An Al-Qaeda offshoot has agreed to a temporary ceasefire to allow for humanitarian evacuations. You'll never guess the bulwark of democracy who is acting as a guarantor...
Jaish al-Fatah, a coalition of Islamist "rebel" factions that teamed up with Al-Nusra Front, has agreed to a deal to allow the evacuation of four besieged areas in Syria.
Residents of Foah and Kefraya, two government-held towns in the north-west, would be bussed out.
In return, people in two rebel-held towns near Damascus, Madaya and Zabadani, will be given safe passage.
Foah and Kefraya, most of whose residents are Shia Muslims, have been encircled by rebels and al-Qaeda-linked Sunni jihadists since March 2015.
But how is this possible?
Al-Nusra Front, Al-Qaeda in Syria, Tahrir al-Sham, Jaish al-Fatah — whatever you want to call them — point is: These are bad hombres who have always been excluded from negotiations and ceasefires because they're terrorists who can't be reasoned with.
Unless, of course, you're Qatar.
Again, the BBC:
It added that the deal was drafted by Qatar - which backs the opposition to President Bashar al-Assad - following negotiations between representatives of Iran - an ally of the government - and an Islamist rebel alliance, Jaysh al-Fath.
Yes, peace-loving, democracy-promoting Qatar:
You read it here first: Qatar was somehow magically able to talk some sense into Al-Qaeda in Syria. How? It's a mystery! What we do know is that Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov called up Qatar to discuss "signing on to a ceasefire agreement". We're sure this was a very pleasant conversation:
On March 29, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov held a telephone conversation with Minister of Foreign Affairs of the State of Qatar Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al-Thani.
The parties discussed the current situation in Syria with an emphasis on the importance of signing the ceasefire agreement to ease the plight of the civilian population and enable humanitarian aid delivery.
Yes, Qatar was asked to join the ceasefire, and then magically Al-Qaeda stopped chopping heads. Coincidence or fate?
Before [Russia] moved [into Syria] with our air force, the U.S. coalition was very rarely hitting ISIL positions and almost never hitting the positions of Jabhat al-Nusra, which many people believe has been spared just in case at some point they might be needed to topple the regime.
And this feeling, this suspicion, is still very much alive these days, when Jabhat al-Nusra already twice changed its name, but it never changed its sponsors who continue to pump money and whatever is necessary for fighting into this structure. And people know this.
Can we stop pretending that Washington and its client states aren't up to their necks in blood? Thanks. Much appreciated.
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