All posts by Press TV

Yemen: Prisoner Swap and What May be Behind It

Transcript of an Interview with Press TV

Background

The fourth batch of Yemeni detainees has arrived in Sana’a as part of the largest prisoner swap between the country’s warring sides. The residents in the capital received 112 prisoners after their plane landed in the Sana’a international airport. 1,081 men will be released in two days.

A two-day prisoner swap between Yemen’s warring sides is underway. The move is part of a deal reached last month in Switzerland. Here is a report:

Yemen’s warring sides are exchanging detainees in the largest prisoner swap between the Ansarullah movement and the Saudi-backed former regime. One-thousand eighty-one men will be freed in a two-day swap.

Hussein al-Bukhaiti – Political Commentator

The exchange was agreed last month after a week of negotiations in Switzerland. The prisoner swap is being overseen by the International Committee of the Red Cross.  Analysts believe the exchange is a victory for Yemen’s Ansarullah movement.

Naseh Shaker – Political Analyst

Ansarullah Spokesman Mohammed Abdulsalam says the swap brings hope for peace-building. The United Nations special envoy for Yemen, Martin Griffiths, also hailed the success of the operation.

“Today’s release operation, led by the I-C-R-C, is another sign that peaceful dialogue can deliver. I hope the parties will soon reconvene under UN auspices to discuss the release of all conflict-related prisoners and detainees.” — PP Martin Griffiths, UN special envoy for Yemen.

Saudi Arabia and a number of its regional allies launched a devastating war on Yemen in March 2015 in order to bring former president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi back to power.

But the campaign that was supposed to last only a few months is raging on more than five years later now. The US-based Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project, a nonprofit conflict-research organization, estimates that the war has killed more than 100-thousand people, mostly civilians.

Saudi Arabia’s US-backed deadly war and an all-out blockade against Yemen, in tandem with outbreaks of cholera and now the covid-19 pandemic, have left some 24 million Yemenis, or 80% of the population, in need of aid. 20 million Yemenis also lack sufficient food supplies and access to clean water.

Riyadh has so far turned a deaf ear to all humanitarian pleas to stop the war. Yemenis say today’s prisoner swap is an important step, but what is necessary as a prelude to stop the conflict is an end to Saudi Arabia’s aggression and blockade.

*****

PressTV: Tell me the significance of this prisoner swap.

Peter Koenig:  A prisoner swap is always a positive sign.  It could be a first step to a cease fire and leading hopefully to peace negotiations.

At the outset, yes, it may look like a victory, perhaps rather a “first step” towards peace, because victory is saying a lot, of the Yemen’s Ansarullah movement, actually for better understanding it is the Houthi Shia’ movement.

All depends on what the Saudis will do next.  If they get instructions from the US and the UK and other European allies, like France to halt the bombing, then we may be able to talk about an interim success.

The Saudis will do what their western Masters tell them to do.  The Saudis have been mostly a proxy for the US and UK. If you look at the map, you see how strategically located Yemen is… and Yemen in control of a left-leaning government, a government that supports the people, supports a move towards democracy, is not what the west wants.

However, the US has already reached a little talked-about target; namely, to set up via the UAE (United Arab Emirates) a military base on Socotra, a beautiful island with some 60,000 inhabitants off the Yemeni Coast, off Aden, in the Gulf of Aden.

On 8 September 2020, politicians in Aden reported that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has begun building two military camps on Yemen’s Socotra island. In this case it is the UAE building the military camps, what will eventually become a military base, to which the US and western allies will have access.

The UAE were supporting Saudi Arabia in the fight against the Yemeni Houthis, who were and are fighting for their freedom, autonomy and democracy. The UAE was instrumental in blocking the port of Hudaydah so that no food and vital medicine could enter Yemen. The UAE – close ally to the western powers – is co-responsible for famine, disease – foremost cholera – and death of tens of thousands of children.

So, perhaps UAE military bases on Socotra island, to which the west; i.e., NATO, will have free access, may have been a “chip” in the negotiations for the prisoner exchange. This is, of course, speculation, but it would make geopolitical sense.

PressTV: How significant do you think this exchange is where initially the Saudi regime thought that its war on Yemen would only take a month and now more than five-and-a-half years later, Riyadh has had to agree to negotiate with AnsaraAllah?

PK: What we don’t know is what went on behind closed doors.  I understand negotiations on Socotra started already in 2016… That would be one explanation. Another one, more straightforward, is the Irani support the Houthis received.

