(John Kerry arrives in Moscow for talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin; https://www.rt.com/op-edge/351310-obama-offer-russian-cooperation-syria/)
Veteran international journalist, Finian Cunningham, in a recent oped, wonders if the Obama administrations’s latest offer of cooperation between Washington and Moscow in Syria is too good to be true:
Throughout, despite the Western media disinformation campaign, the Kremlin has remained steadfast in its stated mission: To defend the sovereign state of Syria from an array of terror groups.
And quagmire this ain’t. Russia’s military forces, with relatively few losses, have transformed the five-year war in Syria, helping the Syrian army to put the illegally armed militants decisively on the defensive. Syrian state forces have recaptured huge swathes of territory, and the once seemingly formidable head-chopping jihadists and their so-called Caliphate are staring at defeat.
It may be too early to declare “mission accomplished” for Russia. But the situation on the ground certainly vindicates Putin’s strategy.
US media reports quote US officials as saying that the al-Qaeda-linked jihadists are telling their cadres that the Caliphate is on the brink of collapse. Significantly, too, this is also the context in which Turkey has shifted to a conciliatory position towards Russia and is even proffering a normalization of relations with Syria.
Washington and its regional allies, including Turkey, appear to be tacitly admitting that the covert military operation that they have been fueling for regime change in Syria is all but lost.
This is the context by which to read the latest “offer” from the Obama administration to Russia for military cooperation in Syria. After months of deprecating Russia’s intervention and stubbornly refusing to coordinate “anti-terror” efforts, Washington now appears to be reaching out to assist Russia.
….Leaving aside the question about whether Russia really needs “US assistance” in pursuing its own very effective anti-terror operation, the giveaway condition being demanded by Washington is that it wants the Russian-Syrian offensive to be curtailed. And that is the issue.
Western media claims that terror groups like Nusra and Daesh [ISIS] are “embedded” with “moderate rebels” is a charade. The inference is that the “mingling” is an unfortunate accident, whenever in reality there is negligible distinction between most of the illegally armed groups.
What Washington wants therefore in its “offer for cooperation” is to insert some form of restraint over what is an otherwise successful Russian-Syrian anti-terror campaign – a campaign that has salvaged Syria from a foreign-backed covert war for regime change.
The other giveaway to Washington’s real agenda is the second condition for its “cooperation”. Radio Free Europe reports:“Washington also wants Russia to help start a political transition that would ultimately end the Assad family’s four-decade reign.”
In other words, Obama’s “Syria plan” is less about cooperating with Russia to “defeat terror groups” and all about inveigling Russia to assist unwittingly in its overarching strategic objective of regime change in Syria.
Things looked pretty iffy in Turkey going into the weekend as an attempt was made to oust president Erdogan. It now appears that the coup attempt failed. Here are two analyses presenting somewhat different takes on the coup. The first is from Alexander Mercouris at The Duran. He believes the U.S. had no involvement and that the entire Turkish military supported the failed coup. His analysis can be read at:
The second is from Tyler Durden at ZeroHedge who argues that it was essentially a false flag operation to provide a smokescreen for Erdogan to crack down on critics in the judiciary and other government institutions amid reports of purges of thousands of judges. That analysis can be read at:
The Young Turks had an interesting discussion about the attempted coup as it was unfolding: