Saudis cut ties with Qatar for endorsing Iran: Analyst
Saudi Arabia and its allies in the Middle East cut ties with Qatar over Doha’s endorsement of Iran as a source of peace and stability in the region, says James Jatras, a former US Senate foreign policy adviser.
Qatar as Another Hotbed of Tension Between U.S. and Turkey
by Mehmet Ersoy, for The International Reporter:
Doha is believed to be Turkey’s traditional ally, and it would be surprising if the Turkish authorities pledged their support to Saudi Arabia and its U.S.-led partners.
Ankara to confront Washington
Another fact catches attention – it’s not the first time Ankara confronts the White House. Ankara severely criticized Washington’s decision to supply the Kurdish forces fighting in Syria with heavier weapons, opposed their participation in the Raqqa operation, and recently unilaterally declared the start of the offensive on ISIS stronghold in Syria which was later rebutted by the Pentagon.
Now, within the so far diplomatic crisis, Turkey became one of the few countries that sided with Qatar. With the wide support of U.S. president Donald Trump to Saudi Arabia, this will obviously bring even larger discord into the Turkish-American relations. Both sides seek their own different goals, and this will stir up the conflict.
Purge in Turkey goes on
To be mentioned is that on Tuesday, June 6, chair of Amnesty International Turkey was detained while yesterday, Turkey’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Huseyin Muftuoglu lashed out at the U.S. House of Representatives resolution to condemn Recep Tayyip Erdogan bodyguards’ attack on protesters during the visit to the United States in May.
The sides’ hypocrisy
It is notable that all the sides of the conflict between Qatar and Saudi Arabia show quite a high level of hypocrisy. The U.S. accuse Qatar of ‘terrorism support’ but not so long ago Donald Trump signed with Riyadh an arms contract worth more than $100 billion. In its turn, Saudi Arabia backs not only the Syrian opposition but also various terror groups like al-Qaeda or ISIS, which even Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump acknowledged.
Ankara as well supports radical groups in Syria, trains the FSA militants and smuggled arms to terrorists disguising the weapons as humanitarian aid. And with all these in mind, how can the country’s prime minister claim that Ankara is “against terrorism and destabilization in the region” and “is set to solve the Qatar crisis by dialogue”?
The tension is acute as never before
No one can definitely say when the conflict will be resolved but one thing is evident – the tension in the Middle East is acute as never before, and this happens because of Washington that doesn’t care for consequences and pursues its own goals by supplying the Saudis and Kurds with weapons. Ankara is opposing its NATO ally and seems to be taking steps that are more decisive.
War is likely to engulf not only Syria, Iraq and Yemen but the whole Arabian Peninsula as the sheikhs, ‘sultan’ Erdogan and the businessman Trump ready for anything for profit will stop at nothing to reach what they want.
Did Saudi Arabia attack Iran via ISIS?
Fighting Terrorism is at the Top of the Agenda at the SCO Summit
by Sophie Mangal, for The International Reporter:
In the capital of Kazakhstan, Astana, a meeting of the defense ministers of the member countries of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) was held on June 7. At the meeting, the members of the delegations made a number of statements concerning both the situation in Syria and the fight international terrorism in general.
First of all, all the representatives agreed that Indian and Pakistani membership that will become true tomorrow will enhance SCO’s security capabilities. Referring to international problems, the SCO participants concurred that the terrorism in a short time turned into the biggest threat to the global security. At the same time, all the members of the delegations noticed that the situation is aggravating with every passing day by numerous local conflicts in the world and by inability of the Western countries to overcome differences, to form a common and united front against this evil and to work together to build a bastion against terrorism.
In this regard, the Syrian issue has become a key topic of the agenda during the meeting. The SCO-countries gave the highest priority to the question. A detailed briefing session was held for new Member States (India and Pakistan) on the common attitude of the participating countries to the key crisis in the Middle East. As it was noted at the meeting, it is in the Syrian Arab Republic the main forces of the Islamic State are concentrated. It was also stated that the Syrian Arab army coordinating its activities in order to ensure the success operations undermined in the end the potential of the IS fighters and Syria has been “at the forefront of fighting international terrorism” for a long time.
Special attention was paid to the creation of de-escalation areas in Syria, which could contribute to ending the civil war and thus intensifying efforts to combat ISIS and Al-Nusra.
The representatives of SCO-Member countries also noticed that practical steps are being taken to implement the agreements reached at the moment. The priority tasks, namely ensuring the monitoring of all the commitments undertaken, as well as creating conditions for the restoration of the destroyed infrastructure were also highlighted.
The countries of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization agreed to provide support to each other in Syria and to exchange military experience in conducting counter-terrorism operations. Interaction within the SCO in the future was decided to focus on identifying and anticipating any terrorist activities. Inside Syria Media Center‘ experts reasonably assume that the Member states will need to create joint effective managing tools to stop penetration of terrorism and radicalism into the SCO’s area of responsibility. A fair guess would be that the special attention would be paid to an operative exchange of the information available on the activities of terrorist groups.
Such a summit is clearly useful for Syria from the point of view of practicality. People in Syria hope the talks will equip the SCO-members better to meet the challenges of terrorism. Syria needs support to be able to tackle the difficulties and to take the steps necessary for a just and lasting peace.
To be noted is that the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), or Shanghai Pact, is a Eurasian political, economic, and military organization which was founded in 1996 in Shanghai by the leaders of China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. These countries, except Uzbekistan, had been members of the Shanghai Five, founded in 1996; after the inclusion of Uzbekistan in 2001, the members renamed the organization. On 10 July 2015, the SCO decided to admit India and Pakistan as full members. India and Pakistan signed the memorandum of obligations on 24 June 2016 at Tashkent, thereby starting the formal process of joining the SCO as the full members. Now in Astana the countries are going to become full members. The meeting of the SCO-defense ministers takes place once a year and the heads of the military departments have the opportunity both to share their views on the events taking place in the world and to work out a common strategy. In addition it is possible to hold bilateral meetings to discuss in detail the plans of military cooperation on the margins of the meeting.
Follow the latest developments by reading Inside Syria Media Center.
US strikes pro-government forces in Syria for 2nd time in week
The US-led coalition has struck Syrian pro-government forces near its training base of At Tanf, and shot down an armed drone outside its deconfliction zone. The previous airstrike close to At Tanf on Tuesday was condemned by Damascus and Moscow.
Syrian-Iraqi War Report – June 8, 2017: PMU Liberated Over 3,500km2 In Western Iraq
Syrian army pounds Daesh positions in Raqqah
The Syrian army says its fighter jets have bombed the positions of Daesh terrorists in the northeastern province of Raqqah.
The targets were in the west of Raqqah city, on the southern bank of the Euphrates River. The Syrian army conducts the strikes as a coalition of Arab and Kurdish forces, known as the SDF, pushes into the edge of Raqqah city. The SDF began their assault on the last stronghold of Daesh in Syria on Tuesday. The US backed alliance is marching on the city from northern and eastern fronts. Once they reach Raqqah, the joint forces are expected to engage in street battles inside the city which fell to Daesh in 2014.