EPC | 14 Oct 2020
In the first week of October, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad made a series of statements through Russian platforms on the occasion of the fifth anniversary of the Russian intervention in his country. Remarkably, these statements sharply contradicted declared Russian policy regarding basic aspects of the Syrian issue. This raises the question as to whether Russia is still following the same strategy used since its military intervention in Syria, which involves a complete lack of clarity and seems to have multiple interpretations, or whether it has actually entered into a deep disagreement with the ruling regime in Damascus and is unable to impose its visions and policies on Assad.
Malik al-Hafez | 13 Oct 2020
In late September 2019, skirmishes erupted between local factions from Al-Suwayda Governorate — the self-named “Al-Karama Forces“ — and an armed faction from Dara’a Governorate known as the Eighth Brigade, which is on the payroll of the Russian‑backed Fifth Corps. The recent tensions in southern Syria have revealed a feverish struggle between the Iranian and Russian influences in the region, which will crystallize during the coming period.
Malik al-Hafez | 05 Oct 2020
The northwest front of Syria, specifically in the Idlib de-escalation region, is witnessing a cautious calm after the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov announced, on 21 September 2020, that the battles of the Syrian regime forces against the military opposition are "over". This coincides with the end of the recent round of meetings of the technical and military delegations of the Russian and Turkish sides on Idlib, which was held in Ankara on 14 and 15 September 2020, without reaching declared and direct agreements between them. Have the battles really ended in Idlib, and what is the expected form of influence in this region during the coming period?
EPC | 01 Oct 2020
The Russian military intervention marked a turning point in the history of the Syrian war, in which the balance of power tilted in favour of the opposition and its regional and international allies. Russia managed to completely change the map of the conflict and control all opposition areas, except for the northern regions, by using excessive force after having neutralised the regional players, isolated their influences, and pushed them to cut their links with the armed opposition factions.
Malik al-Hafez | 13 Sep 2020
On September 8, 2020, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov visited Damascus for the first time since 2012, accompanied by a high-level delegation. His visit reconfirmed Moscow’s desire to consolidate its gains and its military superiority in Syria and overcome the current deadlock in the quest for a political solution to the Syrian conflict, at a time when the Assad regime is facing increasing economic restrictions in light of Washington’s recent announcement that it would be increasing the sanctions imposed against the regime under the Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act (known as the Caesar Act).
EPC | 10 Sep 2020
The Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS, Organisation for the Liberation of the Levant), formerly called Jabhat al-Nusra (Front of the Supporters), has been intensifying its messages to the international actors in the Syrian crisis with the aim of declaring its transformation into a "moderate" faction, and even a "national liberation movement" like many of the movements that struggle against the occupiers, requiring a response from the international community to this shift regardless of HTS’s ideology as long as HTS ultimately represents – as it promotes – a significant segment of Syrians.
EPC | 20 Aug 2020
The intra-Kurdish dialogue was launched on the basis of an initiative launched by General Mazloum Abdi, commander of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF, QSD), after the Turkish Operation Peace Spring in October 2019. The aim of the dialogue was to strengthen the internal ranks and prevent the collapse of the Autonomous Administration structures, especially in light of the state of frustration caused by US President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw his forces from Syria.
EPC | 29 Jul 2020
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.