Hawar news agency (ANHA) held an exclusive interview with member of the advisory board of US President Donald Trump and a professor in international law, Gabriel Soma, who talked about the conflicts that are intensifying in the Middle East region, overlapping international and regional interests, talking about the military presence of the armies of several countries in Syria and its violation of international resolutions, the purpose of the American presence in Syria, Turkey's purchase of the Russian S-400 system, the fate of the American presence in Iraq, and the future of relations with Iran and other topics.
The following is the text of the interview:
* America says that its position on the Syrian crisis is to end it with political solutions in accordance with the United Nations and Security Council Resolution 2,254, but how can this crisis be ended with the presence several armies from different countries with agendas on Syrian soil?
There is a UN Security Council resolution affirming the sovereignty, independence, unity, and territorial integrity of Syria, so the presence of several foreign armies on Syrian soil today contradicts UN Security Council Resolution 2,254, at the present time Assad is supported by Russia and Iran and the United States is trying to undermine both.
The strategy of the United States of America is based on weakening Iran and Russia alike, and today we see that Iran is pushing number of its forces out Syria, as well as Russia resenting relations with Assad to find a peaceful solution to the problem of Syria, indeed the presence of these foreign forces at the present time is violating with the decision United Nations Security Council No. 2,254.
* America cooperates with SDF militarily and they are partners in the war against ISIS, but it does not support the region politically What are the reasons and what prevents it from that?
The presence of the American forces in north and east Syria was for one reason and that is the presence of ISIS, at the present time we have at least 500 American soldiers still deployed alongside the local allied forces, and we are still there to support the operations against the remaining ISIS.
The Trump administration has chosen a very limited U.S. military presence, with very limited goals of pursuing ISIS and supporting the military operations of other countries in various ways, focusing on economic and diplomatic pressure, the United States of America has opposed Syrian President Bashar al-Assad since the outbreak of the civil war in 2011, and has supported groups of rebel groups Anti-Assad at that time and later sided with the Kurdish-led forces in the northeastern part of Syria.
* What is the future of north and east Syria in light of the continuing threats by ISIS and the Turkish state despite the American presence?
As long as the American forces are in north and east of Syria, I do not think that there will be harm to our allies. The American President, as you know, decided to keep the American forces in eastern Syria to preserve the region and oil wells from ISIS, America is the reason for its existence is ISIS, were it not for ISIS, the US army would not be there.
ISIS was selling oil to other countries and benefiting from it financially.
Oil is an essential element in the war against ISIS because the Syrian oil was at ISIS' hands, and ISIS was selling it to other countries and benefiting financially from selling it, so the president believes that it is necessary to preserve oil if we want to eliminate ISIS and not allow it to return to Syria, so we are existed there, and the alliance between America and SDF is a strategic alliance, we are collaborating together to eradicate ISIS.
* Recently, statements were issued by Special Envoy James Jeffrey about the necessity of all forces leaving Syria, with the exception of Russia, how will these forces, especially Turkey, which provide support to Jabhat al-Nusra, be pushed out, and what is the US position on Turkish support for Jabhat al-Nusra? And there is talk about an American-Russian agreement on a specific solution to the Syrian crisis, is there really an agreement and what kind, or is there a new American policy in the region and what is it?
"There are problems between Russia and Assad, and the latter does not agree with Russia's proposals to solve the problems."
Russia does not have a political solution from its problems with Assad. There appear to be problems between the Russians and Assad in several matters related to dealing with the political situation, and it seems that the Syrian President does not agree to solve the political problems proposed by Russia.
Our mission is to address the problem by the United Nations in accordance with Resolution No. 2,254, and it requires Russia to distance itself somewhat from Assad and Iran, and this is what Russia is well aware of.
Recently, we are witnessing some withdrawal of the Iranian-led forces, some withdrawal is tactical because they are not fighting now, but there is a second reason which is a shortage of Iranian money, and as James Jeffrey recently stated, the United States participates in Turkey in ensuring the security of Idlib, and that it does not fall into the hands of forces Assad, and the United States, as Jeffrey said, works with Turkey in the Constitutional Committee and in the political solution and America's ultimate goal, according to Jeffrey, very similar to the goal of Turkey, and Ankara also considers Iran a threat.
* There is coordination between a US partner in NATO (Turkey) and Russia in Syria, and Turkey bought Russian missiles that affect the American F-35. What is the future of relations between America and Turkey if the latter activates the Russian S-400 systems?
With regard to Turkey's purchase of the Russian S-400 missile systems, this is a problem that is still being studied between the two countries. This system contradicts with the presence of the American F-35 fighters. As the United States knows, Turkey expelled Turkey from the F-35 program after the S-400 deal was completed. Turkey and Russia, and the situation as it was We are strongly opposed to the purchase of the Russian system on the one hand Turkey, and the United States promises that this contradicts with Turkey's will to buy American F-35 fighters, for its part Turkey considers this issue related to the sovereignty of the Turkish state in its decisions.
