While there’s no guarantee that events in Syria will unfold according to the master plan, it nevertheless appears to be the most logical end game in sight given what’s publicly known about all parties’ positions at this time, though it could always be offset by one of them if they decide to play the spoiler.
Tag: Syrian conflict
Mattis played a stellar role by systematically undermining the Trump agenda. Mattis is a skilled operator in the military bureaucracy and his departure leaves a void for the Swamp. But his exit is not going to be the end of the vicious struggle going on in American politics.
Trump’s abrupt pullout from Syria has shocked and mortified Washington’s war party and neocon fifth column. It was amusing to watch the anguish of such noted warlike chickenhawks as Sen. Lindsay Graham and the fanatical national security advisor John Bolton as their hopes for a US war against Syria diminished.
Paradoxically, the decision to pull out from Syria and the rebooting of the Turkish-American alliance can only improve the US’ capacity to influence the Syrian peace process, and regional politics in general.
On the diplomatic front, it is obvious that Washington’s efforts have run aground to drive a wedge between Turkey on one side and its Russian and Iranian allies on the other by luring Erdogan to reach an understanding regarding the US’ long-term presence in Syria.
Much water has flown down the Euphrates since the 9th round of the Astana Process took place in May. Six months is a long time in politics – especially in Middle East politics. But, paradoxically, while Middle Eastern politics is in turmoil, the prospects for peace in Syria may have improved.
The quadrilateral summit in Istanbul on Syria has endorsed the political advances of Russia, but has decided nothing. Moscow gave its Turkish, French and German partners a lesson on the situation. The allies of Washington are having a hard time digesting their defeat and drawing its conclusions.
The bottom line is that it is the post-war Syrian order that is under discussion now. However, it must be understood as well that the proxy war is not ending but is rather morphing into the diplomatic war that lies ahead, which of course will be keenly fought, given the divergent interests of the foreign protagonists.
Understanding this dynamic, reports have recently surfaced that Russia is trying to mediate between Iran and Israel in Syria in order to prevent Tel Aviv from partaking in any more strikes in the first place, which might be why President Putin said earlier this month that Moscow is “pursuing a goal that there would be no foreign forces of third states in Syria at all” after the end of the war.
While on the ground, the war is ending, and only Idlib still needs to be freed from the terrorists, the Western powers are starting trouble all over again. The United States refuse the process led by Russia, for the reason that they didn’t have anything to do with it, while the United Kingdom and France seek to impose institutions which would allow them to govern the country from the shadows.
These three Great Powers’ efforts could be for naught if Syria loses patience and commences its campaign ahead of Friday’s event or if a US false flag chemical weapons attack in Idlib manages to radically change the strategic equation.
Encouraging the dignified “phased withdrawal” of Iranian forces from all of Syria just like it recently did from around the Golan Heights would strengthen the Russian-Israeli Strategic Partnership and provide an opportunity for reaching a common understanding with the US.