Sputnik interviews The Saker on Syria

Sputnik interviews The Saker on Syria from The Saker

Below  is the original Q&A of the interview I had with Sputnik on Monday.

Sputnik: What is behind Donald Trump’s decision to end the CIA covert program to arm the so-called “Syrian rebels”? How will it affect US positions in Syria? Will it help the Syrian Arab Army to defeat al-Qaeda and Daesh and restore the country’s sovereignty?

The Saker: I believe that the Americans have finally given up, at least temporarily, on the “good terrorists” (aka the Free Syrian Army) because they simple have run out of options. Militarily, the coalition of Syria-Iran-Russia-Hezbollah is winning, Daesh are on the ropes, as for the “good terrorists” they have (correctly) concluded that they are much better off taking the deal Russia has offered to them through the negotiations process than to be eliminated alongside the Daesh hardliners.

Sputnik: Meanwhile, the Kurdish-dominated SDF, backed by the US, continues to gain ground in northern Syria. Is it possible that the suspension of the CIA covert program is simply the way to strengthen the Pentagon’s positions in Syria? (It was earlier reported that there had been repeated clashes between the Pentagon-backed SDF and the CIA-backed Syrian militants). Does Trump’s move mean that he is seeking more support from the DoD while trying to diminish the CIA’s power?

The Saker: The Kurds are the only possible candidates for the role of “boots on the ground” for the USA. It is therefore no wonder that the Americans would try to use them in some way. That, in turn, implies that the Americans must give the Kurds *something*, such as a promise of some kind of more or less independent Kurdistan, to entice them to play this role. Furthermore, the Kurds are the only combat-capable force which is not part of the Syria-Iran-Russia-Hezbollah coalition and that also makes them an extremely attractive potential ally for the USA. The problem is that nobody, not Turkey, not Syria, not Iraq and not Iran, want any type of independent Kurdistan, especially not a de jure independent one. So the Kurds are only fighting in Syria as long as the big guys (Turkey, Iran, Syria) are willing to tolerate this. But if they overplay their hand they will be stopped.

Sputnik: What do you think about the Kurds’ attempts to hold a local election in Rojava? Will the Trump administration support the Kurdish aspirations for independence? Is Washington still planning to implement the so-called “Kerry’s plan B” aimed at splitting Syria up? How could this be avoided?

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