When Will the Shock of the Syrian-Turkish Settlement Be Fully Absorbed?
The Moscow meeting of the defense ministers of Syria, Turkey, and Russia shocked wide local, regional, and international circles. The effects of this shock are still felt today.
Some still insist on refusing to believe what is happening and hanging on to hopes and illusions that the Syrian-Turkish settlement will not go further than where it has thus far, or that even if it moves forward, that will not be in the near future, but might need many years to come.
Of course, extremists from all sides and those affected by this development that will lead to the start of implementation of UNSC Resolution 2254, are trying to reinforce these illusions through a number of “analyses”, which can be summarized in the following:
- What has happened is merely extortion and electoral games, whether from the Turkish or Syrian side.
- No project will succeed so long the US is not onboard.
- Realistic complications before the settlement moving to fruition are not only unresolvable complications, but are impossible to resolve, whether in the northeast or northwest.
The US is active towards sabotage
Despite the desperate attempts to hang on to a threat and the “comfortable” illusions (they are comfortable illusions only for those who are satisfied with the continuation of attrition and the crisis, and continuing to make money from it), a certain degree of comprehension of the emerging realities has begun to seep into the minds of Westerners, along with their followers of the extremists from all sides. Based on this understanding, an American-led energetic movement was launched, similar to the one we witnessed after the Tehran Summit.
Among the features of this movement, we can distinguish the following trends:
- Official US statements refusing what they called “normalizing relations with the regime”.
- European statements that echo the above, and somewhat delayed from it, which confirmed what they called the three Nos: no normalization, no lifting of sanctions, and no to reconstruction.
- The Captagon Act, and the possibilities it opened for more of the blockade and extortion, not only targeting Syria, but also near and far neighboring countries.
- Attempting to activate the Western Small Group, through inviting it to hold a meeting in Geneva in the next few days.
- A torrent of articles and studies from Western sources, especially American, which seek to arm those who reject the settlement with ideas needed to work against it. Among those idea, and probably the main one, is the idea of unifying the opposition in northeastern and northwestern Syria with American support, so that the entirety of northern Syria becomes a buffer zone in the face of any Syrian-Turkish settlement, and in the face of the process of restoring Syria’s geographical and political unity.
- In the same media context, there is an attempt to create a crisis around the idea of there being four sides in Astana instead of three. The truth is that there are three Astana guarantors; however, the Astana track is a quadruple track since day one, as Syrians – although not properly completely represented – have been present in it since the first Astana meeting.
- In parallel, there is active working by circles among the “opposition” calling for “independence” from Turkey, politically and as place of presence. That is, calling for opposition bodies present in Turkey (particularly the Coalition) to move, not towards real independence, but in reality towards direct subservience to Europe, the US, and the Small Group, and towards complete detachment from the Astana track. In this context, people’s natural fears, especially in the northwest, are being purposely exploited and exaggerated, to be used against the settlement.
- There is also ongoing work within circles of the so-called opposition bodies to imply they are still effective, especially those institutions formally connected with the Geneva track (especially the Syrian Negotiation Commission), to be used within the framework of working against Astana. A few bodies are part of this, ones whose continuous historical role was to join precisely that type of Western-led opposition, which eventually intersects with the extremists in the regime who reject political solution and change.
The settlement is proceeding
The problem with the Americans, and with them the “Israeli”, is that all these sabotaging tendencies not only lack creativity, but even a realistic basis that allows them to turn into influential facts. For example, if the talk about the Syrian-Turkish settlement faces many obstacles, and none of them are easy to solve, then in the end they are solvable within the framework of Astana, as many previous experiences have shown. On the other hand, what is being proposed regarding unifying the northeast and the northwest, is almost madness. What unity are they talking about? Unifying SDF and al-Nusra or unifying SDF with the “National Army” that, regardless of SDF’s opinion therein, is controlled by Turkey and will not allow it to work against it?
As for the attempt to create a new center for the opposition, or the attempt to revive forms of the opposition in the hands of the Americans, that is of course possible. The Americans can create whatever they want and bring together whatever forms they want of the opposition, which will not be different from the type like that of the Iranian opposition that has been outside Iran for decades and will likely be for decades to come. However, for an opposition subservient to the US to have weight in any future Syrian process, that is another thing.
The shock of the extremists and the essence of the ongoing changes will not be fully absorbed until they realize that the Astana tripartite has resolved to proceed towards the full implementation of UNSC Resolution 2254, through an implicit agreement among its sides, through agreements among Syrians, and through understanding with each of China and the main Arab countries. The understanding among all these guarantees solving the crisis without the Americans, and in spite of them, if necessary.
Undoubtedly, the difficulties will not be easy at all, and there are complications that should not be taken lightly, but these are difficulties and complications that are resolvable within the aforementioned agreements and understandings, and possibly in the near future.