Last month in Istanbul the United Nations and the Arab League Special Representative to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi announced the initiative on the possible deployment of international peacekeeping contingent on the Syrian territory under UN auspices.
Opinion by Own Correspondent
Similar forces were deployed in neighbouring Lebanon in March 1978 in order to monitor the process of settlement of the Lebanese-Israeli conflict. Currently, they are represented by troops from Ireland, Germany, France, Spain and Italy, deployed near the border with Israel, southern Lebanon.
A small group of UN observation officers operates in Syria, providing the state of peace in the Israeli-occupied Syrian Golan Heights.
Brahimi’s proposal is to create and deploy an international force of up to three thousand troops from European countries (without participation of the UK and the US) on Syrian territory with the objectives of disengagement and ceasefire between the armed groups warring government army.
On the eve of the trip to Istanbul, Brahimi held talks with Syrian leaders in Damascus and long meeting with representatives of the oppositional Syrian National Council (SNC) in Turkey.
But immediately after the negotiations, the representatives of the Syrian opposition were quick to declare the UN and the Arab League special representative’s proposals unacceptable. And Brahimi made no secret of the fact that his initiative is a priority item for a comprehensive peace plan for the domestic political crisis in Syria.
One of the SNC most influential members, Ahmed Ramdan said: “We will not accept partial proposals and argue for a comprehensive settlement, for total cease of conflicts.”
Another opposition leader, Ahmad Sarmin was harsher in his judgment: “Only Bashar Assad’s resignation from the post of the head of state can stop the bloodshed. International peacekeeping force in Syria will become a kind of cover for the Syrian regime to continue the anti-people policy. We insist on the constitution of the transitional government with participation of the political and military wings of the opposition.”
In the meantime, the situation in Syria and around remains tense. Government forces continue operation of the final destruction of militias in certain Aleppo areas, conduct search and reconnaissance activities to neutralise the terrorists in Horns, Kama, Idlib and Damascus.
Simultaneously, the released government forces are redeployed in the border areas with Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan to impede infiltration of militants to the country’s territory.
Previously, open media sources published information that a group of US special operations corps instructors one hundred and fifty people strong arrived at one of the military bases in the north of Jordan. Pentagon officials acknowledged that fact, explaining their presence is necessary for “stress treatment for Syrian refugees in the camp located near the base”.
According to other sources from the US Ministry of Defence, the American “clinical psychologists” were dispatched to Jordan with a very different purpose. Their main task is the selection of candidates and their special training for illegal infiltration into Syria for reconnaissance and sabotage at public and military facilities.
It is no secret that the US military experts and intelligence professionals are located in Turkey in large numbers under the guise of “humanitarian activities”, selecting and training new “soldiers of fortune”. They actively participate in planning and preparing Free Syrian Army (FSA) operations as advisors, ensure coordination between the opposition military leadership and the Turkish Armed Forces command.
According to media reports, a group of American intelligence in Egypt actively recruits Muslim Brotherhood supporters and young people without means after the Arab revolution to carry out Jihad in Syria. Turkey is a major transit point for that.
According to unofficial sources, Greece became involved in unsavory events in Syria as well by providing two military bases on the islands for special training of mercenaries and their recruitment for FSA. Apparently, the Greek government is ready to go to great lengths to fill in the budget amid the economic crisis.
The internationalisation of the conflict in Syria, whatever form it takes, is unlikely to promote the conditions for peace in the country. Unfortunately, this process is not yet in sight. In the US, during last election campaign presidential candidates actively played the Syrian card. Western Europe is trying to act from a position of “advanced liberalism” though somehow distracting their people from impending problems.
Arab monarchies and Turkey are trying to solve their own narrow national (and religious as well) problems in Syria, pushing the interests of the Middle East. But it’s Syrian people who suffer. Only in Jordan, according to rough estimates of its authorities, there are about two hundred thousand Syrians in refugee camps. Approximately the same number stays in Turkey.