Iraqi President Salih to visit Damascus within next few days: Report
…from Press TV, Tehran
Update: This piece was written yesterday, when I was not anticipating the US announcement of its withdrawal today, of course in reality a partial one regardless of what it claims. I would have figured it would have been a start the New Year move.
“Following the announcement, the US official stated that in 24 hours, all US State Department staff will be evacuated from Syria adding that it is expected that the troops will return home within 60 to 100 days.”
All I can surmise at this point is that Washington has blinked over Erdogan’s threat to attack into Syrian-Kurdish territory. The loud hint that was the case was the mention today that the withdrawal will begin “immediately” leaving the Kurds to fight for themselves, which means they would probably withdraw.
If this is the case, now we will get to see of Erdogan backs off on his attack, as we hear all units are already at their jumping off points, or if he decides it will be easier to do now with the US pulling out.
What was left out of the reporting was the US opening a new base in Iraq on the Syrian border, which will probably be a staging area for SDF supplies and US Special Ops forces. And then the US air power will remain right where it is in terms of conduction air strikes.
We will see what questions are asked today, and what the answer are, to get a better feel for this being a real deal pull out, or a theatrical one…JD ]
[ Editor’s Note: All I can say here is better late than never. I am dying for the Iraqis to tell us why they dissed Assad by not visiting him all these years when they were both under attack by the same enemy.
They stood up to the US when allowing the Russian planes to fly strike missions through their air space, as they did for the Iranians to test the accuracy of their ground to ground missiles.
I has also anticipated that when they crushed ISIS and took control of their Syrian border area that they would have coordinated a joint military effort to save eastern Syria being taken over by the US and its proxy Kurds, threatening the flanks of both Syria and Iraq.
This allowed the US to block a land bridge between the two at the border crossings til this day. Meanwhile the US taxpayer goes in debt to have all the Syrian Kurdish supplies flown in to Iraqi bases and then trucked into Syria to help the Kurds set up a quasi-state after having been accepted as refugees into Syria many years ago. Some thanks there.
But this has been a good week for Syria as the political process is moving forward without US participation, and creating greater pressure for it to leave. Syrian refugees continue to return to the southern part of Syria now. The Idlib area refugees will have to wait.
The Arab League boycott has been broken with the first leaders coming to pay respects to Assad for battling the the US Coalition beast. The focus will shift more now to rebuilding Syria, which will be slap to the Israeli war hawks.
And we can understand why Assad held off on the Idlib offensive as that would have been tough to do and keep keep the new constitution process going. Syria made the wise move to get the political process going and deal with the remaining terror groups with a united country behind him.
And who knows if Erdogan will go into the northern Kurdish areas in Syria just to spite the US for its alleged involvement in the coup. Would the US really engage that effort with air power strikes, and light another powder keg to put on Trump’s full plate already? Inquiring minds would love to know… Jim W. Dean ]
– First published … December 18, 2018 –
Iraqi President Barham Salih is reportedly going to pay an official visit to Damascus, in his first visit to Syria since the start of the foreign-sponsored conflict there more than seven years ago.
An Iraqi diplomatic source, speaking on condition of anonymity, told the Arabic service of Russia’s Sputnik news agency on Tuesday that the 58-year-old Kurdish politician will depart Baghdad for the Syrian capital “in the coming days.”
The report came only two days after Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir became the first Arab League leader to visit Damascus.
Syria’s official news agency SANA said Bashir was greeted by his Syrian counterpart Bashar al-Assad upon arrival at Damascus International Airport, before they both headed to the presidential palace.
The two leaders discussed bilateral ties and the “situations and crises faced by many Arab countries”, the Syrian presidency said in a statement.
SANA quoted the Sudanese leader as saying during the meeting that he hoped Syria will recover its important role in the region as soon as possible.
He also affirmed Khartoum’s readiness to provide all that it can to support Syria’s territorial integrity.
Assad, for his part, thanked al-Bashir for his visit, asserting that it will give strong momentum for restoring relations between the two countries “to the way it was before the war on Syria.”
Earlier this month, Lebanese legislator Abdel Rahim Mourad said he had been officially informed by Emirati officials that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) intends to restore diplomatic relations with Syria, and open its embassy in Damascus.
“The UAE supports the return of Syria to the Arab League,” the Lebanese parliamentarian said while taking part in the “Game of Nations” program on Arabic-language al-Mayadeen television news network.
He also asserted that he had played a similar role as a mediator between Syria and Saudi Arabia.
Mourad said Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had not reacted negatively to the idea of a rapprochement between Riyadh and Damascus.
Syria has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy since March 2011. The Syrian government says the Israeli regime and its Western and regional allies are aiding Takfiri terrorist groups wreaking havoc in the country.