Delegates and foreign ministers of member states convene at the Arab League headquarters in Cairo, Egypt, Sunday, May 7, 2023InternationalIndiaAfricaJames TweedieSyria’s secular government is still standing after more than a decade of sectarian terrorist insurgency backed by the US and its regional allies. Independent investigative journalist Christopher Helali said its readmittance to the Arab League was a sign of waning US power in the Middle East.Return of Damascus to the bosom of the Arab League after 11 years of pariah status shows the failure of the US doctrine of regime change, a journalist says.The regional group of nations voted on Sunday to reverse its 2012 decision to expel the Syrian Arab Republic over President Bashar al-Assad’s resistance to religious-sectarian ‘rebels’ backed by the Western powers and several of the Gulf monarchies.The tide of the conflict turned in 2015 with Russia’s military assistance, helping to break the sieges of Aleppo and other cities alongside volunteers from Iraq and Lebanon’s Hezbollah and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps.Christopher Helali told Sputnik that the major change of stance by the Arab nations was “part of the ongoing geopolitical shifts that we’re seeing in the wider region.””Syria being allowed back into the Arab League is certainly a coup, not only for the Arab countries, but I think for countries like China behind the scenes who have been pushing diplomacy and pushing rapprochement between different sides in the Syrian civil war,” Helali said.WorldVideo: Iranian President Arrives in Syria for Official Visit for 1st Time Since 20113 May, 08:01 GMTThe welcome back for Damascus and President Bashar al-Assad showed there was “no more appetite for regime change” or for backing the “alphabet soup of jihadist groups” funded and armed by Washington — the al-Nusra Front*, Islamic State*, various al-Qaida* affiliates and the Free Syrian Army (FSA).Those sectarian terrorist forces were supported by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and possibly Qatar and Jordan, the journalist said.The journalist noted there was “growing discontent” among the Arab states over how the conflict has progressed and its unwanted effects. “People are saying, okay, let’s just let’s finish it and let’s send a lot of these refugees back.”The other question is who Assad must negotiate with to finally end the 12-year conflict, given the Gulf monarchies previous insistence on a political “transition” that brings the “rebels” into the mainstream.Those groups have been “allowing different Western journalists there to show that ‘we are moderate rebels… we are Islamists, but we’re not fanatical like ISIS, even though they are underground’,” Helali said.
"Ultimately, Assad would have to speak to the great power brokers in this conflict — the people who supported those groups. So you'd have to think about Turkiye, Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states, the United States, Russia, Iran, everybody would have to be at the table," he continued. "But of course, nobody's coming to that table except for the people already on Assad's side. Plus Turkiye, because it's being pushed to find a settlement, especially for the northern part of Syria, especially by Russia and as well as Iran."
WorldMoscow Welcomes Syria’s Return to LAS7 May, 22:43 GMTThe elephant in the room remains the illegal US occupation of north-eastern Syria, with its concentration of lucrative oil fields, along with its outpost at al-Tanf in the southern desert near the border with Jordan. “There can be no peace plan, there can be no situation in which everything is resolved so long as foreign troops, including US troops, still occupy sovereign Syrian territory and so long as arms and equipment and funding keeps funnelling in to Syria, to other armed groups,” Helali stressed.”Once that stops and once there can be sovereignty over in territorial integrity, Syria reclaiming all of its borders, then there can be some plan. But that plan will have to be Syrian-led” and not imposed form outside, he said.The ultimate significance the republic’s return to the League is the tact admission that the US-led plan to overthrow Syria’s government failed — with disastrous consequences for her neighbours.”What the Arab League is saying is that we’ve tried, it’s failed. Assad is here to stay and we have to find some normalization because we’re also dealing with millions of refugees in the region,” Helali said. “There has to be some political resolution to this conflict so that people can return home. Turkiye has 5 million Syrian refugees. Everybody wants a resolution to this.”* DAESH/ISIS, al-Qaeda, Nusra Front are banned in Russia as terrorist groups.For more cutting-edge analysis, check out our Sputnik Radio show Political Misfits.