One major factor behind President Trump’s decision to withdraw US special forces from Syria is the dominant position achieved by Russia, in alliance with Iran, in restoring the fortunes of Syria’s President Bashar al Assad. Another seems to have been a telephone discussion with Turkey’s President Erdogan just before Christmas 2018. The implications of this are worrying.
The collapse of the bipolar international order of the Cold War period and the start of the unipolar international order under the United States has transformed the nature of military conflict around the world. After this transition, the majority of wars around the globe became civil conflicts confined within states rather than wars fought between nations. For example, in the period between 1991 and 2001, the world witnessed 57-armed conflicts. Of these 57, only three of them were between nation states with the rest being civil conflicts. This phenomenon was a primary motivation for theorists of war and conflict to…
A possible ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, the Islamist group that controls the Gaza Strip, is proving to be much more than an effort to end escalating violence that threatens to spark yet another Middle Eastern war. United Arab Emirates-backed Egyptian and United Nations efforts to mediate an agreement, with the two countries’ nemesis, Qatar, in the background, are about not only preventing months-long weekly protests along the line that divides Gaza and Israel and repeated rocket and kite-mounted incendiary device attacks on Israel that provoke Israeli military strikes in response from spinning out of control. They constitute yet another round…
International politics are subject to strange twists and turns. By one such convolution the future of Syria’s Kurdish population and of its president, Bashar al Assad, have become intertwined. Formed in 2015, the Syrian Democratic Council (SDC) is the political wing of the mainly Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which controls north-eastern Syria. Kurdish forces have fought the Syrian military on several occasions during the 7-year civil war, but the SDC has clearly begun to seek better relations with the Assad regime. On July 27, 2018, in response to an invitation from the Syrian government, a delegation of the SDC…
Why did Syrian president Bashar al-Assad meet with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin in Sochi on May 17, 2018? “Quite comprehensive negotiations took place,“ was the explanation offered by Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov.
On April 4, 2018 three national presidents met in the Turkish capital of Ankara. Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdogan greeted his Russian and Iranian counterparts − Vladimir Putin and Hassan Rouhani − to discuss a way forward in Syria. In the statement that followed, the three leaders claimed to be working closely to bring about a lasting peace in Syria.
As the world powers are busy carving up Syria’s new boundaries in Geneva and Sochi, a countless number of new lives and their future is not taken on priority.
There is little doubt that the super-power in the Syrian situation is Russia, and that – despite recent US efforts to bolster the UN’s Geneva peace-seeking initiative – the final settlement, whenever it comes about, will provide Russian President Vladimir Putin with the major political advantages in the region that he is seeking.