Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Good News and Bad from Syria

Good News and Bad from Syria

by Stephen Lendman

Liberating Palmyra was a major achievement - likely facilitating others ahead, opening the way to purging ISIS from Raqqa, its main Syrian stronghold.

At the same time, two weeks of so-called peace talks accomplished nothing, intractable differences preventing resolving conflict diplomatically at this time.

Assad remains hopeful, calling Syrian military successes vital for eventual peace. Western and regional nations against its sovereign independence want him and his government ousted.

They’re “counting on our defeat on the battlefield in order to impose their conditions at the negotiations,” he said.

So successful military operations “will lead to the acceleration of the political settlement and not prevent it.”

Assad and his top officials always urged resolving years of conflict diplomatically, he said - not wanting “a single chance for settlement (missed) without trying it.”

“We went to Geneva and continue to show flexibility.” At the same time, “(w)e have not changed our position” throughout years of conflict on wanting Syrians alone to decide their future, free from foreign interference, along with preserving the nation’s sovereign independence and territorial integrity.

Terrorism in the form of imported death squads supported by Western and regional states is Syria’s greatest problem, Assad stressed.

“We must fight it on the international level, because terrorism affects not only Syria. Terrorism exists in Iraq. It is directly supported by Turkey. It is directly supported by the ruling royal family of Saudi Arabia, as well as a number of Western states…”

Damascus will rely mainly on Russia, China and Iran in rebuilding war-torn areas, he explained. Transition to a national unity government must proceed according to constitutional law, he stressed.

“We in Syria assume that the term political transition means the transition from one constitution to another, and a constitution is what defines the form of the needed political composition in the next stage.” 

“Thus, the transition period must be under the current constitution, and we will move on to the new constitution after the Syrian people vote for it.”

“(T)transitional structure or transitional format is a government formed by various Syrian political forces - opposition, independent, the current government and others.”

They alone will determine Syria’s future, free from outside interference, notably from the West, Turkey, Israel, Saudi Arabia and other rogue Arab states.

Constitutional law in Syria and elsewhere includes no authorization for transitional power, Assad explained. Syria has a democratically elected president, parliament and constitution overwhelmingly approved by open, free and fair national referendum.

Syrians alone will choose officials to lead them and decide what constitutional changes they wish, if any. The goal is for national unity governance to end conflict.

Achieving it won’t be easy. Obama and US rogue allies want war, not peace. Blocking a Security Council resolution on Palmyra’s liberation shows what Syrians are up against.

Instead of hailing victory over ISIS terrorists, Assad is blamed for Obama’s war - planned, orchestrated and implemented from Washington.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova minced no words, saying blocking Moscow’s resolution “shows (Western countries) are not interested in the process of liberating Syria from terrorists or promoting the peace process…”

Prospects for conflict resolution remain distant at best. Assad is right. Military successes are Syria’s best hope for eventual peace.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

Visit his blog site at 

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