Officials in the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria, the administrative arm of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF)), have reiterated the demand for an independent international tribunal to prosecute ISIS fighters in SDF custody since mid-2019. However, going along this path is fraught with many obstacles and challenges. The Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS refuses to push for the formation of such a court, arguing that this is outside the coalition’s mandate. Such a pretext also indicates that Western countries are not serious about taking back fighters belonging to their nationalities.
In an unusual announcement, the Hmeimim base, the center of the Russian military command in Syria, said that during the past two months, Syrian air defenses had responded to Israeli air strikes and had shot down all the missiles fired by Israeli warplanes. Following this announcement, a senior official close to the Russian Defense Ministry confirmed that his country was working to change the "rules of the game" in Syria to limit Israeli attacks.
A visit by China’s Foreign Minister to Syria on July 17, during which he met with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and put forward an initiative to solve the crisis in this Arab country raised many questions about its objectives and implications. Among these questions: Will this visit be a turning point in the Syrian crisis? Will China become a major player in this issue? It goes without saying that it is no longer possible for new actors to enter the Syrian arena and that the solution to the protracted crisis is now dependent on an international consensus on the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 2254, and accordingly there is no prospect for new initiatives. Therefore, the Chinese initiative to resolve may have other objectives.
Tensions have recently escalated between US forces and Iranian militias in eastern Syria against the backdrop of an uptick in attacks by Iranian militia on US bases in Iraq and Syria, and counter-raids by US forces against Iranian militias. The two sides have been using the Syrian arena to settle scores and send political and military messages, which increases the complexity of the situation in the Arab country and threatens a military clash between these parties. This paper examines US-Iranian tension; its causes and trajectories.
The parties controlling the areas outside the authority of the Syrian regime tend to perpetuate their presence in an attempt to create an alternative authority in those areas, taking advantage of the external protection provided by the regional and international parties, and from the situation of freezing the conflict that is taking place in Syria, in addition to possessing the resources through which they can provide services in their areas of control, which makes them a de facto authority in the absence of any prospect for a political settlement in Syria. However, this reality that has been going on for many years has produced a divisive reality in Syria, which seems likely to turn into a final form that is difficult to change, as long as this change does not comply with the political and security calculations of regional and international actors in light of the existing balance of power and their subjection to the equations of conflict and the current rules of engagement.
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