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Sen. Richard Black to ST: It is in the Kurds’ self-interest to serve Syria loyally

Virginia Senator Richard Black expects that Russian peacekeepers will prevent wide-scale combat in northern Syria, asserting that the U.S. can help prevent the return of ISIS by ending its sanctions on Syria.

He told the Syria Times e-newspaper that Russians hope to separate the warring factions and block Turkish forces from attacking Syrian troops.

“When Americans left Manbij, the Syrian Army moved in and captured it. Turkey always wanted to seize Manbij, which would be a major prize.  It is a vital transportation hub, with roads crossing it in every direction. But since Russian troops are now patrolling Manbij, it would be risky for Turkey to attack,” the Senator said.

He referred to the fact that the Syrian army’s recapture of the Tabqa Dam on the Euphrates River will restore the agricultural heartland of Syria to the legitimate Syrian government.

“In coming days, Syria will retake more parts of northern Syria.  The recapture of northern Syria is a monumental victory for President Assad and for the Syrian people,” Sen. Black added, affirming that this time, there is no turning back in the withdrawal of US forces from Syria as it is impossible to reinsert US soldiers between two powerful armies.

The Senator stressed that US President Donald Trump is in a strong political position to leave Syria because his supporters strongly favor withdrawing from Syria.

“In coming days, the Syrian government will probably take control over ISIS prisoners, rich agricultural lands, and the oil fields of northeast Syria. Reoccupying this area will enrich the entire nation. The SDF are cooperating with Syrian forces, so this should not be difficult to achieve,: he stated.

It is only a matter of time before Idlib is retaken

Sen. Black believes that the future is uncertain, but he expects Russian peacekeepers to prevent wide-scale combat in northern Syria. “Since the army will eventually be freed to mass its forces against the Idlib pocket, it is only a matter of time before Idlib is retaken.  These events signal approaching victory and an eventual end to the war”.

He advises the Kurds to be loyal to their nation, just as other Syrian are.

“Kurds will be like other Syrian citizens.  Accommodations are always made for local customs and practices, and the special concerns of Kurds will be given appropriate consideration by the President and the People’s Council. But Kurds must be loyal to their nation, just as other Syrians are. It is in the Kurds’ self-interest to serve Syria loyally, and I am confident that they will do so,” Sen. Black declared.

No nation on earth was more responsible for spreading global terror than the United States

As for the reason behind the shift in US policy, the senator underlined that Americans are war weary.

“The Mideast wars brought enormous death and suffering to American families and to the nations that we attacked.  U.S. Presidents H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, G.W. Bush, and Barack Obama each conducted ruthless, bloody wars of aggression that accomplished nothing. They destroyed the dreams of generations of people in Serbia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, and Yemen. All of these presidents violated the Law of Land Warfare, because none of those nations had attacked the United States before we attacked them,” he clarified.

The Senator went on to say: “Although our troops and our people believed they were acting honorably, no nation on earth was more responsible for spreading global terror than the United States.”

From 1979 to 1989, the U.S. mobilized a quarter-million Wahabi terrorists to fight the Soviet Union in Afghanistan.  They were indoctrinated by radical clerics from Saudi Arabia. The clerics taught them to behead and torture infidels, and to enslave their wives and children.  By sponsoring jihadist terror in Afghanistan, the CIA gave birth to al Qaeda, which went on to attack the Twin Towers and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001.  Although they killed 3,000 Americans on 9-11, the CIA still supported al Qaeda in Syria.

Next, there was ISIS. It would never have existed had the U.S. not invaded Iraq and Syria.  Those countries never permitted terrorists to operate there.  It was only after NATO and the Gulf States sponsored covert uprisings that ISIS was formed.  Soon, the U.S., U.K., Saudi Arabia, and Qatar were funneling untold billions to pay for arms, munitions and salaries to terrorists in Syria.  Killers were recruited from 102 countries to fight the lawful government of Syria. Many joined al Nusra; others joined ISIS.

Fruitless venture

Regarding the European country’s stance towards the Turkish attack on Syria, the senator urged that Turkey fell from favor after it drove a million refugees into Europe.  That has made Erdogan unpopular there.

For that reason, the EU was angered by Turkey’s attack on northern Syria, and it condemned Turkey’s military actions, and all 28 of its members were asked to prohibit arms sales to Turkey.

Senator Black pointed out that the US withdrawal from the JCPOA strained ties between Europe and the United States. With President Trump anxious to withdraw from Syria, Europe is likely to feel that they have had enough of this fruitless venture.

We must push for sanctions to end

Regarding the positive role that the US can play in the region, the senator underscored that the U.S. can help prevent the return of ISIS by ending its sanctions on Syria. 

“Syrians are ready for the war to end; even the most hardened jihadists are tired of war.  But sanctions block the materials needed to rebuild the battered cities.. The entire nation can unite around the reconstruction of Syria… We must push for sanctions to end.  I am encouraged when I see the Washington Post shift from calling the armed forces the “pro-regime army” to calling them the “Syrian government forces.” That signals a shift in sentiment.  Over time, pressure for sanctions will fade,” he added.

Moreover, the Senator asserted that eventually the U.S. must choose between trading with Syria or allowing China to do it.  “China has already signaled its intention to trade when conditions are right.  The U.S. would be foolish to continue sanctions and leave trading opportunities to others.”

“The U.S. can invest in Syria and help it rebuild.  However, I would be cautious about permitting NGOs to enter Syria. Trade is fine, but Syria does not need to import alien philosophies, depraved morals or . . . covert intelligence agents,” he concluded.

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Interviewed by: Basma Qaddour