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Publish Date : Saturday 15 July 2017 - 06:05
Eliminating Terrorism More Important than Regime Change
Eliminating Terrorism More Important than Regime Change
Islam Times - French President Emmanuel Macron said that France has shifted its priorities from ousting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to defeating terrorism and seeking political stability at home.
 “We have agreed to continue working together, in particular on the building of a roadmap for the post-war period. We also asked our diplomats to work in that direction, so in the next few weeks a concrete initiative can be taken and managed by the P5, the five permanent members of United Nations Security Council (UNSC),” he said.

Accordingly, the so-called "contact group" on Syria should include UN Security Council members, as well as representatives of the Syrian government and rebel groups, he added.

He concluded that President Assad’s departure is no longer as relevant for Paris, as fighting terrorism at home has now become the top priority, he stated and concluded: “Indeed, we now have a new approach in Syria, because we want results and we want to work closely together with all our partners including the US. We have one main goal which is to eradicate terrorism and we want to build an inclusive and sustainable political solution.”

Donald Trump also confirmed that the US and Russia are working on a second ceasefire agreement in Syria after the one they agreed to on the sidelines of the G20 summit.

He said: “By having some communication and dialogue we were able to have a ceasefire and it’s going to go on for a while. And frankly we’re working on the second ceasefire in a very rough part of Syria.”

The French President also stressed the importance of maintaining good relations with Russia, especially with regard to solving the ongoing crisis in the Middle East.

He stated: “We have a lot of disagreements, we have a lot discrepancies obviously with Russia. But in the current environment, especially in the Middle East, it’s a necessity to work together to exchange information, to share disagreements, and to try to build solutions.”

Meanwhile, a Senior Russian lawmaker, Konstantin Kosachev expressed hope that the Western countries would submit specific proposals in the sphere of fighting terrorism in Syria amid their claims that countering terrorism will be their key goal.

He said: "If the US and France are really ready to focus on the fight against terrorism and not on the change of power in Damascus, it is a wonderful and long-awaited piece of news, especially if such a fight conforms to UN rules and in cooperation with the Syrian government”.

“We just have to wait for specific proposals toward all interested parties so that we do not discuss this kind of decisive initiatives in the mode of press conferences," he said.

Meanwhile, the new southwestern Syria ceasefire seems to be holding for almost a week.

A military political analyst and head of the Department of Sociology and Political Science at the Russian Plekhanov Economic University, Andrei Koshkin said that the pre-conditions for the political settlement of the Syrian conflict have been set due to the Russian efforts in that country, but he doubted that Washington is interested in a peaceful diplomatic resolution of the conflict.

He explained: "We should take into account that the general position of the US on Syria is to "divide and rule." No matter what, the Americans are still eager to oust President Bashar Assad and replace him with a pro-American leader." 

He added that the US will still try to turn the situation to its own favor, even though Russia and its allies, Iran and Turkey, have done a lot to end the military conflict and lay groundwork for the political settlement of the crisis.

"I am deeply convinced that the US intends to maintain tensions in the Middle East and in Syria in particular, to be able to gain certain benefits for the US. And here I mean certain economic bonuses and dividends," the military political analyst concluded.

A Syrian political adviser, Suleiman al Suleiman said that the US and Israel were jointly preparing a military operation in Syria but the plan was abandoned.

According to him, the operation was planned to be carried on July 2-4, but “the operation was cancelled after reports emerged that Russia’s S-400 missile defense systems and a missile attack warning system had been activated in Syria."

Elsewhere, an Iranian political analyst and editor-in-chief of Iran Press newspaper, Emad Abshenass said that a US-Israeli "plan to divide Syria" was foiled due to Iran’s role in the conflict.

He said: "Iran’s active engagement in Syria and Iraq has significantly helped the Syrian Army in the fight against Daesh. In fact, Iran’s involvement helped disturb the plan of the United States and Israel to divide Syria and Iraq. This is why Israel is looking for an excuse to justify its strikes on Syria’s territory." 

In June, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) launched several provocative attacks on the positions of the Syrian Army and its allied forces.

A Syrian military and strategic expert, Maj. Gen. Yahia Suleiman suggested that Israel’s "aggression" was "part of a plan" on destabilizing Syria and weakening Damascus’ allies. However, the situation in Syria has changed after talks between US President Donald Trump and Russian leader Vladimir Putin during the G20 summit in Hamburg.

"Before the summit the international community was against Damascus and the Syrian Army. Everyone was talking about a 'red line' that must not be crossed. At the same time terrorists continued to receive funds from abroad. But after de-escalation zones were agreed at the summit Washington’s plans for Syria became impossible," he concluded.

Meanwhile, the German President, Frank-Walter Steinmeier stressed the importance of the new de-escalation zone agreement, brokered in Hamburg, saying it likely marks the beginning of the real settlement of the Syrian crisis.

“During our meeting we talked in detail about the situation in Syria, and we came to a conclusion that although the agreement … will not end the crisis in Syria right away, it's certainly paving the road that would eventually lead us to a solution that would end the crisis entirely,” he said.

Surprisingly, a mythical sniper bullet has brought the Canadian military to the forefront of a combat operation that their government had formally forbidden in 2016.

The $2.20 bullet's flight began over two miles away and set a new record by an elite member of Canada’s Joint Task Force 2. It had the news media in Canada going into overdrive enshrining this achievement into the pages of time. The print media featured illustrations, interviews from former snipers and commentaries of Canada’s place in the world beyond her own borders promoting peace and stability.

However, this mythical sniper bullet had brought the Canadian military to the forefront of a combat operation their government had formally forbidden in 2016. "No boots on the ground, training missions only,” they said. 

Certainly the “no frontline combat” has been circumvented by airstrikes and snipers. At one time—in the not-too-distant past—the Canadian military enjoyed a reputation as “Ambassadors of Peace”.
Story Code: 653442