Thursday, 20 October 2016

Failure to Accept Russia’s Position in Syria Inching US Closer to War


In recent weeks, officials of Western governments have engaged in a dramatic escalation of rhetoric condemning the Syrian and Russian governments for alleged war crimes that have occurred since the collapse of a UN-backed ceasefire in late September.

The escalating charges aimed at Russia and Syria, reinforced by well-orchestrated media campaigns propagating official talking points, are familiar in the sense that such attempts to mould public opinion have traditionally been a precursor to Western military interventions.

Western and Gulf states have been unequivocal about their intention to topple the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, presumably to replace it with a client regime that would maintain an adversarial relationship with Russia, Iran and various political forces associated with Shia Islam.

On the ground, the Syrian military, supported by Russian, Iranian and Lebanese Hezbollah allies are on the path to military victory over the rebel-held east of Aleppo, which would mark the restoration of government control in all of Syria’s largest population centres.

Insurgents that have been armed and supported by the United States are now besieged in eastern Aleppo fighting Syrian government forces in coordination with jihadist militants, including the al-Nusra Front, the former Syrian wing of al Qaeda that Washington itself classifies as a terrorist organisation.

Read the full story on New Eastern Outlook

Nile Bowie is a Singapore-based political commentator and columnist for the Malaysian Reserve newspaper. He can be reached at nilebowie@gmail.com.

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

As Syrian Forces Make Gains in Aleppo, the US Intends to Escalate


Events in northern Syria have taken a dramatic turn in recent days, beginning with an unprecedented US airstrike on Syrian army positions in Deir ez-Zor. US officials have said they were aiming for ISIS targets but struck Syrian army positions accidentally, killing 62 soldiers and exposing the remaining survivors to an Islamic State offensive.

In the days prior, the New York Times reported on a public disagreement between Secretary of State John Kerry and Defense Secretary Ashton Carter over the terms of the proposed ceasefire being negotiated with Russia.

Carter was said to have ‘deep reservations’ over plans for American and Russian forces to share information and jointly target terrorist organisations as made conditional in the ceasefire proposal. Defense Department officials publically refused to affirm whether they would implement the agreement.

The subsequent attacks on a UN relief convoy saw US officials strongly imply responsibility on Moscow. Reuters and others carried claims by anonymous US officials identifying Russia as the perpetrator, while mention of the recent US strike in Deir ez-Zor was omitted from most dispatches.

Read the full story on New Eastern Outlook

Nile Bowie is a Singapore-based political commentator and columnist for the Malaysian Reserve newspaper. He can be reached at nilebowie@gmail.com.