An American political analyst says time is on the side of the Syrian-Russian alliance and the United States is in no position to impose a solution to the years-long foreign-sponsored war in Syria.
Dennis Etler, a professor of Anthropology at Cabrillo College in Aptos, California, made these remarks in an interview with Press TV on Friday while commenting on US Secretary of State John Kerry’s recent warning to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
On Thursday, Kerry warned the Syrian president of the consequences of a new US approach if he does not accept a political transition in the next few months.
“The target date for the transition is 1st of August,” Kerry told reporters at the State Department. “So we’re now coming up to May. So either something happens in these next few months, or they are asking for a very different track.”
Professor Etler said that “Kerry’s days are numbered. With the Obama administration quickly coming to a close both Kerry and Obama are lame-ducks whose pronouncements have increasingly less relevance as time goes on.”
“Kerry’s statements that Assad must concede power and accept ‘The target date for the transition is 1st of August,’ or face untold consequences can only be seen as a desperate bluff, and a not very good one at that, as his cards can be seen by one and all,” he added.
Since March 2011, the United States and its regional allies, in particular Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey, have been conducting a proxy war against Syria.
The conflict has left more than 470,000 Syrians dead and half of the country’s population of about 23 million displaced within or beyond the Arab country’s borders.
In September 2014, the US and some of its allies started conducting airstrikes inside Syria against Daesh terrorists, many of whom were initially trained by the CIA to fight against the Syrian government.
In September of last year, Russia launched its own air offensive against the terrorists who were still wreaking havoc in Syria. The Russian campaign, analysts say, has broken the backbone of ISIL and other militants.
Ceasefire is result of Russia intervention
“The ceasefire in Syria is the result of the success of the Russia intervention on behalf of the internationally recognized and duly elected government of Bashar al-Assad. Russian airstrikes and the Syrian army’s ground offensive against an assortment of US-backed opposition forces resulted in mounting defeats for the terrorist coalition that has wreaked havoc in Syria over the last five years,” Professor Etler said.
“The ceasefire has given the Syrian forces the opportunity to consolidate their gains and the opposition forces a reprieve from the assault they’ve been subject to,” he added.
“The fighting in and around Aleppo, Syria’s largest city that has long been held by the terrorist alliance, continued until the recently announced ceasefire there as well,” he stated.
“The fighting in Aleppo has been fierce and first government, and then rebel forces have been accused of bombing civilian targets, including hospitals. The US, as usual, tried to use the accusations against the Syrian forces as a means to portray them as brutal savages, until the opposition was accused of doing the same thing. As a result the propaganda campaign waged against the supposed Syrian government attacks was dropped,” the analyst noted.
In recent months, the Syrian army, backed by the Russian air power, has been making major gains against Takfiri terrorist groups, recapturing several strategic areas from their grip, particularly in the strategic northern province of Aleppo.
A temporary truce agreement engineered by Russia and the United States, which came into force across Syria on February 27, has been holding despite reports of violations by the warring sides.
Ceasefire bodes well for Damascus
“The ceasefire in Aleppo will be harder to enforce than elsewhere, but it again serves the Syrian government well. The US-backed opposition is on tenterhooks as the US enters the climax of its political season,” Professor Etler said.
“In July and August the US presidential campaign goes full tilt first with the Republican and then the Democratic conventions. The prospects are now clear: Donald Trump is the presumptive Republican Presidential candidate and Hillary Clinton the Democratic one. No matter who is elected in November they will be in a weakened position as they bring on a new team,” he stated.
“If Hillary Clinton is elected there will be greater continuity with the Obama administration’s policies which she helped frame, but she will nonetheless be under greater scrutiny than not. Any mistakes made early in her presidency will be magnified so some constraint on her part is most likely. If Trump is elected he will be faced with a situation which will test his mettle as a world leader. Caution on his part will also be warranted,” the commentator noted.
“All this bodes well for the Syrian-Russian condominium. Time is on their side and they will try to press their advantage over the next few months while the US can only make noise on the sidelines by rattling its sabers,” he observed.
“The situation is tenuous and there will most likely be flare-ups in the fighting now and again. Some sort of modus vivendi, however, seems to be in the works with Syrian government having the upper hand. US demands for Assad’s ouster are falling on deaf ears and will have less and less effect as time goes on,” Professor Etler, who has a decades-long interest in international affairs, said in his concluding remarks.