YAHYA HABIB/NEWS DESK
Interferers' conflicting interests; N, E Syria people eliminate Daesh geographically
Since the Syrian crisis has been complicated by external interference, all parties have seen Syria as a "cake" and they have scrambled to divide it. Each party sought to get the largest share. They started holding meetings to divide this cake among themselves. However, conflicting interests, attempts to get the biggest share and each party foiling the other's plan, made all the meetings a waste of time and caused the shedding of more Syrian blood.
During the years of crisis, the map of influence and control has changed and alliances have changed significantly, but all of them have taken place under the cover of political agreements and truces, most notably the Astana agreement.
Geneva and its 9 rounds... Attempts and failed efforts
The Geneva talks, which have so far concluded nine rounds, have not been able to produce concrete results, although each round ends with a series of resolutions that are not applied on the ground.
The first round began on 30 June 2012 at the invitation of the UN envoy to Syria Kofi Annan and the Working Group for Syria, but failed for several reasons, most notably not to invite the representatives of the Syrian people and the parties involved in the crisis disputed on interpreting the terms of the agreement.
The second round of Geneva, which began on 20 January 2014, witnessed changing the international envoy to Syria Kofi Annan and the appointment of Lakhdar Brahimi instead, but in this round, the real representatives of the Syrian people were absent, especially the Kurds who declared the Autonomous Administration in the north of Syria one day before the meeting, in response to the wishes of Turkey, which was the first and primary player in the aggravation of the Syrian crisis by pumping money and care and opening its borders to mercenary groups and terrorists, it also failed.
In the third round, the international envoy was changed again and Stefan de Mistura was succeeded Brahimi. This round was preceded by the Russian intervention, which led to a change in the balance of power on the ground in favor of the regime. Therefore, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar hastened to form a delegation after the meeting in Riyadh, the first to be held under the auspices of Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. It was named "Supreme Negotiating Body" under the leadership of Asaad al-Zu'bi, and the appointment of the commander in Jaish al-Fatah mercenaries Muhammad al-Alush as the chief negotiator. While the Syrian people's representatives were absent from the third round which failed, too.
The fourth round (February 23 - March 3, 2017) agreed on 4 baskets related to "establishing non-sectarian ruling system, a timetable for drafting a new constitution, holding fair elections, developing a counterterrorism strategy and building medium-term confidence measures." However, none of these issues were implemented despite scheduling six months.
The fifth round began with preparatory meetings on 23 March 2017 and formal meetings on 24 March, in the presence of the same parties that participated in the previous rounds and the exclusion of the actual parties. The four main themes of the agenda, including governance, the constitution, the fight against terrorism and the elections, were discussed within eight days. Each side also handed over to the UN envoy their vision on the four baskets that emerged from the fourth round.
The sixth round of Geneva was held on 16 May 2017 with the same faces, but this round differed from its predecessors by holding indirect meetings between representatives of the regime and the so-called Opposition. The Syrian people did not count on the fact that this round would produce results since its inception, and considered it one of the most low-lying rounds.
The seventh round of Geneva was held on 11 July 2017 with the participation of the same parties (the regime, the external Opposition). In this round, the real representatives of the Syrian people were also absent. The UN envoy did not have an agenda to present it to the Syrian parties.
The discussions continued for four days as if moving in a labyrinth, with the Syrian government delegation, the UN team discussed the anti-terrorism file which was a priority for this delegation, and with the delegation of the so-called Supreme Negotiating Body, the political transition file was discussed and a mix of the four baskets was discussed with the Moscow and Cairo platforms. The international community was disappointed with this round, even participants from different delegations made it clear that this round was a waste of time.
In the eighth round (November 28 to December 14, 2017), the international envoy explicitly declared its failure. "We did not conduct real negotiations and I did not see the government really seeking dialogue. This is unfortunate," he said, describing what happened as a "golden opportunity." Pointing out that the delegation of the regime stipulated the withdrawal of the statement of "Riyadh-2" in exchange for entering into direct negotiations with the "Syrian Negotiating Commission."
While the Russian-Turkish-Iranian conflict and the escalation in Idlib dominated on the ninth round where the Syrian regime refused a paper submitted by five Western and Arab countries, for a political solution in Syria, in accordance with UN resolution 2254.
Syria and the Sultanate's ambitions through the Astana Agreement
The war in Syria not only opened the borders of the country to external interventions and conflicts but to the return of colonial desires and the re-mapping of Syria and its neighbors.
