Russia Slams Leak Of Secret Memo On US-Moscow Cooperation in Syria

There's been a number of hugely significant developments in Syria at the end of this week — all of which point to the war's end, with President Bashar al-Assad and the Syrian Army ultimately emerging firmly victorious. Even Israel seems to have changed its tune, with Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman telling reporters on Thursday, "From our perspective, the situation is returning to how it was before the civil war, meaning there is a real address, someone responsible, and central rule."

But now there's a diplomatic scramble underway and exchange of accusations related to potential Russia-United States cooperation on rebuilding Syria, repatriating refugees, and rooting out the remaining jihadist pockets. 

On Friday Reuters published a bombshell report based on a leaked US government memo revealing a secret deal possibly in the works between top Russian and American generals initiated by the Russian side last month during the very week that President Donald Trump met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki . 

Russia has since slammed the leak, but has confirmed it confidentially extended the hand of cooperation on Syria.

According to the Reuters report, Russia has used a closely guarded communications channel with America’s top general "to propose the two former Cold War foes cooperate to rebuild Syria and repatriate refugees to the war-torn country, according to a U.S. government memo."

The proposal was sent in a July 19 letter by Valery Gerasimov, the chief of the Russian military’s General Staff, to U.S. Marine General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, according to the memo which was seen by Reuters.

The Russian plan, which has not been previously reported, has received an icy reception in Washington. The memo said the U.S. policy was only to support such efforts if there were a political solution to end Syria’s seven-year-old civil war, including steps like U.N.-supervised elections.

The US intelligence memo, while itself not published in full, is a summary and assessment of the confidential Russian proposal, offered within the context of the mutually agreed upon "military-to-military" communications hotline, set up at some point after 2015 to ensure US and Russian jets avoid aerial collision or direct confrontation of forces. The timing of the Russian proposal is significant, as it came a mere three days after Trump met with Putin in Helsinki on July 16.

Before and after the meeting there were substantial rumors, especially coming from the Russian side, that the US and Russia were working towards direct cooperation in Syria. 

Both sides have reportedly agreed to keep the contents of what's communicated via this official back-channel confidential, something which has largely been adhered to until now.

Reuters continues, quoting parts of the leaked memo:

“The United States will only support refugee returns when they are safe, voluntary and dignified,” said the memo, which is specifically about the Russian plan for Syria.

...Some U.S. officials believe Syria’s dependence on the international community for reconstruction, along with the presence of U.S. and U.S.-backed forces in part of Syria, gives Washington leverage as diplomats push for a negotiated end to the war.

The United Nations has put the cost of rebuilding Syria after the seven year long conflict at a minimum figure of  $250 billion. Though Damascus and its Russian partners have determined the war's outcome militarily, it appears Moscow is ready to cooperate with the US on establishing permanent stability in the war-torn country.  

However, anti-Assad hawks in the administration and in Washington policy circles have consistently pushed for a settlement to the war which would result in Assad's political exit, which suggests the possibility and likelihood that the memo leak is but the latest ploy of administration insiders to prevent any level of cooperation with Russia and the Syrian government

The memo reads further, according to Reuters:

“The proposal argues that the Syrian regime lacks the equipment, fuel, other material, and funding needed to rebuild the country in order to accept refugee returns,” according to the memo, which specified that the proposal related to Syrian government-held areas of the country.

The United States in 2011 adopted a policy that Assad must leave power but then watched as his forces, backed by Iran and then Russia, clawed back territory and secure Assad’s position.

The United States has drawn a line on reconstruction assistance, saying it should be tied to a process that includes U.N.-supervised elections and a political transition in Syria. It blames Assad for Syria’s devastation.

Reuters notes that General Joseph Dunford, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has sought to keep the communications back-channel private: "Dunford, who speaks periodically with [the Russian Chief of General Staff] Gerasimov, has stressed that the two militaries need to be able to have candid, private communications to avoid misunderstandings that could lead to armed confrontation," according to the report

Meanwhile on Saturday Russian officials slammed the leak, saying through the Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) that “the inability of the US side to comply with the agreement on publicizing the contacts [between the two militaries] only with the consent of both sides is disappointing." And further, “We expect that the US side will be able to take the necessary measures to prevent further violations of mutual agreements in the future.”

However, the Russian MoD confirmed the authenticity of the revelations based on the leaked memo, saying Moscow is open “to work with the Syrian authorities on providing security guarantees to the refugees from the Rukban camp in the US-controlled area of al-Tanf and creating necessary conditions for their return home.”

With everything now public and in the open, we expect a beltway pundit pile-on and collective neocon expression of outrage over the possibility of a Russia-brokered deal in Syria.

Should Trump and Putin ultimately come to a lasting settlement on the Syria issue which results in US troop withdrawal from Syria, will the international proxy war finally come to a permanent close? Or will we witness more conveniently timed leaks to come, preventing the possibility of a lasting peace and Syria's return to stability?

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Comments

macholatte New_Meat Sat, 08/04/2018 - 17:25 Permalink

 

The ONLY question that needs to be answered regarding ALL things Middle East:  What is the benefit to the American Tax Payer?

The charade known as the Syrian Civil War was nothing more than an attempt to divide Syria where the north would become separate and used for the Arab-EU Gas pipeline.
Absolutely zero benefit to the American Tax Payer.

Any rebuilding of Syria should be undertaken by the Ruskies and the Germans.

 

In reply to by New_Meat

FBaggins Joe Trader Sun, 08/05/2018 - 11:23 Permalink

The fragmentation of Syria into areas they could control has been the main objective of the US-UK-Zio axis years before the actual war started when they were spending their hundreds of millions in destabilizing the nation by creating and stirring up radical opposition groups to destabilize it. That is now a know fact which very very few citizens in our thoroughly guilty and plundering nations will admit. 

