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EU Allies Breaking With US on Syria, Want Russia Involved

Spain and Austria say Syria crisis can only be solved with Assad and Russia

This post first appeared on Russia Insider

This article originally appeared in German at German Economic News.

Article summary: Whereas the goal of the US from the beginning of the Syrian war in 2011 has been to destabilize the country and remove Assad by supporting ISIS, now Washington’s allies in Europe are calling for supporting Assad.  It is a complete failure of US policy.

<figcaption>Austria's foreign minister in Tehran this week</figcaption>
Austria's foreign minister in Tehran this week


(Note:  We apologize for the rough translation, for lack of resources we have to use google translate for the bulk of the translation, tweaking here and there.  We welcome volunteers who would be able to help us translate from German to English as there is a lot of interesting material.  If interested please contact David Curry at [email protected])

The US policy front in Syria is crumbling: Austria and Spain are calling for the inclusion of President Assad and Russia in negotiations, whereas the goal of the US from the beginning has been to overthrow Assad.

In view of the refugee crisis demands are increasing in Europe to accept Syrian President Bashar al-Assad as a partner in the struggle against Islamic State (IS).

A common approach is a priority, said Foreign Minister of Austria Sebastian Kurz on Tuesday in Tehran. "It will not succeed without powers like Iran and Russia, and as such it needs pragmatic solidarity and also the involvement of Assad in the fight against IS-terrorism."

On Monday, Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia Margallo called on negotiations with Assad to end the war.

After the outbreak of the Syrian civil war of 2011, all Western states were initially agreed that there could be a future for the country only without President Assad. Since the military successes of IS and the resulting flood of refugees many governments have begun to reconsider.

One should not forget the crimes of the Assad regime though, the Austrian Foreign Minister said during a visit to Iran. In the fight against Assad, IS stands on the same side as the West. In addition, such cooperation means nothing for a long-term solution to the civil war in Syria.

France warned against the acceptance in Europe of all those fleeing IS. "If all these refugees come to Europe or somewhere else, then IS has won the game," said Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius in a radio interview.

Similarly, President Francois Hollande said: "If our countries accept the refugees, no longer help them and if we dont better support the families in camps in neighboring countries, then there will be not only tragedies, but an exodus.

According to data from the US government, there are signs of military intervention by Russia in Syria. Apparently, however, the US wants to prevent a stronger Russian role in the conflict.

In Israel, Amos Gilad, advisor to the defense minister Moshe Yaalon, said at a security conference: "The West, and indeed Russia and the whole world are trying to forge and alliance now against them (IS)." Gilad told Reuters it was still too early to estimate the military involvement of Russia.


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