It wasn’t or isn’t direct weapons support, but military advice and technical support, so that the Yemeni Houthis are able to build their own military precision weapons, like rockets, missiles and drones, and are able to hit with drone guided missiles anywhere in Saudi Arabia, as we have seen when Yemeni missiles destroyed a Saudi pipeline last year.  Therefore the Saudi bombing had to go on with, of course, weapons – bombs and missiles – supplied by the US, UK, and France.  A financial bonanza for the western weapons industry. War is a very profitable business.

PressTV: The talks leading up to this swap agreement were held in Switzerland. Do you think the so-called international community can play a more active role in trying to bring this war to an end?

PK: The talks were hosted by the International Red Cross (ICRC). That’s why they were taking place in Switzerland.  Yes, I believe the international community should play a much more active role when PEACE is at stake – anywhere in a conflict zone around the world.  Unfortunately, those who have a political weight in the international community are also those who have a vested interest in wars and conflicts – not only weapons sales, also moving a step or two closer to controlling the energy-and other resources-rich Middle East.

PressTV:  Why has Saudi Arabia not been condemned for its blockade on Yemen which is preventing foodstuffs and even medicine from entering the country?

PK:They have been condemned, but not with much noise and only with tiny voices, to no avail, because they got the support from the US, UK, France and Germany. Yes, Russia and China have voiced their opposition to the Saudi/US/UK war on Yemen. But their voices were silenced by the western-bought and oriented media.

We are living in a dystopian world, where rights and international laws do no longer count.  Breaking international laws is the new normal. And the public at large is so used to it, it doesn’t even react.

Laws and international rules are made up by the western powers as they go along in the process of trying to conquer the world.

Fortunately, we have Russia and China as permanent members in the UN Security Council. Although, the UNSC has not been able to achieve Peace in Yemen – nor in Palestine, for that matter – it is at least a forum which the media cannot simply ignore. And little by little people will recognize who is behind all these conflicts and vested interests.

In the long-run, western powers for absolute dominance will not succeed.  It’s not in the laws of nature.

PressTV:  The Saudis are well equipped with sophisticated equipment and weapons which they buy from London and Washington despite their many human rights violations in this war. Shouldn’t these two countries be held partially responsible for the death and destruction which has been taking place inside of Yemen?

PK:  Absolutely. Of course,  they should.  They are not only behind the war in Yemen, but they are involved in all the Middle Eastern conflicts — Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Sudan, now Lebanon – wherever you look it’s the bloody fingerprints of the west, and often Israel acts as a proxy for Washington – almost all conflicts are started by the US, NATO and its European allies.  And not to forget, by western funding of terrorism.

PressTV: We have seen a big difference between the Yemeni fighters during the first year of war until now. It is no longer rare now that the Houthis are able to attack the Saudis. Does this help in being able to negotiate, even in being able to have a prisoner swap?

PK:  Yes, probably. The fact is that the Houthis have become much stronger in the past five years of war – which the Saudis started in March 2015, when in the US the Obama Administration was still in power.

The Houthis have made technological advances in building their own drones, missiles, and rockets. They have shown the Saudis that they have the precision and capacity to attack Saudi Arabian targets practically anywhere in the Saudi territory. This is impressive and surely may have had a crucial influence in this first step of a prisoner exchange; first step to what I hope will be a much more important goal – Peace.

PressTV:  Is the lesson learned here that in order to have effective political negotiations, that an entity needs to be strong militarily?

PK: In general, it helps.  We have seen other examples throughout the world, not least North Vietnam won the war against the South which was basically the US Army, because the North Vietnamese were well equipped and were strategic thinkers. They gained the upper hand – to eventually prompt the US to leave.

So, yes, military strength helps definitely in defining the term to the war or peace process. In this case the AnsaraAllah movement, alias the Houthis military strength and strategic thinking has certainly played a role – reaching the point where they are now possibly a step away from a Peace Process.

PressTV: Where do you see the situation in Yemen going?

PK:   I am optimistic, hoping that the ICRC will involve the UN Security Council in calling for a Cease Fire and Peace Talks. The suffering of a poverty-stricken population without the war has become atrocious with the war, especially affecting children. The Saudis, helped by the UAE and, of course, supported by western powers, have literally committed genocide by depriving the population of vital food and medication imports, causing famine and famine-related diseases,  and countless death.

