Was the Syria deal doomed from the start?


A rcel of five documents on Syria agreed by the United States and Russia was doled by the rties as a real breakthrough. According to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, the ceasefire develop was a “turning point” for the conflict. But the ceasefire lasted only a week in which there was no genuine cessation of hostilities. One of its major objectives was not achieved: The opening of the road for the ssing of humanitarian convoys to the besieged city of Aleppo, whose hundreds of thousands of neighbourhoods are in urgent need of aid.

rties to the conflict have accused each other of disobeying the agreements. Russia said members of the U.S.-led western coalition had play up performed out a deliberate strike on the Syrian army positions near Deir ez-Zor, which exhausted 62 Syrian soldiers, and the UN Security Council met on Sept. 18 in an exigency session at the request of Moscow.

But the following day the U.S. blamed Bashar alAssad’s troops and Russia for a make instil on a UN humanitarian convoy that killed around 20 people. The Russian Defense De rtment denied that its aircraft were involved. According to Russian aerial inspection, Jabhat al-Nusra militants launched a massive offensive on Aleppo on Sept. 19, in the square footage where the UN convoy was traveling.

Lost illusions

The latest developments fortify the fears of experts who are skeptical about the prospects of the U.S.-Russian agreements because of the involvement in the antagonism of too many players with very different interests. However, the treaties between Moscow and Washington are indeed a “turning point” for the conflict and de facto do bring it closer to an end.

Did Russian planes bomb the UN humanitarian convoy in Syria?

The interrupted ceasefire is the tip of the iceberg; the rties did not disclose all the victuals of the agreement for a reason. The key factor was that the rties had lost their ignis fatui, recognizing their limitations in Syria and the danger of the Islamic State.

“To effect greater arrangements, it is necessary to sacrifice small things,” says Vladimir Avatkov, helmsman of the Center for Middle East Studies, International Relations and Public Tact. “Taking into consideration the existing situation in the north of Syria, all of the saturnalia are gradually coming to the conclusion that it is necessary to end what was unleashed there.”

Moscow began the air function in Syria last September. During this time, it has been expert to achieve a great deal – to stop ISIS’s triumphant advance and also to forbid the collapse of the Syrian state. While it was not the instigator of the Syrian civil war, Moscow turned out to be one of its mere beneficiaries. Russia has proved its willingness to defend its allies and international law; has offered to the Middle East region; and has managed to acquire new customers in the arms vend.

The problem for Moscow is that in order to further advance on ISIS, the air in effect is not sufficient. “The Russian air forces and the American-led coalition bomb terrorists from the air, but this is not tolerably,” Leonid Isayev, a senior professor of political science at the Higher Imbue with of Economics, says. He adds: “A ground operation is needed, but neither Moscow nor Washington can coerce their join ups to carry out this operation.”

Assad’s troops are now exhausted – several years of war be subjected to battered the Syrian army. Iran is theoretically ca ble of a ground G-man, but is stopped by the prospect of a transformation of the Syrian war into a Shia-Sunni slaughter (Syria is a Sunni mountains, Iran is Shia).

Moscow also cannot consider Turkey to be the line driver for ground action, as it has different interests from those of Moscow and is not an combine of the Syrian government troops. Russia’s further involvement in the cam ign is fraught with the danger of being drawn deeply into the conflict, which it seeks to keep. Moscow can take quite a flexible position, for example, at the talks on the federalization of Syria or the disposition of Assad’s regime. But it will lose its flexibility in the event of becoming numberless deeply involved and bogged down in the region.

The Syrian agreement has enhance for Washington a kind of documentation of losses, because its entrance into the drive was initially associated exclusively with the intention to topple Assad’s rgime and transfer the country’s governance to the hands of the opposition.

Russian analysts skeptical about Russian-Turkish cooperation in Syria

“The United States has large regarded Syria as a strategic enemy in the Middle East. This is the no more than state that remains on the list of state sponsors of terrorism since the organization of the list in 1979,” says Steven Heydemann, senior fellow at the Brookings University and a Valdai Club expert. The fall of the Assad regime would facilitate the Americans, in rticular, to oust Iran from the entire Levant and to vitalize Israel’s security.

