tv Inside Story 2017 Ep 324 Al Jazeera November 22, 2017 10:32am-11:01am +03
war by chasing a defector across the border between the two countries that affect a soldier was shot as he crossed the frontier he was rescued by south korean soldiers who dragged into safety talks are taking place in the russian city of sochi to determine the outcome of the syrian war turkey which backs syrian rebel groups and president bashar al assad's allies iran and russia are there groups opposed to our side will gather in the saudi capital riyadh it follows a surprise visit to russia on monday for talks with president vladimir putin. the u.n. says more than thirty flights carrying much needed aid into yemen have been cancelled requests for new ones being answered humanitarian staff of been unable to move in or out of yemen's capital sana'a. and its blockade two weeks ago some yemeni boards have reopened to allow in food and fuel but aid groups say that's not
enough the un's warning millions of people face starvation if the restrictions and measures. those are your headlines the news continues here now to syria after inside story. facing reality is a piece of machinery goes wrong is there a chain of litigation through which we can bring a legal system to bear getting to the heart of the matter i don't think we needed the ball but some of my producers just did hear their story on talk to how dizzy. this time. as the war in syria really almost over syria's president visits russia to thank his allies for their sacrifices they say victory is close and are talking about a political solution how likely is that with a badly divided opposition and rebel areas still bombarded by as strikes this is inside story.
i know that i'm sure a call welcome to the program he starts them for their sacrifices and for saving his country so as president bashar al assad has flown to russia for a few hours to meet his major lot of air pollution the kremlin says russia's president told him that the fight against all md groups is close to finishing and once is over finding a peaceful political settlement will be key is that achievable the opposition has long demanded a future syria without outside but he survived nearly seven years of war and is likely to remain in charge for the foreseeable future publicly for coming we just had a meeting with president vladimir putin and i passed greetings and gratitude to him and to the people of russia for the efforts which russia put in saving our country i particularly emphasized the role of the russian armed forces and the sacrifices
you have made to reach the school thanks to your efforts and the efforts of our allies many syrians could return to their homes and i would like to express gratitude to you for what you have done on behalf of all the syrian people. yes you would never president assad knows and he told me journal talks that thanks to the efforts of the russian army syria is saved as a state much has been done to stabilize the situation in syria and i hope in the near future we'll put a final stop to fighting terrorism in syria let's take a look at who controls what in syria right now the government forces and their russian allies have had the momentum on the ground for the past year they now control more than fifty percent of territories seen here in red including syria's four largest cities the rebel areas are in green there are human allied to the syrian regime made gains into eisel territory in the east shown here in black and much of the north is in the hands of u.s. backed kurdish forces shown here in yellow they're seeking to establish an
independent region let's bring in our panel now and we're joined here in doha doha by kabul under rector of policy analysis at the doha institute and to moscow we're joined by going to our russian foreign policy specialists in calling this for novaya gazeta welcome all of you thanks very much for joining us here on inside story pawel this is only the second time is that the bashar assad has left syria since the war began in two thousand and eleven why is he in moscow now does this market crucial turning point in the war. well it was actually not moscow but so much it which is the defacto russian second capital and putin spends almost half the year there and now he has right now gathered all his military top brass and military industry top brass and he introduced. to them and it's also important may
be interesting to notice that most likely. over food to sort you over turkish territory and russian military plane before that turkey was not zero hour in russian transit flights from the source area to. base but now it does so most likely he was over flying thirty territory so yes it's important for russia to demonstrate to the russian public are there is there in the election coming up next march presidential action that russia is victorious pushing as again victorious the war in syria is almost over mission accomplished plays well on the domestic front in russia as well. do we generally accept now is there an acceptance that russia is firmly in the driving seat when it comes to finding a solution to the syria issue i guess it is and in fact. shall i say it was
actually called to sochi head of an important summit that's going to take place to morrow for the heads of the key players in the syrian conflict. and iran and i think having pressure actually hosting this meeting but important meeting in my opinion and means that russia is the de facto power broker in syria don't forget that the united states actually has already accepted that russia is calling the shots and russia is leading i mean the political the supposed to mean political solution in this country but before that i was one i wanted. actually to draw that tension to this picture which in fact summarizes the seven years of conflict in syria with the outcome of so many years of conflict in syria yesterday the head of the opposition resigned actually ahead of a major opposition conference and riyadh whereas the head of the syrian regime is
