Syrian “cease-fire” may be DOA after two days

posted at 5:01 pm on February 14, 2016 by Taylor Millard

The cease fire in the Syrian Civil War may be DOA after only two days. The completely unsurprising observation came from Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov during a meeting in Munich (via Reuters).

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, asked at a security conference in Munich on Saturday to assess the chances of the cessation of hostilities deal succeeding, replied: “49 percent.”

Asked the same question, his German counterpart Frank-Walter Steinmeier put the odds at 51 percent.

It certainly doesn’t appear the cease fire is going to work at all because Syria’s army is probably going to try to capture Raqqa from ISIS, while Turkey went after Kurdish militia. But it also shows how difficult it is for world powers to agree on a “problem” they didn’t create, but definitely exacerbated. The Syrian Civil War was a civil war until the West decided to get involved, which caused Russia to increase their involvement to support the current government. Now the countries can’t even come up with agreements because everyone has an agenda and no one really wants to work together (via Bloomberg).

[ Sergei ] Lavrov said the agreement reached in Munich before the conference will fail unless there’s constant military coordination between Russia and the U.S. in Syria. “If we have a practical goal of a cease-fire, then without cooperation between our militaries, this won’t lead to anything,” he said on a panel with his colleagues from Germany and the U.K…

The U.S. has refused to coordinate its coalition’s airstrikes against Islamic State in Syria with the Russian bombing campaign because of accusations Russia isn’t focused on the jihadists but the Assad opposition. The U.S. has only agreed to an accord to avoid incidents in the skies above Syria.

The U.S. and Russia plan to chair a meeting with military officials in Geneva next week to seek agreement on which areas of Syria can be bombed. The cessation of hostilities is due to apply to all sides in the conflict apart from Islamic State, the al Qaeda-linked Nusra Front and any other groups designated as terrorist by the UN Security Council.

I’ll be completely shocked (and able to be knocked over with a feather) if any real action comes from this week’s meeting because of America’s opinion on Russia. I’m no fan of the Bear at all, but it’s doubtful any real progress will be made if President Barack Obama isn’t willing to meet with the Russians on equal ground. Obama may wish to believe Russia isn’t a superpower (and its economy isn’t exactly fantabulous), but President Vladimir Putin does wield some power in this situation because of his alliance with Bashar al-Assad. But the fact both Obama and Putin had a phone conversation today (which the Kremlin suggested was at Obama’s initiative) does give a little bit of hope the two will cooperate or at least try to. They have to work together if they want the cease fire to stay in place and some of the fighting to stop or at least die down a bit. It doesn’t mean the civil war will completely end because Assad wants to stay in power, and the rebels want him gone, but if the “common goal” is truly stopping ISIS, then a pact of some kind is better than nothing. It is possible Arizona Senator John McCain is right that Russia isn’t interested in being a partner to America on Syria, but it’s at least worth trying until Putin proves everyone wrong.

At the same time, this entire situation could have been avoided if the U.S. hadn’t been involved in Syria. This five country meeting between the U.S., Russia, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Iran reminds me of post-World War I where Europe was carved up into countries which had never really existed before the Treaty of Versailles. This isn’t suggesting Syria is going to be chopped up (although it might), but it doesn’t seem like a recipe for success when the people actually fighting the civil war have no seat at the table or say in the negotiations. It’s possible the Syrian government and rebels don’t even want a seat or say because all they care about is winning the civil war. If the cease fire doesn’t hold, what’s to stop the U.S. or Russia or Saudi Arabia or Turkey or Iran to say, “screw it” and invade under the claim of “keeping the peace”? This entire thing just seems like a recipe for disaster and another reason why America should reconsider getting involved in situations it didn’t create or has no stake in. The better option is free trade, by letting businesses and charities go into Syria after the fighting is over to help the people recover and show them how free markets equal freedom.


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Comments

Was obambi wearing his “L” baseball cap again?

