MESOPOTAMIA NEWS Intel: UN finds undeclared chemical weapons stockpile in Syria

The Syrian government is not being transparent with chemical weapons inspections, say UN officials. –  Al-Monitor Staff May 7, 2021 – United Nations investigators uncovered previously undisclosed stockpiles of Syria’s chemical weapons, the UN’s top official for disarmament revealed to the Security Council on Thursday.

The discovery is the latest sign that the Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad has not fully complied with an US and Russia-brokered agreement in 2013 to destroy the country’s stockpiles.

Analysis of samples from storage containers at a previously declared chemical weapons facility revealed a “large volume” of a chemical warfare agent, the UN’s disarmament chief Izumi Nakamitsu said yesterday.

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MESOPOTAMIA NEWS PKK/PYD PRO USA – Syrian Kurdish leader says US should stay in Syria regardless of who is president

President of Executive Committee of the Syrian Democratic Council Ilham Ahmed spoke at a virtual event at the DC-based Newlines Institute today.

One of the two top political leaders of the Syrian Kurdish alliance and co-chair of the Syrian Democratic Council Ilham Ahmed –  May 6, 2021 ADAM LUCENTE AL MONITOR

A Syrian Kurdish official said today she hopes the United States will keep its forces in the region in the future no matter who is president.

Ilham Ahmed, president of the Executive Committee of the Syrian Democratic Council, the political arm of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) that control northeast Syria, said at an event hosted by Newlines Institute that it is in America’s interests to help Kurdish-led forces fight the Islamic State (IS) in the country.

“What we have seen is that each president comes from a party that has its own strategy and policy regarding Syria,” Ahmed said in response to Al-Monitor’s question. “We expect overall that the strategy for the US is to protect firstly its homeland security by fighting terrorism alongside Kurds and the Syrian Democratic Forces.”

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Zehn Jahre nach Kriegsbeginn : Versöhnen sich die Araber mit dem Regime von al-Assad?

  • Von Christoph Ehrhardt, Beirut FAZ –  05.05.2021-19:25 – Wahlwerbung: Ein Plakat mit dem Portrait des syrischen Machthabers Baschar al-Assad in Damaskus Anfang Mai Bild: Saudi-Arabien schickt eine Delegation nach Syrien. Die Wiederannäherung arabischer Länder an Baschar al-Assad bahnt sich seit längerem an – auch weil sie das Feld nicht anderen Akteuren überlassen wollen.

Es war ein symbolträchtiger Besuch: eine Delegation aus Saudi-Arabien zu Gast in Syrien. Eine offizielle Erklärung gab es aus Damaskus und Riad nicht. Wohl aber übereinstimmende inoffizielle Bestätigungen, dass die Berichte zustimmen, laut denen es am Montag ranghohe Kontakte zwischen beiden Ländern gab. Demnach wurde die saudische Delegation angeführt von Geheimdienstchef General Khaled Humaidan; sie traf den mächtigen syrischen Geheimdienstchef Ali Mamluk und – so berichtete es die arabische Zeitung Rai al-Yaum unter Berufung auf diplomatische Quellen – auch Präsident Baschar al-Assad.

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MESOPOTAMIA NEWS IN DEPTH SYRIA : How have the AANES’s policies contributed to the resurgence of ISIS?

Charles Lister@Charles_Lister

5 May 2021 For those advocating a U.S. (& EU) disengagement from #Syria, the argument has taken an intriguing shift in recent weeks, from: – We have no influence; its unpopular; we’ve done all we can; to: – The most *moral* thing to do is leave & allow #Assad‘s re-integration/recovery.

Charles Lister@Charles_Lister   5 May 2021 – 30m

#ISIS‘s persistence in eastern #Syria isn’t only down to its tactics — policies pursued & doubled-down upon by the #SDF-linked AANES have played a key (if unintended) role, argues  –  @mohammed_nomad , for  @MEI_Syria . Important piece:

How have the AANES’s policies contributed to the resurgence of ISIS?

May 5, 2021 Mohammed Hassan  MEI – MIDDLE EAST INSTITUTE

Over two years have passed since the liberation of Baghouz camp in Syria’s Deir ez-Zor Governorate, which was ISIS’s last stronghold in the country. The international coalition and its ally, the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AANES), have been attempting to stabilize areas east of the Euphrates to prevent ISIS from making a comeback. The group, however, is still active and carrying out security operations in the region, a trend that has increased dramatically over time, especially in the last two years.

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Saudi and Assad Regime Intelligence Heads Meet in Damascus

Posted by Scott Lucas | May 5, 2021 | eaworldview  – Bashar al-Assad with Saudi King Abdullah, March 2009 – Saudi Arabia’s intelligence head has met his Assad regime counterpart in Damascus, the first known encounter in Syria’s 122-month conflict.

