Strategic Analysis: Ibrahim Mustafa (Kaban)

- To understand the Syrian crisis

The United States of America has many mechanisms to control the course of events in Syria, especially the movements of all the warring parties, and coordinate its intelligence with all parties at varying levels. The American foreign policy does not prefer a political or military party in the Syrian crisis over the other, but rather deals with all forces according to their interests, perhaps. At levels more or less, but they all fall within the American bidding project, and American foreign policies in the administration of President "Donald Trump" were clear on this path. In addition to covering the actions of all parties with their pros and cons. What must be realized according to the data is that the United States does not abandon its old, renewed interests through the results of conflicts, confrontations and new agreements, and the Turkish model is clearly visible, as American policies have focused on creating balances between its contradictory allies, and it can bring together two opponents at one table as long as everyone abides by American red lines.

The Turkish coverage on the Syrian opposition would not have taken place in isolation from American approval and support, and the Russian intervention on September 30, 2015 would not have been without the American approval in that, because the Trump administration had not had its agenda on the military intervention to change the Syrian regime in a scenario similar to the intervention in Iraq and the overthrow of Saddam Hussein's regime And without military intervention to protect or control the regime, the extremists almost controlled the helm of government, so the Russian intervention was at American request and Israeli support, thus the United States of America guaranteed the preservation of the Syrian regime, and it also preserved the political and armed opposition under Turkish auspices, in addition to its direct intervention in the north Eastern Syria / the Kurdish region / to help the Kurds - and the Syrian Democratic Forces - fight ISIS, and prevent Iranian expansion at the request of the Arab Gulf.

The continuing violent confrontations between the Syrian regime, supported by Iranian militias and the Russian air force, and armed groups paid by Turkish intelligence and Qatari funding, have caused the destruction of the infrastructure of the Syrian state, and thus the accumulated arsenal of weapons since the seventies and the self-sufficiency of agriculture and fossil energy disintegrated, and this weakened all The central institutions of the totalitarian state in favor of the regions that imposed by virtue of the war conditions a new geographic reality on the ground, in addition to increasing the frequency of the social rift between the Syrian components after they were sorted out on sectarian and ethnic basis. Thus, the American coverage maintained the survival of this regime at a specific level without returning to its previous state before the crisis, and in the same context the opposition continued to reduce its presence without eliminating it, despite the many negatives committed by the opposition groups through terrorist acts, murder, kidnapping and systematic terrorism.
Whereas, the United States of America, for its presence, established specific areas in northern and eastern Syria, and then entered some of them in tenders with the Turkish side to relatively satisfy it at the expense of the Kurds and the Syrian Democratic Forces, which are an important ally in the fight against terrorism.
The failures and victories that were achieved for all the Syrian parties were driven by the United States of America, and the Israeli worker in this regard has a prominent and essential role to manage the tracks, because its security means an American-Russian agreement to play a protective role for it, and Russia in turn looks after the Israeli interests in the first place, for this concerned parties are restricted With this process, and at the same time, it is working on the continuation of the existing state of balance between the parties, without making major strategic changes in the Syrian scene.

The role of the European Union was limited to being within the coalition forces to fight terrorism, and the European search for a place to be presented in the ongoing transformations in the Middle East clashed with the policies of the Donald Trump administration, the deadly Russian takeover, and the Turkish monopoly clinging to the opposition. Its presence is through the Kurdish party, which played a prominent role in the process of eliminating the "ISIS" organization, and European countries joined France after the Syrian doors were closed by the Americans, Russians and Turks in front of them, so European positions included two levels, entering into a direct dispute with Turkey, and soft rejection In both cases, the European position crystallized, refusing to limit its role in the Middle East, because the retreat of the tracks has imposed on European countries constricting their strategic interests, in light of the American struggle for the sake of their strategic interests, and the Russian expansion by a Turkish action at the expense of the future of European interests.