VegasRick on February 14, 2016 at 5:06 PM

I hope to god that the Pentagon has a plan to take down the Russian AD network (S-400s) if it came to that. By the sounds of the rhetoric from both sides Turkey might make a play for Aleppo and get into direct conflict with Russia and in turn drag NATO in there with them.

McBaine on February 14, 2016 at 5:06 PM

Taylor Millard? No thanks…

OmahaConservative on February 14, 2016 at 5:06 PM

Let the Russians, Turks, and the Saudis fight this one among themselves. Draw some red lines with the some of the Kurdish factions and try to contain the worst excesses of all sides.

moebius22 on February 14, 2016 at 5:08 PM

The Syrian Civil War was a civil war until the West decided to get involved, which caused Russia to increase their involvement to support the current government.

Not buying that Obama’s puny bombing efforts on behalf of Kurds/against ISIS caused the Russians to get involved in support of the Assad Regime in a separate theater of the war. I suspect Putin would have intervened when Assad started teetering with or without western involvement up north.

forest on February 14, 2016 at 5:09 PM

Obama – worst President ever.

albill on February 14, 2016 at 5:10 PM

Did.Not.See.This.Coming.

ShainS on February 14, 2016 at 5:11 PM

Obama – worst President ever.

albill on February 14, 2016 at 5:10 PM

Did.Not.See.This.Coming.

ShainS on February 14, 2016 at 5:11 PM

The only things this guy ever achieves are things that hurt the American people. That’s IT!

VegasRick on February 14, 2016 at 5:17 PM

Turkey has begun shelling Kurds near Aleppo as well as units of the Syrian Army. Saudi Armored forces appear to be moving towards northern Saudi Arabia. This may be part of the Saudi-Turkish joint operation called “North Thunder”.

“Turkish artillery shelled Syrian territory, targeting Syrian Kurdish positions and the positions of the Syrian Arab Army,” SANA news agency reported

Turkish military sources told Anadolu Agency that the shelling was continuing Sunday and several positions of YPG – the military wing of the Kurdish Democratic Union (PYD) – have been destroyed. The militias reportedly suffered a number of casualties, the sources added.

The US has called on its NATO ally Turkey to cease artillery fire against Kurdish positions in Syria’s territory, referring to Saturday’s shelling. The US State Department pointed out the two sides have to join forces to combat Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL).

sharrukin on February 14, 2016 at 5:18 PM

Another failure for Sec Lurch. Forget about that Nobel pal.

major dad on February 14, 2016 at 5:19 PM

The only things this guy ever achieves are things that hurt the American people. That’s IT!

VegasRick on February 14, 2016 at 5:17 PM

He’s never achieved, nor even accidentally stumbled into, stopped-clock status.

New York Third-World values …

ShainS on February 14, 2016 at 5:23 PM

Smart Power.

Dick Richard on February 14, 2016 at 5:23 PM

He’s never achieved, nor even accidentally stumbled into, stopped-clock status.

New York Third-World values …

ShainS on February 14, 2016 at 5:23 PM

He has “achieved” some of “his” goals

1 – wrecked economy
2 – F/U healthcare
3 – stoked racial tensions like we haven’t seen in decades
4 – hurt our military
5 – destroyed our standing in the world
6 – ensured that all these rouge nations have absolutely no fear of us
7 – millions more illegals in the country

Just to name a few

VegasRick on February 14, 2016 at 5:29 PM

As I said the other day when Kerry announced this ceasefire…did anyone bother to tell the Syrians?

James on February 14, 2016 at 5:31 PM

I do not buy Taylor Millard’s line that we have no interest in this matter. If Iran adds Syria to Lebanon and Yemen and Iraq where it has defacto control, do you not think Russia and Iran will have an interest in intimidating the Gulf states into reducing oil production in order to raise the price they can charge for their oil? Why would they not blackmail the our Gulf allies to enrich themselves and impoverish the West? We could see another oil shock world recession.

