By Dr Jan Best de Vries:
After the fall of Aleppo and Idlib, finally the real civil war in Syria will start. It is amazing how little Western media tell us about the real actors in the war which already for six years is going on in Syria. On one side Russia, Iran and Hezbollah are involved with their well-trained soldiers on the ground, and Russia moreover in the air, trying to uphold the crippled regime of Assad. On the other side are the Western coalition (giving support in the air) and the salafist states Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the Gulf States (mostly providing money and weapons). The sole country on this side that engages in the war on the ground is Turkey, where in the hospitals during full five years the wounded soldiers of the Islamic State (IS) were looked after, while it also supports and supplies the Free Syrian Army as a Turkish puppet, because Mr Edogan is most hot on the disappearance of Mr Assad’s regime and at the same time makes the most of his opportunity to destroy with this ‘Free Army’ the Kurds in North Syria.
Don’t think that things are more complex. That the recently violated armistice for Aleppo, during which Syrian civilians and foreign rebels would have been evacuated from East Aleppo and brought to Idlib, was withdrawn was because Iranian soldiers of the Pasdaran sat trapped in some villages north of Aleppo and Iran demanded that first its soldiers should be offered unopposed withdrawal by the rebels. With their combat against IS, the Americans cum suis in fact support the regime of Mr Assad, because in fighting IS they unburden Russia, Iran and Hezbollah from the full weight of their difficult task (but this aside).
However, not Iran but Mr Putin has the real power in Syria. When the Syrian Democratic Forces — a coalition of the female YPJ, the male YPG and the battalions of the Arab tribes in the North Syrian, autonomous region of Rojava — rarely, just now and then, engaged with army units of Mr Assad, there immediately arrived from Moscow a delegation of mediators in Qamishlo or Hasakeh to patch up the conflict. The people’s army of the SDF has as its sole enemies in Syria, IS and Turkey. This well trained, purely defensive army has until now not got mixed up with the so-called ‘civil war’ in Syria.
Those readers who want to learn more about the competition between Russia and the USA to get a permanent access to the oilfields in Rojava should read as background information my 50 articles from 2014 to 2017 in The Kurdistan Tribune to which I have been connected as a regular correspondent. What has struck me in Rojava during these years was that on the front with IS quite a lot Australians, New Zealanders, Englishmen, Canadians and Americans (“The Lions”) fought side by side together with the soldiers of the YPG, while I also met in the hinterland of the district Jazira Swedish and Polish girls in YPJ uniforms on patrol in the mountains.
The real civil war in Syria has yet to start when Mr Assad also wants to subdue Rojava. We are ready for it.
Jan Best de Vries – guest teacher at the University of Aleppo (Qamishlo) and the Yekitiya Star Akademiya (Rimelan)