What Happens When President Assad Restores Control Over Syria?



By Scott Morgan

The recently concluded Ministerial on Religious Freedom hosted by the State Department on July 24th-July 26th was a unique gathering of Nations in Washington, D.C. to discuss a matter of great importance.

There were several side meetings covering various topics of interest. One of the timely meetings covered the seemingly never ending carnage taking place in Syria. The path to peace is fraught with challenges. Especially when the country is divided into three distinct spheres of influence:

  1. The area controlled by the Assad Regime and it backers notably Russia and the Iranian/Hezbollah Coalition 
  2. The area controlled by the SDF (Syrian Democratic Forces) and its partners known as the Global Coalition
  3. The rest of the Country under the control of the various Insurgent Groups some of which have ties to Turkey.

Now that we know who the major players are in the conflict, the question is who will speak for those who are caught in the middle of the conflict? More often than not these people are often overlooked in any conflict - let alone any negotiations to resolve the source of tensions.

There are parts of Syria which, as a result of the War, have developed a degree of autonomy. What steps will be allowed to ensure that their collective voices are heard? They have not been invited to previous attempts at Peace Talks in Geneva or Sochi, even though they have provided troops in support of Global Coalition Operations against Daesh.

One of the concerns that is becoming regretfully clear is the apparent willingness of the Trump Administration to disengage from Syria. There has been a gradual downsizing of the Military Footprint in the County over recent months - which appears to have morphed into not being willing to talk to its partners who have fought side by side with the US against the extremists.

This move is not in the best interests of those on the ground currently in IDP camps, those who work at Central Command in both Tampa or Qatar or even those who formulate the policy in Washington.
Once again, the US will garner the reputation of undercutting an ally to protect its own self-serving interests in an effort to extract itself from an uncomfortable position or end an unpopular conflict.

What will happen when President Assad defeats the Militants and attempts to restore control over the Country? 

Will this be done through negotiations and having new polls? The other solution is having this done by Military Force, by Government Troops, their Militia Partners and outside units from Russia, Iran and Hezbollah. This track will needlessly prolong the Conflict, create more Internally Displaced People and potentially creating a new wave of Refugees to Europe and more fatalities.

The situation in Syria does have a chance for success if there is a commitment to a pluralistic solution that promotes the defense of Human Rights (including Religious Liberty, Protecting the Rights of Women and Children) while being inclusive of all parties if Syria is to move forward. As a concept it may take some time to implement on a National Scale although the SDF has been able to utilize it in the area that it controls. It has to be presented as an option at one of the next Syrian Conferences. The suffering has to end.

[The views expressed in this publication are solely those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of Dissecting Society. © 2007-2018 Author(s) ALL RIGHTS RESERVED]

Comments

  1. Who are the people in Washington who fear the US may be leaving Syria: are they American or are they foreign countries lobbying against a US exit? The Trump Administration should be careful cause wars in the ME have proven to damage the US Economy and if the Administration's goal is to MAGA then something has got to give and perhaps the US could consider using surrogates while she strengthens herself.

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  2. Al Assad should retake Syria cause he's the only one able to protect Syria and Putin knows it!

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  3. Hi Morgan,

    President Trump always said he would implement a policy of military disengagement (so the world should not be surprised at that). Moreover, everybody complains that the US meddle too much in foreign affairs and now they complain the US may withdraw from hot spots for selfish reasons? Come on...

    Cheers

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  4. Russia used its military might to assist Assad in survival and country regain. For that transaction the Russians have been granted a naval base on the Syrian coast, something that they have dearly wanted: a naval foothold in the Mediterranean.
    China enters the arena with a commitment of its military troops to also assist Assad and volumes of money to rebuild his nation. What grant does it want in return?
    China has been building up military bases, naval across the globe, giving it immediate advantage on controlling shipping lanes if a conflict ensues (perhaps even a conflict of its own making). Strategically placed are China’s naval base in the Southern China Sea; port facilities in Darwin Australia and Sri Lanka's port of Hambantota (and its Pacific interest in New Caledonia etc). Also its military base at the southern tip of the Red Sea in Djiboutti (the area is getting crowded with foreign bases). That base offers blockage control of the southern entry/exit of the Egyptian Suez canal, a canal used by shipping and Western military forces.
    If, in beloved gratitude, or necessity, Assad grants China a naval base on the Syrian coast: then China will also have covered the entry/exit on the northern end of the Egyptian Suez canal. Assad the cunning, playing one against the other, may wish for a Chinese presence to counter an overall dominance by Russian forces. Thus China continues to place its Go pieces on the world board, to its ultimate advantage. Best player wins.

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