Neither Russia nor Iran to be able to support Assad forever
Yesterday, Washington said that they would start withdrawing their troops from Syria only after militants of the ISIS terrorist group (banned in Russia) is defeated. Among the Pentagon's tasks, its head James Matthis called destruction of ISIS, genuine progress in Geneva, and "training of local security forces." "If local partners prove capable, then we might be reducing our troops," Mattis explained.
Head of the department of theory of regional studies of the Moscow State Linguistic University, Vadim Makarenko, told Vestnik Kavkaza that the military phase of the Syrian conflict is coming to an end: "A decisive role was played by Russia, which supported the Bashar Assad government and managed to achieve a turning point in the hostilities. The forces that confronted Bashar Assad have been defeated. But the problem is that an absolute victory in the civil war cannot be achieved. Therefore, a very complex process of peaceful settlement is ahead."
Vadim Makarenko recalled "The Right of Nations to Self-Determination" by Vladimir Lenin: "Then there was a dispute on whether there should be autonomies or union republics. Lenin's decision in favour of union republics helped to get out of the civil war, but in 70 years it led to the collapse of the Soviet Union. Syria is in such a difficult situation now. The parties must agree, because there are millions of people behind each grouping.
Russia is engaged in the peace process, ensuring the withdrawal of militants, demonstrating tremendous flexibility and ability to find common ground between the opposing camps. From this perspective, the Astana process, the Sochi meetings, Geneva are extremely important. No peaceful settlement is possible without it."
Vadim Makarenko argues that a long-term solution to the Syrian problem requires a more complex architecture, not a single-pole Syria, dominated by the Bashar Assad government, which is supported by Iranian and Russian forces. "A decentralized federal democratic Syria can only be born as a forced decision, when neither side can be strong enough to impose its power on others. From this perspective, objectively, we are interested in the United States' participation in solving this problem, we are interested in the participation of Iran, Turkey, Arab countries, all other countries," the expert believes.
According to him, the current situation in Syria was the result of the stable development under Bashar Assad: "The population grew enormously, people lived very well. But that's how it was in medieval China. Everything is going well, then once - drought, crop failure, refugees and so on, and it goes from the rails. We are returning to this circle. But Bashar Assad represents a minority in Syria. He will always have to rely on bayonets and some kind of external force. But neither Iran, nor Russia, nor other countries are able to support Bashar Assad forever. We are allies with Iran and Turkey in Syria by happenstance. Iran and Turkey extremely restrict us in any other decisions, which is bad. On the other hand, it's good, because a more complex structure arises, when the countries balance each other and give the prospect for solving the problem."
Meanwhile, the president of the Russian Society for Solidarity and Cooperation with the Kurds, Yury Nabiyev, believes that the Kurds have a very weak position with regard to further talks with the Syrian authorities. "Until recently, all the countries involved in this Syrian situation, both international and regional, had one goal - the fight against ISIS. Now, as this struggle is coming to an end, contradictions between the countries involved in the Syrian situation have increasingly come into sharper focus. We are witnessing a new political process - a solution to the question of the Syrian future and all the people inhabiting it."