The Omani Foreign Minister’s surprise visit to Syria strongly suggests that the Arab League’s de-facto “normalization” of relations with Syria is presently underway, but it also hints that something bigger might be at going on as well given that Muscat also enjoys excellent relations with Tel Aviv and Washington and has previously played the role of a behind-the-scenes regional mediator between the US and Damascus’ allies in Iran.
Syria’s so-called “isolation” from the rest of the Arab World is disappearing by the day ever since the UAE and Bahrain reopened their embassies in Damascus late last year, but now a new development has occurred after months of silence that strongly suggests that the Arab League’s de-facto “normalization” of relations with the Arab Republic is still underway. The Omani Foreign Minister paid a surprise visit to the Syrian capital over the weekend, reciprocating a sojourn that his Syrian counterpart made last spring, and media reports said that the purpose of the trip was to discuss regional affairs and economic issues.
Oman was one of the few Arab countries to maintain relations with Syria during the Hybrid War of Terror against it, and it’s traditionally played a mediator role between various countries in the region due to its traditional neutrality in practically every dispute. For example, Muscat was responsible for bringing Washington and Tehran together over half a decade ago and facilitating the JCPOA, and its sultan also hosted Netanyahu late last year in a clearest sign yet that the self-professed “Jewish State” and the GCC of which Oman is an integral component are on the brink of proudly making their secret strategic partnership public very soon.
So close has Oman become to “Israel” over the past year that the same Foreign Minister that met with President Assad earlier met with Netanyahu during the anti-Iranian conference in Warsaw and declared that his interlocutor’s obvious innuendo to recognize his political entity “is an important, new vision for the future”. The Mossad chief even revealed earlier last week that “Israel” might open up a Foreign Ministry office in Oman, and although Muscat officially denied this, it’s clear to see which way the proverbial wind is blowing and seems destined to happen sooner than later.
This strategic political backdrop makes the Omani Foreign Minister’s surprise visit to Syria very intriguing because it carries with it the hint that he might have passed along a message from his country’s new “Israeli” ally that could realistically pertain to its innumerable Russian-facilitated bombings against Iranian military units in the Arab Republic. To make this event all the more curious, it was immediately preceded by reports from the well-connected and pro-Damascus Al-Masdar News (AMN) media outlet that President Assad replaced his supposedly pro-Iranian intelligence chief at the behest of Saudi Arabia, Oman’s chief benefactor.
If true, and there’s no credible reason to doubt AMN’s integrity in posting such a significant story, then that would imply that President Assad might be preparing to finally request Iran’s dignified but “phased withdrawal” in accordance with his Russian patron’s vision for sustainably resolving his country’s long-running conflict. His decision might have of course been influenced by “Israel’s” latest strikes, which proved that the recent Jerusalem Summit was a success in the sense of getting the host entity and its Russian & American allies on the same page regarding the need to pressure Damascus to remove the Islamic Republic’s forces from the country.
Although some Alt-Media outlets published several wishful thinking stories that the summit was a “failure”, that narrative was debunked after President Putin accepted a call from Netanyahu on Monday and the official Kremlin website reported that the two “discussed matters related to Russian-Israeli cooperation in the Syrian settlement process considering the results of the trilateral meeting between the Russian, Israeli and US security council secretaries held on June 25, 2019”, and that “In particular, they emphasised the importance of further cooperation between military agencies.” On top of that, Netanyahu was invited to attended V-Day 2020, too.
Given the close cooperation that “Israel” has with Russia and Oman, as well as Moscow’s efforts to “reshape Syria’s ‘deep state’ in its own image” and Muscat’s traditional regional mediating role, the context of the Omani Foreign Minister visiting Damascus just a day after President Assad reportedly removed his pro-Iranian intelligence chief convincingly hints that he made the independent choice (though possibly under intense Russian-“Israeli” pressure) to begin gently distancing himself from the Islamic Republic and that the Gulf diplomat was tasked by Tel Aviv to see just how serious he really is about this incipient pivot.
Oman did the unthinkable over half a decade ago by helping to broker what eventually became known as the JCPOA, so it wouldn’t exactly be unprecedented if it sought to facilitate the de-facto “normalization” of ties between Syria and “Israel” in a similar manner as it’s also currently trying to do between Syria and the Arab League. This process could even be part and parcel of the so-called “Deal of the Century” for geostrategically re-engineering the Mideast during the onset of the emerging Multipolar World Order, so in answering the question of on whose orders Oman sent its Foreign Minister to Syria, it’s “Israel’s” with US & Russian approval.
Note to readers: please click the share buttons above or below. Forward this article to your email lists. Crosspost on your blog site, internet forums. etc.
Andrew Korybko is an American Moscow-based political analyst specializing in the relationship between the US strategy in Afro-Eurasia, China’s One Belt One Road global vision of New Silk Road connectivity, and Hybrid Warfare. He is a frequent contributor to Global Research.
Featured image: Syrian President Bashar Assad, right, meets with Oman’s Foreign Minister Yusuf bin Alawi, left, in Damascus, Syria, Sunday, July 7, 2019. (Source: SANA)