Russia always presented itself as the only guarantor and the magic key for a solution in Syria on a democratic basis, away from war and destruction.
By Hamza al-Hourani – August 21, 2021
The Russian army officially entered Syria in 2015 with its destructive weapons to confront the Syrian people aspiring to a democratic political transition. They were rebelling against the reactionary and oppressive dictatorial regime represented by the rule of the Assad family that usurped the political, military and economic power in Syria since 1970.
Since then, Russia has been trying to show itself as a strong state that came to rid the Syrian people of the scourge of war, hold international meetings, and present political proposals to solve the crisis in Syria on a democratic basis.
At the same time as it carries out its political (media) activity, Russia has devoted its destructive military arsenal against the Syrian people, killed hundreds of thousands of Syrians, displaced millions of the Syrian people, and destroyed more than 50% of Syria’s land and infrastructure.
The terrorist and criminal acts practised by Russia in Syria that are internationally prohibited crimes under the laws of the United Nations and the laws of the UN Security Council were practised in all parts of Syria against people in their homes, against children, women and the elderly, against innocents whose only sin is that they demanded a democratic political transition in their country.
In addition, Russia practices a policy of deception and cunning to hunt prey, as its policy is represented in the siege of cities cutting off all means of life from food, medicine, water and electricity. Then a scorched earth policy is applied to the besieged areas, where all kinds of missiles and destructive warplanes are used. Then Russia presents one of two options: either Surrender and displacement to the northern borders of Syria (the policy of demographic change in the region) or die by bombing.
In 2018, an undeclared agreement occurred between America, Israel, Jordan and Russia. The agreement was intended to end the state of the armed conflict in southern Syria, most of whose areas were controlled by the Free Syrian Army. In the case of the Daraa Governorate, the situation was slightly different from the other attacks in Syria, given the important geographical location of Daraa on the borders of Israel and Jordan.
This agreement was preceded by several months – the US-Russian agreement at a summit meeting in the Vietnamese city of Daning, between US President Trump and Russian Putin. A cease-fire was agreed upon in southern Syria that engaged several countries, including Jordan, to push for an agreement between the Syrian opposition on the one hand and the Syrian regime under Russian auspices to end the state of armed conflict. In fact, the Russian delegate in the negotiation sessions repeated before the negotiators in the Bosra al-Sham Citadel and in the city of Daraa that he was authorized in these negotiations by 83 countries. He said: this agreement has international sponsorship and has an international character as well.
This agreement stipulates that America pledges to stop military operations in southern Syria in exchange for Russia’s pledge to ensure that the people of southern Syria remain on their land and Iranian militias would not enter the southern borders.
An agreement was reached between Russia and the notables of the Daraa Governorate in 2018. Russia presented itself as a guarantor to force the Syrian regime to implement the terms of the agreement.
The most important provisions of the settlement agreement in southern Syria in 2018 between representatives of the Free Syrian Army and civil society in the province of Daraa, and the Russian guarantor and the successor to the Assad regime on the other side were:
- A cease-fire throughout the governorate, lifting and removing barriers erected between cities and villages in the governorate, and ensuring freedom of movement for all citizens in the governorate and in other Syrian governorates.
- Providing humanitarian aid and government services to citizens, the continuation of the work of government institutions and the return of employees to their jobs and their places of work.
- The release of all detainees from the province.
- State institutions control all border crossings with Jordan (the old Daraa and Nassib crossing).
- The Free Syrian Army surrenders its heavy and medium weapons, and the individuals keep their light weapons.
- Reactivating police stations and stations in the cities and villages of the governorate and entrusting the task of protecting civil peace and security in the governorate to the police force.
- The administration of citizens’ affairs in the city of Daraa Al-Balad, Al-Sad and the camp of Palestinian refugees and displaced Syrians in Daraa Al-Mahatta, as well as the city of Bosra Al-Sham in the east of the governorate and the city of Tafas in the west of the governorate remain through the people of those cities and within their administrative responsibilities, and the army. State security agencies are not allowed to enter these three cities and regions.
- The army units will withdraw from the residential areas to their military barracks after a short period of security in the governorate, which is estimated at two months from the date of signing the settlement agreement.
- The status of officers, non-commissioned officers and individuals who defected from the army will be settled by not being prosecuted and held accountable, and they will be given the option to return to their positions in the army or to be retired without material compensation.
- The status of young men who are required for compulsory service in the army and who are left behind is settled by giving them the option of serving in the regime army units or serving in the Eighth Brigade in the Fifth Corps, which is managed by the Russian military command in Syria, provided that their mandatory service period is completed in both cases. Inside Daraa and Quneitra governorates exclusively.
The Syrian opposition factions in Daraa committed themselves to implement all the terms of the agreement, but in return, neither the Syrian regime nor the Russian guarantor committed themselves to any clause of the agreement.
The Syrian regime and Iranian militias (which Russia guarantees not to enter southern Syria under the 2018 US-Russian agreement) have imposed a siege on Daraa al-Balad, the dam and the camps 60 days ago. There are approximately 50,000 people (11,000 families) who are under siege, which means: water cut off, electricity, food, medicine, baby food and all the necessities of life are missing. In addition to the bombing of the only medical centre in the area, the targeting of residents’ homes with rocket-propelled grenades, artillery and rocket launchers, and the scorched-earth policy of the besieged area while internationally, there is silence.
Nearly 30 people have been killed since the beginning of the campaign, and there are hundreds of wounded who have no shelter or medical centres to look into their cases, with no medication.
This aggressive act came because of people of Daraa asked Russia and the Syrian regime to implement their pledges, and because of their refusal and boycott of the presidential elections that took place under Russian auspices five months ago, which is in violation of international resolution No. 2254 issued by the Security Council.
Russian generals threaten the region with war and destruction and may allow in Iranian militias killers, which are classified on the American and European terrorist lists. They are waiting to kill the people of the region and spread terrorist ideology in it.
Russia repudiated its status as a guarantor forcing the Syrian regime to implement the terms of the agreement, as the commander of the Russian forces in Syria responded to the Daraa Negotiations Committee that Russia is not a guarantor, but rather Russia plays the role of mediator.
It presented a draft road map represented in handing over the necks of the people of Daraa to the Iranian militias, who are eagerly waiting to cut them off.
This is the Russian deception of the Syrian people, whose only fault I their right to legitimate democratic change.
But the questions remain: Has this savage world not been saturated with the blood of the Syrians? How long will the bloodbath continue in Syria?
When will there be a real international force of justice that protects and defends the oppressed and punishes the criminal politicians who are protected from the monsters of the criminal world?
Is there a serious way to stop the massacres perpetrated by Russia and its allies, Iran and the Syrian regime, against the Syrian people?
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect IWL-FI’s editorial stance.