in moscow thanking his big ally for saving the contrary they summarize in my opinion that the outcome of the conflict and and syria which is a very important thing for me at the water actually. ok we're just pieces say that we've got our first guest joining us from london our wakka he is a member of the british syrian society welcome to the discussion mom was just talking about riyadh her job having just resigned from the h.n.c. we want to bring you a little bit about what he said because it was on monday the heads of the main so saudi backed syrian opposition group that's a high negotiations committee resigned along with main other figures and he did explain why exactly he was quitting but he did post this statement online services read that after close to two years of hard work to preserve the glorious principles of the syrian revolution i find myself forced to announce my resignation from the
age and see wishing it good luck and wishing peace and security to my beloved country syria is a crucial talking point isn't it today in our discussion and i'm a what do you see as behind riyadh jobs resignation the main point here was that as we understand it was that they were not really invited to to the conference in riyadh that we are to conference and the reason behind that would was apparently that they were known to be an obstacle to adopting a new kind of sea route towards a different sort of engagement for the syrian opposition with the peace process in syria or the political settlement in syria the you know were understood to have said no we will stick with for example wanting to get rid of prison i want to
go to dismantle the security apparatus. you know the numerous ones and so on and so forth basically to dismantle the regime. and apparently there is a new tendency now in riyadh. to enlarge the. body. that is under the saudi umbrella and that would mean getting some new ideas and compromising a little bit with other bodies like the cairo for example. the platform and the moscow platform in order to engage with what is has become a reality which is that president assad is staying in place and one could argue for a longer time than previously perceived more on what is this new route is it soley that assad now has a place beyond the end of the military conflict whether it's transitional or more
permanent we don't know yet but is that generally the main gist of the new oppositions and i think this is what the trends are hoping for if you look at the joint statement by the u.s. president russian president on the side of the ethnic summit in vietnam last week actually it did not mention any political transition in syria this is on the one hand on the other hand actually they were talking about issues that maybe the russians are willing to to endure in syria like for example having a constitution although i mean no but they still know what sort of constitution what we're going to have in syria because this is a major point of contention between him and the opposition and that is something that the conference for the opposition and the riata more must address. they are talking about even having the two thousand and twelve constitution which was in fact written by the regime itself with few modifications or going back to the one nine hundred fifty constitution syrian constitution which was actually drafted like
sixty years sixty years ago number two is the elections but there is also no no talk about what sort of elections that we are going to have is a parliamentary elections or presidential elections these are two important things in brief the russians. are having their way it's seems that the russians are having their way in syria but without i mean we shouldn't be very optimistic about about the mixed them succeeding because she was part of syria is still actually outside the control of the city and of the syrian regime one third of the of the country this is and might be in the most important one third of the country which means the syrian al-jazeera on the north and south the north and south part of the country which is most of syria's oil reserve water easier also is actually located in that region and might be and the rest of the country cannot survive without that part of the remains under the control of the syrian democratic forces i.e. the cordis forces that means actually the conflict in syria is going to last for
much longer than people are actually talking about i mean important portion of a lot of huge points which hopefully we can we can revisit a later discussion i just want to ask you one more question for the moment on the conference tomorrow that being held in riyadh lots of different opposition groups are we being brought together do you think there will come out of that a single united opposition voice that doesn't involve assad stepping down i think there are three there are three major groups are not many but three major groups the most core that are yard. opposition groups and they are meeting specifically for this purpose to agree on a common ground for the whole opposition in order to be able to go in one joint delegation to go to geneva and to start this negotiations with with there is jim there is a huge pressure on all of them actually including from saudi arabia from egypt from the three the three major players here that we are having saudi arabia which
actually have leverage over the. opposition group it cairo which has leverage over to cairo egypt which has developed over the cairo group and most she which is very much seeking right now to have this sort of new norm and you. delegation joined delegation to the bridge in the city and because without that you can't have a political process starting actually within the geneva process so there is going to be huge pressure on these different groups in order to agree on one common ground to start to kick off this geneva process of what you would you broadly agree with that there is a russian delegation going to this conference in saudi on wednesday is there a huge pressure being placed on the opposition to fall in line. well those are gathering in riyadh. of course not those who are part but part of the opposition that's more was close to moscow but it's right this the russian delegation and special representative for the him or put in there is going there