The question now is what "was" the real deal between Russia and the US before both nations went into Syria. Both have been very careful to avoid conflict with each other, which is a tell tale sign of some kind of an agreement. Despite the CIA-MI6-Mossad gong-show, false-flag gas attacks and the so-called "retaliatory" but useless missile attacks on a few prearranged Syrian targets, the US presence in Syria has mainly been to facilitate the escape,  redeployment, or decommissioning of their merc insurgents. 

What is more telling is that the US forces remain beside the Kurds occupying about 1/3 of Syria north of the Euphrates. If Assad makes no effort to retake the area it will be because all along the real deal between Russia and the US was a partition of the nation, meaning that Putin is just as much a phoney as Trump.  

Despite which great power actually "wins" the war, the people of Syria are the losers. A win-win for our precious axis plundering nations would be any fragmentation of Syria and the opportunity to "rebuild" the nation, which is simply another way of taking over the nation with money and influence. Russia's suggestion that both powers do the rebuilding points to a deal likely long in the works with the powers dividing up Syrian interests and a total betrayal of Assad and any real future for Syria.

The Russian leak was clearly deliberate. The Putin government does not make those kind of mistakes and it was necessary to do with US government complicity in order to soften up public receptivity in the US. 

 

In reply to by Joe Trader

beemasters strannick Sat, 08/04/2018 - 17:12 Permalink

"to propose the two former Cold War foes cooperate to rebuild Syria and repatriate refugees to the war-torn country, according to a U.S. government memo."

Now, why should that be kept a secret? It's better than destroying Syria.
The only parties that would not like that proposal would be the MIC and Banksters...and of course, Israhell.

In reply to by strannick

dirty fingernails tmosley Sat, 08/04/2018 - 16:29 Permalink

No, for the last time, I will not let you suck my cock no matter what.

Like always, you misunderstand what this was: another offering from Putin for cooperation and for Trump to step back from the ledge. Of course, the response was designed to be rejected. "Assad must go. He can stay. He's gotta go" is the depth of your idol's idea of strategy and it's a non-starter.

In reply to by tmosley

BarkingCat tmosley Sun, 08/05/2018 - 01:48 Permalink

And Assad said he would get his country back,  including the territory illegally occupied by the US even if he has to do it via military conflict, whichhe knows will be very costly. 

Stop sucking Trump's balls. He is the president.  Any US forces in Syria are on him now, even if Obama was the one who got them in there. 

He should have ordered total withdrawal on day 1 and then fired anyone who had  not followed his ordered and kept firing until he got to the level that would obey him.

In reply to by tmosley

shortonoil Free This Sat, 08/04/2018 - 17:08 Permalink

It didn't leak on the Russian side, it leaked out of the Pentagon. The neo-cons are doing anything that they can do to disrupt US foreign policy under Trump. These traitors to the US, and the world community would rather take a chance of destroying the nation, and the human race than lose their positions of power. They need to be exterminated for the good of humanity.

In reply to by Free This

louie1 Buckaroo Banzai Sat, 08/04/2018 - 17:18 Permalink

Passport carrying Israelis control the balance of power in the US Congress. There are over 150 of them. Theirallegiance is to Israel first. No legislation passes without Israel's approval. Netanyahou is actually the leader of both houses. He has a direct line to Congress to issue his instructions.

The AIPAC oath of loyalty reinforces the Israeli's control over the US. US Congressmen are all stooges.

In reply to by Buckaroo Banzai

WarPony louie1 Sat, 08/04/2018 - 19:06 Permalink

Let's see, you got Trump/Adleson/BiBi/Rothschild vs. Leftist/Soros/BiBi/Rothschild - (happenns to owns Rueters, AP, etc.).  Trump was selected because the Militia would have gone ballistic if they had tried to seat the criminal in the White House.  Period, if voting mattered, we wouldn't be allowed. And the USA is still getting fucked by Jew-Khazars who are still pissed about the Russians destroying Khazaria, and generally despise the true Tribes of Israel which they are definitely not.

"Beware the synagogue of Satan who say they are (Tribe of Judah/Judeans) and are not."  Hmm, which religious group has synagogues? Who these days calls themselves 'Jews?'  Ergo, Jews of the synagogues are Satan's spawn.

In reply to by louie1

Conscious Reviver WarPony Sun, 08/05/2018 - 00:37 Permalink

Great post WarPony. 

Rarely do we see the Trump selected meme around here. But I agree completely. I think the military at some level would not put up with Cankles either. 

Did you see this? 

"America is a Golden Calf and we will suck it dry, chop it up, and sell it off piece by piece until there is nothing left but the World’s biggest welfare state that we will create and control.  Why?  Because it’s God’s will and America is big enough to take the hit so we can do it again, again and again.  This is what we do to countries that we hate. We destroy them very slowly and make them suffer for refusing to be our slaves.”

— Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu

BEELZEBUB: Just who really is
Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu?​​​​​​​

themillenniumreport.com/2015/03/bibi-baal-beelzebub-just-who-really-is-benjamin-bibi-netanyahu/

 

In reply to by WarPony

litemine Buckaroo Banzai Sat, 08/04/2018 - 20:13 Permalink

+ 100%.

Israel is the tail that wags the dog. All American intel gained gets shared with Israel unfiltered unlike what the American public sees.

Seems Israel wants disarray in the Middle East and the Media etc. helps their message spread.

Remember the 1st Movie Zeitgeist?  In the beginning the bell ringing telling you to wake up? 

http://www.zeitgeistmovie.com/

In reply to by Buckaroo Banzai