Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter 1 Share on LinkedIn Share on Reddit Tell A Friend Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites
OpEdNews Op Eds

The Syria connection to Iran, Afghanistan and China

By       Message Pepe Escobar       (Page 1 of 3 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   3 comments

Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; ; ; , Add Tags
Add to My Group(s)

Well Said 3   News 3   Supported 3  
View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com Headlined to H2 5/29/18

Author 73066
Become a Fan
  (179 fans)

From Asia Times

- Advertisement -
Iranian academic spells out Iran's position in the Middle East and questions US policy toward the region; amid reports that the Qods force is unlikely to disband, and that Daesh (ISIS) is being moved the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.

From commons.wikimedia.org: Enemy of truth and liberty - anti-Trump protest {MID-295150}
Enemy of truth and liberty - anti-Trump protest
(Image by commons.wikimedia.org)
  Permission   Details   DMCA

A crucial question has been consuming policymakers in Iran, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon: Does the Trump administration have a strategic plan for the Middle East or not?

Few are more apt to answer than Saadallah Zarei, dean of the Institute of Strategic Studies Andishe Sazan-e Noor in Tehran. Zarei, a soft-spoken, extremely discreet man I met in Mashhad a few days ago, happens to be not only one of Iran's top strategic analysts but also a key brain behind the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps' Qods Force commander Gen. Qasem Soleimani -- the ultimate bĂȘte noire outside the Beltway.

- Advertisement -

So, US strategists could do worse than paying attention to Zarei.

While the US "owns 37 fixed military bases and almost 70 movable bases in the Middle East," Zarei said, "We do not observe specific and exact strategies."

He stressed his perplexity with "contradictory behavior related to the Shi'ite population. America's behavior in terms of the Shi'ite population of Bahrain and their rights, the Zaydi Shi'ite population in Yemen and Kashmir and also the Shi'ite population in Lebanon, which is 35% of the total population, is not specified and nobody knows how the Americans think about Shi'ites and how they act."

- Advertisement -

Zarei also notes that "America does not have a specific policy about the democracies of Turkey and Iran. There is not any specific strategy about democracy in Iraq and Lebanon too. America talks about democracy as an American value and tries to generalize it, but in this region, we see that the best friends of the US are countries where there is no election in their political systems."

The bottom line, according to Zarei, is that "the US strategy is not coherent in the Middle East. I think this is the main reason for the failure of American policies in this region."


Saadallah Zarei.
(Image by Photo: provided)
  Permission   Details   DMCA

Enter the Hazaras

Now zoom in from the macro-analysis to the micro-view on the ground. Compare Zarei to Komeil, a 24-year-old Hazara Shi'ite from Kabul. Komeil is one among as many as 14,000 soldiers, all Hazara Afghans, carrying an Afghan passport, which made up the Liwa Fatemiyoun brigade fighting in Syria. We met in Mashhad, where he is spending Ramadan, before going back to the frontlines next month.

One of the key founders of Fatemiyoun, in 2013, was Abu Ahmad, killed by a missile, of unknown origin, near the Golan Heights, in 2015. At first, the brigade was a religious organization set up "to defend Shi'ite holy shrines in Syria" or, as Komeil prefers to stress, "defend humanity, weak people."

- Advertisement -

No Fatemiyoun fighters carry Iranian passports -- even though some, like Komeil, do live in eastern Iran; he's been in Mashhad since 2011. Almost all of them are volunteers; Komeil followed "friends" who joined the brigade. He undertook military training in Bagram airbase when he was part of the Afghan Army.

Komeil told me he engaged in direct combat with an assortment of Salafi-jihadis -- from Daesh and Jabhat al-Nusra to smaller outfits that were part of the vast, rambling Free Syrian Army umbrella. He's been on the frontlines non-stop for three years, fighting mostly in "Sham and Zenaybi" near Damascus, and was also present at the liberation of Aleppo.

