Kateqoriya arxivləri: Syrian Civil War

Will the ‘Troika format’ of Astana talks bring peace to Syria?

Turkish Foreign Ministry Deputy Undersecretary Sedat Onal, left, and Kazakh Foreign Minister Kairat Abdrakhmanov shake hands, as Russia’s special envoy on Syria Alexander Lavrentiev and Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Jaber Ansari, right, shake hands and UN Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura stand after the final statement following the talks on Syrian peace in Astana, Kazakhstan, Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2017. (Photo: AP)

On January 23, the next phase of peace talks started in the capital of Kazakhstan, Astana. Syria’s government and opposition forces are to meet in Kazakh capital Astana for the first time since the fall of Aleppo.

Negotiations between the Syrian government delegation and rebel fighters, sponsored by Russia and Turkey – who have been backing different sides of the conflict – are expected to last three days. One of the most significant points of the talks is that this time Syrian opposition is represented mainly by the militant groups, which fight in Syria, not just by secular, and political forces. Nevertheless, uncertainty prevails over all aspects of the talks – from the attendant list to the agenda of the meeting.

The guarantors of the Astana talks – Turkey, Iran, and Russia are seemingly making efforts to show the effectiveness of “Troika” Oxumağa davam et Will the ‘Troika format’ of Astana talks bring peace to Syria?

The Fall of Aleppo: What Does it Mean for Assad’s Regime?

Syrian Civil Defense
Syrian Civil Defense

Until November 27th, the balance of power in the Syrian civil war was unclear as all involved parties had not shown any significant progress over the previous sixty-seven months. The situation is worse in the besieged city of Aleppo, which has been divided since 2012 into two main fronts – pro-Assad forces and rebellion groups. On November 27th, the last resistance point in eastern Aleppo fell following a ferocious ground assault and aerial bombardment of pro-Assad forces, who now control up to one-third of rebel-held east Aleppo.

Eastern Aleppo with 250.000 trapped citizens suffers from lack of electricity, water supply, and medications. The city was almost reduced to rubble by endless air strikes by Russian backed pro-Assad forces.

Following the latest success, Assad’s army will probably advance further to seize Sahur, Haydariyya, and Sheikh Hodr districts in order to divide Eastern Aleppo into two parts, which will cut off the communication lines between eastern opposition forces and the main battle group deployed in Bab-al-Nayrab. The army and its allies claim to have taken full controlof the Jabal Badro and Baadeen districts on Sunday, a day after capturing Hanano, a neighboring residential district. Thus, the recapture of Aleppo by government troops is only a matter of time. Oxumağa davam et The Fall of Aleppo: What Does it Mean for Assad’s Regime?

What is preventing Kurdish independence?

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The Kurdish enclaves both in Syria and Iraq have never been so close to independence as they now are. Although the issue is a priority for all Kurdish parties and factions, the possibility of the emergence of a unified Kurdish state is quite low, as relations between Syrian and Iraqi Kurdish authorities are complicated.

Iraqi Kurdistan nearly gained independence from Baghdad during the reign of Saddam Hussein. In the aftermath of Saddam’s ouster by the US, the Kurds, led by Masoud Barzani, became the only potent and organized force amid political and economic chaos in Iraq. The Erbil government has managed to establish workable state institutions, including an electoral system, institutions of local government and a military, the Peshmerga. The Kurds successfully carried out military operations against Islamic State in order to take control of oil-rich districts across Kirkuk, thus securing a solid economic basis. Moreover, the current constitution of Iraq, which guarantees a large degree of autonomy to Kurdistan, also considers the possibility of Kurdish independence.  Oxumağa davam et What is preventing Kurdish independence?

Endless crisis of Great powers in Syria

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Right aftermath, when Russia has deployed its S-300 and S-400 long-range missile systems in its naval base in Tartus, some concerns were raised as it may be seen as a new phase of US – Russian confrontation in the Middle East.  Defence ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said that the purpose of the system was to guarantee the security of the base from the air. The move comes amid growing tension with the West.  This makes it first time Russia has deployed S-300 missile system outside its borders. Oxumağa davam et Endless crisis of Great powers in Syria

Does Russia play its own game in Syria?

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A new Syrian peace agreement is ambitious, full of pitfalls and the best hope for a resumption of the ceasefire and peace talks in Syria. The kernel of the agreement reached after 13 hours of talks in Geneva after confidential meeting of J. Kerry and S. Lavrov, is a staged ceasefire, a reopening of humanitarian aid, followed by a grounding of the Syrian air force in those areas dominated by opposition fighters recognized by the west.

When the long-awaited peace has been agreed by the U.S and Russian authorities, many thought that it would be the turning point for all fighting sides in the shadow of the endless bloodshed in Syria. In the aftermath, the U.S and Russia had reached an agreement, unexpected U.S air strike killed approximately 60 soldiers of the government troops. The situation has worsened when the UN’s humanitarian convoy delivering food relief to a rebel-held area near Aleppo, was targeted during the airstrike. Oxumağa davam et Does Russia play its own game in Syria?

The future of Kurdish dream in Syria

Kurdish fighters have been tightening their grip on several areas in northern Syrian in recent months [Reuters]
Kurdish fighters have been tightening their grip on several areas in northern Syrian in recent months [Reuters]

In the shadow of a new escalation of civil war in Syria, three new challenges occurred, which would have an undeniable impact on the Middle East region. Firstly, the enlargement of Russian military intervention in Syria (within the involvement of Hamadan airbase). Second, the coalition forces have achieved to liberate the number of towns in Syria from the so-called Islamic State (ISIS). Finally, the third Turkish army has been involved in the conflict against the Islamic State.

Apparently, it is really difficult to estimate correctly the ongoing process in Syria, particularly to predict its long-term repercussions for the regional countries. However, it is safety to note that president Basher Assad will remain in power for next several years. The turning point of the process became an initiative of Turkish president R. Erdogan that aimed to rekindle the bilateral relations with Russia after the SU-24 jet scandal. Oxumağa davam et The future of Kurdish dream in Syria

Why did Turkey enter Syria?

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The Syrian civil war has been raging for over five years, and there are still no winners on sight. On the contrary – new actors are becoming involving into the conflict day by day – this week the Turkish army also joined the fray, by intervening in the Syrian city of Jarablus to support Free Syrian Army militants and fight against Islamic State (ISIS). Jarablus is a vital supply line for Islamic state and one of its last remaining strongholds on the border. Every actor in the Jarablus operation is fighting for its own reasons. Turkey certainly sought to weaken the Islamic State, which has shelled Turkish territory and carried out a Oxumağa davam et Why did Turkey enter Syria?