SHAFAQNA (International Shia News Association)-It is noticeable that the Russian role in the scene of the latest events in the Middle East these days is absent, at the time when the United States strongly returns back to Iraq and Syria as the ISIL organization rose and expanded in those two countries.
According to Russian sources in Paris, this public and interim Russian detachment will not exceed the end of October this year, the date of the parliamentary elections in Ukraine. Russia is planning, along with some of the Ukrainian figures, to weaken the power of the enemies of Moscow in the Ukrainian parliament as a prelude to weaken the Ukrainian President (Petro Poroshenko). Its aim is to reach a solution to the conflict in eastern Ukraine, after the Russian President stressed to a group of Ukrainian pro-Moscow (Oligarchs) that Russia refuses to annex eastern Ukraine and that it is affected much by the war therein, the same goes for the Ukrainians who are losing hundreds of millions of dollars due to the war in the Eastern areas, which are the center of industry in Ukraine.
In view of these developments, the Russian-Saudi contacts have been resumed, the sources said. They confirmed that Moscow, which suspended dialogue with Riyadh after the visit of the former intelligence chief Bandar bin Sultan to the Russian capital and his meeting with President Vladimir Putin, told Saudi Arabia that it had accepted to open a new communication channel via the Saudi Foreign Minister Saud Al-Faisal, who visited Moscow twice during the past few weeks.
As stated by them, al-Faisal informed the Russian side during his recent visit to Moscow about the new Saudi position on Syria to the effect that Riyadh does not want to overthrow the regime in Damascus, but it rather wants a change in the leadership, particularly in the presidency post. The sources added that the Saudi foreign minister repeated in front of the Russians the idea of a transitional government in Syria preceded by constitutional amendments that modify the powers of the president.
It seems in this regard that Saudi Arabia and some of its Western allies want to implement what they call the Iraqi model on Syria, when the understanding led to changing the presidency of the Iraqi government! The sources indicated that the Saudi Crown Prince Salman Bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud will visit Paris soon to discuss this issue, to coordinate the efforts with the French side, and to promote the plan internationally, especially with the Russian side. According to them, French President Francois Hollande’s call for convening an international conference in Paris under the title (Security in Iraq and the fight against ISIL) aims at raising this issue specifically.
Yet, the afore mentioned sources raised questions about the feasibility of the conference to fight ISIL, wondering what will Hollande do as long as he will refrain from dispatching soldiers to the battlefield and as long as he is unable to launch an air war against this organization? “Is he going to tell the attendees that the ISIL is a brutal organization?” The sources added that everybody knows this, for the real purpose of the conference is to open a new international bazaar that calls for the departure of President Assad and for the survival of the regime.
Given the absence of any clear strategy by the United States to counter the rising and expanding influence of the ISIL, the mechanism of action of the new Saudi-French plan about Syria does not seem to be viable because of the big difference between the two situations in Iraq and Syria, and all this comes at a time when tensions between Moscow and Paris ran high because of the European sanctions on Russia resulting from the war in Ukraine. In fact, this prevents any serious contact about the Syrian file between the two sides, as there are no signals referring to the possibility of an imminent improvement of relations.
The same sources said that Russia does not trust much America’s discourse about the ISIL war. They quoted a top-ranked American officer, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. (Martin Dempsey), as saying “The American military’s effort could take months, but will be limited, and all that we are really doing is painting over the rust”. “The American air strikes can affect the Turkish orientations, but cannot offset the inefficiency of others”. In the same context, it seems that the West is completely ignoring the situation of its allies in the Syrian opposition with regards to their field disintegration in front of the ISIL, and nothing new happened in the field to make the Syrian President, his Iranian allies, and Russia accept at this time the proposals that they rejected under more difficult and worse conditions.
ISIL’s film is a film with a long run-time and we are only watching the opening scenes in it.