These desires lacked a political agreement to cover them, which was achieved in the Astana agreement, during which Turkey turned from an anti-regime to an undisclosed server, thus Russia enabled the regime, through the so-called de-escalation agreement, to control large spans of Syrian territory with the help of Turkey.
Several rounds of Astana were held, the first of which took place on January 23, 2017, but these rounds did not solve the suffering of the Syrians. On the contrary, they sought the interests of Russia, Turkey and Iran.
Under the agreement, Turkey, Russia and Iran share the Syrian cake among themselves, and sometimes the interests of these parties converge, and sometimes contradict. In the province of Idlib, the interests of Turkey, Russia and Iran met. Turkey wanted to occupy the province so that it could encircle Afrin and Russia wanted to gain time in order to eliminate IS in Deir Ezzor, while Iran liked it to stop fighting in that area, to send its armed groups to the Syrian Badia and to control Bou Kamal to maintain the land line connecting Tehran Damascus and Beirut to revive its hopes to implement its plan in the Shiite crescent.
As a result of the convergence of these interests, Turkey occupied parts of Idlib and was stationed along the border with Afrin canton and thus surrounded it from three sides (Idlib, Azaz, al-Bab and the Turkish border), while Russia and Iran took enough time till IS is of eliminated, and Astana alliance continued to hold more of the deals and the most recent of which is eastern al-Ghouta for Afrin, where Turkey ordered its mercenaries and their families to get out of al-Ghouta and handed it over to the Syrian regime in exchange for the occupation of Afrin in an attack that began on 20 January 2018.
Where would Astana and de-escalation end up?
After Russia benefited from the de-escalation agreement to restore the regime's control over large areas by Turkey neutralizing weapons of its mercenaries, the interests of these countries began to clash, especially in Idlib, where Turkey reached a dead end in support of terrorist groups as it seeks to reintegrate mercenaries into new organizations to be included in the constitutional committee, but Russia rejects this and believes that Turkey must dissolve these organizations and hand over their positions to the regime's forces.
Turkey between a rock and hard place!
In the wake of this impasse in Idlib, Turkey's situation has become more and more complicated. As a result of its losing prognosis, it began to falter between the Russian alliance, which has no horizon for it and the American alliance, which is fed up with Turkey's problems with its neighbors.
Turkey now has to make up its mind and choose one of the two alternatives. Either go with the US alliance and lose its presence in Idlib and Syria completely, and lose its tools of pressure on everyone, including Washington and Russia, or take the Russian option and thus end its ambitions and hopes to attack northern and eastern regions of Syria.
Softening regional, international tone towards Syrian regime, escalating against Iran
After all of the events of the Syrian crisis, we see that Turkey's attempt to overthrow the regime faded as it directed its weapons and mercenaries towards the Kurds and the regions of northern and eastern Syria. The positions of most of the Gulf and Western countries also changed. The demands of overthrowing the regime were absent from their speeches and recently a sign of Arabic return towards Damascus was witnessed, later it was held on by the United States.
This Arabic movement was accompanied by Russian-Iranian difference which resulted in political disapproval in Iran where Muhamad Jawad Zarif resigned, according to observers, there is Iranian concern about the Russian policy that is open to the enemies of Iran and talk about a Russian green light to remove the Iranian forces from Syria.
IS which threatened the world defeated in northern and eastern Syria
Despite all these despicable political deals, there was another view of the children of northern and eastern Syria, where they continued the war on terror and defeated the largest terrorist organization that threatened the whole world,
This victory over terrorism, despite the Turkish efforts, left an unforgettable imprint in all countries of the world.
The victories of the Syrian north were not only military ones, but have coincided with intensive institutional work in which the Autonomous Administrations have been established for liberated areas in which all the peoples of the region have participated and laws regulating all aspects of life have been established based on the diversity of the population and the specificity of each region.
On September 6, 2018, the people of the north of Syria took a new step on the road to democracy through the formation of the Autonomous Administration in North and East Syria during a meeting the Democratic Syrian Council held for the local councils and civil Administrations in northern and eastern Syria, based on the decision taken at the Third Conference of the Democratic Syrian Council which took place on 16 July of the same year.
By consensus of all the powers and nations of the world, the regions of northern and eastern Syria are the most secure and developed Syrian areas, which open a horizon of hope for all Syrians.