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Die Welt, Experts on Syria: Putin Changed the Whole Geometry

Aug. 29, 2016 (EIRNS)—With the expert analysis of two leading German military figures, the Aug. 28 Welt am Sonntag reported that the two most basic postulates on Syria of the Obama White House and NATO are being proven wrong. "Peace with Assad?" is the headline of the item, and its summary:

"Turkey invades Syria; this is agreed to by Russia and the Assad regime. Thus could be seen a complete change of course, which is denied by the West—still."

Welt interviews at length Wolfgang Ischinger, head of the annual Munich Security Conference and a leading German conservative military thinker, who says,

"I think the Turkish about-face on Assad [accepting his continuation in power for now] is comprehensible. And I am urging that the West find it comprehensible. The facts are simple. We cannot ignore them."

Thus Ischinger calls "a failed plan," the first postulate and "red line" of Obama, Cameron, NATO: that Assad must go.

Russian President Putin holds the levers in the situation, and Turkish President Erdogan is seeking to join him, Welt observes. It quotes also German Gen. Harald Kujat, a former Deputy Commander of NATO, who demolishes the other postulate of Obama and his ilk: that there is "no military solution" in Syria. Kujat observes that this is false, and that in fact all the powers involved have been seeking a military solution, beginning with the U.S.-UK seizing on the Kurdish militias and on the so-called "moderate rebel forces," and Erdogan’s seizing upon al-Nusra and al-Qaeda.

There are no "moderate rebel forces" any longer, Kujat insists, "if there ever were any." The idea of a "negotiated solution" based on Assad being forced out, was therefore entirely a house of cards, a recipe for chaos, he says, "a war of each against all." More importantly, Putin changed the situation fundamentally when Russia intervened last September 30, seeking a military solution against all the terrorist groups, with Assad’s own welcoming government as Russia’s "forces on the ground."

The lengthy and detailed survey by Thorsten Jungholt, by pointing to the basic shift in strategic alignment brought about by Putin, clearly made waves in Germany. The next day’s Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung tried to counter it with an editorial claiming that Turkey still wants Assad "to disappear" now. That lie is contradicted by the Turkish Foreign Minister’s own recent, public statements, and merely shows the degree of disturbance Welt am Sonntag’s report of the new reality has caused.

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