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Elijah J. Magnier: US policy failure reopens Iraqi-Syrian borders and the Iran-Beirut road

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Written by Elijah J. Magnier@ejmalrai; Originally appeared at his blog

“A dinosaur with a bird’s brain”. This is how the ex-President of Iran Hashemi Rafsanjani described the United States of America, evoking its great military strength but lack of strategic intelligence in foreign policy. Indeed, the very unusual meeting of the chiefs of staff of Syria, Iraq and Iran in Damascus this week would not have been possible without the latest US action in Syria. The US establishment has done a favour for the three countries aligned with the “Axis of resistance” by eliminating the “Islamic State” group (ISIS) in its last stronghold east of the Euphrates. The US attack on Baghuz (east of Syria), done in conjunction with its Kurdish proxies, has led the three military commanders to decide to re-open the land road between Syria and Iraq, paving the way for a safe Iranian land passage to Iraq and Syria. This means the Tehran-Baghdad-Damascus-Beirut road is now clear. This is not the first time the US establishment has rendered substantial strategic support to Iran with its clumsy planning.

When US President Donald Trump decided to pull out of Syria, describing it as a land of “sand and death”, he was serious about his plan. However, the US could not leave without first eliminating the ISIS pocket in the area under US control in the east of Syria, which would have meant leaving in place what has been the sole pretext for its occupation of the area. This is why Trump was advised to eliminate ISIS first and then withdraw his troops. He finally ordered his forces to do so after long months of inaction, during which the US effectively offered protection to the terror group and allowed tens of thousands of ISIS militants to move freely to attack the Syrian Army and its allies along the Deir-ezzour al-Bukamal axis.

Elijah J. Magnier: US policy failure reopens Iraqi-Syrian borders and the Iran-Beirut road

The significance of Trump’s decision to finally move against ISIS cannot be overestimated. Since 2014 the US has been engaged in a phoney war against ISIS, pretending to fight this brutal takfiri group while in fact allowing it to expand and killing Syrian Army soldiers who actually fought the group. Throughout this time the US has used ISIS as a pretext for the US military presence in Syria. The US did bomb ISIS occupied Raqqah and destroyed it; it then made a deal to deport many thousands of ISIS partisans. But the ongoing Battle of Baghuz marks the first time the US has really fought ISIS. To his credit, Trump is now doing what the US has only pretended to do for five years: actually fighting ISIS. This spectacular and drawn out campaign allows Trump to take credit for defeating ISIS, although for half a decade the forces actually fighting ISIS have been the Syrian Army, Russia, the Iraqi PMU/Hashed al-Shaabi, the Iraqi Army, Lebanese Hezbollah, and Iran.

In Baghuz, US forces (and European allies) have bombarded ISIS to squeeze it into a small confined city. They succeeded in opening a safe passage for women, children, elderly, wounded ISIS militants, and many of those willing to surrender. Over 35,000 ISIS and families have come out of that small place. 9,000 militants have been wounded or killed. The US and their Kurdish proxy forces have managed to corner the remnants of the terrorist group in a small area less than 1 square km and are about to launch the final assault in the coming days. It is only a matter of time before ISIS gives up its last stronghold east of the Euphrates.

Elijah J. Magnier: US policy failure reopens Iraqi-Syrian borders and the Iran-Beirut road

The imminent removal of the ISIS threat provided the occasion for an unusual meeting. Iranian chief of staff Major general Mohammad Baqeri, Syrian defence minister Ali Abdullah Ayyoub, and the Iraqi Chief of Staff Lt General Othman al-Ghanmi met in the Syrian capital Damascus and decided to re-open the borders between Iraq and Syria.

Trump and his generals recognised their mistake in creating a safe passage for Iran and Iraq into Syria by removing ISIS from that area. The presence of ISIS made it impossible for Iranian and Iraqi nationals and goods to travel safely to Syria. This realisation led to the US decision to leave several hundred US members of the armed forces behind.

Elijah J. Magnier: US policy failure reopens Iraqi-Syrian borders and the Iran-Beirut road

Thanks to the US move, Iran can now send all needed support and resume commerce with Syria, at a time when Israel has been bombing Damascus airport to try and slow down the re-supply of the Syrian army with precision missiles and other military equipment needed to rebuild the Army’s defence force. With the opening of a new border crossing between Iraq and Syria, the US occupation of the al-Tanf crossing becomes less significant. If the US tries to pressure Iraq to stop its commerce with Iran or Syria, Baghdad will ask for the departure of Trump’s forces from Mesopotamia.

Trump’s decision also means that Syria’s economy will be able to regain some strength once the land road reopens into Iraq. The three military commanders had a good laugh about US policy and action in Syria. They have benefitted from continuous strategic mistakes by Washington since its occupation of Iraq in 2003 and the removal of Iran’s fiercest enemy, Saddam Hussein.

