What is the real American intention in Syria
The answer is getting clearer every day. Did America ever want a peaceful political transition in Syria? By its actions, it seems that what America wants is simply more devastation for the country, destruction of the Syrian Army, and above all dividing Syria into small ethnic and religious cantons.
Recently, pragmatic American policy appeared again. Barack Obama has announced formal U.S. recognition of the Syrian opposition coalition in order to prepare for a Syria without President Bashar al-Assad. However, in the same move, the US has also placed the Syrian Al-Nusra Front on the terror blacklist even though it is an arm of the Syrian opposition coalition.
The American administration is trying to legitimize more moderate rebel forces and see a post-Assad Syria that is less entrenched in the old ways. While this move is considered an effort to head off extremists, with the recognition of an opposition that doesn’t really represent the social diversity of Syria, it raises questions about America’s real intentions. Are they really trying to keep Syria united?
Recently, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland, said: "We have said all along that in the absence of any moves by the regime to end this, in the absence of any commitment to any kind of a transition, we are going to continue to support the opposition as we can." This raises other questions, such as, which opposition are the Americans supporting? What kind of transition do they believe they will achieve with such a policy?
The Russians have responded strongly to this decision. Alexei Pushkov, the State Duma Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman expressed his concerns around this move on Twitter, when he tweeted: “the Recognition of the Syrian opposition as ‘legitimate’ authorities by the ‘Friends of Syria’ gives up on any attempts to find a political solution. The only option now is war,"
Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov believes that the American step hinders efforts to establish a smooth political transition in Syria. He has said: "As the coalition has been recognized as the only legitimate representative, it seems that the United States decided to place all bets on the armed victory of this very national coalition,"
The best chance to achieve political settlement in Syria was on 30th of June 2012, in Geneva where the Action Group for Syria met. Since that time, the Americans have been playing a latent role in things getting worse in Syria. What the Americans do not seem to realise is that their latest policy may lead to the end of Assad, but it is unlikely to end the violence and fighting unless it happens with a real political settlement of the Syrian crisis.
Compared to the Americans, the Russians, regardless of their intentions, are still presenting the most rational position that focuses on protecting Syrian unity and a peaceful political transition. The Deputy Minister of Russian Foreign Affairs Bogdanov recently insisted on this, saying: “Despite all of that, Moscow is going to continue to fulfillment of the Geneva Communiqué and peaceful settlement of the conflict.”
Despite this, Russia has also sent many positive and flexible signals about revising some parts of the previous Geneva agreement, making compromises to bring it in line with American wishes. The meeting in Geneva between Mr. Brahimi, the Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov and US Deputy Secretary of State William Burns was described as “constructive and held in a spirit of cooperation,” by the Joint Special Representative.
America’s recent moves might lead to skepticism amongst Russia and its allies about whether America’s real intentions are to put an end to the crisis in Syria.
Dr. Amer Al Sabaileh.