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    French Admission That Assad Won War May Be Prelude to Aggression – Analyst

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    Over the weekend, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian explicitly told the national media that President Bashar Assad had won the war in Syria, but added that he had to "win the peace."

    Mani Mehrabi, an Iranian international affairs analyst and specialist on the war in Syria, suggested that the foreign minister's comments didn't serve as any indication of France's intentions.

    "After the terrorists were weakened in Aleppo province, Idlib became their main haven. Since then, this province was turned into a 'red line' for the UK, the US, France and Turkey: Every time the Syrian government and its allies made plans to clear the province of terrorists, it was attacked by these Western powers," Mehrabi explained, speaking to Sputnik Iran.

    In this Thursday Dec. 9, 2010 file photo, Syria President Bashar al-Assad addresses reporters following his meeting with French President Nicolas Sarkozy at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France.
    © AP Photo / Remy de la Mauviniere
    Paris, the political observer recalled, threatened to attack Syria if the latter used chemical weapons in March 2018; soon after, Le Drian defended the Western coalition's cruise missile strikes, carried out on April 14, 2018, on the basis of what was later proven to have been a false flag chemical attack coordinated by the White Helmets.

    After that, Mehrabi noted, "Le Drian formally warned Assad against the introduction of Syrian forces into Idlib province, and emphasized that the Idlib problem could only be resolved through political means. The 'political process,' in the opinion of Le Drian, includes a compromise between the Syrian government and the forces of Tahrir al-Sham* and the effective transfer of the northern provinces to terrorist groups," the analyst stressed.

    Ulterior Motives

    Ultimately, the observer suggested that far from recognizing Damascus's victory and thereby helping to bring the long foreign-sponsored war in Syria closer to an end, Le Drian's remarks were aimed at sending "two misguided messages" to the world.

    "The first is that the civil war in the country is over, and that the means to dividing the country should remain in their present form," the analyst said. "The second aims to suggest that the Syrian government seeks to attack the losers of the war after its conclusion, to settle scores and organize a genocide."

    The sliver of truth in the foreign minister's statement, according to Mehrabi, is that the coalition of Western powers has failed to achieve its goals through military action. That, unfortunately, does not mean that the coalition will cease pressuring Syria, from within the United Nations and by orchestrating armed aggression, the Iranian observer concluded.

    This week, amid warnings by Syrian and Russian military officials that Tahrir al-Sham may stage a provocation in Idlib involving chemical weapons to evoke a Western response, the White House warned that Washington and its allies would "respond swiftly and appropriately" to any chemical weapons use by the Syrian government. Earlier, President Trump warned President Assad not to "recklessly attack" Idlib and said Russia and Iran would be making a "grave humanitarian mistake" if they took part.

    * Tahrir al-Sham, aka al-Nusra Front, aka al-Qaeda in Syria, is a terrorist group outlawed in Russia and many other countries. Al-Qaeda has carried out terrorist attacks all around the world and was responsible for the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York City and Washington, D.C., which killed nearly 3,000 Americans.

    Mani Mehrabi is a member of the Tehran-based Academic Council of the Scientific Center for International Relations. The views and opinions expressed by Dr. Mehrabi are those of the analyst and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

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    expert analysis, remarks, analysis, Bashar al-Assad, Jean-Yves Le Drian, Idlib, Syria, United States, United Kingdom, France
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