United States has blocked Russia’s proposal to include the “Islamic State” in the UNSC sanctions list. Ilya Rogachev, the director of the Russian Foreign Ministry Department for New Challenges and Threats, says the Western colleagues insist that the IS is the renamed “Al Qaeda in Iraq.” As there is no longer “Al-Qaeda” in Iraq, they say, there is no reason to include the IS in the sanctions list of the UNSC. Some Western countries share the U.S. stand on the issue, Rogachev says. The demarche of U.S. and their Western satellites in the UNSC looks more than strange amid American military and political activity around the IS. What is behind the strange maneuvers f Washington around the IS? Arabist Vyacheslav Matuzov, the president of the Russian Society for the Promotion of Friendship and Business, veteran of the Russian diplomacy, speaks about this in an interview with EADaily.
Mr. Matuzov, why did the United States that launched military strikes against IS in the Middle East block Russia’s proposal at the UN to include ISIL in the list of the terrorist organizations?
Although Americans have created and headed a coalition against ISIL, they will not let that these terrorist are really harmed. ISIL is the work of the American security services. I have expressed such views also before. I see the prospects that the U.S. Central Investigation Agency anticipated for ISIL. U.S. hoped ISIL will destroy Bashar al Assad’s army, Assad personally, and the Syrian regime. America has sought to destroy Assad since the begging of the so-called “Arab Springs,” but has failed. Neither headlong collision by Turkey nor manipulations with the discontented sections of the population in Syria helped them do it. The attempts to create a political and military opposition to the Syrian regime failed either. All these instruments were inefficient, but what they contributed to is origination of ISIL.
I see the further steps of the United States. At the first, Washington will be waiting for ISIL to destroy Assad’s regime. After wards, a terrible chaos will come to the Middle East and the world will seek the one who will be able to destroy the monster called “caliphate Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.” The United States of America will come out as that very savior.
Yet at the end of the past year, U.S. tried to fight the Syrian regime through direct military intervention. Then, Russia persuaded Washington to abandon that idea. To recall, U.S. planned to deploy troops in Syria in a couple of days or at least in a week to support the opposition groups and overthrow Assad putting an end to the civil war. As Russia did not let U.S. do that, Washington had to change its plans, but it will never abandon the idea to overthrow Assad. As U.S. cannot do it directly, it decided to use ISIL.
I’d like to emphasize that U.S. has created and headed an international coalition to counteract ISIL and did it in circumvention of the UN Security Council’s decision. However, the so-called coalition does not hurry to destroy the “Islamic State.” It was a performance to demonstrate the world that U.S. is the only force that really fights ISIL. It is clear that U.S. did not fight ISIL, as Washington pursued no such task. Russia’s decision to include ISIL in the UNSC sanctions list showed the world that Russia is really determined to fight those terrorists at the international level. Moscow seeks to set up a regional coalition to destroy ISIL.
The situation in the Middle East is so complicate that the threats coming from ISIL have made even Saudi Arabia abandon the idea to overthrow Assad by all means possible. Saudi Arabia was known to have been opposing Assad’s regime very strongly. They opposed Assad not because they did not want to see an alawite in power. During the last five years, Saudi Arabia has been taking its lead from U.S. in everything that concerned Syria. Facing the threat of ISIL, the Saudis openly showed that U.S. should no longer expect the erstwhile support from Riyadh. Some statements by the Saudis, particularly, the words of the retired general Anwar Eshki revealed that the Arab Kingdom believes it much more important now to leave Bashar al-Assad’s regime in peace. Leaders of the Midde East states see a real threat to their power from ISIL.
What does Europe think of all this?
In Europe they conceive that U.S. went too far with its childish games and entered a route that led them into a serious political and military deadlock. The attitudes toward Syria have sharply changed in Europe. One can feel this from the statements by Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, who said today that Germany’s stand on Syria coincides with the one of Russia and al-Assad’s participation in the peace has become a necessary like the participation of Russia and Iran. Other countries in Europe tend to support Assad rather than his rivals. France is the only country in Europe to have an anti-Assad stance.
In such a situation, U.S. has to maneuver in the Syrian issue. Washington’s decision to soften its attitude toward Syria-related issues - to refuse from a direct military strike on al-Assad – was a result of the real state of affairs in the U.S. policy in Middle East rather than Russia’s convincing argumentation. Only one instrument of influence is left to U.S. in the region – ISIL. The effort to include ISIL in the list of the terrorist organizations was left hanging in the air. What U.S. suggested is to find out who was behind ISIL from the very beginning. Meantime, there is only U.S. trace there.
Is it possible for U.S. to use IS against Russia? This June, the leaders of the terrorists declared the North Caucasus as their vilayet. Furthermore, American military analysts said after that declaration that it will lead to long confrontation of the Russian security services and IS in the territory of Russia. Considering the crisis in the Russian economy, American say, the outcome of that confrontation will not be in favor of Russia. The country will weaken, as anti-terrorist measures require financing.
Here the American analysts are right. I assume that U.S. will be using ISIL against Russia in the territory of Russia. However, this will not happen now, but after Bashar al Assad is overthrown. For U.S. it is much more important now to create a zone of its absolute influence in the territory of Syria and Iraq and this is what predetermines its behavior. Referring to the documents of Strategic Forecasting Company (Stratfor), I’d say that Stratfor says CIA as “shadow” This organization enjoys authority in the world. George Friedman, the head and the founder of Stratfor, said in an interview lately that ISIL is not a vital threat to U.S. According to Friedman, what really threaten U.S. are Assad’s regime, Iran, and China, as well as Russia.
Certainly, U.S. with its instrument of influence ISIL will not pass by the post-Soviet countries. Washington plans to destabilize Central Asia, South and North Caucasus, as well as Russia’s regions. It is not ruled out that in case Assad is overthrown, terrorist acts will start in big towns in Russia. This will prove Georgie Friedman’s words saying that U.S. considers Russia much more dangerous than ISIL.
Interviewed by Arthur Priymak, EADaily editor for North Caucasus