World

Middle East Cockpit at a Turning Point?

In what some are defining as a turning point in the war in Syria, the Syrian army, backed by Russian air power, has completed the encirclement of Aleppo, to cut off supply lines to the terrorist groups who have been entrenched in the eastern part of the city since 2012. On July 26, the Syrian army took over the Castello ring road north of Aleppo, separating the rebels in the city from the Idlib region and the Turkish border, through which they have been provided until recently with arms, fresh terrorists, and supplies.
The Syria and Russian armies then opened four humanitarian routes to allow civilians kept by the terrorists as human shields in the eastern part of the city to take shelter and aid in the government-controlled western part of the city. The Syrian government has simultaneously issued an amnesty for those rebels who surrender their arms and leave. That tactic was successfully used in Homs and other cities, avoiding massive bloodshed in the densely populated urban areas.
These coordinated Syrian-Russian moves effectively outflanked the habitual outcry from Western governments, media and NGOs that any outright offensive would endanger the lives of the civilians in the rebel-controlled areas, and therefore call for a ceasefire under which the rebels would be allowed to resupply and retrench.
Diplomatic efforts involving the UN, Russia, and the U.S. have also been stepped up.
A new situation is thus emerging, which demands close and transparent cooperation between Russia and the United States to completely eradicate the plague of the takfiri terrorism, and set the stage for the nations of the region to regain their unity and sovereignty. Optimally, these nations will be integrated into the economic process launched by China’s One Belt, One Road strategy for reconstruction and economic development. The internal economic and cultural empowerment of the sovereign nations of the region would provide the key element for preventing religious extremism and terrorism from re-emerging. At the same time, it would have to throw into the trash bin of world history superpower geopolitics in the region and around the world.

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