In Syria entered into force a truce and continued the war. Our “friends and partners” immediately violated the truce (as promised) and blamed it on Russia and Syria (as expected).
What actually happened in the middle East and what developments can be expected in the near future?
Let’s start with the truce. It is clear that this element of the diplomatic game. Not least because the opposition groups that agreed to negotiate with Assad, are not a major force, a “truce zone” is vanishingly small in comparison with the zone of the ongoing war.
Note also that the terms of the armistice were negotiated with Russia and the US, and then dictated to the parties to the conflict. Not only the parties in the Syrian civil war and invaders not only the jihadists but also their sponsors from Ankara and Riyadh.
The reaction was not long in coming. Turkey stated that the truce for it is optional, and Saudi Arabia immediately found a “ceasefire violations” by Moscow and Damascus, and reported that they were ready to take part in ground operations in Syria.
In turn, the Syrian Arab army (SAA) Assad, an Iranian expeditionary force and factions of the Russian space forces, little has changed: on the main fronts (in the province of Latakia, under Aleppo and Raqqa in the area) fighting is continuing, and is expected to even increase their intensity.
In fact, we are dealing with partial truce between Russia (SAHA and VC) and the USA (grouping the “moderate terrorists”) in the course of which the parties of the truce will try to improve its positions, including at the expense of others involved in the Syrian crisis parties. This explains the extremely nervous reaction of official middle Eastern allies (Turkey and Saudi Arabia).
The task of Russia is the expansion of the control of CAA at the expense of the IG and “al-Nusra” (of groups recognized as terrorist by the UN and banned in Russia), as well as preventing direct military intervention in Syria, Ankara and Riyadh. Ideally — the complete defeat of the “immoderate terrorists” by regaining control of Damascus over the Syrian-Turkish and Syrian-Iraqi borders and the start of inter-Syrian dialogue with an obviously strong position. In the end, it is planned to receive the two-track Syria, as part of the main array areas, control of which will retain the current government, formally diluted the “constructive opposition”, and a strong Kurdish autonomy along the border with Turkey.
The U.S. is trying to diplomatically win the war, lost in the field. In this regard, there is a statement that “Assad must go before negotiations on the Syrian settlement”, as well as discussions about “plan B”, with a hint of possible intervention in Syria. Russia trying to force to make concessions, scaring its Ghost full-scale war with allegedly uncontrolled Turkey and Saudi Arabia.
Ideally, the US would like to get Syria, cleansed from “immoderate terrorists” by the Russian space forces and the CAA, but without Assad and the dominance of the new Syrian government proxies. An additional factor of control over Syria should become a Confederation — partition into Kurdish, Sunni, Shiite, Levitsky and possibly Christian autonomy, with a quota representation in government. The Lebanese experience has shown the extreme fragility of such constructs and unlimited opportunities for continuous foreign interference in the internal Affairs “democratized” in a similar way in the country.
In addition, there are the interests of Turkey and Saudi Arabia, who seek to section of Syria and to establish its protectorate (or other form of control) over the Kurdish and Sunni regions, respectively. One of the first necessary steps on this path — the resignation of Assad before the start of the settlement process and thus the elimination of the legitimate Central government of Syria.
As you can see, there remains a tangle of contradictory interests and insoluble contradictions, which feeds and feed military activity, including attempts to destroy the peace process started.
Today Russia and Assad got a serious advantage. A United front of all kinds of “oppositions” split, albeit from the fight and removed the secondary players. As a result Moscow and Damascus, first, had the opportunity to concentrate military efforts on the most dangerous irreconcilable jihadist groups. Secondly, the involvement of the opposition in the negotiation process with the prospect of partial integration into the power serves as an example to other “moderates”, who can choose between the prospect of its destruction during the hostilities and participation in the process of a national settlement with undeniable leading role of the official Damascus.
Thirdly, and most importantly, the majority of the disarmed fighters will not return to the front, even if the truce will be broken and the US will attempt to return Russian factions in the war.
The danger of this situation is that whatever the outcome of the Russian-American confrontation in the middle East, Ankara and Riyadh — in the current format — you lose definitely. In this regard is expected of them fanning war hysteria. A full-fledged war of course, they don’t want, since can’t win, but military blackmail is their only means of influence on the situation.
However, the policy of military provocations and escalation of tensions may at any time withdraw from the control of its initiators. Then will start “the war that nobody wanted”. Taking into account the personalities of the leaders of Turkey and Saudi Arabia, as well as traditions of national policy failure into a tailspin of uncontrolled military confrontation seems almost inevitable. Creeping in the conflict may be slow and gradual. This process can be slowed down, but it’s almost impossible to stop.
Therefore, with a probability of 99.9(9)% we are not dealing with the beginning of the peace process, and partial tactical breather before the next round of hostilities, with the prospect of a partial (at least at the level of diplomatic and economic sanctions) to be drawn on his West-side of opponents of Russia.
The US will hardly dare to openly support the upcoming Turkish aggression in Syria, but also to allow Russia to deal with its allies can’t either. Even if the ambitions of the allies are in objective contradiction with the public interests of America.
Attempts to tie the hands of Russia regional war (in which America would formally remain in the party) Washington does not stop with 2008. And it is highly doubtful that in the near future this policy will change. Too tempting for the US to solve all their problems in one fell swoop, at the expense of others and endanger someone else’s territory.