Isis had just fled for their lives, leaving their infamous black flags, crucifixion posts, arms factories and black-painted Islamic courtrooms still intact.And yet Washington still maintains that the Syrians don’t fight Isis Somewhere over the Atlantic, I’ve always suspected, there’s a giant glass curtain through which Americans view the Middle East – through a glass darkly, perhaps – and which utterly distorts their vision.Of all the Middle East Arab nations, Lebanon was the only country whose president was not invited. Or because he supports Hezbollah and – up to a point – the Syrian government?
Let’s kick off with Syria, where (according to Saudi Arabia, the United States and Israel and most of the pseudo-experts on Western television) Iran is in the process of taking control.
A reality check: most of the Syrians I meet in Assad regime-controlled territory: in Damascus, Homs, Hama and Aleppo, and a lot of the Syrian army, were grateful for Russia’s intervention – not just because it reversed the grave defeats of the government military forces, but because it counterbalanced Iran’s influence in their country.
Officially, the ruthless Syrian army counts Russia, Iran and the Hezbollah as its allies, which is why their flags fly together outside military headquarters in some Syrian cities.
But Syrian soldiers were not impressed by the few thousand Iranian forces – not 30,000, as the New York television mountebanks claim – who arrived to help them.
In theory, the United Nations controls the southern rim of Lebanon opposite the Israeli frontier, but this in itself is a doubtful assertion.