16:52 GMT +3 hours24 May 2016
Servicemen of the Syrian army near the village of Salma, Latakia Province

With Russia's Help Syrian Army Will Soon Restore Sovereignty of the State

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Ekaterina Blinova

With the help of the Russian Air Force, the Syrian Army will be able to regain Syria's sovereignty, Ghassan Kadi, an expert in Mideast affairs told Sputnik, adding that the prospects of the Russo-Syrian military operation on the ground are good and looking good.

In an exclusive interview with Sputnik, Ghassan Kadi, a Syrian political analyst and expert in Mideast affairs, shared his views on the 100th anniversary of the Sykes-Picot agreement, and the role the Muslim Brotherhood is playing in the Syrian civil war, and the prospects of the Russo-Syrian military campaign

"I believe that with the help of Russia, the Syrian Army will be able to restore sovereignty throughout Syria," Kadi pointed out while answering the question on whether Bashar al-Assad has enough power and political tools to settle the conflict.

Erratic Erdogan

"Militarily speaking, the prospects on the ground are good and looking good. If [Recep Tayyip] Erdogan does not take another crazy gamble and does not widen the compass of this military conflict, then at least this phase of fighting Islamism militarily, and specifically in Syria, will probably come to an end soon," the expert told Sputnik.

Kadi's concerns are justified: the Russian Ministry of Defense has recently reported that it "registers a growing number of signs of hidden preparation of the Turkish Armed Forces for active actions on the territory of Syria."

Despite Washington's guarantees to Russia that the US-led coalition forces would follow the terms of Memorandum on Air Safety in Syria, inked on October 20, 2015, Turkey refused to confirm its commitment to the agreement, Russia's Deputy Minister of Defense Anatoly Antonov noted in an official statement.

​Previously, the Turkish Ministry of Defense refused to allow Russian specialists to carry out an observation flight over the territory of Turkey in accordance with Treaty on Open Skies, apparently to conceal illegal military activity on the Turkish-Syrian border.

Meanwhile, on Thursday, Saudi Arabia signaled its willingness to unleash a ground military operation in Syria, followed by statements from Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates supporting the initiative.

In response, Damascus announced that any ground intervention in Syria without the official agreement of the Syrian legitimate democratically-elected government would be seen as an act of military aggression.

The 100th Anniversary of the Sykes-Picot Agreement

US hawks are pressuring the Obama administration into launching an all-out military campaign in Syria and Iraq, and to open a "third" front in the war against Daesh (Islamic State/ISIL) in Libya.

"In a recent article I wrote which has not been published yet, I am predicting that the US will not help Erdogan if he decides to invade Syria and Iraq. If the US is indeed foolish enough to take this step with Russia on the scene, it would be risking a war between the superpowers, a war that will not only have effects on Baghdad and Damascus, but the entire world," Kadi told Sputnik.

"On the other hand, and going back to your first question here, if hopefully such a serious development does not eventuate and Syria and Iraq rise victorious, then it will be entirely up to them to decide their own destiny," the expert underscored.

Indeed, a hundred years ago the destiny of the Arab world was decided in London and Paris: under the notorious Sykes-Picot agreement the Middle Eastern borders were redefined by Europeans against Arabs' will.

Sykes-Picot agreement map
Sykes-Picot agreement map

Is it fair to say that it was the betrayal of the Arabs by Britain and France back in 1916 that resulted in the Syrian crisis? Or is the current Middle Eastern turmoil a result of a modern-day "conspiracy" aimed at redrawing the borders in favor of neo-colonialists?

"The simple answers to both of your questions are yes and yes, and I am not trying to evade answering your questions as asked, but Arabs must take responsibility for their actions and stop blaming their fate and misfortunes on 'external conspiracies'," Ghassan Kadi stresses.

It is time for the Syrians and the Iraqis to take their future in their own hands and protect their sovereignty, so that they cannot later blame the West or other external powers, the expert pointed out.

Daesh, Islamism and Sunni-Shiite Divide

There are lots of conflicts still simmering in the Muslim Arab world, including the Sunni-Shiite divide and violent Islamism. Some groups are fanning the flames to gain more power over their fellow believers.

