Triumvirate for Syria

By Vyacheslav Matuzov 

Speaking about the 10th meeting on Syria in Sochi, it is worth noting that it has a special significance. Because the military actions in the republic are approaching the end. The Syrian army with the help of Russian specialists is completing the operation in the south. Political arrangements have been reached with Jordan and Israel. And although there is an enclave with terrorists in Idlib, in general the situation in the UAR moves towards the cessation of hostilities.

Once it was believed that the Astana process should involve representatives of military groups that are armed in arms against the Syrian army and various political forces opposing the Syrian government scattered around the globe. Today, this situation has changed. The absence of military factions - already defeated or those that joined the ranks of the Syrian army and are under the command of the Syrian armed forces - completely transforms the configuration of the negotiations.

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mechanism of Syrian resolution process
It is all radically changed by the fact that the Americans officially withdrew from the Astana process. Before, Russia and the United States in Geneva acted as co-sponsors of a peaceful settlement of the situation in Syria. And now, after the self-elimination of the Americans, there is a prospect, when all the processes after the end of hostilities will be decided in Astana. It seems that in this situation the Geneva track is already becoming secondary, and even completely unclaimed. It is now clear that Syria's problems are being discussed on the basis of the positions of the three states. This is Iran, participating in the events on the side of the Syrian government, Turkey, opposing the official Damascus, and Russia, which supports Syria in military, political and diplomatic terms as a member state of the UN.

Apparently, it's not all that simple. Turkey has undertaken to cease hostilities in the north of Syria. Today, this de-escalation zone remains the only enclave where terrorist groups are concentrated, migrating to Idlib from all over the republic. How to solve this problem - by military means or through some political steps - is a difficult question. So far, Turkey has a notable desire not to let the Syrian army by military means liberate the city of Idlib and its surroundings. Moreover, she threatened to cease participation in the Astana process if the Syrian army launched an offensive.

Turkish solitaire and tripartite summit in Ankara
One of these days, even information appeared that more than 10 thousand militants declared their readiness to leave Idlib and go to Turkey, having handed over all positions and weapons. In my opinion, this is the first signal about how the problem of the northern territory of Syria can and should be solved. Subsequently, the Sochi format will become even more important, since there are many problems related to the post-war development of the republic. One of the most important moments in this issue is the problem of the Kurds, on which the US relied in a vast area on the eastern bank of the Euphrates River with oil fields. Americans, in fact, handed over them. The first sign of this was the negotiations of part of the leadership of the Kurdish "Democratic Union" led by Saleh Muslim with the authorities in Damascus. The dialogue was not just begun - the Kurd side declared its readiness to transfer the areas of the eastern coast of the Euphrates to the Syrian authorities controlled by them and withdraw all its armed formations.

At the same time, there will inevitably arise a question of working out an understanding with Turkey, which has a strict attitude to prevent any form of Kurdish, neither federal, nor autonomous, on the territory of Syria. It is not excluded that preliminary discussions were held in Sochi and the future structure of the country, taking into account the role of the Kurdish factor.

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Attention in the future will also require ensuring the rights and fate of armed groups that go over to the side of the Syrian army, but the main, of course, will be the humanitarian assistance to Syria. The consolidated position of the West is the refusal to participate in the humanitarian aid of the RAA. It is motivated by the fact that humanitarian aid can be rendered only in the event of the resignation of Bashar Assad. Which, naturally, is not possible today. And here Moscow can play a very significant role. Not so long ago, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov traveled the countries of the Middle East, and then went to Western Europe, France and Germany. And the main result of these trips was the agreement of France to provide humanitarian assistance to the residents of East Hut. She sent a huge package of medical aid to Syria by plane, provided by Russia. It is possible that the further work of representatives of Moscow with Western countries will allow other states to convince them of the need to separate their attitude to the leadership of the republic from the humanitarian problem of the Syrian people.

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