The survival of the Syrian regime is primarily an Israeli goal, because the alternative to it will be merely extremist tools in the hands of the Turkish regime, and they may pose a threat to Israel's interests in some circumstances, although Turkey is aware of this balance and is working to protect Israel and its strategic security, because they have an impact on All the events in the Middle East, the actions of the United States, Russia and the European Union in Syria, and Turkey's relations with Israel are very deep, and the Israeli economy is almost continuously growing thanks to the mutual trade with Turkey, and a lot of the actions and behaviors that Turkey shows on several issues, stemming from the Israeli approval, At the same time, there is some reaction between the two parties on specific interests, even if the Turkish regime is in the process of implementing the Israeli special plans, and Turkey is aware of the depth of the Israeli strategic interests, and it is almost the first contributor to the weakening of the Arab countries and the creation of all conditions within these countries in favor of Israel. Israel constantly carries out air strikes against the Syrian regime and weakens it in favor of the Turks and its agendas from the Syrian armed groups, in addition to creating the atmosphere for Turkey in the implementation of the Its plans inside northern Syria, and we are not at all surprised by the permanent Israeli intervention in relieving American pressure on Turkey.

It must be understood that there are political Islam movements in the Middle East that are most connected with Israel, and the Turkish Islamist system is inseparable from this geopolitical structure, and it is almost an Israeli guarantee mechanism in managing many events, but these movements have evolved and there is a possible emergence of unilateral extremes that may form Practically some threats to Israel's security. Therefore, directing extremist groups towards tampering in the Arab region is a Turkish goal under Israeli auspices, because the struggle for control of the region in the Sunni-Sunni side is managed between the Arab and Turkish leadership, while the Israeli goal lies in the fragmentation of the region on Towards its weakening, and he guarantees her that she will be the master of the region, which is what she fears from any expansion of the Turks towards the Arab region on a large scale, as well as any Persian expansion towards the Arab region in a deeper way. Rather, the current and future Israeli option will focus on a Sunni Arab rapprochement with an Israeli, and signs of establishing an alliance Strategic in exchange for giving the role of sponsoring terrorism to the Turks in order to destabilize the region, the Libyan model and the process of dividing it and supporting the extremists in part, in addition to supporting the Muslim Brotherhood groups in Egypt And Syria, and pushing Qatar to destabilize the security and stability of the Arab Gulf, and this corresponds to giving the role of sponsoring threats to Arab countries to the Iranian regime, which constantly provides a Sunni Arab rapprochement with Israel, a dramatic process run by Israeli-American intelligence.

Kurdish dilemma in Syria

The Kurdish issue in Syria is understood through two axes, presenting the issue within the comprehensive Syrian solution, that is, its attachment to all outstanding issues that need solutions within the framework of a new constitution, or with understandings in the form of results of a dialogue between the Kurdish parties and the Syrian regime, and thus it will be with supra-constitutional articles, also within the framework of The framework of the Syrian territorial integrity and based on a decentralized system - that gives the powers of federalism, autonomy, or self-management that stand between local administration and autonomy, and many Syrian political factions, especially the opposition and the regime, agree on the first option, with varying levels. And its solution lies in the implementation of the democratic system in Syria, while the majority of the Kurdish political movement and the forces allied with them find that the solution lies in managing each geographical region itself within the national borders of Syria, provided that it has broad powers, and this vision was presented by the "joint" democratic self-administration in Northern Syria, "which is a political and social edifice that includes dozens of Kurdish, Arab and Syriac parties."

