Over the summer, traditionally in world diplomacy, which is a lull, controlled by the militants of the IS *, the Syrian territory has almost doubled as shagreen. Western politicians and diplomats who began a full-fledged working life in September found themselves in a completely different reality: the troops of Bashar al-Assad, with the support of the special forces and the Russian Aerospace Forces, came to Euphrates and deblocked Deir-ez-Zor, defeating the igilovtsi grouping in the Akerbat area. Against the backdrop of the ongoing fighting around and in Deir ez-Zor, photos of pontooners advancing towards the Euphrates look meaningful.
Inevitably, following the military successes of the government forces, the policies of all those involved in the Syrian war also change. The main incentive here is the realization that you can not catch the departing train and stay at the station named "Assad must leave." In the numerous, but to nobody the necessary company.
Two Western diplomats, on condition of anonymity, confessed to the American edition of Bloomberg that "the United States and its European allies, along with Saudi Arabia and Turkey, had to change their position on Assad. At present, they largely agree to remain (head of Syria) in transition. " It is this recognition of the new reality that “will allow us to begin meaningful negotiations on the future of Syria,” Lavrov said on August 29 in Abu Dhabi.
Turkey can understand. Significantly, the hostile position of Germany, the de facto refusal of the EU to engage Ankara in the union, the unsuccessful coup attempt behind which the Yankees loom, determined the change in the position of President Erdogan. Moreover, the Kurds backed by the Americans worry Turkey much more than the personality of the ruler of Syria, who is inevitably weakened by the war for many years. The de facto autonomy of Iraqi Kurdistan that has already taken place is about to reinforce the de jure emergence of a hostile state in Turkey. The next step is obvious - the war for the separation of the eastern regions of Turkey, inhabited by the Kurds. Therefore, Ankara is objectively interested in the maximum weakening of the Kurds in Syria. What predetermined and situational union even with Assad, even with the devil.
No less objective and change the position of Saudi Arabia. Today Sergey Lavrov arrives in Riyadh for talks, after which King Salman is expected to visit Moscow. Following the coordinated work on the oil market (a year already successful), it is logical to expect agreement on Syria. Moreover, the Americans put pressure on Riyadh. This weekend, FOX News spoke about new evidence of Saudi involvement in the September 11 2001 attacks in the United States. As part of a trial in the US, evidence was presented by the embassy of Saudi Arabia in the United States organizing a trial abduction of aircraft two years before the terrorist attacks that destroyed the World Trade Center towers.
In addition, Riyadh has much more compelling reasons to fear the strengthening of Iran and the new round of war in Yemen. Today it is more important for Saudis to redirect Tehran’s efforts anywhere, just not to support Shiite insurgents in this country. In addition, the financing of anti-Assad forces from the kingdom’s budget loses meaning when the chances of overthrowing Bashar al-Assad are headed towards zero.
The head of the "moderate opposition" Kadri Jamil (former deputy prime minister of Syria) says bluntly: "I see a shift in Riyadh's position. The chances of reaching an agreement are very high."
What worries one of the leaders of the most influential grouping of the Syrian opposition (Yahya al-Aridi), who confirms the change in the policy of the Saudis: "Now there is a fierce campaign to rehabilitate the Assad regime."
The disagreements that have arisen between Qatar and its neighbors, above all with the Saudis, are playing into the hands of Russia and the Syrian government. Sergey Lavrov, who was also in Qatar, did not disclose the essence of the agreements reached. I noticed only that the “striving for peace” allows us to overcome the existing differences.
They see no point in the support of the United States and their "European partners." Worried about strengthening the right in their countries, unable to independently resist the influx of refugees and the increasing number of crimes and terrorist acts in their countries, Western European leaders have long been ready to stop senseless “motions” in order to overthrow the government of Bashar al-Assad - they are primarily interested in the flow restriction policy agreed with Turkey migrants.
Even Lebanon and Israel are forced to recognize the changed realities. As a result, the Lebanese Armed Forces launched a full-scale war with ISIS terrorists near their borders, and the Israeli Prime Minister paid an unexpected visit to Moscow precisely in connection with the situation in Syria. And although the Israeli air force’s monthly strikes on Syrian military bases continue, Tel Aviv is clearly looking for ways to make arrangements with Damascus. For pragmatic Israelis, it doesn’t matter who exactly will redirect Hezbollah’s efforts to other countries - if only they don’t bother them.
As a result of successful military efforts in Syria and Sergei Lavrov's shuttle diplomacy in the Middle East, a new situational alliance of states is being formed, the interests of which are no longer determined by the US. And the goal is not to overthrow the government of Bashar Assad.
In fact, for all the differences that exist, there will be two tasks on the agenda:
1) the destruction of the IG, An-Nusra * and other terrorist groups on the territory of Syria and the departure of the survivors to Iraq (Afghanistan), and not to Yemen or on the territory of other neighboring states;
2) the maximum weakening of the Kurdish forces in Syria and the reduction of the territory controlled by them, despite the efforts of the United States to create a state of Kurdistan in Iraq, Syria and Turkey.
At the same time, each of the players maintains their own interests, often conflicting: restraining Iran, maintaining stability in Lebanon, protecting the borders of Israel, preventing the intensification of Shiites and terrorist groups in Yemen, preventing the emergence of Kurdistan in Iraq et cetera.
All of these, as well as many other factors and interests, guarantee that even after the defeat of the main opponents of Assad, tensions will remain in Syria for a long time, and the already legitimized opposition will seek to remove Bashar al-Assad, citing the country's most difficult economic situation.
A military victory, already clearly visible thanks to Russia, will be only the first step on the long journey to re-create pre-war Syria.
But this step is inevitable.
Syria: the enemy at the gate is at a loss
- Mikhail Onufrienko (Mikle1)
- Photos used: