Middle East

Q&A: Latest Political Developments in Syria


It was published that America and Turkey signed an agreement to train the so-called moderate members… Does this mean that America is about to find an alternate to Bashar, thus it is preparing a suitable force on ground to support him, in addition to air support? Or is it just to buy time with training for a year or two… until America finds an alternative? In other words, does this mean that the alternative is close so they are preparing support for him, or is the alternative far, so they are buying time in training to prepare the alternative? May Allah سبحانه وتعالى reward you.


In order to clarify the answer we will review the US position and the moves carried out with the countries in the region:

1. Obama said in the State of the Union address, “We’re also supporting a moderate opposition in Syria that can help us in this effort, and assisting people everywhere who stand up to the bankrupt ideology of violent extremism. This effort will take time. It will require focus.” He also said, “Instead of sending large ground forces overseas, we’re partnering with nations from South Asia to North Africa to deny safe haven to terrorists who threaten America. (https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/01/20/president-obamas-state-union-address-prepared-delivery 20/01/2015)

It is clear from these statements that the United States does not want to delve in the previous attempt which was sending a large force to the area, but wants to harness the region’s countries and constitute forces from the people of the region called moderate or centrist forces which it supports and drives to achieve the US objectives. The US President has put that as a political line that his country follows in the foreign policy. That is why America does not want to send large ground troops in its war in the region to prevent the return of Islam to rule and to maintain its influence in the looting of its resources, but wants to harness the Muslims themselves in its war, sending limited ground forces to carry out specific supporting tasks or for training and to lead the battles and engage from the air through aviation.

2. Last year, the US has decided to train what it calls the “moderate Opposition”, i.e. the one affiliating with it, and it had officially announced this last autumn. On 13/6/2014, the US President Obama authorized for a confidential procedure to arm this Opposition implemented through the CIA, he announced this on 20/9/2014 saying, “Washington had already ramped up our assistance, including military assistance, to the Syrian opposition, the new efforts provide equipment and training to the Syrian opposition fighters to become stronger and be able to deter terrorists inside Syria” (Source: AAP 20/9/2014). “The Congress had authorized President Obama’s plan on 18/9/2013”. Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs, expressed that “if the commander on the ground approaches either me or the secretary of defense and believes that the introduction of special operations forces to accompany Iraqis or the new Syrian forces, if we believe that’s necessary to achieve our objectives, we will make that recommendation from President Barack Obama.” (Source: Skynews, 5/3/2014).

Previously the United States had been working to address the situation through negotiations such as the Geneva 1 and 2 without resorting to the formation of such a force, so it created the coalition to be a representative of the rebels side, but this coalition was not accepted by the broader people Syria and had no force on earth; thus it failed in that. It saw that it should provide a subservient force to strengthen the position of negotiators whom it will highlight as though they were representatives of the revolution. Therefore it accepted the idea of moderate Syrian forces trained by them to achieve this and to fight against the rebels who reject its projects, but not to fight the regime. The Syrian regime, as well as those around it and those wrapped in its scrolls are all agents to America, but the people of Syria and the revolutionaries who rose up against this regime are not with it, they are against it, and for this, America wants to create for itself forces and agents other than those present in the regime and around it to make them a force on the ground to enter into new negotiations. America cannot exclude its agents who are in the regime until it is certain that others have become an alternative that is able to run things and suppress the revolution.

3. The US has reached an agreement with the Turkish government in this regard. State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki confirmed this in her statement, “As we have announced before, Turkey has agreed to be one of the regional hosts for the train-and-equip program for moderate Syrian opposition forces. We expect to conclude and sign the agreement with Turkey soon.” (Source: Skynews, 17/2/2015). The agreement came after talks of an American military delegation consisting of 30 officers who visited Ankara days earlier, the US Defense Department announced that it will send more than 400 troops to train oppositions in training sites in Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar. Secretary of State John Kerry stated, “Our team is working with the Saudis in trying to set up facilities devoted for the train-and-arm program and determine what resources we need to add and those related to the preparation of trainers and the like.” The Chief of Staff Martin Dempsey has stated that the “preparation for this phase of the program may take between 3 to 5 months and 8 to 12 months to train 5,000 fighters from the moderate Syrian opposition to be able to fight IS and the regime of Bashar Assad afterwards.” (Source: Anatolia 16/10/2014) The State Department spokesperson Mary Harvey said on 10/10/2014: “Turkey has agreed to support the efforts to train and equip the moderate Syrian opposition.” (Source: Reuters 10/10/2014) The countries of the region, whether Saudi Arabia, Turkey or others are extremely worried about the situation in Syria, all the countries of the region want an end for the situation in Syria, because it affects them. For this reason they are cooperating with the United States, and support the idea of finding a moderate opposition, and at the same time working to contain the revolution fighters in various ways, all of which to destroy all the faithful ones in the revolution and abort any Islamic project.

