Executive Intelligence Review


Russian General Describes Geopolitics as Problem in Astana Talks for Syrian Peace

May 14, 2018 (EIRNS)—In the 9th round of Syrian peace talks taking place May 14-15 in Astana, Kazakhstan, the American decision not to attend as observers has pointed to a deeper problem. Russian participants have warned that the Astana process is being undermined by moves contemplating the effective partition of Syria, even though all participants in both the Astana and Geneva talks have committed themselves to Syrian territorial integrity and sovereignty.

Russian Lt. Gen. Yuri Netkachev told Nezavisimaya Gazeta May 13, 2018 that the key motives of the main players which have attended the talks are not focussed on terrorists now, but on their geopolitical and military-economic goals in the settlement of the Syrian war.

“The Astana process is stuck right now,” General Netkachev told the newspaper, “because Damascus and Moscow, with the participation of Turkey and Iran, control only about 60% of Syria’s territory,” reported TASS. “The economically important land, with many oil and gas fields, is now controlled by the United States and its allies,” he said. Russia, Iran and Turkey are the three guarantors for the Astana peace process for Syria.

Syria and Russia are ready to work on a new constitution with the opposition, and negotiate in both Astana and Geneva. However, Nezavisimaya Gazeta says the U.S. coalition may have its own plans, because, in violation of international norms, the U.S. coalition has created 14 military bases in Syria—many located on the territory of oil and gas fields.

“It becomes obvious that the Assad regime and its allies are unlikely to succeed politically in controlling Syria’s hydrocarbon infrastructure areas of the Euphrates,” Gazeta writes, according to TASS. “The power play for these areas might threaten to morph into a real war.”

It also reports that Israeli actions under the guise of fighting Shi’ite formations in Syria, suggest that the threat of large-scale war exists.