09:21 GMT +320 February 2017
    Syrian Arab Army troops take part in a rally in Tarus in support of the Russian Aerospace Force operation in Syria

    Out to Win: Why Syria Ceasefire Deal is a Huge Victory for Russia

    © Sputnik/ Dmitriy Vinogradov
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    The Syria ceasefire agreement concluded between Washington and Moscow does not bring an end to the war, and yet this is a huge victory for Russia, The Saker writes, adding that it is now fair to say that the Russian approach toward Syrian affairs "has won."

    On February 22 Russia and the United States reached a compromise on the Syrian ceasefire. The agreement is due to come into force on February 27.

    The deal envisages however, that the parties on the ground will continue their fight against Daesh, al-Nusra Front and al-Qaeda affiliated groups.

    In the recent interview with Radio Sputnik Larry Johnson, retired CIA intelligence officer and State Department official, said that he is "not optimistic" about the upcoming 'cessation of hostilities.'

    "The Syrian army with the backing of Russia and Iran is operating very effectively and retaking significant swats of territory from the terrorists and pushing them towards Turkey. I don't see why Syria would go for the ceasefire now when the situation is working out to their advantage," Johnson told Sputnik.

    However, The Saker, an anonymous US military analyst, does not share such a stance. He believes that the agreement is a huge victory for Russia.

    "The recent agreement between the USA and Russia really solves nothing, it does not even end the war, and both sides are expressing a great deal of caution about its future implementation.  And yet, this is a huge victory for Russia. While it is too early to say that 'the Russians won in Syria,' I think that it is now fair to say that the Russian position on Syria has won," The Saker writes in his analysis for The Unz Review.

    Firstly, there are no more claims that Damascus should be taken over and Bashar al-Assad ousted, The Saker notes, adding that it means that everybody has recognized that the Syrian Arab Republic has repelled the aggression of the Western coalition created to topple the legitimate Syrian leader.

    The "Assad must go" rhetoric has become a thing of the past, whether Hillary Clinton likes it or not.

    Secondly, the UN Security Council and the US have been forced to ultimately separate the wheat from the chaff and admit that the vast majority of Islamists fighting against Bashar al-Assad are by no means "moderates."

    ​"If you look at the organizations which the UNSC has already declared as 'terrorists' then you already have an absolute majority of the anti-Assad forces," the military analyst stresses.

    It means that the moral legitimacy of the anti-Assad forces lies in tatters, he underscores.

    Turkish soldiers on a tank sit opposite the Syrian town of Ain al-Arab, known as Kobane by the Kurds, at the Turkish-Syrian border in the southeastern Turkish village of Mursitpinar, Sanliurfa province (File)
    Turkish soldiers on a tank sit opposite the Syrian town of Ain al-Arab, known as Kobane by the Kurds, at the Turkish-Syrian border in the southeastern Turkish village of Mursitpinar, Sanliurfa province (File)

    Thirdly, regardless of Recep Tayyip Erdogan's warmongering stance, it has already become clear that neither NATO nor even the Turkish military command want to unleash a war against Russia's forces in Syria.

    "Erdogan's gamble has not paid off and that his entire Syria policy is now comprehensively dead," the analyst emphasizes, adding that now the Turkish leader is being regarded as a troublemaker by the international community.

    Furthermore, the 'no-fly zone' agenda championed by Erdogan and US neocons is not relevant anymore. The ceasefire agreement states clearly that anybody not respecting the deal is a legitimate target for destruction.

    "Fifth: the USA had to accept the humiliation of having to agree to all of the Russian terms for the current ceasefire. Yes, of course, the US can, and probably will, try to renege on part, or all, of this agreement, but the precedent has been set and it will be very hard, if not impossible, for the US to openly return to the pre-2016 policies," The Saker continues.

    While in the beginning of the Russian air campaign in Syria the Pentagon firmly refused to share intelligence information with the Russians, now Moscow and Washington are working together on the map to designate where the participants of the ceasefire are located and where those who have not been included in the deal are being deployed.

    Moreover, incredible as it may seem Russia has engaged the so-called "Free Syrian Army" in their military fold.   

    "How? By basically forcing every single faction in Syria to choose between one of two possible statuses: being a 'terrorist' (and a fair target for destruction) or being a participant in a political process," the analyst explains, adding that Russia is opening a "Truce Center" at the Hmeymim airbase.

    In addition, Moscow has established a partnership with Kurdish fighters in the region.

    "I would never have guessed that the Russians could have achieved so much with so little and yet they did pull off this extremely dangerous gamble and they won.  Only an extremely skillful combination of military, economic, diplomatic and political means could have yielded such a remarkable result but Putin, apparently, found this perfect mix," The Saker concludes.