and will be speaking there it demonstrates the new kind of fact who will bring him in the middle east where russia is trying very hard to broaden its alliances and not to be just kind of. appendix to. iran in part but have good connections with sunni major powers with saudi arabia with turkey with egypt and russia would want to be the kind of the. country that's kind of balancing the situation in the do east which talks that everyone has good relations with everyone including israel and that will make russia indispensable hour in finding a kind of new status quo in the middle east and of course russia has very specific military targets in the syrian conflict and that's the establishment and
further keeping the military bases the tartars naval bases being expanded and even more importantly the main meme airbase which is called the mediterranean coast and which will provide support and cover to the russian mediterranean flotilla so that explains why russia is so keen to be such a key player in this process. just going back to mons point and i wonder whether you agree with that whether there are still huge parts of syria that are not represented of the diplomatic front and will be obstacles to this process but he what's called the geneva process or the astonished process but they don't feel that their representatives. well this is in a sense phase two of the problem or the syrian crisis if we could summarize there what happened in the past seven years as phase one which is coming to an end i.e. part of the syrian people taking up arms against the government that's you know ending up now as we speak the second phase would be to reunite the country under
a central government once more and obviously there are certain groups who disagree whether it should be a central government or a federal system and they have allies the united states is definitely giving or providing a huge cover to the kurds in terms of getting as much clean cora's as much under their belt to trade with the government they have to or oil fields they have a lot of the huge swaths of of the syrian plateau where there are lots of resources oil water gas cotton wheat whatever. so there will be some trading but we don't think that this is going to turn into a be an armed conflict so to speak these people are still syrians their opinions will most probably be taken into consideration as long as they don't go you know off shoot with whatever dreams they have or somebody might say well if
you could tell for damascus then probably it would be at a later stage when they would join in the political process the political process is still in its infancy you really were still getting the main body of the opposition to accept. defeat so to speak in their attempts to overthrow the government and let's see what happens in riyadh there is no. can there is no. guarantee whatsoever that it's going to be a successful conference even thought the hardliners or the hawks have resigned as their instinct turn of phrase it using their hard liner or hawk but has only recently come into the conversation that if someone is insisting that assad go they are seen as an obstacle. well in a sense there are those in the syrian opposition who cannot envisage sharing power or. at least having to deal with any part of governance whilst present our side is
there they forget in a sense let's just call them the hawks for a moment they forget that there are quite a few syrians who believe that the government is actually protecting them and actually in fact the the majority of syrians who are currently inside syria fearless such and to convince those at present shouldn't be there is going to be a very huge task and i think that's where practicality comes and that's where the regional powers and the international powers have realized who actually who originally backed the opposition and still do have realized that it would be very hard to just force a person outside our they've tried everything they could and it didn't happen and to convince the syrians inside syria who happened to be the only ones who are definitely going to for the moment at least definitely going to participate in any upcoming election is going to be very hard so off with those who believe that you
know. the syrian government is going to be dismantled and president must go and let's bring those who are more pragmatic and can live with it so to speak more what happens to those people who still believe that assad must go before the get out there are two points number one is that in my opinion the opposition has not been offered a share empowered. by that otherwise the whole conflict shouldn't have started from the very beginning number two i can't accept the statement that one party in syria has been defeated and another party has won i think all syrians actually have been defeated in this conflict don't forget that. half of the syrian population are displaced now without internet or externally and the country is. very much divided is the factor division now because we have been talking over the past a few minutes about the kurdish opposition and there is in control in different
parts of the of the country more than sixty percent of the infrastructure has been destroyed we don't have control over our feet as syrians we are being point toward actually either by the russians that you're on yes the turks the saudis every single country maybe in the world is having is having a bit of control over the city and. sovereignty and and and control so i i don't see that a syrian went out in this in this conflict this is why i believe that the opposition and the regime must come to the conclusion that maybe it's time now for your for national reconciliation and for the syrian people to decide who is going to go. around the country in the next in the next phase but what mullen says is absolutely right isn't it because let's look at the other important meeting that's on wednesday and this is a meeting between russia iran and turkey interesting enough that turkey is being brought to that table but also where the syrians are in that meeting i mean this is once again outside forces talking about syria without syria present.
