Government forces and the opposition are fiercely fighting in Aleppo. The outcome of the fight is important both strategically and psychologically. The economic capital of Syria cannot belong to the rebels: their victory will inevitably open the way to establishing control over the north of the country. Foreign Minister of Syria urged the UN to demand that the powerful countries of the East and West stop supporting terror. The latter are discussing the removal of Assad.
Damascus called on the UN Security Council and the Secretary General to demand Turkey, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, France, Britain and the U.S. stop supporting terrorists who are fighting on the territory of Syria. The Foreign Ministry of Syria addressed the UN Security Council and Secretary General Ban Ki-moon with a formal appeal, calling them to demand from the armed fighters "to withdraw from the Syrian cities and to stop terrorist actions." The Foreign Ministry believes that the paramilitary groups, thrown into the territory of Syria, obtain money and weapons from the above-mentioned Western and Eastern sponsors and use them to commit "horrific crimes," earlier in Damascus and today in Aleppo.
The Foreign Ministry papers show the evidence of the seizure of hostages by the armed opposition among civilians and using them as "human shields". The rebels are deliberately fighting in densely populated areas of the cities. Those who do not support the rebels are killed, others are forced to leave homes under a threat of execution, according to Damascus. There are significant complaints about the sponsors of the terror: "It is regrettable that those who claim that they care about Syria never called on terrorist groups to stop armed attacks and join the political process proposed by the United Nations and approved by Syria."
The Syrian Foreign Ministry confirmed in a letter to the UN Security Council its commitment to implement the plan of Kofi Annan in Damascus. The way out of the crisis is possible only through a national dialogue involving representatives of the Syrian people. According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, all attempts of the UN mission to reach a settlement will not affect the situation until the opposition stops the violence and agrees to participate in the political process.
The Syrians did not receive the response of the UN Security Council and Secretary General. However, it is obvious that the topic of Syria is the most discussed one in the highest diplomatic circles. The powers referred to in the letter of the Foreign Minister of Syria as sponsors of terror are actively discussing the prospects of the Syrian crisis collectively and bilaterally.
Starting tomorrow, France will take a seat in the UN Security Council as the President and is actively preparing for it. The French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius reported that Paris in the near future will propose convening an emergency meeting of the Security Council at the level of Foreign Ministers. France will insist on it, he said. Fabius called Syrian President Bashar al-Assad "executioner," noting that the Security Council at the level of heads of diplomatic missions will be able to get him to "stop the slaughter." A day earlier, French President Francois Hollande said that he once again appealed to Russia and China that they take into account the chaos that will emerge if no one interferes with Bashar Assad. He was confident that the crashing regime will use force to the end. Therefore, urgent measures are needed. Syria has only one way out, and the president of France is convinced that it is the resignation of Assad and the establishment of a transitional government in Syria.
Note, Robert Mood, the former head of the UN mission in Syria who had spent three months in the field with the armed opposition in Damascus, said that Assad's resignation does not mean peace. He said that it was a simplistic approach, and the situation may even worsen. However, he had no doubt that the time al-Assad is coming to an end. Escalation of violence, inadequate response of the regime, its inability to protect civilians - all of this means that the days of the regime are numbered, but would it collapse in a week or a year? He could not tell.
But the U.S. and Turkey know the answer in advance. The Heads of States discussed on the phone how to speed up the removal of Bashar al-Assad from power. The press Service of the White House announced that the topic of the telephone conversations between Barack Obama and Recep Tayyip Erdogan was "coordination of efforts to expedite the transfer of political power in Syria, which should include the removal from power Bashar al-Assad and meeting the legitimate demands of the Syrian people." It cannot be that Obama and Erdogan did not take into account the likely catastrophe for the region that could erupt after such external influence.
After the third veto announced by Russia and China on July 19 during the voting on Syria in the UN Security Council, Washington announced its intention to seek methods to resolve the situation "outside of the UN framework."
