BERLIN/DAMASCUS | | syrien

BERLIN/DAMASCUS (Own report) - With impressive scholarship programs, the German government seeks to establish firm ties to the future elite of post-war Syria. Already last year the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs began to bring more than 200 selected Syrian students to Germany, within the "Leadership for Syria" program, to be instructed - alongside their academic studies - in advanced training in "governance," organizational setup and similar courses. The program run by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) - the largest foreign program the organization has ever undertaken - has the declared objective of preparing "a select elite among Syria's future leadership" for "active participation in organizing" post-war Syria. This assures Germany a wide range of channels for influence in Damascus over the next few decades. Berlin is also making efforts to sift out students from among the refugees arriving in Germany to be included in its efforts to gain influence. This would crystallize into Germany's becoming the Syrian elite's top European point of reference. more…

DAMASCUS/BERLIN | | syrien

DAMASCUS/BERLIN (Own report) - Today, Thursday, the first group of Bundeswehr soldiers will be leaving to go to war against the "Islamic State" (IS or Daesh). Participation in this war, which, according to government advisors will promote Germany to a "policy-shaping power in the Middle East," will assure Berlin reinforced integration into the most important command headquarters of the western war coalition against the IS/Daesh. It will also provide the German government more influence in the international power struggle over the reorganization of the Middle East. The establishment of an international protectorate is one of the issues. The first negotiations between the government of President Bashar al Assad, the Syrian opposition, and insurgent militias are due to begin at the beginning of January. Currently, opponents of the Syrian government and insurgent militias are in Riyadh to prepare for these negotiations, with the German government's approbation. Even though jihadist holy warriors are taking part in the Riyadh talks of the opposition, the northern Syrian Kurdish forces, which play a central role in the war against the IS/Daesh were among those not invited by the Saudi leadership. more…

PARIS/BERLIN | | frankreichsyrien

PARIS/BERLIN (Own report) - The German government does not preclude a Bundeswehr mission in Syria. According to government circles in Berlin, German military intervention to monitor a future ceasefire in that country is "conceivable," as was confirmed Wednesday. However, the German government rejects military support for France's airstrikes against the "Islamic State" (IS). In the aftermath of last Friday's attacks, Paris has expanded its offensives against IS bases in Syria, and evoked the "EU Mutual Defense Clause" - an unprecedented measure, obligating all EU member states, Germany included, to provide fundamental support. The French government insists on the Bundeswehr joining its offensive against IS, not merely as retaliation for Germany's EU domination. With military offensives against the IS - in which it is already playing a significant role - and by rallying the EU to support its campaign in Syria, under its command, Paris seeks to recuperate at least some of the influence it lost in essential economic and foreign policy areas, over the past few years. Berlin refuses to grant its French rival a strategic advantage. more…

DAMASCUS/MOSCOW/WASHINGTON/BERLIN | | syrienrussische-foederation

DAMASCUS/MOSCOW/WASHINGTON/BERLIN (Own report) - Berlin has sharply criticized Russian bombing raids in Syria. In a joint declaration with governments of several allied countries, including Turkey and Saudi Arabia, the German government claims the Russian Air Force did not target the "Islamic State" (IS) but the "Syrian opposition and civilians," and calls on Moscow to "immediately cease" these attacks. Russian bombers, however, have not only hit bases of the IS and other jihadi militias, but also the facilities of western-armed combatants, participating in the al-Nusra Front's offensive. Al-Nusra is the Syrian branch of al Qaeda, the primary target in the West's post 9/11 "War on Terror." The Russian air raids highlight a significant increase of Moscow's influence in the Middle East and the growing influence of non-Western powers in world affairs. They are another blow to western global hegemony. more…

DAMASCUS/NEW YORK/BERLIN | | syrien

DAMASCUS/NEW YORK/BERLIN (Own report) - A German government advisor has been given a leading function in future negotiations to end the war in Syria. Volker Perthes, Director of the Chancellery-financed German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP), will head one of the "working groups" recently created by Staffan de Mistura, the UN and Arab League's Special Envoy to Syria, to create a framework for concrete talks between Syria's government and opposition. Perthes, one of the most experienced German experts on the Middle East, attributes to Germany and the EU "primary governance responsibility" for those regions bordering on Europe in North Africa as well as the Middle East. He is supportive of possibly sending a "peacekeeping" military mission to Syria - even with German Bundeswehr participation. The SWP, under his direction, is researching the current "fragmentation of Syria" and the "development of political options" for that devastated country. Three years ago, the institute was still engaged - under the title, "The Day After" - in planning Syria's reorganization with the Syrian opposition, in the aftermath of what, at the time was considered the eminent overthrow of Syria's President Assad. more…

