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Why Chemical Weapons Are Not Likely In Idlib

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Assad Is Not Expected To Use Chemical Weapons In Idlib Province Conflict With Rebels

Russia is aware that after years of civil and religious power struggle between violent pro-Sunni and pro-Shi’a groups in Iraq and Syria, many prefer regional stability over democratic freedom. This may be the reason for the Trump administration and NATO merely asserting chemical weapon usage as the red line in Idlib.

Russia’s economy is approximately the same size as that of Australia. While the hundreds of billions of dollars the U.S. and NATO have spent fighting conflicts in Iraq and Syria are a colossal loss, the toll of these conflicts on the Russian economy holds infinitely greater severity.

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Russia may convince Iran that an even-handed approach on Idlib is beneficial in maintaining its status as a regional power. While civilians may choose to escape conflict via Turkey and the Mediterranean, hardened Islamic radicals may simply relocate to Iraq, challenging Iranian dominance in that country. In addition, as the U.S. batters Iran’s economy with sanctions, Iran is currently appealing to the European Union, switching transactions from dollars to euros to maintain their investments in Iran.

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Russia is aware that the U.S.’ most important regional ally, Israel, is wary of replacing the Assad regime. Most likely, an Al Qaida backed figure will replace Assad if current powers are reversed in Syria. Remaining primarily neutral during the Syrian civil war, Israel maintains positive relations with Russia regarding rollback of Hezbollah in the Golan Heights.

If Russia maintains a secure peace in Idlib, it gains unfettered access to the Mediterranean. Conversely, if the balance of power is reversed significantly via Turkish and NATO reprisal, Russian access to the Mediterranean comes at much greater price.  

Russia enjoys its current relations with Germany, especially on trade of natural gas via the Nord Stream 2 pipeline. It is aware that nationalist factions have sprung up in the Euro due to the influx of refugees from Syrian civil war.

Germany, the most influential economy in the Euro, has recently sought to placate port of access countries regarding exchange of refuges and asylum seekers. A fresh influx of asylum seekers from Syria may end Merkel’s leadership and construction of Nord Stream 2, crippling the Russian economy as well as its influence in the European Union.

To the chagrin of anti-Assad war hawks, Turkey and Russia are devising a demilitarized zone in Northern Syria. Both will benefit. Russia will hold regional hegemony, and Turkey’s devastated economy will not have to face another wave of refugees. That is, if tempers are maintained, and Putin, Rouhani, and Assad agree on limited show of force.

 

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Italian Populist Youth Group Praises Trump for His Peace Efforts

The Lega Nord is one of Europe’s strongest populist parties.

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The Lega Giovani, the youth branch of Salvini’s Lega party, announced its support in nominating President Donald Trump for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Due to Trump’s efforts in brokering peace deals between Gulf Arab states and Israel, one Norwegian lawmaker Christian Tybring-Gjedde nominated the president for the Nobel Peace prize.

In a statement, Luca Toccalini, a member of the Italian Parliament and Chairman of Lega Giovani, declared that the “globalist left is losing its mind, scared by the outcome of the upcoming American elections, and this latest news decisively increased their worries.”

Toccalini added that Lega Giovani “strongly” supports the “nomination of President Donald Trump, a just reward for the continued dedication of his administration for lasting peace with a bilateral and multi polar approach.”

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The populist Italian member of Parliament noted how Trump’s Middle East agenda has contrasted with Obama’s:

After a decade of turmoil in the Middle East and North Africa, sponsored by a globalist agenda and President Obama’s dreams of revolution, the last 4 years have seen great improvement for the stability in our neighbourhood which has also helped Europe.

Toccalini concluded:

Wishing four more years of peace and greatness, as Lega Giavani we strongly support Donald J. Trump for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Matteo Salvini and Lega have led the way in putting populism on the map throughout Europe. Salvini broke the mold by implementing pro-gun reforms in 2018 and 2019. What seems like a concept that is only confined to the U.S., now the right to bear arms is starting to enter the conversation in Europe. Political organizations like Lega have undoubtedly changed political discourse in Italian politics and Europe, for that matter.

Youth organizations such as Lega Giovani will play a substantial role in spreading Lega’s message and educating younger generations of Italians and preparing them to be the new populist vanguard of an ever-changing European polity.

The message can be read here.

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