PressTV:  Do you think the Saudi regime, basically Muhammad bin Salman, is getting to the point that he is ready to negotiate with AnsaraAllah?

PK:  Yes, I do hope so. It may not be an easy negotiation, because a “loser” can never admit losing. But I do hope under the guidance of the UN Security Council and the strong presence of Russia and China in the UNSC, negotiations for PEACE may emerge – and that Peace may bring restoration to this devastated country.

Peter Koenig is an economist and geopolitical analyst. He is also a water resources and environmental specialist. He worked for over 30 years with the World Bank and the World Health Organization around the world in the fields of environment and water. He lectures at universities in the US, Europe and South America. He writes regularly for online journals such as Global Research; ICH; New Eastern Outlook (NEO) and more. He is the author of Implosion – An Economic Thriller about War, Environmental Destruction and Corporate Greed – fiction based on facts and on 30 years of World Bank experience around the globe. He is also a co-author of The World Order and Revolution! – Essays from the ResistanceHe is also a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization.

The post Yemen: Prisoner Swap and What May be Behind It first appeared on Dissident Voice.

Threats of Attacks against Civilians in Syria

On Thursday, Sept. 24, Rick Sterling, investigative journalist and member of the Steering Committee of the Syria Solidarity Movement, spoke with Press TV about a threat of terror attacks, including chemical weapons, on Syrian civilians in Idlib.

Syrian authorities have alerted that Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra) and the UK-US funded ‘White Helmets’, in coordination with Turkish/NATO intelligence, have brought two tones of chemicals to towns south of #Idlib City, as part of a plan to carry out attacks on civilians and then blame them on the Syrian Government.

Watch the video below:

The post Threats of Attacks against Civilians in Syria first appeared on Dissident Voice.

Iran: US Sanctions Unilateralism

PressTV Interview – slightly enhanced transcript

Background

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani has slammed U-S sanctions against his country, saying they are a flagrant violation of the UN charter.  In an address to the UN General Assembly, Rouhani said the Iranian nation successfully withstood the U-S maximum pressure campaign. He added, Iran even flourished under the bans while pursuing its role as a pivot of peace and stability. He pointed to some of Iran’s peace efforts in the region and beyond, including combating the Daesh terrorist group, saying such a nation does not deserve sanctions. Rouhani said the U-S sanctions under the pretext of nuclear proliferation are based on false and baseless accusations. The Iranian president described the UN Security Council’s rejection of US unilateralism as a victory for Iran and the world community. He said the US can impose neither negotiations nor war on Iran.

*****

PressTV:  Could you please comment on Mr. Rouhani’s remarks?

Peter Koenig:  First, Mr. Rouhani is absolutely right. Iran, together with Russia and Hezbollah, played a crucial role in the Middle East Peace process, especially in Syria. And, of course, Iran does not deserve any sanctions, not just because Iran is a peaceful nation and even helps brokering peace with and between other nations, but also because Iran did not violate any of the conditions under the Nuclear Accord or the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which was signed under President Obama’s watch on 14 July 2015 in Vienna.

This has been confirmed again and again by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna.

PTV: How come the U.S. insists on the sanctions though they’ve not caused Iran to abandon resistance against bullies?

PK: It’s largely propaganda.  In less than 45 days Mr. Trump will face re-election – or not. Being tough on Iran will impress his conservative followers, regardless whether or not these sanctions have any impact on Iran.

Americans are basically good people, but they don’t know the real background and impact of the sanctions. They know nothing – only the lies offered to them by the mainstream media.

Almost the same could be said for Europeans. Most of them know what the official mainstream media tells them.

President Trump knows, of course, that sanctioning Iran, and sanctioning everybody and every country that is still dealing and trading with Iran — like the European Union, for example — is illegal. We know. He doesn’t care.

But it must be said. The Iran Nuclear Deal had been approved by the UN Security Council and is still valid. The UN Security Council does not approve of the sanctions, nor does it approve of unilaterally abrogating the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), signed on 14 July 2015, still during Barak Obama’s Presidency, by Iran, the US, Russia, China, UK, Germany and the EU.

Unfortunately, although the EU does not agree with the sanctions, they will most likely go along with them for fear of the US punishing European enterprises dealing with Iran. Very similar to what Washington does with European companies working on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project, supposed to deliver gas from Russia to Germany and the EU.

But not to worry.  Iran doesn’t need the west anymore.

