This came in a dialogue held by our agency with the co-chair of the Syrian Democratic Council Riyad Derar regarding the developments taking place in the Syrian arena, in which he touched on the dispute between Makhlouf and al-Assad, the statements of the American envoy James Jeffrey, the exit of solutions from the hands of the Syrian parties, and how to remedy matters to reach solutions that satisfy all Syrian parties.
The text of the dialogue is as follows:
Several developments have recently emerged on the Syrian scene, including media attacks close to Russia on the Syrian regime, the dispute between Rami Makhlouf and Bashar al-Assad and James Jeffrey's statements on Syria. How do you assess these developments?
In regard of the attack that we are witnessing from the Russian media on the Syrian regime, I think that these means have writers following the Syrian event, and they write within the permitted to describe the tracks of the Syrian situation and expose corruption in it. This is part of the impact on the Syrian services to make more concessions to Russia and supported by Russian traders and economists who have a goal in gains within Syria.
Also the continuous insults to the presidency from Russia, the pursuit of military forces, the marginalization of leaders therein and the seizure of Syrian military sites and headquarters are actions by which Russia penetrates to the limits of not direct confrontation with Iran, but they are in strong competition with Iran because it is known that Iran holds the political, administrative and military joints in the country, and it has a popular force that follows it to achieve what it wants at the time it wants, so Russia is counting for its presence and impact, so we see it leaving Israel with the issue of dealing with the Iranian presence and putting pressure on it.
As for the dispute between Makhlouf and al-Assad, it is one of the cards that are related to the Russian and Iranian follow-up. It seems that al-Assad wants to show that he is able to manage and control files, and that he still has the ability to decide, and there is no doubt that he wants to give a role to his family in the economic game dominated by Makhlouf's family. Competition now appears because the strongest is the one who possesses financial power, and al-Assad as a partner wants to be singled out by his wife and her followers with the financial file because he knows that whoever has the money can have the decision.
As for James Jeffrey and his statements, he seems to be speaking for himself, but as a responsible man, we find that behind his words are details that suggest that America is still practicing its game in managing the crises, does not seek to solve them, and has interests. We must know that there are no friends of America and that it is only a network of interests, and its interests are managing the confrontation crisis in Iraq, the confrontation of Iran, and the issue of ISIS in Syria which requires its staying in the oil regions, so America will not exit from these issues.
America continues the understandings with Russia about all of those matters, and we all know the extent and effect of the meeting between Kerry and Lavrov. The historic meeting that took place between the two parties was the one that drew matters around Syria, and assigned Russia to manage the Syrian file which is what is happening now.
Do these developments indicate a Russian-American agreement to resolve the Syrian situation, or is there a new scheme being planned for in Syria?
The solution in Syria will always need an American signature, so this solution will not be equal, until other agreements are made in the region to share influence and improve relations with other agreements, and it will not be because the American administration is unstable. In addition, there are American elections, so everyone will wait.
What is required from the Syrian parties to achieve this solution and build a democratic Syria for all without exclusion?
As for the Syrian solution, the solution came out of the hands of the Syrian parties, whether the weak coalition, or the negotiating body that suffered a heart attack and is waiting in the recovery room, as well as the Turkish role that only manipulates the factions and pushes them to fight outside their goals as the mercenaries in Libya. While the factions in Idlib like al-Nusra and the rest factions are still a card for local use and pressure to keep Turkey in the Syrian file.
As for the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria with its political body; the Syrian Democratic Council and military body; the Syrian Democratic Forces, it enjoys stability and can contribute to a political solution, but there is no international will to involve it because there are still no agreements to solve the Syrian crisis.
Until now, the dominating forces did not talk about this administration because it is still experiencing a kind of self-stability, and the administration is not affected by the presence of others, except for the American presence which was supportive from the beginning to confront ISIS, but there is no American perception of its involvement in the solution, so I think it will take longer to wait.
During this period, the administration must strengthen the relations among the components of the region and carry out more understandings and partnerships. Of course, the current Kurdish reconciliation will serve that for positive participation in managing the region and drawing policies to confront the benefits that serve the Kurdish issue on the one hand and the Syrian issue on the other hand.
Where does the solution to the Syrian crisis lie?
There are activities for the Syrian Democratic Council that operates at the level of Syria as a whole, and therefore it calls for a conference of democratic forces, which can accomplish something in the unity of democratic political forces to face the entitlements of the participants, and it seeks to participate in the Cairo conference. If achieved, it would be a violation of political action on a wider level and participation in the political bodies that contribute to the negotiation and confrontation of the regime in Syria.
The activities carried out by the Syrian Democratic Councilare important activities because they give a real vision of the effectiveness at the level of Syria and work for a real mature political solution that can be continued through the political papers presented by the Syrian Democratic Council in all its meetings and participations.