However, these objectives have not been accomplished – the Americans were not able to ensure victory for the opposition. The secular Syrian contrast is also dissatisfied with the reluctance of the United States to give it veritable support against the Russian air forces, but the U.S. Congress will not agree to inventory advanced weapons to militants, fearing that they may later down-swing into the hands of ISIS.

Washington’s choice

“The U.S. attempt to work with the hostility did not bear fruit, so it is forced to contend with the existing alignment of forces,” Avatkov estimates. New threats have arisen, including ISIS, against the background of these also-rans.

Finally, the U.S. position in the region has greatly weakened in recent years. According to Richard Weitz, a postpositive major fellow and director of the Center for Political-Military Analysis at Hudson Institute, links with US allies – Saudi Arabia, Israel, Turkey and Egypt – include deteriorated, while wars are continuing in Iraq, Syria and Yemen.

If the Americans are not proficient to stop their losses at their current level and do not achieve at petty the de rture of Assad (which they can describe as a victory), their status could further weaken. Washington will have to choose – whether to ultimately give Syria to Moscow and Tehran, or to start its own ground operation. The other juntos to the Syrian conflict have been ambivalent about the agreement. They will-power have to adapt their goals and objectives in the conflict to the conditions of the Russian-American compromise, and some of them are not irrepressible about this prospect.

Dashed hopes

The Syrian authorities represented by Assad’s regulation are unhappy that they are forced to cease operations in rts of the nation. Damascus hoped to regain control over the whole of Syria, with the face of Moscow and Tehran. Without the Iranian and Russian backing, Syria’s walloped army is able at best only to defend the territory it now controls.

The Iranians also eat an ambiguous attitude to the deal. On the one hand, the last thing they have need of is any American involvement in Syria, but at the same time the deal helps end the selfsame costly war, on which Tehran is spending millions of dollars and losing hundreds of its soldiers.

Iran became elaborate in Syria not out of choice but because it believed it had to prevent Syria’s transfer to the running of its strategic enemies, Saudi Arabia and the United States. Tehran believes that this desire have been inevitable if the opposition forces had been victorious in Syria. Now the Iranians possess achieved their immediate goal, getting the basic consent of the Russian Bund and the United States to preserve the regime of Bashar al-Assad (even if without Assad himself).

Fifteen years after 9/11, the War on Terror has clearly failed

For Turkey, a princi l American ally, the compromise represented an opportunity to rectify the mistakes that it had made. But the Syrian laical war became a strategic loss for Ankara. Its initial objectives have not been completed, and new threats have emerged as a result of its attempts.

By supporting the militants, Erdogan hoped to end the regime of Assad and bring a pro-Turkish government to power in Damascus. Anyhow, the bottom line is that it had an influx of millions of refugees, economic negative cash flow deaths, a hostile Syria, problems in its relations with Russia and Iran, as seep as the prospects for the emergence of the next – this time Turkish – Kurdistan.

In an strive to re ir the damage, Turkey has chosen to normalize relations with Russia, and also exchanged its approach to the regime of Bashar al-Assad, expressing its willingness to negotiate with it and show gratitude its legitimacy.

Avatkov says: “After the attempted military coup, Erdogan is inclined that the only legitimate way to change power must be a democratic one.” And this normalization, coupled with the U.S.-Russian com cts has allowed the Turks – with the consent of Moscow, Tehran and Damascus – to send troops to northern Syria to combat against the Kurds.

The rty most dissatisfied with the agreement is Saudi Arabia. Riyadh undergoes the Syrian conflict as a peripheral war to deter Iran, so the Saudis are not interested in put id to the bloodshed.

And now, after the Russian-Turkish and Russian-U.S. compromises, as well as the expected normalization of relations between Damascus and Ankara, Saudi Arabia gets itself in diplomatic isolation. Riyadh will not be able to sabotage the U.S.-Russian agreements: That would be in all probability to affect its already difficult relationship with the United States.

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