatedly desired, it would be Syria threatened with the “Ottoman fist” and what’s more, if Turkey and the US were to once again have a common battlefield enemy in the form of the Syrian Arab Army, this could provide the only likely incentive for the US and Turkey to bury the hatchet and re-join forces against Syria. If Syria is cautious enough not to attack “Israel” out of fears that the Zionist military would destroy much of Syria, then any risk of having to fight both Turkey and the US at the same time and in the same place would be doubly risky, not least because Turkey and the US are far larger and more powerful than “Israel”.
Just as Russia has worked its private diplomatic channels to make sure that the war between Syria and “Israel” remains mostly cold, Russia has worked even harder to prevent Syria from attacking both Turkey and the US. In the case of the US, it is a pragmatic decision to advise Syria against full-out war with a powerful occupier. Thus, Russia’s advice to Syria vis-a-vis the US is identical to that which Russia has given Syria vis-a-vis “Israel”. In respect of Turkey, the stakes are even higher as Russia has worked tirelessly to demonstrate to Turkey that its own interests could be better served by adopting a win-win attitude of cooperation with Russia and Iran which has come to entail Turkey fully abandoning its desires to alter the political/military situation in Damascus, while shifting to fighting separatist pro-US/pro-“Israel” Kurdish militants that threaten the security of both Turkey and Syria.
Russia’s green-lighting of Turkey’s anti-YPG/PKK Operation Olive Branch could not be clearer, not least because Moscow is now blaming the US for essentially turning a disorganised YPG into a force with “separatist sentiments“. At the same time, Russia continues to aid Syria in its desire to rid itself of US occupation. Just today, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov lambasted the US desire to set-up a permanent zone of occupation in Syria, east of the Euphrates, while the Russian Defense Ministry stated that it is on-guard against a White Helmets/Al-Nusra chemical weapons false flag that Russia believes is in the works in Idlib. Russia is preparing for a large scale diplomatic isolation of the US over its occupation of Syria, all the while trying to prevent the SAA from going on any suicide missions against US forces in the country.
Syria’s intelligence far exceeds that of its “alt-media” supporters
Syria’s failure to even acknowledge the trap the YPG/PKK has set, is a clear sign that Syria is far more mature than many of its supporters. Indeed, some so-called “resistance” supporters are so deluded that they actually equate Turkey’s presence in northern Syria, which both Russia and Turkey have said is temporary, to “Israel’s” illegal occupation of Syria’s Golan Heights. Furthermore, some even go further and challenge the fact that Turkey is a legitimate state, the clear implication being that like “Israel”, the Republic of Turkey is a settler colonial project that can be dislodged.
Abusing history is an “Israeli” trait – not a Syrian one
This thinking is not just wrong, but it is pathological. While the Turkic peoples originate from Central Asia, there has been a Turkic presence in Anatolia since the 11th century. Those who challenge the legitimacy of Turkey because Hellenic peoples, Armenians and others inhabited Anatolia prior to the arrival of Turks, must also challenge the legitimacy of the South Slavic states of the Balkans, most notably Syria’s ally Serbia. It is believed that the first Slavs to arrive in the Balkans, came in the 7th century, only a few centuries before Turks arrived in Anatolia.
It would be absurd to say that the Slavs should vacate their established place in countries like Serbia, just as it would be absurd to say that Turks should abandon Anatolia. This isn’t a moral argument, it is simply a logical one. To compare ancient migrations of peoples with the voluntary imperial project of Zionism, which decided to take Palestine as its own through a mass migration programme, is simply absurd. There was no empire that promised Turks Anatolia and Slavs the Balkans, in the way that the British Empire gave the green-light to Zionist mass immigration to Palestine in the 1917 Balfour Declaration.
Likewise, the reason that “Israelis” want to reduce the size of Palestine’s population is to achieve a point of no return that has clearly not been reached yet. Indigenous Palestinians living under colonial occupation continue to resist and they have the modern land deeds and contemporary historiography to prove their full entitlement to the land that Zionists stole from them. By contrast, “Israel’s” flimsy justification for its theft of Palestine is that it is a restoration of a largely mythical ancient land whose legitimacy is no greater than if self-described descendants of the Trojans of Homer sought to steal land from the modern Turks.
Turkey is Syria’s neighbour and normalisation will have to commence at some future point, almost certainly with Russian and/or Iranian diplomatic assistance. By contrast both the US occupation of Syria and the Zionist occupation of Syria and Palestine are wholly unacceptable. But if unacceptable situations can be dealt with in a cautious cold war style manner, any idea that Syria ought to be at war with a neighbour that is a fully legitimate state is worse than delusional, it is madness.