Sunday, July 09, 2017

Should He Stay or Should He Go Now?

Does America ultimately want Assad and his minority regime to be ejected from office in Syria?

I'm not sure how to interpret this agreement between America and Russia, with Jordan too, regarding Syria:

The United States, Russia and Jordan reached a ceasefire and "de-escalation agreement" for southwestern Syria on Friday, as the U.S. government under President Donald Trump made its first attempt at peacemaking in the country's six-year-old civil war.

The ceasefire, due to start at noon Damascus time (0900 GMT) on Sunday, was announced after a meeting between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G20 summit of major economies in the German city of Hamburg.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the area covered by the ceasefire affects Jordan’s security and is a “very complicated part of the Syrian battlefield.”

I'm so used to Russia taking our lunch money when they deal with our Secretary of State (I'm gun shy after the privileged idiot Kerry and the criminal enterprise in a pantsuit Clinton) that I don't know if this means we are standing down the Southern Front and giving up on opposing Assad after ISIL is defeated in Syria; or if we are buying time to focus on ISIL around Raqqa while we suspend the Syrian-Iranian drive to push into southern Syria to open up a land supply route from Iran to Syria (and Lebanon).

For Russia which opposes Iranian designs in Syria at Russia's expense, the deal could make sense for Russia in the short run regardless of what America has in mind in the long run.

The agreement could support either American objective. I'd prefer the latter explanation. But the dots could be connected for either explanation.

UPDATE: Of course, a ceasefire in one area just frees up Syrian assets to attack in another area:

Syrian troops and Iranian-backed militias launched an assault on Bedouin villages in southeast Syria on Monday to consolidate control of a swathe of desert stretching to the Iraqi border, Western-backed rebels said.

The war goes on. Do we go along with Assad winning the multi-war?

UPDATE: More Assad gains because America fights ISIL and grants ceasefires:

The Syrian army backed by heavy Russian air strikes seized a string of oil wells in southwest Raqqa province on Saturday, as retreating Islamic State militants battle to defend their remaining territory in the country.

I hope this is a surge that will recede when we aim rebels at Assad instead of at ISIL.