Although the word "withdrawal" from eastern Syria has been repeated by US President Donald Trump and the staff of his administration more than once, and accusations were simultaneously directed towards the so-called "deep state" of delaying the execution of orders and manipulating procedures, this trend has taken a more serious turn recently in light of the existence of motives that drive it and people that are capable of accomplishing it.
The Russian strike against the Jabal al-Duwailah camp in Idlib constitutes a turning point in the course of the Russian-Turkish understandings in northern Syria. This strike has targeted Turkey’s most important proxies in the country’s northwest, namely Faylaq al-Sham (the Levant Corps), in light of the state of calm that the two sides established in the region, and the de-escalation of the demarcation lines since the armistice agreement in March 2020. This shift raises many questions about its causes and the extent of its impact on the existing balances in northwest Syria.
Southern Syria is witnessing a multi-layered conflict involving a number of sides. In spite of attempts by the parties concerned to manage the conflict in order to prevent it from spreading into a broader arena, the intensification of messages passing between the sides has begun to threaten the fragile arrangements in a geostrategically important region fraught with numerous contradictions. This paper highlights the developments taking place in southern Syria, their dynamics, and the potential outcomes.
The visit of the Russian delegation to Damascus on 7 September 2020, headed by Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov, and the meetings it held with regime officials, are of particular importance given the current pace of regional and international interactions on the Syrian issue. In addition, this visit is expected to constitute a turning point in the Russian policy towards the Syrian crisis, and to give indications of the directions of Russia’s policy towards the region, and the form of its relations with the international actors therein. This paper attempts to explore the nature of the changes in the Russian policy against the background of this visit, and the new elements in this policy.
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