Prof. Dr. Mehmet Yuva from the University of Damascus, Syria has given an interview published recently in the Turkish channel Ulusal Kanal’s documentary “The Dying Empire” on the global position of the US.
United World International presents the text of the interview below.
The published interview contains also parts that were not included in the documentary.
The PKK as main tool of the US in Syria
Prof. Yuva, Do you see any change in the United States’ Syria plan under Biden?
The US has 3 main targets in Syria. The first of these involves Syria’s PKK, known as the YPG, which it supports today. In their geography, the PKK is an autonomous administration. The US insists on substituting a self-administered PKK administration, completely independent of the Syrian state, if possible. The second point is that it will continue to make efforts to gain concessions and privileges, especially from the states of the region, by using the PKK as a means of constant pressure on Iraq, Syria, Iran and Turkey. Another important situation is related to the economic dimension of the issue. Washington will keep on the agenda the issue of controlling the energy resources of the region together with these subcontractor organizations, or at least getting a share from the energy resources there to American companies if it can reach an agreement with the Syrian State. The third important point is that the US will keep fueling its policies of isolating Iran in Syria and pulling Syria away from Iran, which it has been carrying out through the Gulf States.
Mainly, the US has carried out its Syria policies within the framework of these general lines during the Obama era, that is, from 2011 to the present. There may be some tactical differences. It is possible to say that relations will continue within the framework of these three main policies in meetings between states, in talks with Russia, in talks with the countries of the region, but mainly in Turkey, which is the close interlocutor of this issue in Syria.
Sir, you mentioned the PKK. What other terrorist groups does the US have relations with in Syria and West Asia?
Now we have to talk in legal terms, because otherwise, behind the political scenes, the USA uses professional murder organizations such as Blackwater. In other words, the US uses many subcontractor organizations in the field in the name of many actions, occupations, murders, or in the name of policy making and economic gain, which Washington doesn’t openly admit to. There are certain organizations that the US has carefully chosen. The most important of these is the PKK, which is undoubtedly Syria’s YPG in Syria as of today. This incident was reflected in the British media and British intelligence reports in a very clear picture that emerged after the “liberation” of Raqqa province. There are very serious indications and intelligence reports that the Americans pulled out the ISIS members who came out of Raqqa by cooperating with the PKK, and that ISIS is still being used in the North of Syria, in the East of the Euphrates by the US and the PKK. The Syrian State has similar views on this issue.
Apart from this, there are claims in both diplomatic and military intelligence sources that HTS and the US are in contact in Idlib today. In fact, there are serious allegations that the US has set up a military academy training camp for HTS in Idlib, which has also been reflected in the Russian media. It is obvious that the air operation that Russia recently launched especially against these regions has targeted these centers and institutions. As a result of a very serious air operation, many militants who were in the leadership in the field were neutralized against the members of the HTS who came together in these institutions for the morning meeting. In other words, as long as the US serves its own policies, whether in Syria or outside of Syria, with many organizations, regardless of their name, leftist, liberal, reformist, terrorist or religious groups, it does so exclusively for their own benefit. However, in the course of this process, Washington is very cautious and careful.
“The United States has never interrupted its visits to Syria since 2011.”
You stated that since the Obama administration, the United States has sometimes changed its tactical plans, but there has been no change in its strategies. Do you expect the Biden administration to establish contact with Bashar Assad or has he already?
The United States has never interrupted its visits to Syria since 2011. It always kept in touch with Damascus via civic organizations, senators, congressmen and other kinds of delegations. Washington sometimes carried out these contacts over the Gulf States, but there is a growing rapprochement of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates with Damascus, especially in the Biden era. The efforts of the Arab United Emirates and Saudi Arabia to reconcile and re-establish relations with Damascus cannot be handled independently of Israel and the United States. Undoubtedly, it is possible to say that these relations have peaked as a result of the suggestions of the US and Israel and a road map drawn by them. When we look at the details of the messages conveyed by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to the Syrian State, than we see that Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates offer Damascus more than financial support for the reconstruction of Syria. In the messages, they propose to the Syrian side that Syria should reconsider its relations with Iran and that this would also emerge as a sign of softening in the United States’ relations with Syria.
Ultimately, many claims that emerged after the Putin-Biden Geneva Summit on this subject were widely discussed in the Arab media. This issue was not much discussed in the Turkish media. However, in the meeting between Biden and Putin, Biden wanted to work together with Putin in the Syrian issue and to implement policies that isolate Iran, and if Russia supports such a policy, the US can leave that field to Russia and the Syrian State, and that the US can withdraw from there. However, on the other hand, it is not only about Iran, but also that the PKK, which I mentioned earlier. The US wants that it should be given a military and political status there, and that this should be recognized by both Russia and Syria. The US has demands regarding the division of economic opportunities there. However, as I have stated before, the Syrian State does not consider removing Iran, which it sees as a very important strategic partner, from the Syrian field. And even if Russia comes to Syria with such a policy, it is not possible for the Syrian State to accept this offer.
“Ankara-Damascus rapprochement and cooperation is the most important step that will radically change the map, destiny and interstate relations of this region.”
What is your expectation for future regional politics and where do you see the crucial, decisive element?
I thank you very much. There is one important point I would like to add. How will the policies of the United States of America change on Syria and the region will change, what important elements will emerge? Will the US sit at the nuclear negotiations table with Iran again? To what extent will it continue its relations with Iran? As a result of the increase in the violence of this fight between Russia and the US in the Pacific, the Mediterranean and the Black Sea, can the US make new breakthroughs with China, India and Iran to isolate Russia? On the other hand, will China and Iran respond to these steps of America or leave them unanswered? It will be very interesting for all these issues to be clarified. Perhaps it’s something that many of our listeners will have difficulty understanding, but I’ll say it anyway, because I’ve always emphasized this for 11 years. Ankara-Damascus rapprochement and cooperation is the most important step that will radically change the map, destiny and interstate relations of this region. Thank you.