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Syria Report June 2017 - Retrospect ...

Syria Report June 2017

Posted by Raphaydeena on

Syria Report June 2017

In last month’s Syria talks between Iran, Russia and Turkey in Astana (Kazakhstan), the 3 decided upon 4de-escalation zones where cessation of hostilities between rebel groups & regime forces would be observed.

All these zone are in the west; the Idlib province, northern Homs, northern Damascus, Deraa and Quneitra in south along the border with Jordan. Only al Qaeda and ISIS will be targeted, which are scarce in these zones. With this the Regime will be able to strengthen in the west & concentrate on the ISIS targets in the east

While the US claims no-boots-on-ground in Syria, US coalition forces have occupied the al-Tanf area in the south, unilaterally-declaring it a ‘deconfliction zone’. By controlling al-Tanf the US cuts off one of the three major highway linking Damascus to Baghdad, while the other two pass from the Kurd & the ISIS controlled Deir az Zour

However in the last few weeks, Iranian-backed forces from Iraq have captured the al-Waleed border check post where the alTanf road enters Iraq – cutting alTanf off any link from Iraq, while Syrian Regime already control roads leading to alTanf from the west, especially after reoccupying Palmyra

Now the Regime’s priority is to regain Deir ez Zur, a major stronghold of ISIS, where 10,000 Syrian forces are already struggling to protect civilians from ISIS atrocities. With Deir ez Zur the Syrians will get control on the 2cd highway that goes through al Bukamal into Iraq – leaving only the Kurdish route for ISIS, which would again be useless for them if Iran-backed forces have control of Mosul, which they are trying in the on-going Mosul Offensive

In this backdrop, if Qatar makes friends with Iran, its dream of the Qatar-Turkey gas-pipeline, which had been blocked by Syria till now, could become a possibility via Iran, al Tanf, Aleppo, Turkey & to Europe. In this way Saudi Arabia’s losing Qatar will either strengthen the Shia-factor or make sectarian politics fade in the region – in any case weakening the Saudis. Saudi need to revise foreign policy!