DAMASCUS/NEW YORK/BERLIN | | syrien

DAMASCUS/NEW YORK/BERLIN (Own report) - In New York, Germany's foreign minister will take part in talks this week to seek possible alignments of interests between the major powers in reference to the war in Syria. Parallel developments have made it appear advisable for western powers to accept ending - or at least freezing - the war. Russia has grown stronger and can no longer be ignored in Middle East affairs. Simultaneously, the US administration would like to proceed with its announced global political "pivot to Asia" and would like to avoid over-stretching its forces in the Middle East quagmire - as the Bush administration had done. Berlin, and the rest of the EU are currently doing everything to halt the flow of refugees. It can no longer be afforded to bleed Syria dry with this war, according to one author. A similar alignment of interests would already have been possible back in February 2012, reported the diplomat and former President of Finland, Martti Ahtisaari. At the time, according to his account, Russia had proposed to the West that the Syrian government and opposition reach an agreement, following a period of grace, President Bashar al Assad would be forced to step down. According to Ahtisaari, the West, turned down the proposition, based on the assumption of Assad's assured overthrow and a complete takeover of Syria. Berlin also followed this line of action. The theme discussed in the current talks resemble Moscow's proposition at that time - three and a half years and hundreds of thousands of deaths later. more…

BERLIN | | syrien

BERLIN (Own report) - Wolfgang Ischinger, Chairman of the Munich Security Conference, is calling for the Bundeswehr's deployment in Syria. It is high time, to discuss "seriously" the creation of so-called safe havens and "no-fly zones in and around Syria," according to Ischinger. This "of course" would call for the participation of the German Armed Forces and in relationship to the deployment of ground forces, "nothing can be ruled out." Ischinger is also providing justification for going to war. Whereas Syria has been submerged in war, because of the arms supplies furnished by the West and its regional allies to insurgent militias - including Al Qaeda and the "Islamic State" (IS), this influential diplomat claims that the current "conflagration" is the consequence of Western non-intervention. These war plans are, however, a reaction to Russia's growing influence also in the Middle East. In recent months, Moscow has been holding extensive negotiations in view of settling the Syrian war. In his speech before the UN General Assembly on September 28, President Putin is expected to propose a new anti-IS coalition, with inclusion of the Syrian government. Therefore, in the framework of the Western Alliance, Berlin would like to counter Russia's growing role in international politics. more…

DAMASCUS/BERLIN | | syrien

DAMASCUS/BERLIN (Own report) - With its foreign policy, Germany is largely contributing to starvation and armed conflicts on several continents, thereby forcing millions to flee - also toward Europe. This becomes evident, when one looks at Berlin's policies regarding various countries in Southeast Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia. Political interference and even occasional military interventions have, in many cases, subverted nations and forced their populations to seek refuge. German policy toward Syria is a good example. According to official statistics, the Federal Republic of Germany has granted asylum to more than 100,000 Syrian refugees. A brief analysis published in 2012 by the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP) in Berlin, indicates that the German government, in its choice of political support for the insurgency against Assad's government, had consciously accepted the risk of creating the war conditions that would force these refugees to flee. The German government is condoning, still today, its close allies' assistance to jihadist organizations, such as the "Islamic State" (IS), in spite of the IS having again forced countless numbers to flee. Berlin continues to insist on maintaining the embargo on Syria, even though for years observers have been admonishing that this creates unbearable living conditions for the entire population. Critics are calling for an immediate end to the embargo. more…

WASHINGTON | | syrienusa

WASHINGTON In August 2012, the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) mentioned a possible "Salafist Principality" in Eastern Syria and a possible foundation of an "Islamic State". german-foreign-policy.com documents excerpts from the DIA paper. more…

DAMASCUS/BERLIN/WASHINGTON | | syrien

DAMASCUS/BERLIN/WASHINGTON (Own report) - German government advisors are calling for intensifying the military engagement in the Syrian war. According to an article published by the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP), western countries "must seriously re-think their original strategy" for overthrowing the Assad government, because it had placed too much emphasis on the "promotion of civilian structures." The establishment of a no-fly zone over the entire Syrian airspace would be one of the necessities. At the same time, demands are being raised in the USA to cooperate with the Assad government and Iran in the war against IS. The US once had even "allied with Stalin to fight Hitler," reasons an influential US foreign policy expert. The demand is being opposed, not only in Germany but also in the USA, where a former CIA analyst is calling for the establishment of a conventional Syrian exile army in a neighboring country, which, in two to three years, should intervene in Syria. more…