Great Power 'Zones of Influence' in Syria Could Lead to Partition of Country UN Warms

Published April 4th, 2018 - 02:00 GMT
Picking up the pieces: Families in Aleppo roam the streets in search of better amenities (AFP/File Photo)
Picking up the pieces: Families in Aleppo roam the streets in search of better amenities (AFP/File Photo)

U.S.-Russian agreements in addition to the exchange of territory between Moscow, Ankara and Tehran led to the establishment of temporary “zones of influence” in Syria, amid U.N. warnings from a long-term partition of the country.

There is a unified position in the official statements of Damascus, Moscow, Ankara, Tehran and Washington calling for the “unity of Syria.” But, practically, those states have agreed to decide on Syria’s spheres of influence through bloodshed and weapons.

Washington’s allies control one third of Syrian territory and 90 percent of its oil fields, producing 360,000 barrels per day.

Moscow’s allies control half of Syria’s territories and have established two bases near the Mediterranean.

As for Ankara’s allies and Syrian opposition groups, they control the rest of the country.

Although the Astana agreement said “de-escalation areas would be kept for only six months,” there are fears that the zones would turn into a fait accompli, particularly amid a decline in military and economic power to fully control all Syrian territories without the support of Iranian organizations and a Russian ground reinforcement of about 100,000 soldiers.

Last month, U.N. special envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura warned from “a soft, long-term partition of Syria, which [is] the one that we are witnessing at the moment … will be a catastrophe, not only for Syria but for the whole region.”

On Tuesday, U.S. President Donald Trump headed a meeting of the National Security Council to decide whether he would pull out his troops from Syria.

 

 

Turkish sources said the U.S.-led Coalition fighting ISIS already sent a reinforcement of 300 soldiers to Manbij where U.S. troops are deployed along members of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units, which constitute the main force fighting with the Syrian Democratic Forces, Washington’s allies east of the Euphrates River.

Meanwhile, Ankara hosts on Wednesday a Turkish-Russian-Iranian summit to discuss the military-political arrangements in Syria, including the future of the Turkish operations in Tal Rafaat, after Ankara and its allies controlled Afrin and announced its intention to infiltrate Manbij and eastern Syria.

The summit also comes after Syrian troops controlled Damascus’ eastern Ghouta following agreements to evacuate 100,000 fighters and their families from that area that lies east of the capital Damascus to the north and northwest of Syria.

 

This article has been adapted from its original source.

 


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