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    Syrian Peace Impossible Until West 'Stops Funding Terrorists on the Ground'

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    Despite the ceasefire reached during the Munich talks last week, the Turkish government is doing everything it can to escalate tensions in Syria. Speaking to Radio Sputnik’s Brian Becker, journalist Hafsa Kara Mustafa explains Ankara’s true motives and Washington’s focus on removing Assad.

    "For the past 18 months we’ve been told and sold the idea that ISIS is the greatest threat to humanity," political analyst Hafsa Kara Mustafa tells Loud & Clear, using an alternate term for Daesh. "And yet, when a country such as Russia joins the Syrian Army to help defeat this very dangerous organization.

    "Which begs the question, is it really the greatest threat to humanity, or actually does it serve many interests, in particular Western countries?"

    Kara Mustafa points to the "accidental" arming of Daesh militants, as well as the fierce criticism of the Russian air campaign, one of the few strategies that have proven effective against the terrorist group.

    "So really ISIS seems to have very, very strong friendships and connections with Western governments," she says. "Is there really a genuine desire to see ISIS defeated?"

    As Western powers publicly call for the defeat of Daesh, key US allies Turkey and Saudi Arabia are pushing for a ground war to go after Kurdish forces and remove Syrian President Bashar al-Assad from power. According to Kara Mustafa, these conflicting goals are further evidence of the West’s collusion with the terrorist group.

    "The only target of this campaign is Assad. Everyone – all the parties other than Russia, and of course Iran and Hezbollah, to a lesser extent – everyone wants to see Assad go."

    The Syrian president’s ability to hang on to power for years after the West predicted his downfall is an embarrassment to Western governments.

    "What you’re seeing is all these countries are actually collaborating in a bid to weaken Syria, to weaken the Syrian Army, and in a bid, obviously, to force Assad to be removed."

    While world leaders met in Munich last week to negotiate a peace agreement, that may have been an act.

    "All parties need to feel and appear relevant. The reality is, deep down, no one wants to see an end to this conflict," she says. "Certainly not the Syrian opposition, which has been funded and supported by Western governments, and which has spent the bulk of the past five years in cushy hotels and in the comfort of Western capitals, far away from the conflict.

    "No one respects the will of the Syrian people who have continuously said they want to remain led by Assad, and therefore this is merely theatrics. Theatrics to show there is some sort of diplomatic thing going on."

    Turkey and Saudi Arabia’s push for a ground invasion coincides with its 

    insistence on establishing a no-fly zone, a situation that could protract the conflict even further.

    "While no one wants [a] grand-scale clash – which would be Biblical, almost – no one wants peace, either," Kara Mustafa says. "My worry is that we will be having this exact same discussion even a year from now."

    The only thing that could truly bring an end to the violence in Syria is for the West to stop backing terrorism.

    "The Saudis, the Qataris, the Americans, and Western nations [must] stop funding and supporting, in any way shape or form, either the opposition or, in fact, the terrorists on the ground," she says.

    "As long as all these powers continue to back the terrorists, directly or indirectly, it’s going to be very difficult for Assad, I’m afraid."

    Related:

    Kerry to Discuss Syria Conflict, Daesh With Polish FM in Washington
    Turkey Still Looking for NATO Allies to Start Ground Campaign in Syria
    Lavrov Says No-Fly Zone Over Syria 'Turkish Initiative, Not Merkel's
    Tags:
    Syrian peace talks, Syrian conflict, NATO, Daesh, Bashar al-Assad, Hafsa Kara Mustafa, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Syria, United States
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