I think Assad intends to go all the way to the Turkish border annihilating the Sunnis as he goes. Do we then get even bigger waves of refugees to deal with? We needed to make a safe zone in Syria to keep the refugees in and the Russians and Assad out a long time ago.

It may be there is a cap to how high Russia and Iran can raise oil prices when they control the whole region’s oil before our shale oil acts as a cap; but if the Dems get their way, we will ban fracking and fossil fuel production altogether and make the whole situation much worse.

KW64 on February 14, 2016 at 5:35 PM

Maybe the same person who got ahold of the syrian cease fire also got ahold of scalia.

Indiana Jim on February 14, 2016 at 5:35 PM

As I said the other day when Kerry announced this ceasefire…did anyone bother to tell the Syrians?

James on February 14, 2016 at 5:31 PM

Did anyone bother to tell the Turks?

sharrukin on February 14, 2016 at 5:35 PM

I think Assad intends to go all the way to the Turkish border annihilating the Sunnis as he goes.

Hope so.

There are no good choices in Syria.

Al-Qaeda/ISIS or Assad.

I prefer Assad.

Do we then get even bigger waves of refugees to deal with?

KW64 on February 14, 2016 at 5:35 PM

The Turks are already working on that.

Turkey threatens to open the gates and send refugees to Europe

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/turkey/12151701/Turkey-threatens-to-open-the-gates-and-send-refugees-to-Europe.html

sharrukin on February 14, 2016 at 5:39 PM

So, this was on the 11th of Feb.
————————————

SYRIA
2d
US Secretary of State John Kerry agreement to reach cessation of hostilities in 1 week is just ‘a pause’ in Syria conflict, not a permanent end to it
end of alert
=============

http://www.breakingnews.com/topic/syria-uprising/

canopfor on February 14, 2016 at 5:46 PM

A tale of Trump (The Naked Journalist, Jan. 16, 2016, Jerusalem, Israel)

Of all the new friends I have made in Israel, I have a special place in my heart for Avraham Zakaim. He owns a jewelry and Judaica shop at 11 Ben Yehuda Street, just up from Zion Square, in downtown Jerusalem. The shop is called Jerusalem Window.

Zakaim is an Iranian-Jew, who left Iran soon after the 1979 Iranian Revolution, which saw the overthrow of the Pahlavi monarchy and Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the Shah of Iran. He moved to Israel and eventually set up his business, selling jewelry, ancient coins and various one of a kind pieces of Jewish metal art.

He is a paragon of information about the situations in the Middle East. He will also tell you what he thinks of American politics and politicians. I sat in his shop on Saturday, Jan. 16, 2016, after he opened the shop about 9 p.m. in the evening. Most of the stores and businesses are closed for the Sabbath and they start coming to life after sundown on Saturday.

He likes Donald Trump. He thinks he would make a good president. When I asked him why, he related an Iranian “parable,” somewhat contemporized, to explain his reasoning.

“There was this Caliph, who one day, went to the top of a tall building in his town and threatened to commit suicide by jumping off the top of the building.

“All of this subjects gathered on the street, pleading and begging him to come down. He kept insisting that he was going to jump. His minister promised ‘if you come down, we will give you a new Mercedes, a million rials and a new harem of 30 women.’

“But he refused and continued to tell his subjects that he is going to jump. At that point, an old, wizened man, standing in the crowd, asked that someone bring him a Gillette razor. Somewhat baffled, there was one young man who ran back to his house and returned with an old-fashioned razor. The old man took the razor, popped off the top and remove the blade.

“He held the blade at his wrist and then he looked up at the Caliph and said ‘If you don’t come down, I’m going to commit suicide'”

Of course, I had to ask Zakaim to explain the “parable” and how it related to Donald Trump. Typical of all good storytellers, there is always a moral to the story. A teller of tails “hooks” you into the story just for the opportunity to tell you the moral.