The Syrian regime views the Kurdish issue as a matter of civil and cultural rights, while the Syrian opposition agrees with the regime to view the issue as a simple set of rights that will be considered after the completion of the regime, and the two parties have agreed to completely reject any administration, autonomy or federalism for the Kurds in Syria, moreover, the regime’s rhetoric on many occasions was better than the performance of the opposition, which turned into the mouthpiece of the Turkish rhetoric on the Kurdish issue. Ironically, the motives of the two opponents, “the Syrian regime - and the opposition that the Muslim Brotherhood movement dominated” are in agreement about dealing with the issue. Kurdish from the gate of rejection of any political and administrative right, which is naturally the product of ideological references that prevailed over the thinking of the two parties who emerged from the crucible of the Baath Nationalist Party, and caused the persecution of the Kurds for six decades, while the Turks and the Syrian regime agree that the issue of preventing the emergence of any special Kurdish situation In northern Syria, it is similar to what happened in northern Iraq, the "Kurdistan region of Iraq". Therefore, the Syrian opposition, since it is under Turkish intelligence control, is in addition to its ideological backgrounds related to Baathist thought and The Muslim Brotherhood movement, which is hostile to the Kurdish cause, is leading the spearhead against the Kurdish presence, and their repetition of the issue of their fight against self-administration in order to prevent Kurdish autonomy. Focused on granting rights within a narrow framework that does not exceed civil and cultural rights restricted according to the expanded local administration.
While the Kurds, through the Democratic Autonomous Administration as well as the Syrian Democratic Forces, proposed a formal solution to the Kurdish issue, based on the reality on the ground, so that there would be privacy for the Autonomous Administration within the constitutional powers and articles agreed upon by the administration and the regime, and at the same time the military forces of the “Syrian Democratic Forces” would be part From the Syrian army, provided that its work and its privacy are part of the privacy of the Autonomous Administration, and since the Syrian regime initially dealt with this proposal with rejection, the opposition competed with the regime in rejecting any Kurdish situation in northern Syria, and rather turned into war tools for the Syrian and Turkish regimes to occupy 60 % Of the Kurdish region in northern Syria.

American - Russian Understanding of Kurdish Developments in Syria

The Kurdish value appeared when the Kurdish forces seriously fought the extremist organization ISIS, at a time when most of the opposition groups, both political and armed, allied themselves with the extremist groups, and the Turkish motive for this is the Islamization of the moderate opposition in order to integrate extremist groups between them, and Turkey has succeeded in this in exchange for the American retreat from Training and arming the opposition, and the last American attempt to train these groups failed as a result of the elements trained by America joining extremist groups with the beginning of the attack launched by ISIS and the Al-Nusra Front on northern and eastern Aleppo in mid-2014, and the training program implemented by the American forces to train the Syrian opposition with Turkish knowledge and sponsorship. It completely failed as a result of the Turkish approaches to the opposition and its merger with the extremists in Adjlah. As the Americans tried to enter Syria militarily through opposition groups before resorting to the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), and this was a logical reason for the Americans to resort to the Kurds at a time when the Kurdish region was subjected to a crushing attack in the middle of the fall of 2014, as it almost occupied Turkey through The mechanism of the ISIS organization, the Kobani region, after the seizure of the entire province of Raqqa, reaching the border area of ​​Tal Abyad, eastern Aleppo and Manbij to the Turkish borders in the direction of Jarablus and al-Bab. And officials of this group in making the Turkish border cities headquarters for resting its members, and a transit corridor to transport volunteers from Turkish airports to Syria, in addition to hospitals that treated ISIS wounded, in addition to oil and antiquities deals that were transferred to Turkey in an organized manner, and for more than two years Turkey has been benefiting from This group does not find in it a threat to its security.

In the middle of the ninth month of 2014, this organization almost completely controlled the Koban إقليم region and vital parts of the Kurdish region in Syria, and had it not been for the American intervention and the provision of air support and military equipment to the Kurdish People's Protection Units, this organization would have controlled most of the border strip with Turkish sponsorship.

