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After Weeks of Talking up Syria Partition West Now Claims It's Russia That Wants It

Projecting own sins on perfidious Russia. What else is new?


Now this is funny/bizarre/retarded. The Italian daily La Stampa has just come out to say that Russia is working to "split" up Syria,

The Bosnia Solution, How Russia Plans To Split Syria In Three

Moscow is quietly working toward a federal future for war-torn Syria, with a central government but the nation divided into three different ethnic zones. It's a nod to Kurdish ambitions and lessons from the Balkans.

Moreover La Stampa  bizarrely claims the Russians are thus "outflanking" the US which is attempting to keep the country together.

After intervening in the long-running conflict on Bashar al-Assad's behalf, Russia is cautiously planning a federal solution for Syria. As the war sputters on during a temporary ceasefire, Russia is outflanking U.S. attempts at other solutions that don't foresee any partition of the country.

Furthermore Russian thinking is supposedly inspired by the US-imposed Bosnia "solution": 

Moscow's plan is inspired by the "Bosnian solution" that arose from the 1995 Dayton Accords, which split Bosnia-Herzegovina into a federation of two ethnic states with a weak central government. 

In fact every single step of this narrative is the exact opposite of the truth. Firstly it was State Department's John Kerry who first raised the prospect of breaking up Syria two weeks ago:

John Kerry, the US secretary of state, has said he will move towards a plan B that could involve a partition of Syria if a planned ceasefire due to start in the next few days does not materialize, or if a genuine shift to a transitional government does not take place in the coming months.

Kerry suggested partition could form part of an eventual solution, saying “this can get a lot uglier and Russia has to be sitting there evaluating that too. It may be too late to keep it as a whole Syria if it is much longer”.

It was a trial balloon which the Russians immediately shot down, however: 

Russians of course, were instead scandalized by the suggestion and have signaled they won't be a party to that either, or ever allow it to happen. Russian FM Lavrov: "We've already said everything on the ‘plan B’ - there never was one and there never will be." 

Secondly, since Kerry spoke of partition Washington insiders have come out of the woodwork to do the heavy lifting and justify it. At least two think-tank pieces were writen in recent days making a case for such a scheme. There was the piece in Foreign Policy by former military NATO chief James Stavridis "It’s Time to Seriously Consider Partitioning Syria" and another at The National Interest by Michael O'Hanlon of the Brooking Institute "Bosnia as a Model for Securing Syria".

And yes, what do you know – it turns out it is then the Americans rather than Russians who are invoking Bosnia as a model for Syria.

The only statements that La Stampa has to back up its narrative is one where the Russian deputy FM says it's not Russia's place to block an agreement that all Syrian parties agree to, which is falls far short of Kerry's idea of imposing the partition:  

If all parties agree to a federal Syria and it guarantees the territorial unity, independence and sovereignty of the country, then who would object?" says Sergey Ryabkov, Russia's deputy foreign minister.

And secondly, analysis by a Russian geopolitics specialist who says Kurds "are not fighting for Assad" and will need to be accommodated after the war. That, however, isn't "outflanking" the US but acknowledging the reality that Kurds do not see themselves as Syrian and are much stronger now than before the war while post-war Damascus will be far weaker. Kurds are unlikely to want to give up their de facto independent Rojava statatement for anything else than an autonomous federal unit and Syria is in no position to break them, at least without outside help but which will almost certainly not be forthcoming (except in the case of an unholy alliance of Ankara and Damascus).

"Syrian Kurds primarily fight terrorists, but they don't fight to keep Assad in power," he says. "The only reasonable solution is federalism because we can neither push back the Kurds nor allow them to separate from Syria, since that would set a bad precedent." In his view, a federal Syria would preclude the country's "Balkanization" into several independent statelets.

Acknowledging that due to destructive US, Saudi and Turkish interference the Kurdish and the jihadi genie both are now out of the bottle, but that Russia only has the will to push the latter, but not also the former back in the bottle, is not the same as actively working to contribute to Syria partition.


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