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Border army suits US goals in Syria: Russian experts

US announcement about forming border army in Syria is a signal for Russia, Turkey, Iran that this is now their territory

Web editor: Yuksel Serdar Oguz   | 16.01.2018
Border army suits US goals in Syria: Russian experts Trucks carrying US military equipment arrives in Al-Hasakah, Syria on July 10, 2017.

By Elena Teslova


The U.S. is pursuing several goals by forming a border army in Syria, Russian experts told Anadolu Agency on Tuesday.

On Sunday, the U.S.-led coalition spokesman Ryan Dillon announced the plan to establish a 30,000-strong new border security force with the SDF -- the U.S.-backed group that is largely controlled and manned by the PKK/PYD terrorist organization in Syria.

Dillon mentioned that this army will be provided with both theoretical and technical information as well as military training and high-tech equipment.

Commenting on this plan, Russian State Institute of Middle East expert Sergey Balmasov said the U.S. announcement about forming a border army is a signal for Russia, Turkey and Iran that this is now their territory and they are ready to act firmly.

Balmasov said that by forming such a zone, the Americans want to pursue several goals in Syria.

“First, they show that they continue to influence the situation and preserve the image of a ‘strong leader’.

“Secondly, they need this area to establish a base from where they can monitor the surrounding area, prevent Assad from bringing back the control over Syria and protect the SDF, that is fairly the Syrian offshoot of the PKK -- from attacks," the expert said.

Balmasov believes that under American rule “irregular partisan groups” can be transformed into something bigger.

Given that the Kurds captured a sufficient number of gas and oil deposits, they will have their own financial resources for the organization of state in future, he added.

Kurds as pressure tools

"Of course, the United States know that Turkey is disappointed by their actions.

“But Washington holds that Turkey's interests should be confined to Turkish borders, and the U.S. interests extend to the whole world.

“And even the fact that the two countries are partners in NATO does not stop the U.S. Their answer is always standard -- the union is the union, but do not blackmail us by that," Balmasov said.

About why the U.S. was choosing to arm the Kurds, political scientist Anatoly Nesmiyan stated they were chosen because they are a tool to apply pressure on many countries; the U.S. is creating problems for all regional players by relying on the Kurds.

"We are talking about the actual separation of Syria, not legally, of course, because even the Americans would hardly ever admit such a state as Kurdistan,” Nesmiyan said.

He said first and foremost, such a policy is directed against Iran.

“But it's also against Turkey. Turkey is too independent, according to Washington, and that irritates Americans a lot and makes them search for ways to keep Ankara on the hook."

But how does Russia see the role of Syrian Kurds?

An indication of Russia’s viewpoint on the issue was given during the annual news conference of Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov Monday, when he said Kurds consist of a significant part of Syrian population and, thus, their interests have to be considered in the course of political settlement.

But Russia stands blankly and resolutely for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria, Lavrov said. 

Aim to divide Syria

Meanwhile, Nesmiyan said only a military operation could change the situation because the SDF would hardly return from this territory voluntarily.

Boris Dolgov, an expert at the Russian State Institute of Oriental studies and senior researcher at the Centre for Arab and Islamic studies, agreed and separation of Syria was one of the main goals of the U.S. from the very beginning.

At first, they put their stakes on radicals but after the terrorists were defeated, they started to support separatists, Dolgov said.

"The goal is to divide Syria, if not overthrow the leadership of Syria, then to leave American troops and to have an army loyal to the United States and Israel.

“Separating Syria, the U.S. plans to solve several problems.

“Syria is one of Iran's allies and Iran is an opponent for U.S., but primarily for Israel.

“In addition, Syria supports Hezbollah, which is also fighting against Israel. If Syria will be separated or destroyed as a state, Iran and Hezbollah will lose support, and the U.S. will get a base to undermine the situation in other states.

“Primarily in Iran but in other neighboring states too," he said.

This is very dangerous, he warned, because such actions would meet considerable resistance and consequently lead to further aggravation of the situation in the region.

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