Military agreement between Iran and Syria ...causes and timing implications

Iran and the Syrian government signed an agreement to strengthen military cooperation, including the development of Syrian air defense systems in light of Israel targeting Iranian military sites inside Syria, days after a new meeting of Astana guarantors, what does this agreement implications?

Following the signing of the agreement, Syrian Defense Minister Ali Abdullah Ayoub and Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces, Major General Mohammad Bagheri, held a conference in Damascus, during which they announced the agreement.

"We will strengthen the Syrian air defense system with the aim of improving military cooperation between the two countries," Iranian state television quoted Bagheri as saying, stressing that the agreement "will strengthen our will (...) to counter American pressure."

 Syria and Iran are subject to severe economic sanctions, which intensified in Damascus with the entry of the American Caesar Act into effect mid last month.

CA aims to compel the Syrian government to amend its policies, and to accept to sit at the negotiating table based on previous UN resolutions, especially Resolution No. 2254. The Act also aims to push Damascus to give up military support from Tehran.

Iran views with concern the American and Israeli moves aimed at pressuring it to remove its forces from Syria.

Iran also believes, according to observers, that Russia is not far from this pressure, and this began since the meeting in June 2019 in Jerusalem between Russia, America and Israel, where Israeli raids intensified despite the Syrian government's purchase of advanced Russian air defense systems.

On this, the Syrian dissident and coordinator of the Syrian Secular Democratic Party in Sweida, Samir Azzam, said in a statement to our Agency, "What is related to the recent military agreement that Iran concluded with the Syrian regime as its predecessors, its content is not usually disclosed as happens with military agreements between countries, where relations between Iran and its allies in Syria, Iraq, Hezbollah in Lebanon, and the Houthis in Sanaa, are intimate, deep and of a special nature whose details are not disclosed, but can be identified through what is happening on the ground.

He explained that part of the recent military agreement between Iran and the Syrian government can be identified through the military moves of the Syrian army in the southern Syrian region, in Daraa in particular, where the military conflict is open between the Syrian army and its allies and the forces of the Ansar al-Sunna faction that previously, reconciled with Russia and under The Fifth Russian Legion, in addition to the assassinations that targeted a number of army officers and the bombing by the aforementioned faction of army soldiers ’convoys in Daraa to the point where the conflict amounted to the invasion of the Fifth Legion army checkpoints and villages in the eastern and northeastern Daraa countryside, which required the mobilization of the fourth division forces to halt progress and to mobilize additional army forces to Daraa with the aim of invading the areas of the aforementioned faction.

On the indications of timing, Azzam believes that it relates to the conflict in southern Syria between Russia, in coordination with Israel on the one hand, and Iran and the regime on the other.

"Response to Russian-Turkish understandings"

Azzam added, "Those who follow the military agreements between Iran and the regime find that they come after every meeting of the three Astana parties" Russia, Turkey, Iran ", whose results are practically limited to bilateral agreements between Russia and Turkey, and Iran finds itself as a false witness in it, then it responds to the conclusion of bilateral military agreements with the regime, Where relations between Iran and Russia in Syria are marred by mistrust, and Iran's sense of growing letdown by Russia, which previously resorted to the Iranian forces and their allies to seize the land, and after this was achieved, Russia started coordinating with Israel with continuous air strikes on Iranian positions and its allies throughout Syria. .

"The conflict is open to all possibilities."

Azzam believes that the conflict between Russia and Iran in Syria is intense and the ultimate Russian goal is to remove Iran militarily and economically from the Syrian arena, and this will not be easily accepted by Iran and the conflict is open to all possibilities.

"Things will not happen with what the parties of Astana desire."

On the fate of the Astana alliance, Syrian politician Samir Azzam says, "The Astana alliance is bad and illegal, as it takes decisions in isolation from the Syrians and without authorization from the Syrian government or the United Nations Security Council, and its trade-offs result in Turkish occupation of cities, towns, and vast areas in northwest and northeastern Syria."

He added, "The relations of its parties were based on opportunism, and each of them sought to achieve their own ambitions and goals, at the expense of the Syrians and on the integrity of the Syrian lands, and by its swaps it committed war crimes and crimes against humanity from sectarian and ethnic cleansing that affected many Syrian regions, especially Afrin, Ras al-Ain and Tal Abyad."

Azzam concluded his speech by saying, "The Astana alliance will not bring a solution to the Syrian crisis, but it has delayed the crisis from one region to another, and this will not in any way bring peace, the conflict on Syria between the international and regional powers involved in the conflict militarily at its highest, and open to all possibilities, and things will not happen." What the parties of Astana desire.

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