Soothsaying for Syria
When and how a settlement for Syria can be negotiated or forced upon? Very soon ISIL will become a sad history for Syria. Therefore, the settlement of the Syrian question will become an urgent requirement for the country. Who ever is involved or aspire to share a place or sabotage the settlement an attainment of peace in that war torne country, local groups that will be involved in that settlement process will primarily be the Syrian Government, the Kurdish tribes in the North and Islamic resistance groups under different names. The external powers that play a significant role in the country are Russians in the North West, US in the North and North East, Turkey in the North and host countries for millions of Syrian war refugees, that is Turkey, Jordanand Lebanon. Under these circumstances it is fairly impossible to bring all the parties around a conference table and reach a concensus for creating a united viable Syria and a single government for that country. So far, the Astana group of States Russia, Turkey and Iran have taken signi,ficant steps towards keeping the status quo and ceasefire in Western and North Western part of the country. US backed and heavily armed Kuyrdish groups like their brethren in Northern Iraq aspire an independent Kurdish state in their quest for greater Kurdish unity. The Eastern and South Western parts of the country, being less populated regions of the state, do not have a say for their future. Aim of the Damascus regime, still as the government of entire Syria, is still to bring all pieces together and Russia as an ally of the Esad regime fully supports developments for this purpose.
The Islamic resistancve groups want to continue their fight in spite of their inablity to do so. Among the outside Powers, Turkey has to protect its southern border with Syria and considers establishment of a Kurdish belt extending from Northern Iraq through Syria into the Mediterranean as a security threat and as a result it has deployed troops to prevent this. Therefore it is unlikely for it to evacuate its troops from the region untill this is achieved. Moreover, US hates Esad and does not accept to deal with him staying in power. According to the US, the solution of the Syrian problem also requires a change of the regime. For the time being, US supports YPG as the major force within the Democratic Union Party (PYD), (which US’ longtime ally of Turkey considers to be extention of the terrorist PKK) in Syria, in the fight against ISIL but how much longer this support will continue after the war and what will be the future of the heavy weapons provided to the PYD. (This is another source of anxiety for Turkey despite US assurance that these weapons would be retrieved.) Another question is, will Russia who has established a naval base in Tartus be willing to withdraw their troops from Syria or will they insist that Western Syrian territories including Latakia as part of their presence in the Eastern Mediterranean. The last but not the least is the rehabilitation of the Syrian towns. Many cities in the country had partly or totally been destropyed during the war. It will have nothing but limited amounts of oil and gas that thy can export in the coming future, to pay for this giant task. Who will help Syria to rehabilitate?
The Geneva Conference will need to address all these issues. But it is very doubtful whether it can reach a solution in the near future. Despite optimistic hopes Geneva may regrettably turn into a passimistic endeavour and the existing status quo may become the final solution.