MESOPOTAMIA NEWS : ISRAELS HELPING HANDS – Putin and Trump Talk About Israel, Not a Word About Assad Regime and Those Killed
By Scott Lucas – EAWORLDVIEW – July 17, 2018 – Russian leader Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump, meeting in Helsinki on Monday, confined their comments on Syria to a general reassurance to Israel.
Taking the lead at their press conference, Putin signalled to the Israelis, as pro-Assad forces try to reoccupy the remaining opposition territory in southwest Syria, near the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights: “The south of Syria should be brought to the full compliance with the Treaty of 1974 about the separation of forces, about separation of forces of Israel and Syria.This will bring peace to Golan Heights and bring a more peaceful relationship between Syria and Israel and also to provide security of the state of Israel.”
Israel had threatened to intervene if a June 19 offensive involved Hezbollah or any Iranian-supported foreign militia. After a series of discussions with the Russians, Israel watched as the pro-Assad attacks — enabled by Russian airstrikes — forced the capitulation of much of Daraa Province, where the Syrian uprising began in March 2011.The pro-Assad attacks have now moved to neighboring Quneitra Province, about 11 km (6.5 miles) from the Israeli side of the Golan and about 4 km (2.5 miles) from the UN-monitored Separation Zone.Trump’s remarks were vague. He said that “the crisis in Syria is a complex one” and — without referring to the more than 500,000 slain in the 88-month conflict — declared, “Cooperation between our two countries has the potential to save hundreds of thousands of lives.”
He also alluded to the Pentagon’s alliance with a Kurdish-led force holding much of northern and eastern Syria, despite Trump’s calls to withdraw all US personnel and freeze on American funding for “stablization” projects:“I also made clear that the United States will not allow Iran to benefit from our successful campaign against ISIS. We have just about eradicated ISIS in the area.”
Asked about “specific arrangements” for US-Russian co-operation, Trump spoke almost exclusively about Israel: “We’ve worked with Israel long and hard for many years, many decades. I think we’ve never, never has anyone, any country been closer than we are.
President Putin also is helping Israel and we both spoke with Bibi Netanyahu and they would like to do certain things with respect to Syria, having to do with the safety of Israel. So in that respect, we absolutely would like to work in order to help Israel and Israel would be working with us.
So both countries would work jointly.”
Trump then proclamed “the eradication of ISIS…about 98%, 99%”, before speaking about “the helping of people”, Neither man mentioned the Assad regime and its involvement in the killing and destruction since March 2011, and there was no reference to the current pro-Assad offensive and Russian bombing that has killed about 250 people and displaced an estimated 320,000 in southern Syria.Instead, Putin used Trump’s “helping of people” to make a coded appeal for Europe and the US to provide reconstruction funds for the Assad regime and the Russian and Iranian entities working with it.
“The crucial thing here is that huge amount of refugees are in Turkey, in Lebanon, in Jordan in the states that border adjacent to Syria. If we help them, the migratory pressure upon the European states will drop, will be decreased many fold.”