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US could ‘divide Syria’, warns first Western journalist given access to Isis – The Independent

The first Western journalist to be allowed access to Isis-controlled Raqqa in Northern Syria has warned US intervention could “divide Syria into four or five parts”.

Jürgen Todenhöfer, a journalist and former politician who visited Isis territories after intense negotiations in 2014, claimed the US “likes” to weaken Middle East countries and had already done so in Libya and Iraq.

Mr Todenhöfer was speaking in an interview with Russia Today following the truce deal in Syria brokered by the US and Russia, which has itself been accused of exacerbating the conflict by bombing rebels.

And the 75-year-old German said he had a “realistic dream” that Isis could be defeated – but only if opposition groups joined forces with Bashar al-Assad’s regime.

Despite multiple isolated violations, a shaky cease fire has held between the Syrian government and rebel brigades since 27 February. With every day it lasts, Mr Todenhöfer said, there is cause for “more optimism”.

He said: “If the rebels would start to fight with the official government army, against Isis, then we would have a chance to defeat Isis, and to have peace in Syria. It is a dream, but a realistic dream.

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“The US divided Iraq, they divided Libya, and now they could divide Syria into four or five parts. Divided countries are weak countries, and I have an impression that certain American politicians like weak countries in the Middle East.”

Mr Todenhöfer said little can be done to prevent further Isis terror attacks in Europe: “For Isis it is much easier to use the forces they have in EU countries, US or Russia. They have many fans in those countries.

“They don’t need to take risks to cross borders – they can do it, but they don’t need to. They coordinate themselves – it’s not difficult to make a suicide attack. It’s cheap and it’s easy.”


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