THE RUSSIAN SPHINX; SYRIAN SECURITY DIVES FOR ABANDONED RAT WEAPONS; TERRORISTS DIGGING DEEPER TUNNELS IN N. HAMA – By ZIAD FADEL

QUNAYTRA PROVINCE: 

Before the collapse of the terrorist network in Qunaytra, rodents working under the control of the Zionist Apartheid State discarded all their weapons in Lake Al-Hurriyya (Freedom Lake) near the town of the same name.  The weapons were mostly positioned in Jibaataa Al-Khashab but transferred to this body of water so as to conceal it from the victorious Syrian Army.  Security Services frogmen were used to locate the weapons and heavy equipment was brought in to help pull the mostly heavy arsenal out of the water.  The equipment found included mortars, RPGs, U.S.-made TOW rockets and launchers, GRAD rockets, artillery and, believe or not, an actual T-62 tank.

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NORTHERN HAMA PROVINCE:

A squad of terrorists belonging to the Kataa`ib Al-‘Izza emerged from Al-Lataamina Town and attacked a string of SAA outposts this morning with heavy machine gun fire.  The terrorists were trying to intimidate the army into staying away from the vast construction of a tunnel network they were putting into place at Kafr Zeetaa, Latmeen, Sayyaad and Arba’een.  Some of the tunnels have been dug to a depth of 25 meters (according to Sputnik News) with some having a width of 9 meters.  The tunnels have been reinforced with a cement-like material capable of withstanding heavy bombing from the ground and air.  The vermin obtained the material from Turkey.  Along with that cement were large-and- medium sized excavation equipment brought in from Turkey right in front of Turk border guards.  This information was gleaned from local residents who aspire to being free from the stink of Wahhabist ideations and from drone reconnaissance.

It has also been reported that the Kataaib Al-'Izza brought into the area 5 cylinders of toxic chlorine gas provided by Hay`at Tahreer Al-Shaam, the Al-Qaeda affiliate headed by Abu Muhammad Al-Jawlaani

The tunnels already contain large numbers of heavy equipment, medicine, food, communication systems and even, drones.  I have heard from Sputnik that the tunnels also contain tanks.  Obviously this is all in violation of the Russo-Turk agreement to deescalate Idlib and Hama.

In any case, the terrorists were bombed vigorously by the SAA causing them to flee to Al-Lataamina from whence they came.  The dead and wounded are estimated at over 10.

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MOSCOW:

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We know what Russia wants.  The mystery is how it wants to get there.  It’s clear Vladimir Putin thinks in terms of what is practical and eschews delusion-filled folderol.  He wants his troops to come back from Syria in order to close that chapter in foreign intervention.  He wants to have a timetable for Russia’s involvement in the conflict there.  But, is that timetable so flexible that it might as well not exist or is it that time has melted, Dali-like, suggesting a long-term presence for Russian boots inside Syria?  It’s one thing to have a naval base and an airport near the coast; it’s quite another to have your army deployed all around the country.

To throw a puzzle at my readers, let me pose a theoretical question:  Who is more important to the Kremlin, Syria or Turkey?  While most of my readers would probably answer: Syria.  I’m not so sure.  Syria is a doorway into Erdoghan’s presidential palace.  It gives the Kremlin issues to raise with its Turk counterpart.  It gives the Russians opportunities to commiserate with the Turks when the U.S. imposes its ludicrous sanctions policies.  Russia provides Turkey with natural gas (so does Iran), trade and tourism.  But, the Turks are difficult people with whom to treat.  For example,  Russia is not averse to a Kurdish mini-state or even a governorate within a federalized Syria.  After all, isn’t that the way the Russian Federation is set up?

Turkey’s obsession with Kurdish independence is legendary.  Damascus is not so obsessed.  As long as the Syrian Kurds tamp down their ambitions to something as innocuous as self-rule, Dr. Assad’s government would not be negative.  This plays well into the Kremlin’s hands.  President Putin is able to use his influence with Damascus to play on Turkish fears of a seceding Kurdish region in southeastern Turkey.  If to please Erdoghan, Syria needs to harden its stance against a Kurdish mini-entity, Putin can deliver on that and extract from Ankara the kind of concessions he needs to promote Russian interests in the Fertile Crescent.  And he can do all this while maintaining a brisk trade with Turkey.

Putin is pushing hard at NATO.  He has already made it very clear that Ukraine and Georgia are not going to join NATO even if it means creating conditions to destabilize both countries.  He also sees Turkey as a potential secessionist state, leaving NATO and the pipe dream of membership in the EU.  To Putin, Turkey is more like Russia:  an eastern state with ties to Europe, but, also, a member of the Asiatic grouping of nations, more connected to the vast spaces of Siberia, Kazakhstan, Turkestan, Baluchistan, Tajikistan and Iran.  If anything, Syria is more connected to Europe than Turkey what with its long Greco-Roman history and settlements along the underbelly of Europe.  Syria’s wars with Europe are limited to fighting for independence from France.  Turkey, on the other hand, has fought numerous wars with European empires and kingdoms.  Turkey has even fought 12 wars with Russia and lost every one of them.  But, with Russia having defended its soil after the Napoleonic invasion and Hitler’s, Moscow can see eye to eye with Ankara.

No, I think the Russian timetable is very flexible.  And, I believe that that is due to Russia’s infatuation with Erdoghan’s imminent disconnect from the West.  In this sense, Turkey is more important to Moscow than Syria.  And I write that not to imply, for one moment, that Syria is not crucial to Russia’s policies in the Middle East, but, to emphasize that Russia is not limited in its efforts to project power.  Russia can play a complex game and gain two allies while subverting NATO’s projects.  Russia already has Iran and Syria in its pocket, why not Turkey, also?

Idlib is a case in point.  Russia knows quite well that Erdoghan is sympathetic to the Sunni fanatics ruling Idlib today.  Erdoghan sees groups like Hayat Tahreer Al-Shaam, Kataa`ib Al-‘Izza and Jabhat Al-Nusra as potential allies in his war to stanch the Kurdish advance to statehood and secession. He has already recruited Syrian defectors of the virtually non-existent Free Syrian Army to help in blunting Kurdish military movements.  And the Russians, patient as the Sphinx, are just waiting for Mr. Erdoghan to enlist these terrorist organizations as allies in the Donnybrook that will end all Kurdish dreams of independence.  In so doing, Erdoghan will be advancing Russia’s interests in diverting the terrorists from their main enemy, Dr. Assad, and, also, insuring their swift evaporation.

The United States, which has entrenched itself among the Kurdish fighters, will be at a loss to explain why it can’t help them anymore and why thousands of terrorists are now assembling to eradicate them.  The Kurds fall into place.  The terrorists fall into place.  The Turks fall into place.  Syrians and Iranians have already fallen into place.  At the end of the procession will be a smiling Vladimir Putin.

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Photo: Forbes