On 23 February, US Secretary of State John Kerry disclosed to the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee that separating Syria into multiple states is ‘Plan B’ if the ceasefire does not work. However it was evidently clear that the ceasefire was inconceivable, if not impossible to achieve due to there being more than 40+ factions on the ground fighting and vying for power. The fighting would rage on through the ceasefire. Jabhat al-Nusra and ISIS were not even included in this, leaving the U.S. with plenty of fingers to point at the rebel factions with.
One must realise that Russia were aware of this ‘Plan B’ from the very moment they stepped into the arena. Russia’s sudden withdrawal when the Syrian Regime were in the strongest position they’ve been in 5 years. They had the ability to take back vast swathes of land from the rebels. This was evident by the fact many of these factions surrendered to the ceasefire to get a break from the Russian onslaught that didn’t discriminate between combatant and non-combatants.
This is in line with the U.S. Department of Intelligence document leaked in 2015 in regards to the Syrian campaign. The document mentions that Russia will be there to ‘support’ the regime. Yet reporters, politicians and neoliberals feigned shock when Russia declared their military intervention – and they had to, as Russia are still the bogeyman for the U.S. to push through foreign policies on the basis of “otherwise Russia will take it”.
The withdrawal of Russia has left the Syrian regime in a position whereby if they do not accept the U.S. plan then the rebels will slowly gain back the territory that Russia had helped them recapture. It also left the opposition factions with a threat that air support will not be withdrawn and therefore it is a case of ‘take it or leave’. A perfect position for the U.S. proposed plan of balkanising Syria.
Now where are those analysts that say Russia are competing with the U.S. for power on the world stage? They seemed to have gone awfully quiet.
The word federalisation has been thrown about a lot. In fact, it is more proper to use the term balkanisation for Syria. Balkanisation is the process of fragmenting a state into smaller states that are hostile to one another, whereas federalisation suggests there is peace between the states.
According to both the RAND and Brookings Institute Reports, ‘Peace Plan for Syria’ and ‘Deconstructing Syria’, they suggest a Kurdish region in the north, an Alawite region that includes Latakia, Damascus and Homs, a Druze region in the south bordering Jordan and another region covering the two cities Idlib and Aleppo.
Why do I use the term balkanising Syria? And how will Syria fall into perpetual war after such a decision has been made?
These borders are being drawn based on sectarian lines, whether the population is Shia, Sunni, Kurd, Druze or Alawi. Whereas the borders in a federalised country such as the U.S.A. are based on population, economy and other factors that allow that state to survive firstly, and flourish secondly.
If we look at NDVI (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index) maps of Syria that is a numerical indicator to show whether there is live green vegetation in that area, necessary for a population to survive and thrive, we can see clearly that is it all contained in the regions carved out. Leaving the Sunni population with very little.
This proposition by the U.S. to balkanise Syria is not something the Syrian people wanted, nor the regime in power. In fact, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallam said that “I tell you as a Syrian citizen: we are against the idea of federalization. We stand for the unity of Syria’s territory and its public”
It would mean that Syria has to give up large parts of the country in the north that hold key resources such as oil and minerals.
This leads to the question, if it isn’t the Syrian people who want federalisation, nor the Syrian government, who is seeking it? Clearly this is something the American’s have wanted for a very long time. As shown by Col. Ralph Peter’s “Blood Borders” map based on sectarian lines.
In conclusion this balkanisation of Syria will only lead to further turmoil in the region, sectarian warfare, starvation, drought and destruction. A policy that favours the U.S. considering it keeps the Muslims occupied in their own internal struggle, ridding their minds of an idea of a unified State without borders.
Even the Alawite soldiers fighting for the Assad regime know this is the case. Watch this interview by SyrianPartisanGirl, a nationalistic libertarian who regularly posts about the Syrian quagmire.