On Monday morning, The Arab newspapers touched upon the share of the Russian and Iranian influence in Syria.
Al-Sharq al-Awsat: Moscow asks Damascus to lease Tartous port for 49 years
On the Syrian issue, al-Sharq al-Awsat newspaper reported that the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Yuri Borisov met in Damascus to discuss trade and economic cooperation, especially in the sectors of energy, industry and the increase of trade exchange.
On the other hand, the news of renting the port of Tartous caused a general discontent among the Syrians, who are experiencing an unprecedented economic distress two weeks ago due to paralysis in the country in the result of the loss of gasoline. Assad's cousin, Duraid al-Assad, wrote on his Facebook account: "The port of Lattakia is to Iran. The port of Tartous is to Russia, and Jabla port is ours."
Russia and Iran are competing for influence areas in Syria. Russia announced its intention to lease Tartous port after the Syrian regime had leased Iran the commercial port of Lattakia since October 2018. During an unannounced visit to Tehran by President Bashar al-Assad last February, he signed with his Iranian counterpart Ali Rouhani an agreement allowing Iran to manage the commercial port of Lattakia, which angered the Russian side, which takes from the Hameimim military airport and the surrounding villages in the countryside of Lattakia, the headquarters of its military base in Syria, and a center to extend its control over the entire Syrian coast.
Russia is looking to explore oil fields in Turkey, Iraq, Lebanon and Syria, and establish a land bridge to Europe across the Middle East to strengthen Russia's role as a major supplier of gas in Europe and expand its influence. Russia will rely on the extension of gas pipeline networks on the Syrian territory."
Al-Sharq al-Awsat: Kurdish command: Macaron promised us of protection
Ilham Ahmed, the head of the Executive Body of the Arab-Kurdish Syrian Democratic Council (SDC) confirmed that the French President Emmanuel Macaron promised a delegation from the Council to continue providing military support and protecting their areas from "any threat."
In a meeting held in Paris on Sunday, Macaron met with a delegation from the Syrian Democratic Council, including Ilham Ahmed, Autonomous Administration's adviser Badran Çiya, the co-chair of the Executive Council for Autonomous Administration in North and East of Syria Abdel Hamid al-Muhbash, the representative of the Democratic Union Party in France, Khalid Issa, the commander of the Kurdish Women's Protection Units (YPJ) Nisreen Abdullah, and the spokesman for the Syrian Democratic Forces, Keno Gabriel.
The French news agency quoted from Ilham Ahmed as saying that French troops in Syria would remain "as they promised to provide military and civilian support to combat terrorism and root it out." "The French president stressed the necessity to maintain the stability and security of the region from any threat," Ilham Ahmed added.