Russia is trying to attract former and current supporters of USA for Syrian rebel, told BuzzFeed five Syrian field commanders representing the opposition to Assad groups, as well as the Syrians, who called themselves mediators in such contacts. One of them, the Russians supposedly addressed directly to the other – through an intermediary-Syrian.
According to an unnamed battalion commander of the Syrian rebels, who previously received money and weapons from the CIA, the first time he met with a Syrian-mediator, representing Russia, in the Turkish Antakya, and then in Syria. According to him, Moscow has offered him to choose a site in Northern Syria and occupy it, and promised that the Russian VKS will support, will provide the soldiers protection from “any group” and military “of any country”, and will provide cash and weapons. The purpose of the agreements is the fight against ISIS (an organization banned in Russia) and Jabhat al-Nusra (an organization banned in Russia). As soon as the extremists will be defeated, the rebels allegedly offered to engage with the authorities in discussions on the cessation of hostilities, and then to agree on the fate of Assad. The commander found the “Russian proposal” attractive.
“They told me: “We will support you. We won’t abandon you like your old friends”, – leads edition of the words of the military. – To be honest, I’m still undecided.” Previously jihadists out of Syria, the battalion under his command, and the United States have not had sufficient support. After that, he said, he decided to “quit the game”.
Another source claims that met with the Russians in Egypt. According to him, Moscow has offered him to enter a Council of war with the official Syrian authorities, and also promised “money, ammo, weapons and all, whatever we asked for.” “If I make agreement with them, and I will betray not only the revolution, but the whole Syrian people,” BuzzFeed cites the words of the field commander.
Luai, al-Hussein, one of the leaders of the Syrian opposition, the co-founder of democratic Movement building the Syrian state” (- knot dress), fled from Syria in 2015, told BuzzFeed that he passed on [to the opposition] suggestions from employees “more than one” of the Russian Embassy. According to him, the Russians offered air support, cash and arms supplies.
As noted by researcher of the Institute of Oriental studies Gregory Melamed, al-Hussein – suitable for negotiations with Moscow figure. “He’s an ex-Communist, Allawi, was in the government of Bashar al-Assad and his father,” – says the expert. In this regard, said Melamed, al-Hussein could be in list Mikhail Bogdanov, special representative of the MFA of Russia in the middle East. “This is a real, not a puppet opposition. And is suitable for negotiations with Moscow people”, – emphasizes the expert.
“They want to win in Syria, contrary to other countries [supporting the opposition], – described al-Hussein targets Russia. – Moscow is seeking a political solution, but first they need to win.” I want only one thing – that the war was over, said al-Hussein.
ANAS al-Shami, which also BuzzFeed calls one of the leaders of the Syrian opposition, told the publication that he acted as an intermediary and passed Russia’s proposals to rebel groups that had previously ceased to cooperate with the United States. Former Syrian field commander Abdullah and Musa awda, Humaidi, a former member of the Syrian revolutionary front, told BuzzFeed that they have rejected Russia’s proposals on cooperation.
“I would never betray the revolution,” said Abdullah awda, under whose command was previously one of the most powerful Pro-Western Syrian opposition groups “Harakat Hazm”. According to Audi, his American supervisors were aware of the fact that it was called the Russians. “We are in touch with the Americans…, they were upset by the [Russians]. Our country is like a piece of paper that moves from one powerful nation to another.”
Humaidi, middle-aged businessman, was one of the leaders of the opposition “Syrian revolutionary front” (SRF), who previously actively supported the United States. Shortly after the end of 2014, the SRF was defeated by Jabhat al-Nusra (an organization banned in Russia), to Humidi asked the Russians through the intermediary-the Syrian opposition claims. “Hand on heart, I have decided that they are honest and true friends, because they support their friends, – quotes the words of BuzzFeed Humaidi. – Russia is behaving far more decently than the US.” However, despite this, he rejected Moscow’s proposal, citing in particular “the Russian attacks on moderate rebels and civilians”.
Says Melamed, similar negotiations on behalf of the Russian side could lead the military. “Only the military can negotiate, as they are in place and can discuss of the territorial coverage,” he says. However, Melamed notes that if we are talking about organized opposition, in the negotiations might be involved and the diplomatic corps. “After the resignation Alloush [Mohammad], the head of the Committee [Syrian opposition ] in the negotiations, someone might take on functions that no one gave them, believing that if they show themselves as negotiators, it may help them in the future”, – says the expert.
Agree with him Deputy Director of the Institute for political and military analysis Alexander Khramchikhin. He claims that such negotiations could lead both military and diplomats, depending on group and situation. “This negotiation process is quite natural. The Russian side is allies with Assad. And if the group moves to the side of Assad, and the Russian side can promise certain preferences” – sums up the expert.
sent a formal request to the Ministry of defense of Russia. The representative of the Russian foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova was unavailable for comment.
With the participation of George Peremitina