Will Syria be separated?
Ahrar al-Sham and Hayat Tahrir al-Sham groups (banned in Russia) expressed their readiness to join ceasefire in Syria's Idlib province, Reuters reported. Agency writes that militants of Ahrar al-Sham would "leave the Bab al-Hawa crossing and turn it over to civilian administration".
Commenting on the situation in Syria, Pavel Salin, director of the Center for Political Studies of the Financial University under Russia's government, said: "In the medium term, there is reason to be optimistic, since almost all parties in Syria agreed on common enemy. Daesh (banned in Russia) is this common enemy. Those of players who indirectly supported Daesh have now stopped this support. Right now there is a common enemy, whose influence in Syria must be nullified. The sides are already working on this. I think that in several months, maybe half a year or a year, this task will be completed."
Pavel Salin believes that the most important question is what to do next. "Will the country continue to exist in its current internationally recognized borders, or will it become a conglomeration of specific influence zones? Perhaps there will be a confederalization of Syria. Are all sides ready for such a scenario? After all, "de-Islamized" zones likely won't be transferred under the control of internationally recognized Syrian government. The United States and Israel have one position. Russia, Turkey and Iran have a different position. So far the West said that it won't force Assad to leave in the short term. But what will happen in a year? Perhaps there will be an attempt to force Assad to leave - they won't overthrow him, but make him leave."
Americanist Boris Mezhuyev, taking current state of relations between Moscow and Washington into account, believes that the only way to resolve situation in Syria is to divide Syria into specific zones, controlled by certain external players, external forces. "If we forget about diplomatic etiquette, both American and Russian side begin to agree that there is no other way. Not because this is the best way, not because it seems to be the most convinient way, not because there won't be any consequences, but simply because another option is a direct clash between Russia and the US, which will result in horrible events."