War in Syria – No prospect of improvement

In Syria, the bloody conflict will enter its eleventh year in 2021. After a civil war between rebels and the regime in the first few years, the country has increasingly developed into a battlefield for foreign powers since 2015. The fact that Russia, Iran, Turkey, Qatar, Israel, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) were able to intervene in Syria at different times has a lot to do with the USA’s beginning withdrawal from the Middle East. In no other conflict in the region is it so brutally clear how their global political reorientation is affecting China and the Pacific: Regional powers (and a former superpower) are filling the void left by the USA and waging ruthless proxy wars in Syria.

The most important of these conflicts are those between Turkey and Russia and between Iran and Israel. Since none of these states has so far been strong enough to assert itself decisively, and the regime itself has major personnel and financial problems, the civil war, which was actually decided in 2016 and 2017 in favor of President Bashar al Assad, is worsened by the foreign interventions extended.

Janelle B. Smith

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