The events can be interpreted in this logical way, the US forces saved the Kurds from the clutches of ISIS and Turkish plans, and provided them with the required assistance, thus ending the Turkish domination of the entire north of Syria, because ISIS’s control practically meant the Turkish occupation, and in fact there were not many options before the Kurds in Syria except for the help of international forces, led by the United States of America, to stop the expansion of the state of "ISIS", as the US Air Force intervened and launched violent air operations on ISIS sites, and landed weapons and ammunition for the People's Protection Units, as well as facilitated the arrival of the Peshmerga from the Kurdistan region of Iraq to Kobani These developments directly contributed to the transformation of the People's Protection Units from the logic of defense to direct attack lines. The air coverage provided by the International Coalition transformed the Kurdish units to attack ISIS sites in sensitive areas, until the liberation of the entire area of ​​Manbij and the capital of ISIS, "the city of Raqqa" and Tabqa. And its countryside, and the liberation of water dams, agricultural and oil installations, to the purification of the Kurdish region connecting the two provinces of Al-Jazira and Kobani, all the way to the west and south of Hasakah. The actual activity of ISIS and its areas of control on the ground in the oil and gas sites in the north of Deir ez-Zor, and the greatest victory came in the town of Baghouz, with which the operations of pursuing ISIS leaders began, until it became clear that most of them resorted to Turkey or the border areas controlled by the armed groups affiliated with the opposition.
The role played by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) intelligence in the pursuit of ISIS leaders has mainly contributed to the killing of the organization’s leader and his deputy, and dozens of ISIS officials near the Turkish borders in Azaz and Jarablus, where the Turkish control and its military bases, as well as revealing the presence of hundreds of ISIS elements who joined the Syrian opposition groups with knowledge. And the Turkish regime supported, and many of them were seen in the battles of Tal Abyad and Ras al-Ain, as well as between the extremist groups that control the Afrin region with Turkish support.

The relationship that arose between the United States of America and the Kurds contributed to the production of a strong understanding in drawing up new policies that each party would benefit from in its own way, and of course this did not happen in isolation from the French presence and its role and influence on the course of events in the Kurdish region and the general northeast of Syria, where the concept of administration developed into Greater levels coinciding with the increase in the pace of Kurdish rapprochement with the international coalition to combat terrorism, and the development of the relationship between the components of the Kurdish region and the Syrian north and east, which resulted in the early establishment of the Syrian Democratic Forces from the people of the region, and that was a real contribution to increasing confidence between the international coalition and the side. The military administration in the Autonomous Administration, and during the years 2015 to September 2019 a stable pattern of this relationship was formed, to the point where the Americans and their European allies pushed the Syrian Democratic Forces to empower and organize their military structure.
With each stage in which this company developed, there would be more concerns on the Turkish side, until the Turkish regime favored the Americans between them and the Kurds of Syria, Turkey has put all its capabilities and its historical relations with the Americans and the European Union under pressure on them in order to abandon the Kurds and the Syrian Democratic Forces, to the point of Deepening the bonds of the relationship with the Russians at the expense of its allies in the NATO alliance, and whenever the Americans and Europeans refused to obey the Turkish demands, Turkey deepened its relations with the Russians, and signed arms deals that further deepened the differences with the Americans and Europeans, thus entering into a bitter conflict within NATO.

It was not easy for the Americans to abandon the most important ally that provided them with the capabilities in Syria, but the Russian strategy played a pivotal role in winning over the Turkish side by opening the way for the Turkish army to invade Afrin region, and thus Russia converged with Turkish concerns in fighting the Kurds, while American promises The cessation of support for the Syrian Democratic Forces did not materialize. Rather, the flow of American weapons to the Kurdish region and northeastern Syria increased Turkish concerns, and this was the reason for the division of American public opinion between Congress and the army supporting the Kurds, and the Trump administration, which partially co-opted the Turkish objectives, and that was A major reason for the withdrawal of American forces from the borders, and the agreement with the Turks to invade specific areas between Ras al-Ain and Tal Abyad at a depth of 30 km, and at the same time the Americans tried to entrap the Turks and the Russians, because the Russians rushed to intervene in the border areas in agreement with the Syrian Democratic Forces, and the regular forces spread In the border areas with Turkey, the Turkish move and the Syrian regime, regardless of the Russian opinion, towards pressure on the Syrian Democratic Forces to go to the Syrian regime, despite the fact that The implicit agreements give the Turks the opportunity to occupy the specific area, but the Russians took advantage of these transformations and established their presence and their bases in vast areas in the Kurdish region and northeastern Syria, and it is natural for the Russians to try to approach the Kurds in the process of building confidence, in a situation similar to the Russians ’relationship with the Syrian regime, However, the Russian move will be part of the process of satisfying the regime and stabilizing its presence in the Kurdish region in exchange for satisfying the Kurds in conducting dialogues and understandings between the parties, as the Russians are fully confident in the issue of the American not abandoning this region, the Kurds and the Syrian Democratic Forces, so this will be the Russian deal and the Syrian regime. With the Kurds in a way that would ensure a non-confrontational understanding, and perhaps partially satisfy the two parties.

