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(en) France, Alternative Libertaire AL #273 - Middle East: The future remains of the Caliphate of Daech fuels the lust of the imperialists (fr, it, pt) [machine translation]

Date Sun, 25 Jun 2017 23:46:33 +0300

Donald Trump's seizure of power disrupts the balance in Iraq and Syria. The United States intends to defend its interests well, and the coming defeat of the Islamic state will not cease hostilities. ---- The arrival of a new tenant at the White House is always an event for the Middle East, as the destiny of this region is influenced by US imperialism. Donald Trump was all the more expected as he had promised foreign policy changes that contradicted the wishes of the Washington establishment: less warrior adventurism, rapprochement with the Kremlin, priority to the Daech fight on change In Syria, calling into question the nuclear deal with Iran. ---- His first major action in Syria disconcerted everyone. Following the chemical attack on Khan Sheikhoun, which was given without any form of trial to the Bashar al-Assad regime, he launched a Tomahawk missile salvo on 6 April against the Al-Chayrat air base. In the days that follow the tension rises with Russia. Complete reversal, surrender to his enemies in Washington ? Nothing can be said.

The attack is symbolic, the Russian expeditionary force was warned two hours before to avoid a burr, the airport quickly became operational again. It is primarily a domestic political operation, and it is also a demonstration of strength to the many enemies of the United States, North Korea in particular. His message is clear: attention a new sheriff is in town, it's a tough. On the other hand, Middle East policy in Washington remains unclear, uncertain, especially as it is the object of a fierce struggle between Trump and part of the state apparatus.

Only certainty, the Iraqi and Syrian Kurds retain their status as better local allies in the fight against Daech. In Syria, the Pentagon relies on the YPG Kurds, which together with other small Arab armed groups form the Syrian Democratic Forces to capture Raqqa, the capital of Daech's caliphate.

Recep Erdogan's victory in the constitutional referendum of 16 April [1]also has important implications for the region. The Turkish president does not hide his ambition to revive the Ottoman Empire and make it the center of Sunni Islam, which puts him in competition with Iranian imperialism. To this end, he is pursuing an aggressive imperialist policy against Iraq and Syria, which are prey to armed and allied insurgencies in Tehran.

Since the end of 2015, the Turkish army occupies a base in Iraqi territory in Bashiqa north of Mosul, despite the opposition of the government of Baghdad. In this camp, it draws pechmergas of the PDK of Barzani, Iraqi Turkmen militias that serve to counter the influence of Iran in the country. It is also a means of claiming Turkey's " historical rights " over Mosul.

In Syria, during the summer of 2016, Erdogan concluded a tactical agreement with Vladimir Putin, bartering Aleppo with an occupied zone north of the province of Aleppo [2 ]. In the short term, this has enabled him to prevent the unification of Rojava, in the long run he will certainly try to transform this temporary occupation into a permanent annexation.

The first acts of Erdogan after his election victory clearly show that he will not change course, on the contrary we are witnessing a leak forward, of which the Kurdish left is the first to bear the costs. On 25 April, Turkish aviation launched a series of raids on the positions of the PKK in Iraq, in the Qandil Mountains and for the first time in Sinjar. In Syria, the bombing of a HQ and a radio station of the YPG killed some 20 people. The following days, attacks on the Rojava continued and the troops massed at the border made fear of a land invasion. But the ambitions of Ankara are in contradiction with the interests of the American and Russian imperialisms. By mutual agreement Washington and Moscow send soldiers to intervene between the Turkish army and the YPGs, the Americans in the east Rojava,

In case the message was not understood, on May 9 the US government officially announces that it will arm the YPGs in the near future of the Battle of Raqqa. This is not the first time that the Pentagon has supplied them with weapons, but so far it has been doing it discreetly to avoid offending Turkish susceptibility. For Trump the political victory he hopes to draw from the capture of the capital of Daech is more important than the states of mind of Erdogan. It is also a warning about the rapprochement between Ankara and Moscow.

On 4 May, Iran, Russia and Turkey signed an agreement on Syria in Astana, it established four zones of "de- escalation " without fighting and it is supposed to lay the foundations for a later political solution. It is in fact a tactical agreement: it allows the Syrian rebels supported by Ankara to blow and resume forces after costly defeats in the west of the country, while Damascus can redeploy troops on the front is against Daesh.

Response of Russia and Iran

The near end of the caliphate stirs up lusts, the race to tear away its future remains is launched. The various imperialisms and their local allies seek to carve out zones of lasting influences. The issue is beyond the Syrian framework, it concerns the balance of forces in the Middle East for the coming years, between Sunni countries - Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan, Turkey supported by the And the " Shiite arch " - Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanese Hezbollah, with Russian support. In the absence of a regime favorable to Damascus, the United States and its local allies at least want to cut off the land route between Iran and the Mediterranean.

At the end of April, free Syrian Army units backed by the United States, Jordan and the United Kingdom launched an offensive in the Syrian desert with the aim of taking control of the border with Iraq. Until now they have seized the Al Tanf border crossing to the southeast and they are heading towards Al Bukamal in the northeast.

The Astana agreement makes it possible to respond to Russia and Iran, which is responsible for units of the Syrian army, pro-government militias, Lebanese Hezbollah and Popular Unity Pro-Iranian Shia militias. On the ground the situation is vivid between these two imperialist forces, there have already been several clashes. And sign of the importance of the stake, on 18 May the American aviation bombed a pro-government military convoy that approached Al-Tanf.

This is the second time that Trump bombarded the troops of the regime, is this the sign of an escalation that risks directly opposing the United States and Russia ? Impossible to say at the moment as the uncertainties are great. What is certain is that the fall of the Caliphate of Daech will not end the war that bloodshed Syria and Iraq.

Hervé (AL Marseille)

[1] AL No. 272 " Turkey: The Constitutionalized Dictatorship of Forceps "

[2] AL No. 269 " Syria: After Aleppo, against all tyrants "

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