Elijah J. Magnier: US policy failure reopens Iraqi-Syrian borders and the Iran-Beirut road

ISIS remains a security danger but not a military threat. Its remnants can still carry out attacks against convoys or soft targets even after the joint agreement of the three countries to patrol the borders and help with their technology, intelligence, and soldiers to protect the al-Bu Kamal border crossing and join the efforts to combat ISIS. The US generally looks at the big picture, as its thinkers and planners plan to redraw borders, change regimes and create failed states. However, they sometimes disregard details that can turn a situation in favour of their supposed enemies, in this case, Iran. As Rafsanjani once commented, the US is “a dinosaur with a bird’s brain”.

Not only Rafsanjani has made such caustic remarks. At a recent Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps – Quds brigade event celebrating Commander Major General Qassem Soleimani’s success in Iraq and Syria, the leader of the revolution Sayyed Ali Khamenei said, with reference to the US (and Saudi Arabia): “we thank Allah, who rendered our enemies imbeciles”.

Proof-read byC.B.

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  • Jens Holm

    I omly has written the first 1/2 part of it seeing its total biased crap.

    Let me give an example. Iraq and Syria says they control the borderline between them from Al Qaim/Abu Kamal all the way to Al Tanf. hey even say, they have fenced it an guard it together. Thats more then 250 km with no USA at all.

    Even the old Karavan routes by fx T2, by Palmyra to Damaskus are asphalted, because Syria has so much asphalt, so they cant sell it.

    So tell me, why they dont use that important route, which is in good shape because of the pipelines meeeting each other at T2.

    Some would say – butlybut ISIS is there. Well, if that connection to Iran is so important, why are most Assads at the IDLIB flee market and hardly in that “important part” of Syria.

    Its only true as well, that USA supported hard as the last and most dirty card to try to remove Assads. After ISIS came out of hand its true they were extra well armed and only Saudis gave them some hard stuff until USA finally stopped that last ressource for ISIS.

    But USA stopped supporting ISIS by Obama, when Clinton was removed from that part. Focus since that has been on reducing ISIS, because they try to be international and SDFs are the helpers, which they support.

    So thats a total lie USA has supported ISIS for quite a while.

    The facts are crossing from Iran by probatly mainly missiles and spendables has been possible even by using Abu Kemal passing through by good escort.

    Writing USA makes a great mistake around that part of Syria is not true. They have tryed so hard to find at least something to fill that vacuum by supporting FSA with Kurds wishing FSA should be the leaders of that very bad construction – AND – thats a total fiasco.

    FSA has no support there. Assads has no support there and kurds hardly live along Eufrat at all.

    So what we get is a big area with no real control, because Assads cant and Russia wont. Iranians should ? Iraqians should. Assyrians :)

    The only real help is from th coalision being in Iraq having USA as Leader keeping ISIS down there as almost the only option.

    Shiits and Assads are not able to at all. They have big problems in the rest of the countries. Even Iran has big homemade problems.

    What I see is that those primitive nationalistic structures made by the leftovers of the Ottomans are not able to run anything well having such primitive structures and.

    It would make a lot of sense splitting them up in smaller countries or making structures fitting for more advanced and develloping options. How can people, which hate French, Britts and Americans that much insist in their Neocolonialistic borderlines. Do Turks enjoy making troubles for even very old fashion Kurds and jail their Leaders. How many leaders of You Leaders actually are greedy psycos. I see many and the population well raised being plundred and kept poor in corruption as well. I often go back to this map for making peace.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/ae03bbff49af2959bc6bbe958f1bfab312ec7d218dc0d3937f807ec3825fed2f.jpg

    Aleppo, Raqqa and Diabykir being own states having no need for a single weapon, because the rest are friendly to them. And in Iraq the Kurdistan a little expanded too. Shiits never can make any Governess in north for real.

    Think of that. Women should take over most of the Governess as a start. You many men has shown very well, You are only bad copies of a declined and collapesed autoclerasy with license to steal.

    You still can work together on a low level version of EU, if Your answer to Juncker could be a Female Kurdish top top Leader.

    Her smile will make all of You soft and be nice persons again :)

    • Criticalthinker101

      Incoherent rubbish that makes no sense. Totally uninformed opinion.

      • Valerianus Maximus

        Every time Jens appears here, he takes a long swig of rotgut whiskey from his bottle, pulls out his Danish-English dictionary, and proceeds to jab his pet monkey into generating random keystrokes, which he then posts as responses to sober writers who actually are capable of thinking.

        • Jens Holm

          People think from what they learn. It seemes so many of You are not even are allowed a coin has 2 sides.

          By that You get defeated by Yourself.

          Even simple Geografi is not allowed. 250 km from Al Tanf is told being open by Iraq/Syria – even fenced. And You hardly has to make a road for Iranian missiles there, because the old karavan routes are asfated partliy bacause of the pipelines(T2 as center).

          So do You posses that border at all ? Is it even important. The priority seemes to be the big flee market in Idlib.

