Obama wanted to calm the waters in the Middle East, then shift the burden of policing it to America’s partners there, such as Israel and Saudi Arabia, as the United States had done during the Cold War. Hence, his policies were aimed at the withdrawal of U.S. forces from the region, forging an Iran nuclear deal and restarting negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. With U.S. forces gone from Syria, so is a check on Iranian ambitions to expand its military presence and political influence there – much to the horror of officials not only in the United States, but in Saudi Arabia and Israel as well.
Results for Tag: Syrian war
For the Syrian and Palestinian refugees living in the country, the power-sharing system will continue to entrap them as they face systemic exclusion, with politicians trying to make their living conditions as difficult as possible to ward off potential settlement. If stability in Lebanon continues to be managed by sectarian head counting, any mechanisms to protect refugees will not be implementable and suffering will continue unabated.
Turkey hopes that by helping life return to normal in at least some parts of the war-torn country, some of the more than 3 million Syrian refugees can be convinced to return home. Turkey’s fear of self-rule for the Kurds in a post-war Syria, which could further embolden the Kurdish movement at home. Apparently, ‘turkifying’ parts of Syria is not considered to be a nail in Syria’s coffin.
The Syrian Presidency announced in August 2018 that Asma had breast cancer, after which she was treated for an early stage of a malignant tumour, according to official Syrian statements. Asma took advantage of her illness to carry out a series of activities on social media and make various appearances wearing a scarf on her head as one way to demonstrate that she underwent chemotherapy. She participated in World Breast Cancer Awareness Day in a way that was described as spontaneous, engaging in chats with women undergoing cancer treatment at the hospital.
An agreement to limit the influence of Iran in Syria could be the key for pacifying the current situation. However, an increase of strong reactions from Russia towards Israel, like continuing to limit Israel’s possibility of military actions in Syria, could lead Syria to become the theatre of a strength show that the country doesn’t need if it wants to keep its relative stability.
If the idea of a buffer zone fails and Israel decides to strike massively at pro-Iranian forces across Syria – potentially accompanied by a significant US military engagement – the Russian-Israeli relationship could quickly cool. Such a development would threaten Russian’s core interest in the region: to preserve the military and political successes achieved to date in Syria and in the Middle East more broadly.
Indeed, after Bashar al-Assad took over from his father, al-Turk played a large role in the so-called Damascus Spring, a period of political debate and demands for democratic change in June 2000. In August 2001, al-Turk appeared on al-Jazeera calling for all political factions to unite. “What we need today is reconciliation, and [we] have to work for a new future, forgetting mistakes of the past. In the past, we had a problem with the dictator, and now that problem is over – the dictator is dead,” he said.
Trump’s policy is pushing Iran towards Russia. In order to preserve its position in the region, Iran knows that it needs international allies and backing. Russia, therefore, is an important international actor that can balance the US, which is backing Iran’s rivals in the region. According to Khamenei’s adviser, Ali Akbar Velayati, “Iran-Russia relations are strategic and will determine the future of the region.” Trump’s policy is only strengthening this view and hastening Iran’s shift towards Russia and the East in general.
The Syrian regime wanted to stay in power at all costs, whereas the opposition wanted to topple the regime with the help of foreign military and political support, and kept insisting that this was its aim, even after it was on the verge of losing the war. The opposing political positions remained too far apart for any real negotiations to be able to be successful. Apparently, there was not any mediating party that was able to induce either side to moderate its position so as to be able to reach a compromise. Both sides considered it to be a struggle for life or death with hardly any room for compromise. With the increase of the numbers of deadly victims, refugees and destruction, the room for compromise – if there had ever been any room for compromise in the first place – ceased to exist.