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Significant Progress Toward Political Settlement in Syria?

By Stephen Lendman

Last month, Russia’s Foreign Ministry claimed progress was made toward “promoting (a) political settlement in conformity with the resolutions of the Syrian National Dialogue Congress in Sochi and United Nations Security Council Resolution 2254.”

In mid-September, Sergey Lavrov said

“(t)he war in Syria has really come to an end. The country is gradually returning to a normal, peaceful life,” adding:

“Some hotspots of tensions remain in the territories that are not controlled by the Syrian government, such as Idlib and the eastern bank of the Euphrates.”

Around the same time, Putin and Netanyahu met in Moscow. Commenting on what was discussed, Lavrov said the following:

“(T)he Israelis fully agree with us (on the importance of) ensur(ing)  real, in practice, not only in words, respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic,” adding:

“(W)e on our part highlighted the issues of assisting the Syrian authorities and the Syrians on the whole in their returning to peaceful life.”

“We, in my opinion, found understanding from our Israeli counterparts on these issues.”

On Saturday, Lavrov claimed significant progress was made toward achieving a political settlement in Syria.

Reality on the ground is vastly different from the above-expressed optimism.

Endless US war (in its 9th) rages in parts of the country with no prospect for near-term resolution — because bipartisan US hardliners reject restoration of peace and stability to the Syrian Arab Republic.

Idlib province remains infested with tens of thousands of heavily armed US-supported al-Nusra and other jihadists.

US anti-Russia, anti-Syria, anti-Iran propaganda is relentless. On Friday, Pompeo’s spokeswoman falsely accused Russian and Syrian aerial operations in Idlib of “caus(ing) numerous casualties among civilians and humanitarian workers (sic), and damage to hospitals and civilian infrastructure in Idlib and other areas of northwest Syria (sic),” adding:

“These attacks…hit a school, a maternity hospital, and homes, killing 12 and injuring nearly 40 (sic).”

The above accusations apply to US, NATO, Israeli operations — not how Russian and Syrian forces operate.

Establishment media repeat the above fabrications and similar ones with disturbing regularity — their propaganda reports some of the worst in modern memory.

Followers of their disinformation have no idea of reality on the ground — Syria and its people victims of Washington’s imperial scourge, its high crimes of war and against humanity.

On the same day, Pompeo falsely accused Iran of concealing “undeclared nuclear materials,” adding: “(W)e are alarmed at Iran’s lack of adequate cooperation.”

Fact: No country is more heavily monitored, none more cooperative with the IAEA and its inspectors — polar opposite how the US and Israel operate, no one permitted near their nuclear and other sites declared off limits to foreign observers.

According to Syrian and independent media, fierce clashes continue in northern parts of the country between Turkish occupation forces and the Syrian Arab Army.

Southfront reported that Turkish drones killed and injured Syrian civilians, Kurdish media saying:

“A drone of the Turkish aggressor targeted a gathering of al-Hishah locals while they were harvesting cotton, adding new crime to the crimes of the Turkish occupation.”

Russia’s Foreign Ministry said (US-supported) jihadists in Idlib province violated the ceasefire around 600 times in October — an average of nearly 20 times daily.

US war secretary Mark Esper said Pentagon troops “will respond with overwhelming military force against any group that threatens the safety of our  (occupying) forces.”

Asked whether the Pentagon’s mission includes denying Syrian and/or Russian forces access to oil producing areas, Esper said: “The short answer is yes.”

The US “mission” is all about illegally controlling strategic parts of the country indefinitely, maintaining a state of war, looting Syrian oil, preventing restoration of peace and stability, along with the ultimate aim of regime change — wanting pro-Western puppet rule replacing Syria’s sovereign independence.

The “mission” has nothing to do with combatting the scourge of ISIS and likeminded jihadists the US created and supports, using their fighters as proxy troops, supported by Pentagon terror-bombing.

It has nothing to do with supporting Syrian Kurds, co-opted then betrayed in pursuit of greater priorities.

In late October, Russia’s Foreign Ministry released satellite images, showing scores of tanker trucks involved in smuggling looted Syrian oil — “under the strong protection of the US,” what its Defense Ministry spokesman General Igor Konashenkov called “international state-sponsored banditry.”

The US wants Damascus prevented from using the country’s oil revenues, diverting them to US private interests and the CIA to help finance its diabolical operations.

Last week, Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Vershinin said Moscow will not cooperate with the US scheme to steal Syrian oil, adding:

“(I)t’s up to the Syrian people to manage their natural resources, including oil.” US actions aim to boost its “illegal presence” in the country.

During her weekly press conference, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova denounced “Washington’s illegal and unlawful actions” in Syria, adding:

US occupation of its territory and resource theft continues “while using the (phony) pretext of fighting ISIS to cover up its criminal activities.”

“(T)he Americans are smuggling oil from Syria valued at over $30 million a month, and are set to stay there for the foreseeable future.”

Idlib’s de-escalation zone is “a hotbed of (US-supported) international terrorism.”

“The overall situation in Syria is” far from becoming normalized because of US rage to control the country, its resources and population.

Endless war continues in its 9th year. Restoration of peace and stability to the country remains unattainable because the US rejects conflict resolution in all its war theaters.

The original source of this article is Global Research