Gen. Khalid Humaidan, the head of the Saudi General Intelligence Directorate, was received on Monday by the regime’s Gen. Ali Mamlouk, who oversees State Security. The meeting was first reported by the Arab-world newspaper Rai al-Youm.Officials in Riyadh said normalization of relations could begin soon after the end of Ramadan and the Eid al-Fitr festival next week.

Saudi Arabia supported anti-Assad factions following the uprising against the regime in March 2011.

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MESOPOTAMIA NEWS INSIDE : Saudi Arabia’s intelligence chief meets with Syrian counterpart in Damascus

The meeting takes place during the first official visit to Damascus by Saudi Arabia since 2012.

Al-Monitor Staff May 5, 2021 – Saudi Arabia’s intelligence chief met with his Syrian counterpart in Damascus on Monday in a sign of possible rapprochement between the two governments a decade after relations were severed.

London-based Rai al-Youm news outlet reported that Gen. Khalid al-Humaidan’s met with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his trusted intelligence chief Ali Mamluk to discuss restoring diplomatic ties after the Eid al-Fitr holiday later this month.

The Guardian independently confirmed that Humaidan met with Mamluk.

The Saudi visit is the first of its kind since the outbreak of Syria’s civil war in 2012. Egypt and the United Arab Emirates have also signaled interest in restoring ties with the Assad regime in recent months.

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by David Schenker PolicyWatch 3481May 4, 2021

Parochial interests and war fatigue are driving many member states to support premature elections and normalization with Damascus, but this approach will only consolidate Assad’s control and help him evade accountability for war crimes.

In recent weeks, momentum has been building toward reintegrating Syria into the Arab League. The country was suspended from the organization in November 2011, eight months into a brutal regime suppression effort that had killed 5,000 civilians. Ten years on and with an estimated 500,000 dead, several Arab states—encouraged by Russia—are taking steps to end the decade-long isolation of Bashar al-Assad and restore Syria’s membership. Although the Arab League is an archaic, dysfunctional, and largely irrelevant organization, the move is nevertheless significant for what it signals: a greater regional willingness to engage with Assad politically and economically. Consistent with UN Security Council Resolution 2254 (2015), U.S. policy has premised any such reengagement on a valid political transition, but regional states may undermine the prospects for real change by welcoming Damascus back into the fold prematurely.

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MESOPOTAMIA NEWS: THE T HREE BASHAR’S – Syrian court accepts 3 candidates to run for president

AP  3. May 2021  Syria’s Supreme Constitutional Court has accepted three applications out of 51 for candidacy for this month’s presidential elections in the war-torn country, state media reported Monday.

The largely symbolic election is certain to be won by President Bashar al-Assad, who was chosen along with two other men, Abdullah Salloum Abdullah and Mahmoud Ahmad Marie, to run. Some 51 candidates, including seven women, had applied to be candidates. The Parliament later referred the names to the constitutional court.

The presidential vote, Syria’s second since civil war broke out in 2011, is scheduled to be held on May 26. Syrians abroad will vote on May 20.

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German revolutionary in Rojava: ‘Germans should force their government to stop supporting Turkey’

Goran Kobanê speaks about his experience in Rojava and said : “I am fascinated by the developments here, their struggle against ISIS during the siege of Kobani. Also, you cannot see the same level of support given to the role of women elsewhere in the Middle East”

7:00 am 03/05/2021 MEDYA NEWS VIDEO

Since the beginning of the Rojava Revolution on 19 July 2012 it is estimated that up to 1,000 international volunteers have travelled to North and East Syria in solidarity with the Kurdish people’s struggle. They came both to join the fight against ISIS and also to contribute to the development of civil society in the region.

German revolutionary Goran Kobanê is one of them. He came to fight against ISIS in 2015 and since then he has been living in Rojava.

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MESOPOTAMIA NEWS : Security vacuum’ between Iraqi, Kurdish forces haven for ISIS: Peshmerga official

The statement came after ISIS fighters attacked a Peshmerga unit from a so-called “security vacuum.”

Hiwa Shilani – KURDISTAN24 – 2 May 2021 – Jamal Eminki, the Chief of Staff of the Peshmerga Forces, speaks to Kurdistan 24, ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The Chief of Staff of Kurdistan Region’s Peshmerga Forces, Jamal Eminki, said on Saturday that the security vacuum between Kurdish and Iraqi troops remains a haven for ISIS members from where they launch attacks on security forces.

The statement came after ISIS fighters attacked a Peshmerga unit from a region separating Kurdish and Iraqi forces. The so-called security vacuum starts from Khanaqin in Diyala province to the west of the Tigris in Nineveh province, Iminki said.

Eminki told Kurdistan 24 that the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has called on the federal Iraqi government “several times” to help end the security vacuum.

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