Failed American attempts to please the Turks

The American attempts and their maneuvers to satisfy the Kurds and the Turks at the same time failed in the face of Russian plans aimed at reducing the American presence in Syria, and the issue of bringing together two conflicting allies in the Kurdish-Turkish case is not possible after the Russians achieve Turkish goals in exchange for an American refusal, and the issue of sacrificing the Turks and enabling the Russians to penetrate Its international isolation and breaking the NATO wall around the Russian Federation is not included in the American foreign policy, as well as abandoning the Kurds in Syria is a very dangerous matter and threatening the reputation of the United States and its allies, and it may open the way for the Russians to maneuver more about Iraq and the Arab Gulf in light of Iranian dependence and its allies in its arms in The Middle East depends on the Russian role, so the American space is now defined in the Middle East, and its interests are also threatened if it gives up the Kurdish card, which requires a new maneuver that may succeed or fail to neutralize the Turks from the relationship with the Russians, but in return it must provide some guarantees The deals are for the Turkish side, and the only profitable deal for the Turkish side is to limit the role of the Kurds in northern Syria, and this is not possible in the way that the Turks, in light of the American conditions and interests that are exposed to crises in the Middle East, and the loss of northern Syria opens the way for Iranian interests to grow again, and the scenario of Iraq after its liberation from Saddam Hussein's regime is a perfect example of Iranian benefit from US actions that are irrational, and this also poses a real threat to All parties, including the Arab Gulf, the strategic ally of the United States of America and the Europeans, and it is considered a major imbalance in the Sunni-Shiite conflict that the major powers need in the process of distracting the two parties with each other so that Israel is safe, in addition to the fossil energy that the Americans in the Middle East possess, as well as exporting Weapons to the countries of the Middle East that lead a conflict with Iranian expansion, all of which saves and returns billions of dollars to the American and Western financial treasury. So, the issue of conceiving the opportunity for the Turks to allow everything to be permissible is illogical according to an objective reading of the events. Therefore, the possible path to achieve is to build a defect inside Turkey in order to mitigate its negative behavior towards the region, as well as changing the behavior of the American administration to deal with allies in the Middle East and the Kurds in Syria. This may guarantee some calm and convergence of viewpoints.

