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United Nations chief Antonio Guterres this week decried a Russian-backed Syrian offensive to retake militant-held Idlib province. But the fact is, terrorist groups need to be eradicated, and the NATO powers are backing them. The UN secretary general urged a redoubling of the Astana talks process initiated by Russia, Iran, and Turkey to end conflict in Syria. This is while Turkey has reportedly stepped up supplies of weapons to militants in Idlib, the northwest province under the control of extremist factions. Furthermore, the US and other NATO powers, Britain and France, are threatening to launch large-scale military strikes on Syria in the event of the Assad government forces moving ahead with a planned offensive.

Guterres warned the military operation to wrest control of the area from illegally armed groups would cause a “bloodbath.” He urged a “non-military” solution to the conflict. He needs to get real. This amounts to the UN using a call for diplomacy to tie the Syrian Army’s hands behind its back. Surely, the priority for Guterres is to condemn the use of violence by the US, Britain, and France against a sovereign nation, which has the legal right to assert control over its territory being held by foreign-backed terrorist groups. Vasily Nebenzia, Russia’s ambassador to the UN, says that the Syrian Army and Russian allies are trying to ensure minimal civilian casualties. But, he added, there can be no peaceful settlement to the conflict until all extremist groups are eliminated. Recall that any time the Syrian Army moves to liberate cities and towns under the siege of militants, UN bureaucrats always join the gallery of Western governments and media depicting the operations as wanton violence against civilians. What the UN, the US, and its allies are doing is a cynical media maneuver to delegitimize the Syrian government and its sovereign right to eradicate armed groups. The militants are not “moderate rebels” as the Western media pretend. They are the most heinous terrorist brigades which have held civilian populations under a reign of terror. A medley of names – Al-Nusra, Hayat Tahrir al Sham, Ahrar al Sham, Jaysh al Islam, Islamic State, and so on, cannot hide the fact that they are all affiliated with the original Al-Qaeda terrorist network. Recall, too, the decisive battle for East Aleppo in December 2016. When the Syrian Army and its Russian allies were moving to recapture Syria’s second major city, the Western media was screaming denunciations of supposed war crimes, barbarity, and even Nazi-like genocide against civilians. Again, UN officials were lending credence to claims by Washington, London, and Paris that the Syrian-Russian offensive on East Aleppo was going to lead to a bloodbath….Read more