Iran does well, focusing on the East, reorienting her trade and political focus, including monetary transactions, with the east according to eastern – i.e. China and Russian systems — approaching entry into the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).

PTV: Mr. Trump said he will force renegotiation of the Nuclear Deal. What is your view on this?

PK: This will not fly, of course. And Mr. Trump knows it. But, again, it’s propaganda ahead of the November elections, and it’s part of his election campaign.

Renegotiation, once more, would require the approval of the UN Security Council, and that is highly unlikely with Russia and China – veto countries – in the UNSC.

It’s sheer blustering Trump talk.

PTV:  Why does the U.S. make claims such as being against terrorism while supporting them and putting the blame on other countries like Iran?

PK: Washington never follows logic. Until not too long again this preposterous approach worked with many countries. The world listened. And many believed it.   But no more.  It is every day clearer that the only rogue Nation in the World – the only Nation that sponsors terrorism — is the United States.

And why are they still doing it and blaming Iran?  Still propaganda – make believe – that The US is still the strongest country in the world, the one that calls the shots on every event on the globe.

But no more and Mr. Trump and his government are aware that the US empire is on a declining branch.

But as with every dying empire, they will not give up until the end.

The EU better wake up before the end, before being pulled down into the abyss.

Iran has a bright future ahead with her orientation towards the East, China and Russia.

• Peter Koenig is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization.

The post Iran: US Sanctions Unilateralism first appeared on Dissident Voice.

UN official Expects More Allegations about Khashoggi-style Murders by Saudis

The United Nations’ Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial Killings says she expects more allegations to surface about Khashoggi-style murders by Saudi death squads.

Agnes Callamard was reacting to a Washington Post article that detailed a lawsuit filed in the US by Saad al-Jabri, a former Saudi spy. The plaintiff said, a hit squad was sent to Canada where he lives in exile, to kill and dismember him the same way dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi was murdered in the Saudi consulate in Turkey. Callamard agreed with the conclusion of the article that if the allegations are proven, it will reinforce the notion that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman commands death squads and evades accountability for the murders.

US Builds New Air Base in Syria

A militant from the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) stands guard at the entrance of the eastern Syrian village of Baghouz, on March 13, 2020. (Photo by AFP)


The United States has built a new military base, including an airport for military aircraft, for its occupying forces in Syria’s northeastern province of Hasakah.

Local sources told Syria’s state news agency SANA on Wednesday that the new base and its airport had been established in Jazira Region, located between Um Kahif Village and Tal Alu silos.

The sources said the American forces, along with the US-sponsored so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), brought in equipment and logistic materials and set up buildings there. Furthermore, they constructed an asphalt road leading to the silos.

According to the report, the SDF, which is mainly composed of Kurdish militants, is tightly guarding the area surrounding the silos.

US military convoy enters Hasakah in northeast Syria from Iraq: SANA

Since late October 2019, the US has been redeploying troops to the oil fields controlled by Kurdish forces in eastern Syria, in a reversal of American President Donald Trump’s earlier order to withdraw all troops from the Arab country.

The Pentagon claims the move aims to “protect” the fields and facilities from possible attacks by the Takfiri Daesh terrorist group. But Trump himself has said Washington pursues economic interests in controlling the oil fields.

A military coalition, led by the US, has been conducting purported airstrikes against what are said to be Daesh targets inside Syria since September 2014 without any authorization from the Damascus government or a United Nations (UN) mandate.

US Builds New Air Base in Syria

A militant from the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) stands guard at the entrance of the eastern Syrian village of Baghouz, on March 13, 2020. (Photo by AFP)


The United States has built a new military base, including an airport for military aircraft, for its occupying forces in Syria’s northeastern province of Hasakah.

Local sources told Syria’s state news agency SANA on Wednesday that the new base and its airport had been established in Jazira Region, located between Um Kahif Village and Tal Alu silos.

The sources said the American forces, along with the US-sponsored so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), brought in equipment and logistic materials and set up buildings there. Furthermore, they constructed an asphalt road leading to the silos.

According to the report, the SDF, which is mainly composed of Kurdish militants, is tightly guarding the area surrounding the silos.

US military convoy enters Hasakah in northeast Syria from Iraq: SANA

Since late October 2019, the US has been redeploying troops to the oil fields controlled by Kurdish forces in eastern Syria, in a reversal of American President Donald Trump’s earlier order to withdraw all troops from the Arab country.

