Can the Syrian knot be untied?

Can the Syrian knot be untied?

Stanislav Ivanov

For 10 years now, a civil war has continued in Syria, claiming the lives of hundreds of thousands of residents, destroying its economy, housing stock and infrastructure. A new generation of Syrians is growing up in refugee tent camps in neighboring countries (Lebanon, Turkey, Iraq, Jordan).
The following is seen behind the propaganda victorious reports from Damascus about the restoration of control of the central authorities over the country. With the help of the anti-terrorist coalition (over 60 states) and the Russian Aerospace Forces, it was possible to defeat the most powerful and dangerous group of international terrorists, the Islamic State (banned in Russia). Its individual cells and scattered groups in the hard-to-reach regions of Syria and Iraq no longer pose a great danger.
The Assad government, with the support of the armed forces of Russia and Iran, as well as Shiite mercenaries, was able to establish control over two-thirds of the territory of the former Syrian Arab Republic. But it should be borne in mind that less than half of the country’s population (about 10-12 million) remained on these lands. The rest of Syrian citizens ended up in the aforementioned refugee camps (7-8 million) or live in territories not controlled by Damascus (about 8 million) in the north-west, north and north-east of the country. Thus, most of the Syrians are not with Assad today.
The country remains divided into three enclaves with the presence of a significant number of foreign troops (Iranian, Russian, T-urkish, American). Assad’s regime largely depends on Tehran’s military, financial and material assistance ($ 8-10 billion a year). The armed opposition and radical Islamist groups of the Syrians such as “Geyat Tahrir al-Sham” (banned in the Russian Federation) rely on Turkish allies in their fight against government forces. Kurdish militias and the Arab tribes of the Trans-Euphrates are supported by a small contingent of Special Forces and the US Army Air Force.
The Israeli Air Force periodically inflicts missile and bomb strikes on military installations, vehicles and weapons depots of the Islamic Revolutionary Gua-rds Corps (IRGC) of Iran and the Lebanese group Hezbollah, which, according to Jerusalem, may pose a potential threat to the State of Israel.
The general impasse in the country is aggravated by Damascus’s sabotage of the constitutional committee and peace talks with the opposition in Geneva, and Assad’s reluctance to recognize the de facto Autonomous Administration of Northern and Eastern Syria (Rojava).
Given this balance of power, it is unlikely that 2022 will bring peace to the long-suffering Syrian land. Regional predators in the person of Erdogan and the Iranian ayatollahs will continue to tear this “cradle of world civilization” to pieces and wage proxy wars, regardless of the lives and interests of the Syrians.
It can be stated with bitterness that the experiment started by the French colonialists in the 30s of the last century to create a Syrian state on the fragments of the Ottoman Empire failed. It turned out to be a “fix idea” to artificially mold a new state called Syria without taking into account the national, ethnic and religious characteristics of six semi-independent quasi-states.
The Baath Arab nationalist party, which came to power after a series of military coups in Syria, for a long time managed to keep the SAR from disintegration by force through martial law. But the handover of the presidency to Bashar al-Assad, a former ophthalmologist at a London clinic, marked the beginning of the end for the French experiment.
His attempts to keep the martial law in the country, the one-party system, usurpation of power by the Arab-Alawite minority, rapprochement with Iran – all this provoked spontaneous protests throughout the country in the spring of 2011. The use of the army and police to disperse the demonstrators only exacerbated the conflict. Some officials, the military and representatives of other security agencies went over to the side of the rebels. The Sunni Arab majority and Kurds, who remained “second-class people” under the Assad rule, actively supported the anti-government protests.
Reliance on foreign military aid in the fight against his people turned Assad in-to a hostage of his Alawite clan and an Iranian puppet. He understands that the departure from the country of his allies in the person of Iran and the Russian Federation will inevitably lead to the collapse of the regime and, like Ashraf Ghani in Afghanistan, he will have to flee with the remnants of the treasury to Tehran or Moscow.
As a result, a “no war, no peace” situation has developed on the territory of Syria. there are no active hostilities, but the country lies in ruins, the people suffer from poverty, disease, fear from the actions of the authorities and various armed groups.
The way out of this inter-nal political crisis would be the withdrawal of all foreign troops from the SAR, the creation of an interim coalition government, and early presidential and parliamentary elections. If necessary, the parties to the Syrian conflict could invite the UN peacekeeping contingent to the country on a temporary basis. A peacek-eeping or humanitarian op-eration in the UN Security Council format would be quite appropriate.

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