Интервю за Europost за войната в Сирия и какво се случва с Ислямска държава

Ruslan Trad: Peace in Syria is still far away

Unfortunately, Europe is busy with making populist and nationalistic statements instead of waging a real battle with the issues which serve as a trigger for terrorism, Ruslan Trad, journalist and Middle East analyst, says in an interview to Europost.

Mr Trad, do you see the end of the civil war in Syria in the context of the declared withdrawal of US troops from the war-torn country?

The conflict in Syria, triggered in 2012 by a wave of protests which were crushed in 2011, has long become not civil but regional. As before the Russian intervention in 2015 we faced mostly two belligerent parties – those of the insurgents and the pro-government forces, then in the past three years the situation has changed drastically. The offensive troops of Islamic State have entered the scene, penetrating from Iraq into Syria in 2014, and in 2015 entrenched their forces deep into Syrian territory. This is the reason why the anti-Islamic State international coalition was formed. Iran has reinforced its militias, and today Teheran has tens of thousands of troops which the state backs politically, economically and by providing training. The armed insurgent forces infiltrated into the country with the help of the extremist factions which pushed out the initial groups to give prevalence to the Syrian branch of Al-Qaeda. The Kurdish forces backed by PKK have significantly expanded the territories under their control. Turkey attempted intervention twice, as a result it practically gained control over the regions in northern and northwestern Syria. The Russians have entrenched themselves in Syria for long. Israel on a regular basis exchanges blows with Iran in Syria.

 And where is the US in this puzzle?

Having in mind that this is a civil war, the US has never really wanted to join in this game. The US administration for years on end has been sending threatening or obscure messages to the regime of President Bashar Assad which, however, have never resulted in concrete actions. The attacks on the positions of the Syrian army, launched on the order of President Trump, are only a facade. As we all saw, they were delivered after consultations with Russia and Assad had time to redeploy his forces far from the attacks locations. The American policy in the region has been stagnating since the time of President Obama whose heedless inaction gave “green light” to the Russian intervention in Syria in 2015. Henceforth, there is no more important factor than Russia in shaping the international policy in this country. Later on, Trump launched his presidential campaign vowing to bring American soldiers back home and he meant, first and foremost, Afghanistan. In Trump’s speeches Syria was mentioned mostly in the context of the fight against ISIS. The US president has totally ignored the civil war sweeping the country since 2012, hundreds of thousands of victims after the Syrian pro-government forces’ air raids, and the fact that the US interests in the Middle East were seriously undermined owing to the ambitions of the local actors, such as Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Iran. Not only were the Americans last to join in the geopolitical game, but their forces are in fact the smallest in number. Set against hundreds of thousands-strong militias subordinate to Iran, or thousands of Russian soldiers and mercenaries, the two thousand American soldiers in Syria look as a negligible force.

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