The Positions of Active International Powers towards the Political Solution in Syria

 

It appears that the political papers of the local Syrian powers have weakened due to the lack of capabilities after four years of intense conflict which has destroyed almost everything on the Syrian landscape.  The winds of conflicting international positions related to Syrian affairs are blowing these groups in differing directions; these positions may be distinguished as follows:

First – The Israeli position: It is characterized by its importance despite it not being directly involved in the Syrian conflict. The reason behind its importance is that the current situation on the Syrian landscape serves Israeli interests in an absolute manner, in that Israel is the biggest benefactor from its continuation. The destruction of Syria and its army, its economic and social infrastructure, and the possibility of its being divided will remove it from the Arab-Israeli conflict for a long time to come. All this is occurring without Israel losing even one soldier. The thing that also increases of the importance of the Israeli position is that America and most Western nations look towards the region and that which is happening in it with Israeli eyes, and take positions that consider Israeli interests.  The question that remains here though is: Will the Israeli position change with the approach of Iranian Revolutionary Guards from the Israeli border in occupied Golan Heights in Syria? Or is this approach a mere guarantee given by Iran to Israel for it to continue its support of Assad and his Nazi regime?

Second – The Iranian position:  The Assad regime has become entirely dependent on Iran, and is in fact now a card in Iran’s hands which it may use in negotiations on its Nuclear File. Iran is waging on that the Syrian conflict continues and is immersing its economic, financial and military strength to end the Syrian Revolution and to widen and strengthen its already strong influence Syria. It believes that it is capable of a military victory and it continues to push real-estate and financial investments in Syria in order to acquire more influence in the future, and at the same time it is pushing more and more sectarian militias and Revolutionary Guard units to clinch the military situation as soon as possible. It may even be striving to change the regime to its own absolute benefit as a step in the many steps it is taking to achieve its Safavid agenda.

Third – The Turkish position: It is characterized by its importance due to the fact that Turkey is an absolute political supporter of the demands of the Syrian Revolution to remove the regime and to achieve the demanded changes that benefit the Syrian people, as well as maintaining a unified Syria. Turkey is regarded the best country for Syrian refugees to escape to and it is the most inviting to those refugees. In this regard, it is striving to create a safe zone on its border to absorb all the Syrian refugees on the condition that such a zone is created with the purpose of combating terrorism. It is marching with firm steps in its strategy towards the Syrian Revolution and is anticipating the loss of chances for the Kurdish people to achieve an independent Syrian Kurdistan as was done in Iraq.

Fourth – The Saudi position: It appeared of late to be vague and to be retracting its positions at the start of the Revolution, but after King Salman bin Abdul-Aziz took the reins of power and the following major changes that have occurred has allowed for the Saudi position to carry many variables towards the Syrian Revolution. Among the things that could contribute towards is the increasing approach of the Shia threat to its territory and which is represented by the Houthis taking power in Yemen. There are some indicators that the Saudi position is coming close to the Turkish and Qatari position especially after the visit to the Kingdom by the Turkish President. If this occurs then it will have a great positive affect on developments on the Syrian scene.

Fifth – The Qatari position: Its position is close to the Turkish position despite it having retracted many of its positions that it had at the start of the Syrian Revolution. Despite this however, it remains one of the most progressive positions supporting the demands of the Syrian Revolution. Qatar is regarded as one of the most nations that received various kinds of pressure in attempts to affect its positions, but it succeeded in escaping the bottleneck places on it and continued to support the Revolution and attempted to harmonize its position with the Saudi position which would generally cast a positive shadow over the scene.

Sixth – The American position: It appears to be wavering and in lack of a strategy. Hesitation is the political stamp of President Obama’s policy towards the Syrian issue. Despite America being called to promote a political solution and not to wager on a military solution, it in reality is becoming increasingly close to the Israeli position, and does not really want a quick solution to the Syrian tragedy. It is thereby striving for the continuation of the conflict in order to exhaust the conflicting forces after having made it easy for them all to gather on Syrian territory with complete precision and composure (especially considering the fact that these forces are composed of some of its traditional enemies such as Russia, Iran, Hezbollah, Al-Qaeda and fundamentalist Islamists etc.). The previous statement by the Israeli Defence Minister might shed some light on the reality of the American policy towards Syria when he said (Israel and America are in agreement that Assad and his regime should remain in power), and this naturally means that the conflict will continue until American policy changes, because the conflict is unable to be resolved without Assad stepping down as -condition to any political solution and ending of violence in Syria. This is what President Obama has started to call for but he has not offered a timetable for this to occur in.

To keep the volatility master of the situation in American politics, after Kerry’s remarks about forcing America to negotiate with Bashar to end the war in Syria immediately the comment of Deputy State Department spokeswoman (Mary Harff) came saying: (no future for Assad in Syria, and our policy is still single and clear).

 

Seventh – The European position: The general position of European States leans towards finding a political solution to the Syrian crisis, ending the conflict, and ending the increasing humanitarian crisis of the Syrian people. European Union nation states are feeling the danger of events in Syria escalating towards the worst, because this will in turn bring harm to its own lands as well as its interests in the region. In reality though, Western countries are doing nothing substantial in order to achieve a political solution and its policy therefore remains close to that of the American position or the Israeli position, with the exception of France which partially leans towards the Turkish position.

Ninth – The Russian position: Russia seems to backing down in favour of the Iranian role, and Russia therefore called for a round of discussions to be held between the regime and the opposition in Moscow. Due to the fact however that Russia has absolutely no neutrality and impartiality that qualifies it to play the role of a positive mediator, all of its efforts will result in failure, especially considering that it continues to support the Assad regime with various methods, and it seems to be satisfied with the slice if Syrian cake that it has received. This slice is not a small amount (Billions of Dollars of the reserves of the Syrian Central Bank in exchange for purchasing old Russian weapons and ammunition in addition to huge privileges afforded to it in terms of oil and gas investments in the sea off the Syrian coast, with little to no conditions, as if it were kickback for its international political positions as well as its positions in the Security Council). It therefore appears to be eager to maintain its acquisitions afforded to it as a result of its desperate defence of the regime in Damascus.

When viewing the positions held by the parties to the Syrian conflict and the positions held by the regional and international parties, it is clear that there is no looming political solution to the Syrian issue, and that the conflict is likely to escalate, and all that we are witnessing now in terms of some political manoeuvres are nothing more than games being played with no guaranteed results in a landscape open to all games.

By Colonel Abil-Fidaa’ Al-Waw

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