The Pentagon claims the move aims to “protect” the fields and facilities from possible attacks by the Takfiri Daesh terrorist group. But Trump himself has said Washington pursues economic interests in controlling the oil fields.

A military coalition, led by the US, has been conducting purported airstrikes against what are said to be Daesh targets inside Syria since September 2014 without any authorization from the Damascus government or a United Nations (UN) mandate.

The Endless Cruelty of US Sanctions: The US Interception of Chinese Medical Supply to Cuba

Enhanced transcript on an interview with PressTV

Background

Cuba complained recently that a shipment of test kits, masks and respirators, donated by the Chinese Alibaba group, didn’t arrive because the American company tasked with transportation feared breaching U-S sanction rules. Washington imposed an embargo on Cuba in 1962 after the island nation nationalized its oil industry. The measures have been denounced by the United Nations 28 years in a row.

PressTV:  What are your views on this?

Peter Koenig:  First, there are no words to describe the cruelty of this and many other similar acts by the United States, to utilize this pandemic to tighten the screws even more on sanctioned countries like Cuba and Venezuela and Iran, and many others, by blocking vital medical supplies from reaching these countries’ medical staff and hospitals to treat patents. The blockage of this medical supply may cause even more deaths from a virus that most likely originated in the US.

But did you know that this worldwide pandemic was planned for years, and its last step before it was launched was Event 201, sponsored by the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine (created and funded by the Rockefeller Foundation), by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the World Economic Forum, the club of the ultra-oligarchs that meet every January in Davos, Switzerland.

The event took place on October 18, 2019, in New York City and produced a number of pandemic simulations, exactly with a corona virus which, for the simulation strangely and coincidentally, was called 2019-nCoV. Later the name was changed by WHO into COVID-19. The result of the simulation produced 65 million deaths in 18 months, a stock market collapse of more than 30% and an insane number of unemployment and bankruptcies. What we are living now is exactly that; in fact, we are seeing just the tiny top of the iceberg.

This was a planned worldwide destruction of the socioeconomic fabric and all that depends on it. It was an attempt of the few powerful on top of the pyramid — the Dark Deep State — to plunge the bulk of the world population into a never before seen misery, and, of course, as always, it will affect poor countries more than the rich.

Having said this, the illegal US blockage of Cuba for almost 60 years, which we all know is inhuman and cruel and against all international laws and standards.

The UN has voted against this illegitimate blockade against Cuba for almost 30 years in a row. Of the 193 UN members, 191 voted against the continuation of the blockade. The exceptions were the US and Israel.

This entire world body voting against the US sanctions represents more than 99% of the world population. Yet, it does nothing against the US and its sanctions and embargos on Cuba, Venezuela, Iran, China, Russia, North Korea – and many more. Currently about 30% of the world population are affected in one way or another by US sanctions. Why doesn’t the entire world collectively sanction the US?

I know, this is a pipe dream. But it’s a possibility. Especially now that the world economy is about to collapse because of the draconian measures almost every government of the globe has taken to fight the corona virus. We have literally created “planet lockdown”. Now that we may enter into an entire new socioeconomic paradigm, is the time for the 99.9% of the population, to apply the shock doctrine in reverse. It would be the moment for the 191 countries of the UN body to take control and start sanctioning the US, until the ruthless empire becomes a normal respectable nation.

PressTV Question:  In December 2014 Obama initiated the “Cuban Thaw” and in July 2015 reestablished diplomatic relations between Washington and Havana. What happened after that?

PK:  First, I think we have to see this new “overture” by Obama like many other initiatives he took — a dishonest move. It foremost was to put officially US spies and US propaganda agents into the newly reopened US Embassy, because the loosening of the embargo was never part of the deal. There was not even a plan when that might happen.

Then came Trump, a ferocious anti-socialist, anti-everything-that-is-not capitalist fanatic. He also immensely dislikes Obama and wanted to undo as much as possible of what Obama managed in his eight years at the helm in Washington. So, instead of talking about the next steps of loosening the embargo, as the Cubans rightly expected, Trump tightened the screws on the sanctions invoking the strengthening of the Helms-Burton act. This US federal law is a mere strengthening of the sanctions and embargo against Cuba.

Then under a ridiculous pretext that Cuba poisoned US embassy staff with an unidentifiable hearing disease, Washington withdrew almost all staff from the Embassy. But the official Cuban Washington relation is still on the records, and the Embassies nominally in place.