So far only the expansion of non-military assistance to the opposition announced. According to the U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland, the opposition became, at last, what Washington wants to see it, serious and reliable, stronger and more organized. The Syrian Free army began talking "about Syria for all Syrians, pluralism," and so on. Therefore, the rebel army is worthy of the American support.
Turkey, in turn, is ready for anything. Additional paramilitary units were brought to the Syrian border. Ankara fears a formation of Kurdish state in north-western Syria, claiming that representatives of the Kurdistan Workers' Party that is recognized as a terrorist one in Turkey and some EU countries live there freely and willingly.
It is obvious that the split of Syria with the formation of the independent Western Kurdistan threatens the territorial integrity of Turkey, as Turkish Kurds have been talking about the need for all Kurds living in Syria, Turkey, Iran, to have their own administrative and territorial status. Sooner or later this will inevitably lead to the creation of Greater Kurdistan.
Turkey cannot prevent such danger as a territorial division. That is why the Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said today: "We will not allow terrorist elements along our borders. Such a threat is considered to be the reason for the right to legitimate defense, and we have the right to take any action." Including the bombing of Kurdish areas of Syria. The only problem is that, first, in Turkey, where public opinion is not an empty phrase, no one wants to fight with Syria, and second, Ankara is well aware that the aggression against its southern neighbor will be the detonator of a large regional explosion.
Therefore, Turkey provides all possible assistance to refugees and rebels, working as part of its sovereign territory.
Aleppo is Syria's second largest city. From the end of last week it has been a scene of a powerful fight between the opposition and government troops. The rebels managed to take an important checkpoint Anadan in the north-west of Aleppo. This would allow the rebels to freely control the route leading to the Syrian-Turkish border, said Abdel Nasser, one of the commanders of the rebels.
Cleaning of the city from the rebels by government forces was launched on July 28. Earlier the opposition has managed to establish control over the southern and south-western regions. The main forces are concentrated in the old area of Aleppo, where the narrow streets do not allow deployment of technology. This dictates certain rules for government troops. On July 30 Damascus said that insurgents were knocked out from the part of the area Salah al-Din. This was the main fortified area of the militants. By the evening, through the Syrian news agency SANA came the news: the entire area was freed. In the ranks of the rebels "citizens of Arab and other states" were found. Four field commanders of the Syrian Free army were detained.
The armed opposition has denied that it left the area of Salah al-Din. The commander of the Syrian Free army Abdul Jabbar al-Okeydi said that his party controlled 35 percent of Aleppo, in two days of fighting they were able to seize seven tanks of the government army. Now they are successfully fighting with them.
In two days of the battle the exodus of civilians from the south-western and southern areas of the city, where the events occurred, has significant proportions. According to various sources, 200 to 300 000 people have left the houses.
The result of the operation in Aleppo is important for the overall situation in Syria. If the government forces are able to liberate the city, all the major cities of the country would be under their control. It is important not only strategically, but also psychologically: the second capital of the country should not be in the hands of the armed opposition. If the government fails to get Aleppo back, the opposition may seize Idlib to establish control over Syria border areas with Turkey.
Currently Syrian refugee camps are located in Turkey near the Syrian-Turkish border. Militant bases appear in some areas, and everything that the rebels need is supplied across the border. The buffer zone in Syria is long-time dream of the militants. It can facilitate free transit of people and weapons, and it can be used as a springboard to launch an offensive against government troops.
Damascus denies the possibility of such a scenario. Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem said: "We believe that all the anti-Syrian forces met in Aleppo to fight with the government, they will definitely be defeated."
Kofi Annan, special envoy of the UN and the League of Arab States in Syria, no longer seems to rely on common sense of the conflicting parties. The situation around Aleppo clearly shows that all previous agreements between Annan and the persons involved in the Syrian conflict have been once again forgotten.
Therefore, an experienced diplomat, he has once again turned not to the opposition parties, but to the world powers to unite efforts to stop violence. "The international community must unite in order to persuade the parties to the conflict: only the political transfer of power that will lead to a political settlement of the situation would resolve this crisis and bring peace to the people of Syria." But it seems that very few people listen.
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