One glaring example is the Muslim Brotherhood, an international Sunni Islamist organization.

According to a 2012 Defense Intelligence Agency's (DIA) document, the Muslim Brotherhood, along with al-Qaeda in Iraq and Salafists, instigated the Syrian crisis back in 2011 being one of the driving forces of the Syrian insurgency.

 What role is the Muslim Brotherhood playing in the Syrian conflict and elsewhere?

"This depends on what you mean by Muslim Brotherhood," Kadi noted.

"If you mean the organization that is rooted in Egypt, and which has later on established bases in the entire Levant including Syria and Lebanon, then one can say that the seemingly placid role that this organization has played created the foundation of indoctrination, which in itself was not violent, but one that lends itself to violence, needing only a tiny mutation," he elaborated.

"Without the Muslim Brotherhood, al-Qaeda and Daesh would not have come into existence. And whilst the organization named Muslim Brotherhood has always been at odds with its Wahhabi Salafist Saudi-based counterpart, they are all united by a Muslim Brotherhood, which inadvertently manifests itself by seeing members changing the organizations they belong to like changing socks. After all, Ayman Al-Zawahiri, the current al-Qaeda leader, was once a prominent Muslim Brotherhood member," the Syrian expert pointed out.

Fighters from Al-Qaeda's Syrian affiliate Al-Nusra Front drive in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo.
Fighters from Al-Qaeda's Syrian affiliate Al-Nusra Front drive in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo.

Remarkably, the Brotherhood played a huge role in the Arab Spring and continues to affect Arab world affairs.

The Islamist group hijacked the revolutionary movement in Egypt in 2011 and temporarily took power in the country. The Brotherhood's traces could be also found in Libya's violent uprising that resulted in the murder of Muammar Gaddafi.

It was a Muslim Brotherhood-led coalition "Libya Dawn" that seized the capital city of Tripoli, Libya, after being defeated in the country's 2014 parliamentary elections, and dragged the country into a protracted political crisis.

Interestingly enough, Turkish President Recep Erdogan has been cooperating with the Brotherhood since he assumed the position of prime minister back in 2003. His Justice and Development Party (AKP) established close ties with Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated parties in the Middle East, including Hamas, and the Brotherhood itself in Libya and Egypt.

Furthermore, the Brotherhood boasts a network of officially recognized organizations in Europe, including, for instance, Muslim Association of Britain (MAB) in Britain and Union des Organisations Islamiques (UOIF) in France, while the Federation of Islamic Organizations in Europe is considered to be a grouping of the most important European Brotherhood-led entities.

According to Kadi, the only proper remedy for Islamism and the dangerous divide within the Muslim world is a reform that only Muslims can do.

"There is a huge onus on Muslim clerics from both sides of the divide, to first and foremost reconcile, and secondly to renounce violence and present Islam as it really is, a religion that renounces coercion and violence," the expert told Sputnik.

Daesh's twisted ideology should be treated much in the same vein.

"The terrorist group can be eliminated only when the twisted ideology that feeds it becomes one that all Muslim clerics agree to be deemed as a perversion of Islam. Until this eventuates, if it does, Islamists will continue to embark on a holy transnational project of recruiting Muslim youth with the sole objective of coercing the entire world into either adopting Islam or submission," Kadi emphasized.

"The doctrine of violence cannot be crushed militarily. Nothing will prevent its recurrence or emergence in other parts of the globe other than reform and return to the real message of Islam," he concludes.

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Sunnis, Islamic extremism, radical Islam, Shiites, Islamists, The Syrian war, Daesh, Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), Muslim Brotherhood, Bashar al-Assad, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Anatoly Antonov, Libya, Turkey, Syria, United States, Russia
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  • patkelly1595
    I don't think Obama will widen the war in Syria. He is not up for re-election and therfore will not as sensitive to pressure from US warmongers.
    The next president however will be much more in line with the warmongers, many of whom don't really care about the US but are "Israeli firsters" and dual citizens. The though of lost lives and treasure does not bother them, as long as it us not theirs.
    So Russia and Syria have about a year left to really clean up Syria and secure the borders.
  • Is it because I am black?
    This double game has gone on too long. Where is the massive body count on the dead terrorists?. I do not believe Putin on this. They just take it in turns, and it should have been over by now. Do not tell us about bomb raids, let us know the body count?
  • elsa.zardiniin reply toIs it because I am black?(Show commentHide comment)
    Is it because I am black?, You might be interested in taking a look at Fars News Agency for very detailed daily accounts of war in Syria. Thousands of accounts, so far.
  • FlorianGeyer
    " Saudi Arabia signaled its willingness to unleash a ground military operation in Syria,"

