Led by Saudi Arabia, the Islamic coalition intends to take an active part in the fight against “Islamic state” in Syria and Iraq. There is a danger that in this way the Gulf States will try to impose the partition of Syria on favorable terms.
Advisor to the Minister of defense of Saudi Arabia General Ahmed Asiri said in a Sunday interview to TV channel Sky News Arabia that the military coalition of Arab and Muslim countries, formed by Saudi Arabia, are ready to join forces with the Alliance led by the United States in the fight against the terrorist group “Islamic state*” in Syria and Iraq.
“In the interests of Russia and Syria are now on their own in the shortest possible time to clean up the country from “Islamic state”
His statement came amid the ongoing in Riyadh and the meeting of the chiefs of staff of 14 countries participating in the coalition led by Washington. “The next step for the Islamic military coalition will help in the elimination of ISIS* raqqa and Mosul”, – transfers words of the Saudi military TASS. The General also noted that the fight against terrorists is being conducted and abroad, answering the question about the possible involvement of coalition forces in operations against ISIS into Libya and other countries.
We will remind that Saudi Arabia announced the creation of an Islamic military coalition in December 2015. The composition of this military bloc consists of 34 Muslim countries. Formally, it is formed “to fight against ISIS and global terrorism.” According to media reports, the new structure was headed by former commander of land forces of Pakistan, General raheel Sharif.
On The Eve Of Astana
It is significant that on January 23, is scheduled to meet in Astana on the Syrian conflict. As informs RIA “news”, it will be attended by representatives of numerous armed opposition groups, which have to achieve certainty on the situation on the ground. It is known that the main initiators of the meeting were Russia, Iran and Turkey, however, it is not clear what other countries will take part in the negotiations.
Earlier, the Turkish foreign Minister Cavusoglu said in an interview with the Turkish channel “Anatolia”, that Ankara and Moscow have jointly decided to invite for talks in Astana representatives of the United States.
However, on Saturday, a source in Moscow said that the negotiations on the format of the meeting in Astana continues, and while it is impossible to make statements about the composition of its participants. “Negotiations on the format of the meeting in Astana was not completed, in the sun, so any statements about the participants to make inappropriate”, – transfers words of the source “Interfax”.
Recall that in late December, documents were signed between the Syrian government and the armed opposition ceasefire in Syria. In addition, the President of Russia Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan agreed to propose to the conflicting parties in Syria to continue peace talks at a new venue in Astana. The President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev, in turn, supported the initiative.
Against this background, the involvement of new players in the Syrian conflict can be viewed as a desire to participate in the negotiations, and how the fear of being late to the partition of the Syrian pie.
“The Saudis and their allies want to participate in the division of Syria”
The scientist-orientalist Alexander Sotnichenko, commenting on the newspaper VIEW, the decision of the Islamic coalition to participate in the operation against ISIS, said that Saudi Arabia and other countries of the so-called Islamic coalition really took and take part in the international coalition against terrorism and “Islamic state” in particular. “However, their participation in the coalition was limited to only a few combat missions, while in areas where it is profitable to them. So, the flights were made in Libya, and several times was plotted bomb attacks in Iraq. Now the US and its allies is beneficial to attract foreign forces to first divide Syria. The intensification of the Islamic coalition can say that they want to keep up to the division”, – the expert believes.
In General, however, many did not think that those countries are ready to join the Americans and help them in a real fight. “Saudi Arabia and many of its allies (in particular UAE) is now involved in the conflict in Yemen. Other countries either have disabilities, either as Qatar, “retired”, and now almost do not take part in the Syrian crisis. To connect to a ground operation, these countries can only be, if they will be given serious pressure from the United States,” he explained.
In addition, the orientalist said that currently in operation on capture of Raqqa involved representatives of Democratic forces – it is mainly the Kurds and supporting the Arab tribes. “They are not interested to fight on land shoulder to shoulder with the armies of the countries of the Gulf, which was previously one of the main sponsors of ISIS. The same can be said about the Kurds and the Shiite militia of Iraq. To speak of a land presence in the Islamic coalition in Syria and Iraq is unlikely,” – says Sotnichenko. According to him, most likely, in the case of activation it will be about increasing the number of air strikes, but in General the situation, they will not affect seriously.
“As soon as possible to destroy ISIS in Syria on our own”
However, the orientalist believes that the real risk for Syria is if the Iraqi group ISIS will be relatively quickly destroyed. “In this case, the coalition forces, with US support, and just the Gulf countries can cross the Iraqi-Syrian border and to launch an offensive against the DAIS from East to West. Thus, they would then control a significant part of the territory of Syria, which they refuse to turn over control of the Syrian government”, – the expert predicts.
In any case, says Sotnichenko, Russia and the Syrian Arab army should seriously reflect on those who will free ISIS from Syria. “If it will make the Kurds supported the U.S. in this case, the country will become a Failed-state on Iraqi sample. The collapse of Syria and the ongoing civil war will be inevitable in the years ahead. In the case that the release will come from the East, from Iraq, forces of the Democratic Union, with the support of USA and the Gulf countries, it will also culminate in the partition of the country and departure from the Syrian leadership of most major oil fields around the city of Deir-ez-Zor, where, most likely, will be directed by the coalition forces in the event of a quick victory in Iraq,” – said the orientalist.
“It is therefore in the interests of Russia and Syria are now on their own in the shortest possible time to clean up the country from “Islamic state”, – summed up Sotnichenko.
* Organization in respect of which the court accepted entered into legal force decision on liquidation or ban the activities on the grounds stipulated by the Federal law “On countering extremist activity”