Any meaningful political resolution to the turmoil in the Middle East now seems more elusive than ever
Even in the context of a post-truth geopolitical environment run amok, Russian President Vladimir Putin telling his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani over the phone that any further Western strikes against Syria may “lead to chaos in international relations” should at least be seen for what it is; a massive understatement.
According to the Kremlin, Putin and Rouhani agreed that what cynics are calling the F.U.K.U.S. – or France, UK, US – strikes have damaged the chances of achieving any meaningful political resolution in Syria.
That translates into Putin and Rouhani acknowledging that Washington, London and Paris are pulling no punches to be back in the game, directly clashing with the painstaking Astana peace process led by Russia, Iran and Turkey.
Significantly, Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari remindedacting US Secretary of State John Sullivan, also over the phone, about “the necessity to prioritize finding a political solution and that the Syrian people alone should determine their own fate.”
This means essentially that the “4+1” – Russia, Syria, Iran, Iraq, plus Hezbollah – which were at the vanguard of destroying ISIS, or Islamic State, and other crypto-jihadi outfits in Syria, remain in synch. The counter-terror HQ of the “4+1” was in Baghdad. As much as Baghdad may harbor ideological divergences with Damascus, their common strategy is built upon the fight against Salafi-jihadis of all stripes.
Iraq, alongside Lebanon, was one of the very few nations across the Middle East that condemned the US-UK-France strikes. The GCC petrodollar club – led by the House of Saud – predictably supported it, as their agenda never strayed away from regime change.
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