* When the Syrian crisis is being talked about, it cannot be seen far from what is happening in neighboring countries, especially Iraq, in terms of withdrawing American military bases there, and removing Patriot batteries from Saudi Arabia; Is what is happening is a change in the US strategy in the Middle East? What is this strategy based on?
Saudi Arabia, as you know, is an ally of the United States since the beginning of the thirties of the twentieth century, and the recent withdrawal of the patriot by President Trump took place as a result of the Saudi delay in reducing oil production, the increase in oil production by Saudi Arabia caused tremendous damage to the American oil market, there are hundreds of thousands of Americans who work in the American oil fields, they are vulnerable to losing their jobs if the oil price remains low, so it was necessary to put pressure the Saudi government to reduce oil production in order for prices to rise, and now we see that prices are gradually increasing.
* Tensions between America and Iran have intensified at the beginning of this year after the killing of Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, and this has greatly affected the political situation in Iraq and the American presence there. Will the Trump administration resort to truce with Iran as US elections are close or will the situation go towards escalation?
The presence of American forces at the present time is very important because large numbers of the PMF are loyal to Iran and have become part of the Iraqi military system, but in reality they are part of the militias that receive financial support, training, and weapons from Iran and are operated by orders from the Iranian, not Iraqi, military leadership. Therefore, these organizations pose a threat to the security of Iraq and the security of our forces in Iraq. Next month, June, there will be negotiations between the United States and Iraq to deal in relation to the Strategic Framework Agreement of 2008, this agreement includes political, diplomatic, and commercial relations. And finance, as well as energy, judicial aspects, law enforcement, and services ... Also, there is a security agreement between us and Iraq, the security agreement relates to the American military presence in Iraq, all of these matters will be the subject of research in the next month when the American and Iraqi delegations meet to discuss the fate of the agreements between the two countries, at the time The same is that there is a new government in Iraq that won the confidence of the House of Representatives and the United States stands with the head of this government, and hopes that it will implement what was promised, which is restricting weapons to the military forces and removing these militias from the Iraqi military system.
Firstly, the killing of Soleimani came as a result of intelligence information indicating that he was about to order acts against the United States of America, as you know Soleimani , he was behind the explosions that were happening near the American military vehicles while they were in Iraq since 2003, and these explosions led to the killing of some nearly 600 American soldiers, as well as Soleimani was constantly working to create tension in Arab countries such as Lebanon, Syria, Yemen and Iraq, and therefore President Trump considered that it is necessary to eliminate Soleimani before taking any military action against the American forces, of course Soleimani contributed to the elimination of ISIS in Iraq, with the help of American aviation and the United States in technical and intelligence terms, but does this mean that the United States will appease Iran as a result of the upcoming elections, I do not think so, the harsh economic sanctions on Iran have greatly affected the Iranian economy, for example foreign investment in Iran has ended, exports have been struck Oil, US sanctions prevent foreign countries and companies from dealing with Iran, sanctions have tightened restrictions on the Iranian banking sector and have deprived the regime of its main source of income, which is oil. The Oil Fund expects zero growth for the Iranian economy, and with Corona has decreased Z the price of oil, the Iranian economy has become in a state of stagnation, so there is no need to negotiate with Iran, if Iran wants to stop its hostile actions in the region and stop manufacturing and producing the nuclear bomb, then you can negotiate with Iran, and find an agreement other than the one that President Trump ended in May 2018 And there is even a possibility of increased economic sanctions on Iran, so it must stop manufacturing nuclear bombs and missiles and stop its military operations in the Middle East.
* Recently, a new problem arose in the Mediterranean, which is Turkish exploration in the Cyprus economic zone, and its signing of the maritime border demarcation agreement with al-Sarraj government in Libya, which is opposed by Arab active powers such as Egypt and the UAE. How does America view what is going on in the eastern Mediterranean?
With regard to oil exploration in the eastern Mediterranean, as you know there is tension between the Greek and Turkish Cypriots over drilling rights in the eastern Mediterranean for oil and gas, and this attracts regional stakeholders such as Egypt, Israel and Greece to this conflict.
The eastern Mediterranean region at the present time is considered conflicts zone of energy with great discoveries of Cyprus, Israel and Egypt, in recent years Turkey is determined to secure a share of energy in the eastern Mediterranean, and at the present time the European Union is discussing whether to impose sanctions on Turkey.
In the United States, we want to reduce tension in that region, and that peace and security prevail there, and the United States is not an importer of oil. Before coronavirus, the United States was exporting oil, our production was greater than Saudi Arabia, and it was more than Russia.
As for the countries of the European Union, Europe does not wish to prospect for oil or gas, because it considers that this harms the environment, but it buys oil from other countries. This situation appears to be contradictory, but in reality this is what is happening in Europe.