    If that happens we could see a Perfumed Prostitute Saudi Prince leading Pink Poodles' into battle against Syrian Arab Army soldiers hardened and honed by 5 years of war.

    My money is on the Syrian Arab Army, lol.
  • art
    I am a little uncomfortable with this expert's disinclination to comment on the fact that the divisions are really not that theological and rather political, and the different groups become active on certain critical periods of time. For example Shi'ism splintering from Sunnism was an evolutionary development; Alawism splintering from Shi'ism was natural and evolutionary.

    But Moslem Brotherhood, Wahabism in Sunnism and Baha'ism in Shi'ism have not been theologically based splintering, but more political and tethered to British and Jewish intelligence plans.

    //Without the Muslim Brotherhood, al-Qaeda and Daesh would not have come into existence.//
    If this development was theologically based, why would it happen exactly when the West and Israel wanted to change the ME map? Why would Taliban movement (Wahabism) pop up when Soviets needed to be kicked out of Afghanistan?
  • Is it because I am black?in reply toelsa.zardini(Show commentHide comment)
    elsa.zardini, I looked at that, but it just confirms what I said, the Syrians and Russians are fighting the terrorists, but the results are either not there or not being told.
  • Jet fuel can't melt steel beamsin reply toart(Show commentHide comment)
    art, Well summed up!
  • jerrys57
    Russian is weaving a nice pattern of successes all across Syria, and the big blots on the landscape are turning into smaller ones, that will soon disappear under the relentless bombing and steady march of the Syrian army and others. Russia will not tolerate the undoing of this pattern from anyone.
  • michaelin reply toart(Show commentHide comment)
    art, thanks for clarifying that - appreciated. :)
  • cmat.wolfgang
    Very good article!
    Should be read by everyone who is interested in this conflict.
  • ivanwa88
    Essential for world peace and stability that Syria returns to peace and retains its sovereignty so well done so far so good! It is also essential Daesh is defeated and debunked! and as is happening the truth on how they came to be and why is exposed!
    Certainly the weapon of terror is being used to control on behalf of geopolitical aims of West.
    Clerics have a small but important part to play, it is Governments and UN that need to make a stand against 'Sharia Law' which is the spiritual and ideological foundation of using terror to achieve its collective aims. Sharia Law needs to be outlawed in no uncertain terms before progress can be made to stabilise the world again.
    The only other point I wish to make is the current crisis around the world are a result of sick mentality that has become obsessed and unrelenting! and is pushing madly towards a world war. Simply the difference this time to WW2 as both periods have strong parallels is the word 'Nukes' .
    Being driven by old imperialistic mentality, shows nothing has been learnt or adjusted as the people driving this obsession belong to a prehistoric age! the middle echelon driving the psychological stuff! are deeply flawed 25-45 year olds. Brought up in an age of drugs to solve all problems.
    By Russia standing up to face this monstrosity! they have given those driving relentlessly to war a chance to break off and get help!
    To those attacking websites with lies and deceit attacking Russia's world saving role I say 'you' are included in the above comment. Just for those who seek any opportunity to be destructive. I have in part qualifications in mental health from a analytical position.
    It is urgent time all stopped feeding this monster that wants to destroy all to gain their internal peace. That's the wrong peace! its "World Peace" we seek are you with us or against us!
  • pbecke
    When Turkey invades Syria, I wonder if we shall see a 'shock and awe', unparalleled by any force of arms displayed in the past. On the Russians' record up to now, I suspect we will.

    And the poor Saudi mercenaries will be feeling very uncomfortable at their Captain General's largesse in offering their services.
  • dna1991
    Aid the Houthis to bomb all the western cities of Saudi, damage all their infra and palaces. Till this is done, they will export terrorism.
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