Strategic shifts in the Kurdish region

For decades, the Syrian regime focused on building cultural problems among the Syrian components, and due to its absence for 8 years from the Kurdish region and northeastern Syria, it opened the way for the project adopted by the Autonomous Administration regarding rapprochement and understanding between the components on the principle of coexistence, and the Kurds have succeeded in the partial implementation of this project And the opening of the horizons of understanding between the other components, which increased its chances of expanding the understandings between the Kurds and the Arab component, and consequently the Kurdish region united with the Arab region as well as the other small components that live in this region, such as the Syrians and others, and the Autonomous Administration has established a new miniature Syrian project according to a contract. A new social position among the components of the region, and in fact that the existence of a project of this model poses a threat to the ideological formation of the Syrian regime, as well as the Islamized opposition, so the Syrian regime's discourse focused on launching the designation of the Kurds on the structure of the Autonomous Administration and the Syrian Democratic Forces, because promoting this facilitated rapprochement with the Arab tribes. Allied with the Kurds in Raqqa, Deir Ezzor and Manbij, and in return for the success of the Autonomous Administration in winning over many segments of the Arab street in The region, the regime employed its Baathist agendas and some segments within the Arab tribes in conducting the division within the Arab community in this region, and by proposing the idea of ​​dialogue with the Kurds on their own as well, preserving with that segment to deepen its division within the region, and certainly this dilemma threatens an imminent danger in the future If the regime does not reconsider its hostile policies against the Kurds.
The aim of the regime was to isolate the Kurds alone, whether through dialogue with them within specific frameworks or aborting their organization, but international circumstances did not allow that, and there was no international desire to repeat the entire system in the way it was before 2011, so the American retreat and spread in some areas. East of the Euphrates River caused the Syrian regime to stop its plans, and at the same time it brought the region into a major conflict between the international and regional powers, "where the American, Russian, Turkish and Iranian presence and the regime and extremist groups supported by Turkish intelligence" in this region formed what looked like a time bomb that might explode at any moment. The regime cannot open a major front to eradicate the Autonomous Administration, and Turkey cannot occupy the entire Kurdish region or the border strip, and Russia, in turn, understood the American role that will not end in this region with decisions from a specific administration, while everyone agrees to limit the Iranian role, so under This battle, everyone worked in order to preserve his influence, but the American-Russian role may guarantee the Kurds some powers and a future role in Syria, and it may increase with the new political transformations within the C establishment. The American League, and Russia will try to get close to the Kurds without allowing the regime to invade the region, because the size of the equipment and power of the Syrian Democratic Forces is not insignificant compared to the capabilities of the Syrian regime, and the losses and economic crises that plague the regime need many years to advance, especially since the desire The American administration in making strategic shifts for its policies also guaranteed some reserves and strength for the Autonomous Administration.

It is understood from the movement of the relative US withdrawals from some locations in the border strip during 2019, which brought the Russians into the process of understanding with the Turks and banished the specter of the comprehensive Turkish occupation of the Kurdish region, and the role that Russia played in this matter ensured it had a strong presence in this region, while it was previously prohibited. The process as a whole has produced new conditions, some of which are beneficial for the benefit of the Autonomous Administration, and others pose a threat to the future of this region.

America will ultimately choose to empower its interests in the Middle East from the Syrian gate at the expense of all parties, and this can only be achieved through the main parties in the Syrian event, and this was a real motivation when it coordinated with the Kurds, and cost huge sums of money in fighting ISIS, and this means It simply cannot give up this arena that pertains to it before others, especially since the threats of terrorism grow every period without the complete elimination of it, and opening the space for a vacuum without the presence of military forces will cause more chaos and major problems, and thus will exploit the Russians and their allies hostile to America's allies These conditions are increasing their expansionist dominance at the expense of the allies of the United States and Europe, especially the Sunni Arab countries that suffer from Iranian expansion. And even if Iran provides strategic services to Israel about pushing the Arab Gulf to ally with Israel, the Iranian expansion and its leadership of dangerous armed groups around Israel pose a danger to In the long run.
These international, regional, and local conditions constitute a great keeper for new American policies in Syria, and it will naturally be a gateway to draw up better appropriate plans in the Middle East, and perhaps talking about establishing a military alliance between America's allies in isolation from Turkey, Iran, Russia and the Syrian regime may be an alternative to the existence of NATO is in the Middle East and is a barrier to any anti-US policies and protector of its interests and the interests of its allied countries. The US abandonment of Syria, especially its local allies, "the Autonomous Administration, the Syrian Democratic Forces and the Kurds" in favor of Iranian expansion or Turkish occupation will cause the allied countries to have a lack of confidence. With it, which assures us that the withdrawal will not take place as desired by Turkey, and this means a change in the American position will bring more forces and support to the Syrian Democratic Forces, and in a manner that guarantees stability.

Syria will witness new developments, including a calm under the auspices of the United States and Russia, and Russia's role is pivotal in drawing a new political map between the parties, due to its influence and the final word in the Syrian crisis.


From the book "Paths of the Syrian Crisis"
Author: Ibrahim Kaban
Electronic publishing body: The Geostrategic Network for Studies