The Syrian conflict had always been a complex issue for American politics in the past 9 years. The superpower that dominates the world politically was apprehensive about military intervention in Syria after its demonstrative failure in Libya. Instead, they resorted only to drawing red lines for Assad to partially limit his activities. Even after the so-called red lines were crossed as Assad committed chemical attacks against his people, the US responded by merely bombing the airport runways that were used to carry out those attacks. Obama then emerged as a victor for stripping down the Syrian regime from its chemical weapons arsenal that posed an existential threat to Israel.
After long drawn out talks that spanned years within the hallways of Washington, over the sanctions bill “Caesar”, that was decreed along with the US federal budget at the end of last year; new leaks reveal that the White House intends to drop the Syrian file altogether.
This leak came from Syrian political dissident RadwanZiadeh who said that the US President Donald Trump instructed Russians to end military action in northern Syria and commence working towards a political solution. Discussions between the two parties stipulated terminating Iranian presence in Syria and excluding Iran completely from the negotiation table while Russia may continue to maintain its presence and contracts within Syria. On the other hand, the US may maintain its presence and its troops to curb potential Iranian interference.
The leaks indicated that the north will remain under Turkish control, and that the Syrian regime ought to practice decentralization at least until political conditions have been met and everyone’s cards are put on the table.
As for Turkey, which now controls the north, it is now expected to unite the opposition and merge its factions and organizing them under one front. Additionally, they are to break up the Levant Liberation Committee (Hay’atTahrir al-Sham), reopening international roads but without initiating reconstruction until an agreement is reached concerning the terms of the political solution. This solution should be drawn out before the New Year.
؟What About Assad
Ziadeh indicated that Assad no longer has a protected position in Syria, for Russia has already announced its willingness to abandon the President in case guarantees for its military presence along the Syrian coast are put in place; as well as receiving a sufficient share in upcoming reconstruction investments.
The White House source said that a Security Council session would be held to uphold the ceasefire in Syria, and that the decision would be unanimous. However, the refugee situation which is the European Unions biggest concern will remain unresolved. Consequently, the EU will support and maintain stability in the region as well as reconstruction.
In conclusion, Ziadeh states that the US has realized its mishandling of the Syrian situation which grossly increased the Iranian influence in the region. It remains adamant on ending the Syrian crisis before the next elections, and that resolving this issue will reflect positively on Trump’s reelection as well as curbing Iranian influence.