International interests make the Syrian crisis a complete mess to understand
Almost 5 years have passed since the beginning of the civil-religious-ethnic-proxy war in Syria and still we seem to be far from a way out. As the time keeps going by, the situation worsens and the conflict turns into a more complicated situation.
Why are we got stuck where we are? Why is not a solution seem to be? Well, the truth is the a lot of interests are at stake. So many international and regional players look to the situation to turn things favorable that, de facto, nothing changed but worsened.
Around the new asset of the Middle East, everyone, between maintaining the status quo to fully revolutionize the politics, wants to be at the table of the winner. Everyone wants a piece of the cake.
Let’s provide you all with a very brief summary of the alliance and interests.
2011: member of the civil society led the protests against the dictator Bashar Assad in Syria. He replies with a violent repression. In summer 2011, as the Europe and USA don’t seem to care about the situation, a real civil war broke out.
The West instantly support, with words, the Syrian National Coalition, made up of moderate and secular parties. However, the conflict opens the way to several Sunni and Shia Islamic extremist groups which fight against Assad.
Using the hole of power and the sponsorship of Gulf monarchies, one of those groups, ISIS, the former Al-Qaeda in Iraq, became so strong that i defeated the Iraqi army and set up a state (not recognized) including north-eastern Syria and north-western Iraq.
At this stage, the whole world is forced to look at the Syrian crisis. The Middle East as we know it is not going to exist in the future. Now the interests of the players are spelled out.
USA bombs Syria to give a sign to who is asking for an American leadership. However, Obama is more likely to pull back, not giving the impression they want to economically rule over the Middle East again, given that the 2003 invasion of Iraq resolved as a complete failure.
Saudi Arabia has always been an American ally and, thanks to them, the leading actor in the region. Standing for the Sunni interests, it has endorsed and sponsored ISIS in the past, encouraging jihadists to take part in the war. Now it is afraid a compromise can give an advantage to Iran, its historically regional enemy.
Iran is for Shia what Saudis are for Sunni. Indeed, they are supporting, like ever, Assad, Shia representative in Syria, and Hezbollah in Lebanon, trying to get the most out for the Shia community. They have also the Russian endorsement, which has been having strong relationships with Shia since the Cold War.
Russia, as we said, has been a long-standing ally of Shia countries. That’s why it support Iran and Assad. Moreover, it is using the huge lacks of Europe and the USA to impose its leadership over the Middle East. Putin has showed himself as the only one fighting Isis, denouncing Saudi sponsorship to ISIS.
Turkey has tried to become a regional leader since the current President Erdogan came to the power. It stands for Sunni, that is why there is a good relationship with Saudi Arabia. Moreover, Turkey is accused of making business with ISIS. And it is more likely to fight Curds.
The Curds are the few ones actively fighting Islamic extremism on the ground. Using the willingness of creating a Curd state among people in Syria, Turkey and Iraq, it is trying to achieve this milestone. Even if they are endorsed by the West, they are fought by Turkey, ally of the West.
Europe’s approach to the crisis has always been vague. They endorsed the Syrian National Coalition, armed the Curds and maintained the alliance with Turkey and Saudi Arabia. And only now, after Paris attack, they want to intensify. However, they appear to have all but clear ideas.
Therefore, to sum the issue up we can say as follows. ISIS is fought by the USA, Europe, Russia, Assad, the Curds, Syrian National Coalition, Shia rebel groups, other rebel groups, Turkey, Iran and Saudi Arabia. However, Saudi Arabia has funded them and Turkey made business. Saudis are worried to see an Iran leadership standing out while Turkey wants to avoid the Curd nationalism.
Europe has given arms to Curds, but it support Turkey that fights them. The USA don’t want Assad, but Assad is supported by Iran and Russia. Russia says to bombs ISIS but it acted to destroy all the other rebels group.
In this mess, which is very difficult to come to a solution, a thing emerges: that Syria is far from a stability because the main players are not ready to find a compromise. Until Russia and the USA, at a global level, and Iran and Saudi Arabia, at a regional level, will not find an agreement, no peace is on Syria. Just a continuous, bloody, military escalation.