Zakaim said “Even though the Israeli government has cozied up to Putin as of late, most Israelis do not trust him. And President Obama has not been much of a friend to Israel over the last few years. It’s going to take one crazy man like Trump to deal with another crazy man like Putin.”

Agree or not, who am I to argue with a 74 year old Iranian-Jew who, on a daily basis, has lived through the trials and tribulations of a small piece of land called the State of Israel.

(Avraham Zakiam, in his jewelry shop, getting ready to play a game of backgammon with The Naked Journalist/Photo by Walter L. Newton)

https://scontent-dfw1-1.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xlf1/t31.0-8/12711080_1091641344227257_7383492043433369730_o.jpg

Walter L. Newton on February 14, 2016 at 5:49 PM

MeanWhile:
————–

Saudi Air Force Deploys Fighter Jets to Turkish Air Base
By Awad Mustafa, Defense News 8:27 p.m. EST February 13, 2016
*************************************************************

DUBAI — The Royal Saudi Arabian Air Force has deployed fighter jets to Incirlik Air Base in Turkey,

Brigadier Gen. Ahmed Al-Assiri, consultant to Saudi Minister of Defense Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, confirmed to Saudi-owned news station Al-Arabiya the arrival of Saudi Air Force jets at the Turkish airbase.

“Our jet fighters and crews have been deployed to the Incirlik Airbase,” he said. “We have deployed them as part of the international coalition led by Washington,” he added.
(More…)
==========

http://www.defensenews.com/story/war-in-syria/2016/02/13/saudi-airforce-deploys-fighter-jets-turkish-air-base/80343088/

canopfor on February 14, 2016 at 5:51 PM

I smell another Peace Prize!

WryTrvllr on February 14, 2016 at 5:56 PM

(Avraham Zakiam, in his jewelry shop, getting ready to play a game of backgammon with The Naked Journalist/Photo by Walter L. Newton)

https://scontent-dfw1-1.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xlf1/t31.0-8/12711080_1091641344227257_7383492043433369730_o.jpg

Walter L. Newton on February 14, 2016 at 5:49 PM

Walter |L. Newton: Thank-you for sharing, yes, its complicated:0

canopfor on February 14, 2016 at 5:57 PM

It was doa when Kerry announced it.

It contained the continuation of Russia’s bombings.

Schadenfreude on February 14, 2016 at 5:57 PM

What did anyone expect… John, the Traitor, Kerry was involved.

Kerry is about as useful as swimming with a bowling ball.

Voodoo Chile on February 14, 2016 at 6:02 PM

ISW [email protected] 4h4 hours ago
Great @nytgraphics use of ISW’s #Aleppo map. Syrian War Could Turn on Battle for Aleppo http://nyti.ms/20tAMXl @
================================

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CbMryEBWEAEv998.png

canopfor on February 14, 2016 at 6:02 PM

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/02/12/exclusive-u-s-allies-now-fighting-cia-backed-rebels.html

U.S. Allies Now Fighting CIA-Backed Rebels

Not long ago, U.S. jets and Shia militias worked together to battle ISIS. Today, those militias are trying to take down American proxies in Syria.

Iraqi militias who once fought ISIS with U.S. help are now working with Russian and Iranian forces to crush American-backed rebels in the strategic Syrian city of Aleppo, two defense officials have told The Daily Beast.

So…which side are we on here, and which side should we be on exactly?

sharrukin on February 14, 2016 at 6:08 PM

ISW [email protected] Feb 13
More on #Aleppo from ISW. #Russia Air Campaign in Aleppo by ISW’s Genevieve Casagrande. http://bit.ly/1SoEG4o

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CbIOVz9WwAEvOAe.png
===============================================

ISW [email protected] Feb 13
Who are #Syria opposition powerbrokers in #Aleppo? ISW’s Cafarella&Casagrande explain. http://bit.ly/1SNjd5w

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CbHY0WsVIAA2kLy.jpg
================================================

ISW [email protected] Feb 12
New ISW #Syria map. Our control of terrain w/ UN hard-to-reach/besieged areas+ceasefire. http://bit.ly/1PSdBEs

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CbDOHJ3WIAEl3i2.jpg
===============================================

https://twitter.com/TheStudyofWar

canopfor on February 14, 2016 at 6:11 PM

Syrian “cease-fire” may be DOA after two days

…well golly G!….who would have ever seen this coming?….I’m surprised it lasted two days!
…Horse tranquilizers are usually good for 24 hours…at most.

