Following the recent elections for the People’s Council of Syria held on July 19, 2020, it has become clear that the regime’s sole concern is promoting its vision of how to solve the crisis and its narrative of the conflict, as though the country were not suffering a devastating decade‑long war that has seen half the population displaced and more than 90% of those remaining in Syria sink below the poverty line.
The US-imposed sanctions on Syria under the so-called “Caesar Act”, which entered into force on 17 June 2020, entail the risk of partitioning Syria and changing its strategic position. This would constitute an introduction to a geographical reformulation of the country after the war had contributed to tearing its national fabric and destroying its capabilities of political recovery and overcoming the destructive consequences of the war.
The US sanctions law against the Syrian regime, called the Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act, or the Caesar Act for short, entered into force on 17 June 2020. The Act targets several sectors of the Syrian economy and sanctions entities, businesses and individuals, both regional and international, that provide military and economic support to the Syrian regime. The Act is estimated to have significant economic and political impact that would change the balances among actors in the Syrian issue and bring about new dynamics that could affect the outputs of the promised political solution. This paper sheds light on the nature, goals and economic and political implications of this Act.
The recent Russian steps in the Syrian file have raised questions about their significance and objective, especially that they coincide with local, regional and international developments in the Syrian file. On 25 May 2020, the Russian President Vladimir Putin appointed the Russian ambassador to Syria Alexander Yefimov as a special presidential representative for developing Russian relations with Syria. On 28 May 2020, Putin also signed a decree in which he delegated the ministries of defence and foreign affairs to start negotiations with the Syrian government with a view to handing over additional facilities to the Russian military and expanding their maritime control in Syria, provided that the new arrangements would be complementary to the agreement signed in August 2015 allowing for a military presence in Syria. This paper sheds light on those steps and explores their dimensions and impact in the Syrian context.
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