Since then, Trump and his various advisors and spokespeople have repeatedly declared that President Trump will not tolerate any socialism in the world, and especially not in “his” Hemisphere; that he will eradicate Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua as we know them. That has so far not happened. We’ll see. These countries’ resistance is much stronger than the Trump ideologues are capable of imagining.  So much for the Obama “opening” to Cuba.

Syria:  The Launch of a Constitutional Committee a Sign of Hope for Syrian People

29 October 2019

Peter Koenig

Transcript of a PressTV Interview following a live press Conference by the Foreign Ministers of Russia, Iran and Turkey at the UN Geneva, Switzerland

Background

GENEVA, October 28 (Xinhua) — The UN Special Envoy for Syria, Geir Pedersen, said here on Monday that the Constitutional Committee’s launch should be a sign of hope for the long-suffering Syrian people.

Speaking at a press conference on Monday, Pedersen said that the creation of the Constitutional Committee is a shared promise to the Syrian people to try in earnest to agree on new constitutional arrangements for Syria’s future.

Russia, Iran and Turkey have stressed that Syrian constitutional committee must work independently from any foreign intervention to gain maximum support from the people in the Arab country.

Sergey Lavrov was reading a joint statement made by Moscow, Tehran and Ankara ahead of a meeting of Syria’s constitutional committee in Geneva. Lavrov also highlighted the importance of Syria’s unity and territorial integrity. He expressed the readiness of Russia, Iran and Turkey to cooperate with the United Nation’s special envoy for Syria to facilitate the work of the constitutional committee. Lavrov urged the volunteer and safe return of Syrian refugees to their homeland. The Russian foreign minister also described the presence of the U-S troops in Syrian oil fields as illegal.

*****

PressTV:  How would you assess the Launch of the Syrian Constitutional Committee and the conclusion of the press conference?

Peter Koenig:  The Constitutional Committee is a good initiative, of course.  And as Mr. Pederson says, “Syrians, not outsiders, will draft the constitution. And the Syrian people must popularly approve it.”  This is an absolute must.

But we should not forget, and I do not think this is a coincidence, that President Trump just decided to leave troops in Syria, under whatever pretext is unimportant.

And I do not think that he wants to either protect nor steal Syrian oil.  What he wants is remaining with a sizable – and flexible – military presence in Syria.

Let’s backtrack to 2008 and then 2011 when the CIA first recruited, trained, funded and armed the terror groups in 2008 up to 2011, when they launched the so-called “civil war” as part of the Arab Spring which, as we all know, has nothing to do with a civil war, but it’s a US mercenary war against the legitimate Syrian Government.

Why is it important to remember this?

Because Washington has made it its goal to ultimately control Syria. Syria is part of the list countries mentioning in the PNAC (Plan for a New American Century) that must fall in order for the US to reach full global hegemony. To reach that goal, the Middle East is a key square on the geopolitical Chess Board.

This should always remain in the back of the heads of those who negotiate and draft the new Constitution. The idea of new Constitution is good, but even if all parties agree, it will only be possible to apply it when the US leaves Syria. That is a must.

So, while the negotiations and drafting of the Constitution goes on, observed by Russia, Iran, and Turkey and, of course, the UN, it is extremely important that the US leaves Syria letting Syria take full and sovereign control of her territory.

PressTV: It is an important part of the validity of the new Constitution that Syria gains full sovereignty over her territories. What if the US won’t leave?

PK:  That is precisely the point. The US is not likely to leave voluntarily as we just have vivid proof. They stay under any pretext as it is and remains their goal to achieve regime change in Syria and dominate this crucial pivotal Middle East country called Syria.

And more so, as the US does not even have an observer role in the drafting of the new Constitution unlike Russia, Iran and Turkey and, of course, the UN, Washington could easily disrupt the process by launching again a false flag attack, by re-mobilizing the ISIS / Al Qaeda terror, or by calling NATO to “secure and protect” the Syrian oil fields. There is no shortage of potential interference by the US.

This is not to put a negative spell on the process of the Constitutional Committee, but let’s be conscious of the dangers while this worthwhile initiative is moving forward.

The designated observers’ awareness and constant presence in Geneva and in Syria is, therefore, of utmost importance. Let it also be reminded, Russia and Iran are invited in Syria by President Assad. The presence of the US is illegitimate. Peace can be secured only once the US leaves Syria, be that by diplomatic or economic pressure. For the America, leaving Syria is like stepping back from their objective of Middle East and world hegemony. And that does not come voluntarily.