JugEarsButtHurt on February 14, 2016 at 6:12 PM

nice board!

WryTrvllr on February 14, 2016 at 6:19 PM

There won’t be any peace as long as the Saudi/Turk Axis of Evil funds the Christian hating and sharia loving jihadi sub-animals.

VorDaj on February 14, 2016 at 6:20 PM

Is this what you meant? The word “contained” has an ambiguous implication here.

It contained included the continuation of Russia’s bombings.

Schadenfreude on February 14, 2016 at 5:57 PM

gh on February 14, 2016 at 6:33 PM

The U.S. has refused to coordinate its coalition’s airstrikes against Islamic State in Syria with the Russian bombing campaign because of accusations Russia isn’t focused on the jihadists but the Assad opposition.

Yeah…because they’re the same guys.

That’s why Washington is not happy with Russia being involved. Which is largely why Putin has his forces there.

Now the Saudis have stationed fighters in Syria.

And, like with the last two Gulf wars, I see Israel is voting “present” yet again.

Hmmmmm.

Dr. ZhivBlago on February 14, 2016 at 7:46 PM

Everyone agreed to a ceasefire, except for the ones fighting. That’s working well.

TfromV on February 14, 2016 at 8:27 PM

Total incompetence in the White House. What do you expect from nothing but a LIAR, a community organizer, and a failed one, at that. As for being the first “black” president, he is a total failure and a disgrace to the office. Therefore, he is a disgrace to his race.

ultracon on February 14, 2016 at 8:38 PM

Yeah . . . about as effective as Obamacare.

No Truce With Kings on February 14, 2016 at 9:43 PM

Everyone agreed to a ceasefire, except for the ones fighting. That’s working well.

TfromV on February 14, 2016 at 8:27 PM

Sums it up pretty well.

forest on February 14, 2016 at 11:36 PM

Asking Arabs not to shoot at each other is like asking ice cream not to melt in July.

Deadeye on February 15, 2016 at 12:45 AM

BTW, Russia ordered large scale ‘surprise’ military exercises in the SW Military District bordering Turkey this past week. (< the NYT has decided to make the supporting article disappear…).

The exercises included the Black Sea & Caspian Sea Fleets.

The Syrian "cease fire" falling apart is the least of our worries… anybody think King Putt is ready for WW III?

CPT. Charles on February 15, 2016 at 1:13 AM

No mention of the Sunni-Shia war which is the underlying cause of all this fighting.

Shia side:
Russia
Iran
Iraq government
Syria government
Hezboullah
Numerous Shia militias from Iraq
Non-Sunni Syrian minorities
US
NATO

Sunni side:
Turkey
Saudi Arabia
Jordan
ISIS
Al Qaeda
numerous other Sunni warlords and jihadis
Muslim Brotherhood
Gulf States
Kuwait
Sunni parts of Iraq
other misc. kingdoms like Morocco
US
NATO

Straighten that mess out if you can. No One, no power on earth is going to get the Sunnis and Shias to stop fighting

Viator on February 15, 2016 at 7:23 AM

If there’s anyone who believed there actually was a cease fire, raise your hand. Anyone?

RebeccaH on February 15, 2016 at 11:27 AM

I won!

RESET … or … OVERCHARGE

whatever, I have a pen and a phone.

And I’ll get to FILL THE SUPREME COURT with Sanders Sympathizers!

And a PENSION FOR LIFE with Secret Service Protection!

So there!

Missilengr on February 15, 2016 at 6:59 PM