In New York, Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin have agreed on a peace process for all of North Africa and the Near East. Will they keep their promise ?

Russia is making slow but steady progress at the United Nations. Her leaders are convinced that the Islamist terrorist groups have been encouraged by the CIA since the 1950’s, and that today they constitute a menace not only for the stability of the region, but for the interests of the United States themselves. As Vladimir Putin explained last year to the Valdai International Discussion Club, it is therefore preferable to work together to resolve the current problem.

However, the Russian leaders are also convinced that Washington only listens to its partners when they are powerful. The Duma therefore debated the idea of a military intervention against the terrorist groups in Syria, and gave its approval. This will be the second exterior intervention by the Russian Federation since its creation in 1991 – the first was the war of South Ossetia in 2008. Immediately after having received the authorisation, the Russian army scrambled its jets from Latakia and destroyed Al-Qaïda and Ahrar Al-Sham strongholds.

The choice of targets was intended to
 force the other powers to clarify their policies concerning these terrorist groups ;
 send a message to Turkey, whose officers currently supervise Ahrar Al-Sham ;
 and finally, to demonstrate that no terrorist groups will be spared.

The intervention demonstrates Russia’s will to play a role in the Near East, not against the United States, but with them. Far from defying President Obama, Russia intends, on the contrary, to supply him with the military assistance he lacks, while the Pentagon has become a closed arena for its own internal confrontations.

Who is supporting the terrorist groups ?

It has become common knowledge that the jihadists in Syria are armed and financed by foreign powers. However, no state will publicly assume responsibility for such support. The reactions to the Russian anti-terrorist operation in Syria have revealed the contradictions displayed by several participants.

As an example, the French Minister for Foreign Affairs, Laurent Fabius, declared that « ...a coalition [led by Russia] whose bases would interdict any gathering of Syrians against the terrorists, would in reality feed Daesh’s propaganda and reinforce its power of attraction ». By this statement, he admitted that the objective of France and its allies in Syria – Turkey and Saudi Arabia – is not to fight Daesh, but the Russian vision of international relations.

The President of the US Senate Armed Services Committee, John McCain, confirmed that Ahrar Al-Sham comprised elements which had been trained and armed by the United States. Consequently, according to him, the Russian attack against the terrorists is an aggression against the United States. Using this logic, he recommended delivering ground to air missiles to the jihadists so that they could shoot down Russian planes.

A message to Turkey

Since the group Ahrar Al-Sham, once sponsored by Kuwait, is presently funded and supervised mostly by officers of the Turkish army, the bombing also sent a warning to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

Erdoğan had first of all replaced Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan as the coordinator of international Islamist terrorism. Then he gave the Muslim Brotherhood refuge in Turkey, replacing Qatar. In December 2014, Turkey signed a strategic gas agreement with Russia, which it finally abandoned under US pressure. Simultaneously, Turkey and Ukraine created an « International Islamic Brigade » to fight the « Russian occupation of Crimea ». Relations between Ankara and Moscow quickly became strained [1].

During a visit to Moscow by President Erdoğan, on the 23rd September, for the inauguration of the largest mosque in Europe, his Russian opposite number managed to convince him to mellow his rhetoric against the Syrian Arab Republic, but failed to convince him to abandon his aggressive politicies.

Once back in his own country, Mr. Erdoğan settled for stating that the departure of President el-Assad was no longer a prime condition for the resolution of the Syrian crisis. Russia considered that this was insufficient, and showered praise on the PKK for its anti-Daesh stance, suggesting that it might support the Kurdish party against its government.

No terrorist group will be spared

By choosing to strike Al-Qaïda and Ahrar Al-Sham, Russia has replaced the debate over the supposed unanimity against Daesh with the cacophony concerning Al-Qaïda. Although everyone now admits that the organisation founded by Osama ben Laden is originally a creation of the United States, everyone still believes, or pretends to believe, that it turned against its creator and inflicted the terrible losses of 911.

But Al-Qaïda was the ally of NATO in Libya for the overthrow of the Jamahiriya and the assassination of Mouamar el-Kadhafi. This reality was so shocking for US General Carter Ham, the commander of AfriCom, that he asked to be relieved of his functions and transferred to the Atlantic Alliance.

In Syria, France and Turkey delivered munitions to Al-Qaïda via the Free Syrian Army, as attested by an FSA document transmitted on the 14th July 2014 to the United Nations Security Council [2].

And currently, General David Petraeus, ex-director of the CIA, and his friend John McCain, are calling for the support of Al-Qaïda against the Syrian Arab Republic.

The Ahrar Al-Sham group itself was created just before the beginning of the events in Syria, in March 2011, by the Muslim Brotherhood. Certain members of the group were officers of Al-Qaïda. Incidentally, its existence demonstrates that, contrary to the declarations of President Hollande at the UNO, terrorism in Syria existed before the beginning of the war, and is therefore not the consequence of the war, but in fact the cause of it, as President el-Assad claims.

Finally, whatever lies we are told by NATO, and the contradictions they create for all concerned, the Russians will not be sparing certain groups in deference to their secret sponsors, but will bomb all targets linked to the terrorist groups listed by the United Nations - Al-Qaïda, Al-Nosra, and Daesh.