          By that the meeting is only a progres for the ones who give transportation, good meals and beds in hotels based on stripping Your own citicens by world records in corruption.

          Not a single facts from You even the article written to us all has much sense, which I dont comment and disagree in.

          Yes, its true, that as long as You are in that “no see”, “no listen” mode, it wold be gold You added “no speak” as long as Yu bring nothing.

      • Jens Holm

        At least You could shave, when You stand isolated to the rest of the world with Your behinds out.

        Thats the whole point. You are not even allowed to know oppinions and facts as fx mine.

        • Criticalthinker101

          Your last sentence means what? fx? Your internal monologue must be disjointed mayhem. I advise a bit more attention to detail when reviewing and editing your statements.

    • iosongasingsing

      Ah, would this be the Jewish point of view?

      • Jens Holm

        Even the Chinese are jews for someone like You. If Jews run the whole world as You say – and not You – I wonder why, You are so stupid letting them.

        If You are a muslim, You hardly wash Your mouth friday. Maybee You visit the toilet, and think its here.

        Why dont You go to Mount Ararat or sometime before and re-start Semittes with You close family in Israel.

        Parts of the Middle East certainly could need some more rain.

        • iosongasingsing

          In the world only atheist Jews oppose the Talmudic fanaticism to which their Christian servants, neocon Americans or the ISIS Islamic Zionists, are subjected. For the American scum of the synagogue of Satan Trump is a prophet sent by God to Israel. You will be part of these idiots, I am a Christian gojim, for your talmud Jewish dung, beast that follows the idolatrous religion of the hung, son of a prostitute. I send you to make an ass, without being anti-Semitic because the Palestinians are semites, not the arians Ashkenazis.

  • goingbrokes

    Great news!

  • Willing Conscience (The Truths

    LOL, Elijah is a smart dude for sure, but he’s missing an important point if he thinks the Iranians aren’t doing the same sort of stupid things the US is, because they are, they’re just as stupid as the US.
    The Iranians and all the Arab League countries bar Qatar want the Turks out of Syria full stop, it’s become their number one priority now. Yet the Iranians and Iraqis both sell their very cheap oil to Turkey, despite all the US sanctions that’ve been crippling Turkey’s economy, and by rights, should’ve been preventing Erdogan from funding any further military incursions into Syria.
    So if the Turks weren’t buying all that cheap Iranian/Iraq oil, they probably couldn’t afford to stay in Syria anyway. So in reality, the Iranians are actually providing the funds that are allowing the Turks to remain in Syria, and to also pay for the next invasion of Syria, the one the Iranians don’t want the Turks to start. I know the Iranians also have their own US sanctions to contend with [only 7 other countries can buy Iranian oil without incurring US sanctions], but selling cheap oil to Turkey isn’t helping with their problem, it’s just exacerbating it.
    The recognition of the Golon heights as Israeli territory by the US is a massive blunder on Trump’s part, this decision can’t help the situation in any way, it just causes even more problems and will probably harden everyone’s already hard line positions. I can’t even imagine what the result of this prehistoric decision will be, but we’ll find out soon enough, I’m guessing Hezbollah will get a massive boost in recruits and equipment, as well as even more of the latest Iranian missile navigation technology, but delivered by air as well as road now.

    • verner

      you sure – otherwise news are that turkey, iran and qatar have formed a new alliance (maybe not a formal one but at least an ad hoc one) backed by china and russia. iraq and iran and syria are already onboard and add to that hezbollah to get a clear picture of how the forces are aligned.

      and rest assured that saudi won’t join in anything openly hostile against iran for fear that the lifeline that saudi is dependent on, will suffer the worst case of destruction possible, by iran and which would
      render saudi without an income from its sale of hydrocarbons. the same threat is making all the gulf sheik-doms averse to anything openly hostile against iran so from their point of view status quo is much preferred!

      • Willing Conscience (The Truths

        Iran sells Turkey oil but that about the extent of their good relationship, and it’s only because both countries have US sanctions affecting who they can or can’t deal with, and they need each other. Turkey needs to buy very cheap oil and the Iranians desperately need a buyer that ignores the US sanctions.
        Iran is the head of an official alliance between Iran, Iraq, and Syria, but it also backs Lebanese Hezbollah, Palestinian Hamas, and the Yemeni Houthis, as well as other groups fighting in libya and possibly other places as well. And yes the Russians and the Chinese are 100% behind them, the Russians prefer an Iranian pipeline into the EU over a Saudi pipeline, and China has many billions invested in Iranian oil and gas ventures and infrastructure, as well as other interests.
        The only thing holding everyone back, is the fact Erdogan’s refusing to leave Syria and end the fighting there, which would allow those projects to commence and make the Chinese a lot of money, as well as the Iranians, Iraqis and Syrians, even the Turks too, that’s if Erdogan would just play ball and pull his troops out of Syria, instead of perpetuating a war that should have ended back in June last year, like everybody else wanted except for Erdogan.