The CSTO arrives in Iraq and Syria

The intervention of the CSTO (Collective Security Treaty Organisation) against terrorism in Iraq and Syria may be the beginning of a world order based on the cooperation and defence of civilian populations, or, on the contrary, a period of East-West confrontation in which the West openly supports terrorism. Contrary to popular belief, this military deployment is aimed less at defending Iraq and the Syrian Arab Republic than the members of the CSTO themselves. It is therefore not negotiable. The debates in the UNO General Assembly and Security Council on the 30th September will reveal the response of Washinton and its allies. In any case, nothing will ever be the same.

2_-_1-32-bf057While the Western Press persists in discussing possible Russian military support for President Bachar el-Assad, the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO) has decided to fight terrorism in Iraq and Syria.

It would seem that the Western powers still fail to understand the consequences of their policies.

An existential question for the CSTO

Let’s remember that the CSTO is a classic military alliance between six ex-members of the Soviet Union – Belarus, Russia, Armenia, Tadjikistan, Kazakhstan, and Kirghizistan. Unlike NATO and the Warsaw Pact, in which the member states lost their sovereignty – for the benefit of the United States and the United Kingdom in NATO, and the USSR in the Warsaw Pact, which constitute violations of the United Nations Charter – the member states of the CSTO retain full sovereignty, do not place their armies under the command of the alliance’s most powerful member, and can quit the alliance at any moment [1]. Azerbaïdjan, Georgia and Uzbekistan have already freely left this organisation and turned to Guam and NATO.

Since the 1980’s – before the member states of the CSTO even existed – the United States and NATO have deployed a missile system which was first of all aimed at the USSR, and now encircles the CSTO. These missiles, which were supposed to destroy enemy intercontinental missiles during their launching phase, can only in fact destroy slow-moving aircraft, and can have no effect on Russian missiles, which are supersonic. Presented by the Pentagon as a defensive weapon – which perhaps it may originally have been – this « anti-missile shield » can therefore only have offensive potential. The CSTO is the only group of states in the world which is threatened by missiles which are pointed directly at it from its frontiers.

Since the Second World War, the USSR, and later the member states of the CSTO, have watched the recruitment of the Muslim Brotherhood by the CIA, and the use of certain of their members or ex-members by the USA in order to destabilise them [2]. So Osama Ben Laden’s men (trained by Sayyid Qutb’s brother) and those of Ayman al-Zaouahiri (who had joined the Brotherhood one year before the arrest and execution of Sayyid Qutb) fought the USSR in Afghanistan, and then fought Russia in Yugoslavia and finally on their own territory in the Caucasus [3].

Since 2011, the member states of the CSTO have observed the NATO operation known as the « Arab Spring », which was designed to overthrow enemy régimes and also friendly régimes in the Middle East for the benefit of the Muslim Brotherhood (Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Syria), and since 2014, they have watched the triumph of the Muslim Brotherhood’s ideal with the proclamation of a caliphate which challenges both international law and human rights. Currently, this caliphate has awarded its command positions mostly to Islamists from the ex-USSR, sometimes even from the member states of the CSTO.

On the 1st August, Ukraine and NATO member Turkey announced the creation of an « International Islamist Brigade » composed of Al-Qaïda and Daesh combatants, and stationed in Kherson (Ukraine) [4]. This Brigade proposes to fight Russia in Crimea.

In other words, unless they now engage against terrorism, the CSTO will soon have to confront both an exterior enemy – NATO and its missiles – and an interior enemy – Islamists who were initially trained by NATO.

The six heads of state and the CSTO’s General Secretary.
The six heads of state and the CSTO’s General Secretary.

On the 15th September, the CSTO held its annual meeting for its heads of state in Dushanbe (Tadjikistan). As I announced a month ago [5], Russian President Vladimir Putin presented to his colleagues the studies realised by the Russian army concerning the possibility of fighting the caliphate immediately, before they enter CSTO territory en masse.

President Putin had previously managed to convince his partners that he would not engage them to support Russia’s ambitions in Syria, but to respond to a threat directly aimed at the CSTO.

Finally, the CSTO decided to deploy in Iraq and Syria in order to fight all jihadists, whether they claimed to support Daesh or al-Qaïda. This operation is legal according to international law, since it conforms to UN Security Council resolutions relative to the fight against terrorism. It is also an extension of the operation by the US-led Coalition, also legal, against Daesh.

However, unlike the Coalition, the CSTO maintains positive relations with the governments of Iraq and Syria, which enables it to envisage far greater efficiency. In order to prepare the CSTO intervention, an air corridor was set up between the Organisation and Syria. It was at first intended to cross the Balkans, but US allies opposed it, with the exception of Greece. The corridor was therefore set up to cross Iran and Iraq. Within less than a week, massive quantities of armement and more than 2,000 men were transported to Syria. Technically speaking, the CSTO has the capacity to deploy up to 50,000 men in less than two weeks.

The United Nations forum

For the sake of efficiency, and without prejudice about the good or bad faith of the Western powers, CSTO heads of state plan to speak before the UN General Assembly- as from the 28th September – to call on the international community to unite its efforts against terrorism.

Apart from this, since Russia is presiding over the Security Council for the month of September, Vladimir Putin – who has not been to the UNO for a decade – will preside over the session on the 30th September, which will be dedicated to the fight against terrorism in Iraq and Syria.