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    diplomatic victory, moderate Syrian rebels, Jihadists, ceasefire, The Syrian war, NATO, Daesh, Syrian Arab Army, Russian Aerospace Forces, Al-Nusra Front, al-Qaeda, Bashar al-Assad, Hillary Clinton, Vladimir Putin, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey, Syria, United States, Russia
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    • Jet fuel can't melt steel beams
      "Fifth: the USA had to accept the humiliation of having to agree to all of the Russian terms for the current ceasefire. Yes, of course, the USA can, and probably will, try to renege on part, or all, of this agreement, but the precedent has been set and it will be very hard, if not impossible, for the USA to openly return to the pre-2016 policies,"

      Sweet perfume of us rage!
    • avatar
      IF Russia fights Turkey, it will be very short. days. And I hope Russia gets Erdogan to a tribunal. And ask assistance to form a new government that be respectful.
      This is what will happen . But NATO is already on the side of Turkey sending air defenses. Meaning, is at par with what Turkey is doing and about to do. U.S MUST had communicate and there is a plan to assault Syria. Specially when Syria cannot defend herself against a NATO attack. France and Germany may engage Russia. hoping to down all Russia have in Syria fast and win near overnight. Then Arrest ASSAD , and kill him and his family. Like in Iraq.
      Forget about divide Syria. That maybe a Turkish ambition. Not U.S, or E.U.
      The best is to start intense attacks on border and kill all terrorists in the border to gain control and end the weapons give to opposition and terrorists.

      Illegal arming of terrorists or opposition MUST be part of cease fire agreement. And MUST cite the Int laws prohibiting such acts.
    • avatar
      I'm always wary of a winning / losing scenario. The loser often feels the need to change tactics and try again for their objective. So nothing is changed or settled. That there has a been a change in some ways, I agree, probably more along diplomatic lines and relations between Russia and other governments and that is a positive step in interactions at the regional and global level.
    • avatar
      I want to see the Saudis and the other gulf states be humiliated for financing the destruction of Libya and Syria.
    • Beady-eyed Insomniacin reply tomichael(Show commentHide comment)
      michael, So true. Therefore, there is no doubt the chessplaying team of Putin, have included in the small print, several small but delicious carrots....hanging from a stick. Something to see and work towards, but to be pulled away if the nonsense starts again. Would be keen to know what is being offered.
    • avatar
      michaelin reply toBeady-eyed Insomniac(Show commentHide comment)
      Beady-eyed Insomniac, as would many of us....:) Thanks
    • avatar
      Yes indeed, hats off to Russia. The have achieved so much while being demonized by the western media. So glad Russia exists, were it not for them the US would have wrecked the world, austerity and misery everywhere, except for the one percent of course.
    • avatar
      The war is far from over when you have plenty of jets stationed at Incirlik airbase in Turkey and some 1000 km from Syria you have a military maneuver taking place with 350.000 soldiers, more than 20.000 tanks and more than 2.500 jets from approx 20 different countries. Even worse that Kerry is talking to Turkey and Saudi-Arabia regarding boots on the ground in Syria. I'm sure that there is a deal to be struck behind the scenes where Syria is only a part of the game. Other stuff involves the lifting of the sanctions (look at Belarus), the willingness from NATO to talk to the Russian military. Somehow I still have a bad feeling because 350.000 soldiers and their equipment can only be stopped with nuclear weapons. I remember very well that the Russians put pressure on a Saudi prince in 2013 - if one terrorist attack happens to the wonderful Olympic games in Sotchi that there will be a nuclear retaliation to expect... this is unfortunately the only language these camel sh.... beduins understand.
    • avatar
      I dont understand the logic of "The Saker".
      Most of what he wrotes about Russia's progress in Syria would be so without the ceasefire and maybe even more impressive.

      As I have read, Assad did not like that ceasefire proposal (as in sports it will take put the Moment of his advances). But what did he have for a choice when Russia wants it. I see the cease fire as some try of the Russian leadership to go along with the US government. And maybe to prepare a political solution, which may or may not include Assad. Maybe the secret plan B was the reason for accepting the ceasefire idea.

      And about Hillary:
      'The "Assad must go" rhetoric has become a thing of the past, whether Hillary Clinton likes it or not.'
      If Hillary becomes president she will not be impressed by what "The Saker" is imposing, she will just be much more driven than the retiring Obama. There could be much more trouble ahaed.
    • avatar
      I am not worry about Nota( let's calling it) stationing on the other side watching carefully to see how it can go through. But they will have to think carefully before starting a war with Russia, Iran, Syria and hezbolla. We all know that the war is not about revolution or democracy or we will could see the same thing happening in israel where one group is killing its neighbor and the west is silent.
      The S400 has been very patient, it is still waiting for the moment.
    • avatar
      Hopefully this is going to work out. Reading one of the Swedish newspapers, they mentioned that around 370 000 have died since 2011 and that is more than the total population of Iceland. Anyway the Swedish foreign minister wants to keep the country neutral, i.e. free from NATO membership and is into more clear distinction of the neutral policy. So hopefully people are getting more aware of the destruction forces of NATO. This information is from a local social democratic newspaper's editorial.
    • avatar
      Ceasefire is, before all, victory for those lucky ones who are still alive in Syria.
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