Russia in Syria — a curable disease; Iran in Syria.
Six years ago, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has betrayed his country, allowing to bring down deadly fire on peaceful demonstrators.
While Syria is the seventh year of the war, the price for the political survival of one man, one family and one circle of confidants was huge — both in the country and far beyond its borders.
Observers have already “ossified” from a humanitarian catastrophe, periodically shake new events — for example, a series arranged by the regime bombing, which left five and a half million inhabitants of Damascus, access to the water supply system: most likely, the Commission of inquiry of the UN regarded it as a war crime.
So what this bloodthirsty gang may have for the future of Syria?
From our point of view, Syria has no future, if the command of Assad will remain in power and continue its efforts all harm. We don’t want to say that the regime is pushing Syria to the final state decay, not enough associates. ISIS (a terrorist organization banned in Russia) — this infamy, which is long overdue to end. “Jabhat Fateh al-sham” — the former “Front EN-Nusra”, a branch of “al-Qaeda” (the terrorist organization banned in Russia — approx. ed.) — fighting with Assad while at the same time seeks to get rid of nationalist alternatives the main destroyer of Syria.
Suicide bombers in Damascus as despised as cowardly. However, the regime that released from prison a desperate Islamist extremists to harm the opposition, and simultaneously pursues a strategy of political survival through mass killings have surpassed all his “art”.
Some Syrians opposed to Assad already don’t expect or require his immediate departure from Syria. They are well aware that Russia and Iran are not dependent from each other and different reasons, provide the Assad military and diplomatic protection.
Watching the excesses that creates the regime, ready to do anything for their own survival, they are thinking not so much about the illegal status of the President, but about the salvation of Syria. Some of them come to the conclusion about the need to find ways to share meals with the main destroyer of Syria, not allowing him to eat all of it and kill his companions.
The representatives of this camp of the opposition talking with Russia. As long as they don’t have the slightest clue as to what the position in relation to Syria is the administration of the trump. They watched with amazement the policy is self-destructive diplomacy of Barack Obama, which has deprived Syrian citizens of protection, gave the villains of self-confidence, and even the United States pushed into the background.
They, like Turkey, drew two conclusions: Russia in Syria — a potentially curable disease; Iran in Syria. And they both decided to work with Russia to see whether the patient hope of salvation.
Moscow, Bashar al-Assad was necessary to achieve important political goals in the country. He was the face of “States” that Russia managed to “save” from the campaign for regime change, which was allegedly preparing Barack Obama. In the era of “false news” accusation Obama’s attempt to violently overthrow the Assad regime is of particular ingenuity. No doubt, just confidence of Moscow in the oceanic gap between the rhetoric and real actions of the administration have allowed her to intervene with military force without regard for possible negative consequences.
For Tehran, Assad is more than a simple symbol of the preservation of the state. It was the only means of salvation that the Islamic Republic is really important: “Hezbollah” in Lebanon. Like Russia, Iran has no illusions regarding the team’s Assad: its corruption, incompetence and brutality is well known. But Tehran knows something else: in addition to Assad in Syria is not another leader, willing subordination of the country to the Supreme leader of Iran and the Secretary General of “Hezbollah”.
Russia really wants to see Assad as the leader, unifying the country and healing its wounds, able to lead the process of return to civilian life and reconstruction of Syria. But she knows of his client. She understands that Syria can survive as a centralized state, out of the terrible destruction and become a valuable regional platform for the projection of Russian influence, while others — including many who opposed the regime — is to join and contribute.
Moscow understands that it is impossible, until the command of Assad freely kills, tortures, starves people to death and keeps them in fear.
Meanwhile, Iran is not interested in the fact that the methods to challenge Assad. If the head of the “useful Syria” — the part of the country where there are large cities facing the Mediterranean sea and bordering with Lebanon is its people, it can be a roaster, this is the view of Tehran.
Knowing that his client would not live forever, Iran is preparing militias like Hizbollah to take control of what’s left of Syria, as is already happening in Lebanon. Indeed, an Iran-led foreign fighters from as far as Afghanistan itself openly oppose whatever attempts the complete cessation of fire.
Six years ago, Bashar al-Assad has set in motion the process, completely undermined his ability to govern Syria. But he and his father kept the country under control during all the previous 40 years. Nevertheless, he, his family and entourage continue to play a significant role. Being a client of Iran, Assad is a major obstacle to the reconstruction of Syria. Moscow understands this. Will it act? Can she act?
These are questions for which answers are desperately looking for Patriotic and nationalist Syrians. And the fact that they have to do it, is the inevitable result of a voluntary withdrawal of America.
Frederic Hof is the Director of the Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East at the Atlantic Council.