Alexey Sarabiev: "Americans won't leave Syria, even if we take cultural-mystical aspect into consideration"
Talks between Vladimir Putin and Lebanese President Michel Aoun were held in Kremlin yesterday. During the meeting, presidents discussed the fact that the United States’s recognzed the Golan Heights as part of Israel, which undermines all foundations and rules of the UN and international law. "For the second time in history, we celebrate when the state simply takes away occupied territories in this region. Of course, this is very disturbing and of particular concern to those countries that are in close proximity to Israel. We hope that solution and resolution to this problem will be found soon," Aoun said.
Leading researcher at the Arab and Islamic Studies Center of the Oriental Studies Institute of the Russian Academy of Science, Alexey Sarabiev, discussed situation in the region in an interview with Vestnik Kavkaza.
- How will recognition of Golan Hights as part of Israel by US President Donald Trump affect situation in the region?
- This issue is one among many of scandalous decision made by Trump along with decision to transfer American Embassy to Jerusalem. Territorial issues always hurt local residents. In addition, this is the territory on which Syrians counted on, and which almost returned to Syria in 2001-2001. At that time, negotiations were underway and they were quite successful. Observers even said that this was basically a resolved issue. American intervention in Iraq led, among other things, to suspension of negotiations. Now, if despite all previous decisions and common sense a violent territorial changes will occur under pressure from an overseas power, it will cause unpredictable reaction.
- How will situation in Syria unfold in the future?
- I hope that it will change based on the plan that was developed by Russia, Turkey and Iran. We're doing everything to achieve this so that situation unfolds according to most favorable scenario. We hope that situation with enclave of militants, which is concentrated in the Idlib area, will be gradually resolved. After all, those are people with weapons that are not ready to give up. Transition process must be carried out in accordance with decisions of the first Geneva Conference, and some steps by Americans, such as recognition of the Golan Heights as Israeli territory, only sow discord.
Americans likely didn't abandon their plan to cultivate opposition that won't give up. It's possible that train such forces in the remote "Er-Ruban" refugee camp in Syria. Previously they wanted to implement these plans in Syria, train militants of the Free Syrian Army. These plans have failed, but now people who are completely dependent on Americans in the Er-Ruban camp can be trained in the way Americans want.
Americans use soft power, supply weapons and provide training for soldiers and officers. For example, Lebanese soldiers regularly in the United States. Up to 32 thousand soldiers of the Lebanese army, most likely officers, were trained in the United States. That's how pro-Western force works. Basically, it's difficult to predict what will happen in Syria, since it remains a scene of clash of interests between world powers, including regional powers.
- Didn't the United States announce their plans to leave Syria?
- No one is going anywhere. No one stopped interfering in Syria's affairs. Let me remind you that the phrase "religious fundamentalism" originated in America in the early 1920s. America is a very religious country. We can also take cultural-mystical aspect into consideration (the Middle East is the heart of earthly civilization, birthplace of world religions, heart of the Earth), so it's difficult to imagine that Americans will leave. And if we take geostrategic, military, strategic, and economic aspects into account, no one will leave Syria. Definitely. Most likely, pressure will only increase.