Who is actively opposed to the Russian intervention ?

Since the beginning of the deployment of the Russian army – and there is as yet no discussion of the ground troops to be sent by the CSTO – a vast campaign of disinformation is being waged world-wide in order to accuse Russia of
 supervising the Syrian Arab Army ;
 bombing not the terrorist groups, but the civilian populations who are « hostile to the regime » ;
 preparing a vast offensive with the Iranian Revolutionary Guards.

War propaganda - the foundation and characteristic of the 4th generation war coordinated by NATO from February 2011 to March 2012 - progessively diminished. While for the space of a year, we were subjected on a daily basis to another imaginary story illustrating the supposed crimes of the « régime », the war propaganda limited itself to a few small groups – including the SOHR (Syrian Observatory for Human Rights), a London-based office of the Muslim Brotherhood which provides fodder for the Atlantist Press. As if by Pavlovian reflex, the Atlantist media visit the trough and then unthinkingly reproduce the most shameful lies.

First of all, they used a video taken by the Syrian Arab Army in which we hear men speaking Russian, in an attempt to make us believe that the Syrian fighters were commanded by Russian officers. In truth, the voices come from a walkie-talkie exchange between jihadists. Yuri Artamonov revealed this mistake by studying the sound track [3].

Then we were treated to a tsunami of images and videos about the civilian victims of Russian bombing raids. However, these images and videos were broadcast during the Duma debates, in other words, before the bombing took place.

Finally, the presence of Iranian fighters in Syria was presented as proof of the preparation of a vast counter-offensive by the « régime » and its allies against the « rebels ». In reality, after the fall of Palmyra, the Iranian forces had been authorised by the United States to become involved in Syria, but their number remains inferior to 5,000 men, which is absolutely insufficient to wage a counter-offensive over such a vast territory. As for the armed rebels, we have already pointed out that they are all linked either to al-Qaïda or Daesh.

We still need to prove who is organising this campaign of intoxication, and why. While it is impossible to find a solution to this question by considering Syria alone, the answer becomes clear once we place the theatre of war in the context of the re-establishment of international relations.

The Russian proposition to the Security Council

Russia has proposed that the Security Council spend October studying the best way of fighting terrorism, not only in Syria, but throughout North Africa and the Near East [4].

Evidently, Moscow and Washington have agreed to now begin applying the agreement they concluded in 2012 – and which Clinton, Petraeus, Allen, Feltman, Hollande and Fabius sabotaged – to share out the responsibilities in the Arab world. However, Russia has no wish to deploy on quicksand, and is asking for the terrain to be cleared first.

Let’s remember the basis of this agreement – the United States could withdraw part of their troops stationed in the region when Russia agrees to guarantee the safety of Israel [5].

Russia poses one condition to the new sharing of the world - the passage from an imperialist system, like the Yalta agreement, to a system based on international law in general, and the United Nations Charter in particular. It therefore condemns in advance « ...interference in the internal affairs of sovereign states, the recourse to force without the authorisation of the Security Council, and the delivery of arms to extremist non-state groups ».

Let there be no mistake about it, this solution supposes the application of Security Council resolutions, including those concerning Israel, the implementation of the Arab Peace Initiative and the common Global Action Plan concerning the Iranian nuclear programme, the creation of control mechanisms for the respect by the states of the assembly for all of these texts, and finally, global opposition to the ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Keep in mind
 Despite the numerous controversies that oppose them – the deployement of the anti-missile shield, the overthrow of the régime in Ukraine, and the attempt to judge Vladimir Putin before an international Tribunal – the Kremlin believes it can help the Obama administration to realise the inefficiency of its policies and return to the realm of international law.
 It is only on this condition that Russia is ready to share with the United States the responsibility for the security of North Africa and the Near East, including the security of Israel.
 The Russian bombing raids are not directed against the allies of the United States, but constitute military assistance for President Obama who, for the last year, has not been obeyed by the anti-Daesh Coalition.
 Russia hopes to bring the United States to the table at a regional peace conference aimed at applying les resolutions of the Security Council – including the withdrawal of Israel to its 1967 borders - the Arab Peace Initiative, and the Common Global Action Plan concerning the Iranian nuclear programme.
 To definitively overcome Islamist terrorism, it is necessary to fight its cause – the materialist ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Pete Kimberley

[1Nearing the end of the Erdoğan system”, by Thierry Meyssan, Translation Pete Kimberley, Voltaire Network, 15 June 2015. « L’Ukraine et la Turquie créent une Brigade internationale islamique contre la Russie », par Thierry Meyssan, Réseau Voltaire, 12 août 2015.

[2Resolution 2165 and debates (humanitarian aid in Syria)”, Voltaire Network, 14 July 2014.

[3Are there Russian troops in Syria?”, Yuri Artamonov, September 5, 2015.

[5« Obama et Poutine vont-ils se partager le Proche-Orient ? », par Thierry Meyssan, Оdnako (Russie), Réseau Voltaire, 22 février 2013.