He described Daesh jihadis as "very difficult" in battle. He says he saw Daesh fighters wearing "American clothes" and carrying American-made rifles. Captured prisoners had "food from Saudi Arabia and Qatar." He personally captured a "French lady working with Daesh" but did not know what happened to her, saying only that "Commanders treat our prisoners well." He swears "less than 10%" of Daesh jihadis are Syrians -- "There are Saudis, Uzbeks, Tajiks, Pakistanis, English, French and Germans."

In contrast to the propaganda barrage across the Beltway, Komeil is adamant there are no Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) military commanders active with Fatemiyoun, and no Hezbollah. They fight "side by side" -- and the Iranians are essentially military advisers. He depicted Fatemiyoun as a totally independent outfit. This would indicate their military training was mostly acquired as members of the Afghan Army, and not via the IRGC.

Next Page  1  |  2  |  3

 

- Advertisement -

Well Said 3   News 3   Supported 3  
View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com

Pepe Escobar is an independent geopolitical analyst. He writes for RT, Sputnik and TomDispatch, and is a frequent contributor to websites and radio and TV shows ranging from the US to East Asia. He is the former roving correspondent for Asia (more...)
 

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon Share Author on Social Media   Go To Commenting

The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
- Advertisement -

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Why Putin is driving Washington nuts

You Want War? Russia is Ready for War

Why Qatar wants to invade Syria

All aboard the New Silk Road(s)

It was Putin's missile?

Where is Prince Bandar?

Comments

The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

3 people are discussing this page, with 3 comments


Alexander Kershaw

Become a Fan
Author 500827

(Member since Nov 25, 2014), 3 fans, 226 comments


Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon


  New Content

The coherent policy of the US and it allies in the Middle East is to destroy the public banking centers. Iran and Syria both have an independent central bank that provides interest free money for government projects and private enterprises that serve the national interests. Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya also had independent central banks and therefore no debt to international banksters. Those are all gone. Cuba and North Korea also have independent central banks. Do you see a pattern here?

The US government is a criminal enterprise working for the interests of international banksters whose pathological interest is control not money. They can create infinite amounts of money with a few key strokes, but they want that power to be exclusively theirs.

All regime change efforts have been instigated behind the scenes by international banksters. That is the only way all this mess makes sense.

Submitted on Tuesday, May 29, 2018 at 5:10:50 PM

Author 0
Add New Comment
Share Comment
Reply To This   Recommend  (4+)
Help
 

Jim Miles

Become a Fan
Author 5671

(Member since Apr 18, 2007), 13 fans, 150 articles, 17 quicklinks, 647 comments, 3 diaries


Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon


  New Content

Which is why China, Russia, India, Turkey, and Iran (plus probably a few others) are stacking gold and silver. When the US$ dies, all their bribery and overseas corruption will do them no good - the hyperinflated dollar and the hyperinflated military will return home to chaos...chaos being the main ingredient of their current US$ support via the military in all areas of the world.

Pepe's presentation provides hope that the SCO and other countries in the region will eventually break the US$ hegemony.The sooner the US$ dies, the better, then the world can move on.

Submitted on Tuesday, May 29, 2018 at 8:09:44 PM

Author 0
Add New Comment
Share Comment
Reply To This   Recommend  (0+)
Help
 

Joseph Mitchener

Become a Fan
Author 501126

(Member since Dec 23, 2014), 1 fan, 1 articles, 151 comments


Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon


  New Content

I still feel that Brzezinski's "Grand Chessboard" strategy (which he said was no longer viable just before he died) is behind our mid east actions. Brzezinski said that the only way the US could control the planet was to control its largest continent. And, the only way we could control Eurasia was to control its central region and then play off the Orient vs Europe. Trouble is . . . all the bright folks in Eurasia read his book. That's one big reason why our efforts to pull the strings in the Moslem center are not working.

Submitted on Wednesday, May 30, 2018 at 4:19:37 AM

Author 0
Add New Comment
Share Comment
Reply To This   Recommend  (0+)
Help
 

 
Want to post your own comment on this Article? Post Comment