oh that's how it's going to be because the internal syrian civil war if not ended but it skylander for reached a big turning point and now it's going to be even more most internationalized as the isis has been eliminated at least as a quasi state and is a back into being some kind of terrorist organization but there are the into x. outside forces there's reports of turkish armor and troops moving in to province additionally and moving up to the free and. occupied by the kurds will be a conflict there possibly israel has announced that it will not tolerate the iranian or his bow of bases being established in syria and can go to war over that
with all due respect between and it and yahoo and. and there are the saudis who are right now very much opposed to reigne and also a presence in lebanon the has both and the iranians and syria so there is the outside powers that didn't go away and now since the common enemy of everyone isis is more or less out of the picture as a big force these forces are going to be kind of going at each other with each having in their own agenda and i'm a wife we've been seeing these you tense from these outside powers i'm thinking of saudi arabia i'm thinking of tacky even cast they are no longer demanding assad steps down and they seem to be falling into line with russia. i think that the russian intervention in syria changed the formulae in a sense everybody is being more pragmatic programmatic story and the whole of the point is that there is a conflict that i have invested
a lot of resources into into. for the reason of gaining some influence for getting whatever it is it's going to slip out of my hand if i don't do anything if i don't change my position if i don't become a little bit more problematic so they're keeping themselves in a game as such the saudis definitely the turkish position to slightly different because. they have been sort of forced either into a direct confrontation with russia which was likely to be the case two years exactly from now or get in line with russia and do something about it and actually gain or mitigate the risk of establishing a for example a kurdish state in north and northeast and syria so they benefited somehow from aligning themselves with russia on that specific no. it's probably because of the problems in the gulf they need some sort of a and insurance card in
a sense against whatever the saudis would like to have and so it is for different reasons different players have shifted positions lightly in order to stay in the game and more what's that mean for the u.s. position what role is left for the u.s. to play now not much actually especially after the defeat of feisal in syria the major u.s. interest actually in syria and in the entire region was the war against isis and since i was and has been defeated in both iraq and syria we don't see much of us at all here but of course i mean i wish i was with one actually that they were as to also fall in line and and to support their often order to i mean to end this conflict but as i said i mean before that the u.s. seems to have accept that the. the russians are actually the major power broker here in syria that the syrian actually a question has been much more of it actually has been left with the russians what i think that americans will be trying over the next next three is actually of this
conflict to influence somehow the course of of events. concerning the political solution not allowing the opposition to be entirely defeated and a settlement a political settlement impose upon them bye bye bye a show which which actually leaves them nothing after seven years of conflict so two big meetings to watch this week we will leave the discussion there for now though thank you very much to all our guests for joining us. have all felgenhauer and like you and thank you to very much for watching you can see the program again any time by visiting our website this al-jazeera dot com and further discussion to go to our facebook page that's facebook dot com for slash a.j. inside story you can also join the conversation on twitter at a.j. inside story from me laura and the whole team here by.
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