The Iraqi Security Forces, the “Golden Eagles” have pushed deeply into eastern Mosul, while the same Shiite Iraqi Forces and the Kurdish Peshmerga fighters operate both in the East and, especially, in the South of the peripheral area of the city.
The operations of both corps take place after the Iraqi Counter Terrorism Service and the Ninth Division of the Iraqi Forces “cleaning” particularly eastern Mosul, the ancient Kurdish capital city.
ISIS responds to these operations with several snipers, many suicide bombings and, in some areas, heavy artillery so as to secure the centre of Mosul and react to the Iraqi and Peshmerga attacks.
The city, however, has been encircled while the Kurdish Peshmerga have reconquered Bashiqa, precisely when ISIS has attacked Shirqat and, meanwhile, the US-supported Syrian Democratic Forces have been operating to conquer Raqqa, the “capital city” of Al Baghdadi’s Caliphate, after its encirclement.
But nothing prevents ISIS from reconnecting with the city of Qaim – still held by the Caliph’s followers – starting from Dair El-Zour.
This could lead to a partial encirclement of the Kurdish and Iraqi troops.
Hence the United States must confine themselves to supporting the operations against ISIS beyond Mosul, in the valley beyond the Euphrates river.
Now the Caliphate could lock itself into very small safe areas and launch operations from there designed to recreate a cover area and a new “Caliphate” near Turkey and well inside Iraq.
This brief summary of the operations on the ground provides us the whole picture of the Middle East after the end of the operations against the Caliph.
Moreover the United States operate closely with Turkey, with which – as maintained by the Joint Chief of Staff, General Dunford – they “will conquer and rule Raqqa”.
In other words, in close connection with the United States, Turkey will control most of the former ISIS territory which, however, has been reconquered by the Kurdish and Iraqi militants and fighters.
Hence we may think of a new Kurdistan between Syria and Iraq, clearly separated from the Kurdish Anatolian region, in the former Syrian territory of which Turkey will be stationed.
Hence the increasingly likely splitting up of Syria, with north-east areas controlled by Turkey, the coastal “Alawistan” protected by Russia, the autonomous Sunni centre, obviously without Bashar al-Assad’s minority government and a “small Syria” on Iran’s borders, possibly always under Assad’s rule and command.
It seems a rational solution, but it is fraught with great dangers.
Turkey will use the areas conquered with the United States in the old “Caliphate” to join forces with the Turkish-born populations in Central Asia, thus intersecting and possibly hindering the interests of Iran and the Russian Federation.
On the other side, in the North East, there are the Syrian and Russian forces that are penetrating the Raqqa area, and there may be a clash between the Syrian “Democratic” forces, Turkey and the United States and the Russian and Syrian forces of Bashar el-Assad’s regime.
Hence the border between the two “worlds”, Russia and the United States, with their proxies and their various forces on the ground, will pass through Northern Syria.
Furthermore the United States are likely to do their utmost to replace the “Caliphate” with an autonomous government of the “Syrian Democratic Forces”, basically the new jihadists supporting the United States.
Therefore it would not be unreasonable to think of an autonomous entity, in the former ISIS region, made up of these strange “democratic” forces which, by managing the territory against Russia, the Iraqi Kurds, the Turks and especially Assad’s Syrians, would permanently break the unity of the old Alawites’s Syria, which is the legacy of the careful French colonialism.
The jihadists, ISIS “bad” residues, would flee to the West and to China, in the future – as they have already partially done – for their new jihad of “lone wolves”.
Conversely, the Russian Federation is paying its attention primarily Damascus and Aleppo.
In mid-November the aircraft carrier “Admiral Kuznetsov” will reach Syria’s Mediterranean coast with new Su-33 and MiG 29 jet fighters equipped with high precision ammunition and Ka-52 attack helicopters.
In addition to this aircraft carrier, there is a squadron with at least three submarines equipped with very powerful and high-precision Kalibr missiles, those previously used in Syria by the Russian ships of the Caspian Sea.
As we have already noted, these weapons will support Assad’s Syrian forces again in Aleppo and Damascus, but Russia now doubts that the Syrian war is a way to impose Russia’s global presence or that it can anyway provide the possibility of a stable coalition with Westerners.
The Russian aircraft carrier will support Assad in his fight against jihadist forces, even the pro-US ones around Aleppo, after having partially slowed down the air missions in relation to the US and EU sanctions.
If tension in Aleppo and Damascus mounts, Russia will start again to systematically bomb the jihadists’ areas, even outside the above mentioned cities.
Furthermore both Putin and Bashar el-Assad are increasingly sure of their victory in the “central” region of the old Syria.
Hence, with a view to simplifying and summarizing, during and after the Syrian conflict the United States will penetrate the Middle East terrestrial system so as to control Russia, the Alawite Syria, Iran and the Kurdish region.
It some sort of alliance between Russia and Turkey is possible, where Turkey feels isolated by the old EU system, the United States will then propose a bilateral alliance to Turkey so as to “keep” the Middle East, also beyond NATO obligations, which are valid only for those who believes in them.
Hence Russia will keep the Mediterranean coast of Syria for itself, with the maximum Syrian land to be granted to its ally Bashar el-Assad, that will serve as area protecting the Russian presence.
Russia wants to massively return to the Middle East region, which is Europe’s key region and the Northern axis of oil and gas passage, while Russia holds also the Southern one, with Crimea and Ukraine.
The United States, too, want to have a certain presence in the same region, which should primarily be an alternative to the alliance with Israel.
Although minimally participating to the air strikes against “terrorist” Syria and Assad’s Shiite Syria, Great Britain knows that the Syrian Free Soldiers, who the United States even estimate to be 70,000, are a US umbrella of jihadist groups dissolved years ago.
Therefore Great Britain could propose itself as a mediator for substantial peace between the many national groups operating in the Syrian war, possibly ceasing to follow the American ally’s advice.
Saudi Arabia and Qatar, with a substantial Turkish contribution, have created the Army of Conquest in Syria, by mainly taking jihadists from the Al Nusra Front, the Qaedist area of Syria. Great Britain, however, is recreating – especially through China – a climate suitable for serious negotiations on Syria, based on the fact that it has scarcely contributed to every Western action in Syria.
What about Israel? The Jewish State has always regarded Syria’s presence on the Golan Heights and its support for the Lebanese Hezbollah as an immediate and primary danger.
Hence the crisis of Bashar el-Assad’s regime in Syria’s civil war has led to some sort of tranquillity for Israel on the Golan front, also enhanced by the new relationship that Israel has experienced with Putin’s Russia.
Nevertheless the presence of Iran and of the Lebanese “Party of God” in the Syrian context is a further factor of danger for the Israeli armed forces.
The variable is the new relationship with Russia, which regards both the exchange of military intelligence and, probably, Russia’s interest in separating the contenders in the Syrian quagmire and its immediate borders – by ultimately replacing the United States as primary partner of the Jewish State.
Hence Syria’s destabilization unless, in a not too distant future, a true peace conference is organized, will be the way in which – unlike what happened in the past – the stupid European Union will be in direct contact with the “permanent sword jihad”, having only a thin Russian-Alawite line on the Syrian Mediterranean coast as defence.
Quos Deus perdere vult, dementat.
GIANCARLO ELIA VALORI
Honorable de l’Académie des Sciences de l’Institut de France