In the event that the Coalition and the CSTO should come to an agreement, they could either participate in joint operations or share the work between them – Iraq for the Coalition and Syria for the CSTO. Otherwise, the two organisations could lead two distinct campaigns while trying to avoid getting in each other’s way.

From the Atlantist point of view, the CSTO campaign will benefit the Syrian Arab Republic and guarantee the continuation of the mandate of elected President Bachar el-Assad, whom NATO hoped to overthrow. However, it is false to pretend that this intervention was conceived to save Syria from the West. Indeed, during the preparation of the Geneva Conference in June 2012, President Putin had considered deploying the CSTO as a peace force [6]. General Hassan Tourekmani, who was at that time President of the Syrian National Security Council, had undertaken several approaches to make this possible. But the deployment did not happen, partly because the Organisation had not yet signed an agreement with the UNO [7], and partly because two members of the CSTO did not feel directly threatened by the situation in Syria.

From the point of view of the CSTO, their proposition to the Western powers will oblige them to clarify their policies. Indeed, until the signing of the agreement between Washington and Teheran, on the 14th July, the anti-Daesh Coalition, far from fighting terrorism, had regularly and massively parachuted arms to the jihadists. However, during the last few weeks, the Coalition has indeed been fighting Daesh. At the end of July, in coordination with the Syrian Arab Army and its militia – the Kurdish PYG and the Syrian Military Council – it launched a massive bombing operation in defence of Al-Hasakah. This operation, which the Coalition did not publicise, eliminated about 3,000 jihadists.

Besides this, the White House has already indicated that it is open to « tactical and pratical discussions with Russia ». The Foreign Office has declared that it is no longer opposed to the fact that « the Syrian President may remain in power for a period of transition if that could further the resolution of the conflict ». Joining this movement, the French Minister for Foreign Affairs suggested that he would agree to allow President el-Assad to complete the mandate that his people had confided in him, declaring : « Must we tell the Syrian people that Mr. Bachar al-Assad will hold on to executive power for the next fifteen years ? If we say that, no solution is possible. Between saying that and demanding the immediate departure of Mr. Bachar al-Assad, there is a margin. It is known as diplomacy. » [8].

Thierry Meyssan announces the intervention by the CSTO on Syrian television

Consequences of the CSTO intervention

Contrary to a false idea widely spread by the Atlantist Press, the fight against terrorism in Iraq and Syria is not the affair of decades, but a few months, as long as all states cease their secret support for the jihadists.

In the case of a disagreement at the UN, the Western Press will probably vilify the CSTO action by overplaying civilian casualties. Indeed, despite all precautions, it is not possible to bomb the terrorists without causing « collateral damage. » Every Islamist leader has three « wives » and, following their example, more and more jihadists have taken prisoners whom they reduce to slavery and then « marry ».

However, if an agreement is reached, we will probably never hear about these victims, and the war in Syria should be over by the Orthodox Christmas, even though it will take a good year before the situation is completely stabilised over all the territory.

Keep in mind :
- The CSTO will intervene as from October 2015, both in Iraq and Syria, against individuals described as « terrorists » by the UNO, in other words al-Qaïda, Daesh, and all the groups allied with them.
- The CSTO are not trying to come to the aid of Haïder al-Abadi or Bachar el-Assad, but is being directly threatened by the jihadists.
- The jihadists do not have the capacity to resist for very long against an international alliance if Iraq and Syria are included.
- The United States, who have already waged a huge secret joint operation with the Syrian Arab Army in Al-Hasakah, are ready to conlude an agreement with the CSTO. Their British and French allies are ready to renounce the idea of overthrowing the Syrian Arab Republic.

Pete Kimberley

[1] “Charter of the Collective Security Treaty Organization”, Voltaire Network, 7 October 2002.

[2] A Mosque in Munich. Nazis, the CIA and the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood in the West, Ian Johnson, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2010.

[3] The Muslim Brotherhood was founded by Hassan el-Bana, who hoped to restore the caliphate after the fall of the Ottoman Empire. The Brotherhood presents Islam both as a religion and a totalitarian political system, while denying any spiritual dimension in their interpretation of the Koran. Sayyid Qutb theorised the use of violence to gain power, the jihad. Although the Brotherhood officially condemned Qutb’s writings after his death, he remains their intellectual reference.

[4] “Ukraine and Turkey create an international Muslim Brigade”, Translation Pete Kimberley, Voltaire Network, 5 August 2015. More details in : «L’Ukraine et la Turquie créent une Brigade internationale islamique contre la Russie », par Thierry Meyssan, Réseau Voltaire, 12 août 2015.

[5] “The Russian army is beginning to engage in Syria”, by Thierry Meyssan, Translation Pete Kimberley, Voltaire Network, 24 August 2015.

[6] “Syria: Vladimir Putin contemplates sending CSTO peacekeeping force”,Voltaire Network, 3 June 2012.

[7] “CSTO allowed to deploy “blue chapkas” in Syria under UN mandate”,Voltaire Network, 29 September 2012.

[8] « Audition de Laurent Fabius au Sénat sur les minorités persécutées au Moyen-Orient », par Laurent Fabius, Réseau Voltaire, 9 septembre 2015.


Originally published: Thierry Meyssan (Voltaire Network)

French intellectual, founder and chairman of Voltaire Network and the Axis for Peace Conference. His columns specializing in international relations feature in daily newspapers and weekly magazines in Arabic, Spanish and Russian. His last two books published in English :9/11 the Big Lie and Pentagate.

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