‘US seeks to eliminate Assad govt. because it’s against hegemony’
The United States seeks to eliminate the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad because it is opposed to American hegemony, according to Keith Preston, a political analyst in Virginia.
But Russia sees the Assad government as a bulwark against Takfiri terrorism, Preston, the chief editor and director of Attackthesystem.com, told Press TV on Sunday while commenting on a report which says US and Russia have been unable once again to forge a comprehensive agreement on increasing cooperation to end the conflict in Syria that has killed hundreds of thousands of people.
US Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov could point to only minor progress to achieving a ceasefire in Syria, after meeting off-and-on for nearly 10 hours in Geneva on Friday.
Their failure to reach an overall agreement underscores the increasingly complex situation on the ground in Syria, including deep divisions and mistrust dividing Washington and Moscow, as well as the intermingling of US-backed militants with the Daesh (ISIL) terrorist group and the al-Qaeda-affiliated al-Nusra Front.
Kerry said critical sticking points remain unresolved and experts will remain in Geneva with an eye toward finalizing those in the coming days.
“It’s pretty obvious what’s going on here,” Preston said. “And it’s obvious that what is actually stalling the talks between the United States and Russia; that is the fact that Russia and the United States have completely different goals when it comes to Syria.”
“The ambition of the Russians is to protect the regime of President Assad, because they see President Assad’s regime has a bulwark against [Takfiri] terrorism…that’s taking place in the region,” he said.
“The Russians certainly want to preserve the government of President Assad, because they see it as a bulwark not only against terrorism but also as a stabilizing force, and it’s also a government that is aligned with Russia against American efforts to expand its own hegemony in the region,” he added.
“So this is a fundamental geopolitical difference that the United States has with Russia,” he continued.
The analyst said Russians want to maintain the government of President Assad, and Americans want to eliminate it for the reasons I just mentioned, because it is an “independent” government which is opposed to American hegemony.
“I do think that there is a common area of agreement between the United States and the Russians in the sense that both sides probably would like to see the ISIS group, the Daesh, eliminated,” Preston said argued. “However, they have much different ideas about how to go about doing this.”
Syria has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy since March 2011. United Nations Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura estimates that over 400,000 people have been killed in the conflict in Syria.
In September 2014, the US and some of its allies started conducting airstrikes inside Syria against Daesh terrorists, many of whom were initially trained by the CIA to fight against the Syrian government.
In September 2015, Russia launched its own air offensive against the terrorists who were still wreaking havoc in Syria. The Russian campaign, analysts say, has broken the backbone of Daesh and other militants, and has provided the Assad government an opportunity to defeat the foreign-sponsored terrorist onslaught.
In recent months, the Syrian army, backed by the Russian air power, has been making major gains against Takfiri groups, recapturing several strategic areas from their grip.