4. Then came the official signing between America and Turkey last month. The State Department official told AFP on the signing day, on 19/02/2015, “I can assure you that the agreement was signed this evening in Ankara”, and the signatories were the Turkish Foreign Minister Undersecretary, Feridun Sinirlioglu and the US ambassador, John Bass, in Ankara,. Anatolia news agency quoted on 19/02/2015 Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu saying, “The two countries had already reached an agreement to train the Syrian opposition, and that the forces will fight Daesh (ISIS) and the other terrorist groups on the ground as well as the Syrian regime”. And said, “We would welcome a cease-fire, even for just six weeks”. The Turkish News page quoted on 20/02/2015, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu as saying, “The agreement aims to achieve real actual political transformation in Syria on the basis of the Geneva Communique and strengthen the opposition in their fight against threats such as extremism, terrorism and all elements that pose a threat to the opposition”. The Turkish Foreign Minister pointed out to “…the announcement of Qatar and Saudi Arabia of their intention to host the train-and-equip program for Syrian opposition forces on their territory”. Reuters quoted, on 19/02/2015, three American officials who they spoke to them and requested not to be identified, as saying, “The programme may begin by mid-March and that they would train 5000 Syrian fighter each year over three years under the moderate Syrian opposition support plan”. Thus, the Turkish foreign minister declares bluntly that the aim of training these so-called moderate opposition forces is to achieve a political transition on the basis of Geneva and to crush the elements that reject the political transition and want something else.

5. The alternative does not come except after striking the forces opposing the American projects which have the weight on the ground and bringing puppet forces called moderate opposition. This program is given three years to achieve it, for the alternative to be ready. Therefore it is clear that the alternative is not yet ready, and effective negotiations are not quite happening now. It is more likely that they will take place after striking the forces which are called extremist or rendering them non-viable on the ground and then eliminate their influence, and they set for this, according to their estimates, three years; each year five thousand … Erdogan’s visit to Saudi Arabia at the beginning of this month came in this context. News has reported that the issue of Syria was a subject of discussion between them, and apparently it is to coordinate with regard to work to strengthen the moderate opposition and support the next alternative put forward by the United States. The Turkish News page quoted on 02/03/2015 from Turkish Presidency sources “that the Saudi monarch, Salman bin Abdul Aziz, met the Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, on Monday, 2/03/2015, at the Royal Palace in Saudi Arabia’s capital Riyadh, and that they agreed on the need to increase support for the opposition in Syria more effectively”. Meaning that, these two countries, Salman’s Saudi and Erdogan’s Turkey, both loyal to America, want the success of the idea of moderate opposition. So, it appears that the two will coordinate with each other with all their capabilities to reach a tangible result, and not as happened with the coalition which did not achieve concrete results. Thus, the gamble now becomes to create this force, as they, with America, have seen that without creating a force that has a control on the ground and claims to represent the rebels they will not reach concrete results and will fail. Hence, comes the issue of setting alternatives and conducting negotiations and conferences like Geneva.

6. And among America’s means to end the influence of rebels dominating the ground at present is to stop fighting in order to give the opportunity to train troops which it selected, so as to be able to defeat the non-moderate “extremist” forces and replace them. And at the same time, the cessation of fighting against the regime will lead to fighting between the factions themselves which weakens them, and contributes to that defeat. Therefore, it had to be, according to the American plan, stop fighting under the name of freezing fighting to be able to bring moderate-trained forces and then start negotiations between the regime and the moderate opposition. And America, states this through the United Nations envoy, Staffan de Mistura, who is principally its envoy and the holder of its project. Thus, De Mistura said after his two-day visit to Damascus that “President Assad is part of the solution, and I will continue to have very important discussions with him. He is still the president of Syria… And there is a large part of Syria which is under the control of the Syrian government”. He also said, “The only solution is a political solution and if no solution to the conflict is found, the only one who takes advantage of it is Daesh (ISIS).” (AFP 13/02/2015) Thus, America, from the lips of de Mistura, recognizes Bashar a president and wants to conduct with him the negotiations and make a political solution; hence it wants to freeze fighting against its puppet, Bashar. This indicates that America, after conducting the negotiations under those forces which it trains, will decide on the fate of Bashar and not now. Since, it does not want to thwart him before it is able to stop fighting and make moderate forces, loyal to it, dominant on the ground. And then it presents the alternative and starts the negotiations again between the regime’s side and the moderate’s opposition side.

7. In conclusion, we cannot say that the alternative is ready and that Bashar’s days are numbered, but it seems that he will remain in this stage until the negotiations start again and an agreement on the formulation of the situation takes place. Thus, the moderate forces that it works to prepare will not be ready within a short period, but will extend for at least a year, that is after the completion of the first phase of training 5,000… And it works to stop fighting until these troops are ready to be present internally on the ground and begin its work by engaging with movements that are considered extreme. After that the negotiations will resume between its agents in the regime and in the moderate opposition. It will then begin to present the alternative and the formation of a government of the parties and arrange for that.

This is according to what America, its followers and alliances plan, and this is what they conspire and plot… But Allah has men who work day and night, sincerely to Allah the Almighty, truthful to the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم, earnest and striving to achieve the promise of Allah Almighty and the glad tidings of Allah’s Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم of establishing the Khilafah Rashidah after the oppressive tyranny in which we live in… and then the cunning and guile of those will become as dust dispersed.

وَقَدْ مَكَرُوا مَكْرَهُمْ وَعِنْدَ اللَّهِ مَكْرُهُمْ وَإِنْ كَانَ مَكْرُهُمْ لِتَزُولَ مِنْهُ الْجِبَالُ

“And they had planned their plan, but with Allah is [recorded] their plan, even if their plan had been [sufficient] to do away with the mountains.”

(Ibrahim: 46)

22 Jumada I 1436 AH

13/03/2015 CE