Political Observation - Syrian Regime in the Middle of the Storm

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Political Observation - Syrian Regime in the Middle of the Storm 

Several indications have recently emerged suggesting that a consensus on an alternative regime to Bashar Assad’s is in the offing. Assad’s regional Iranian backer has been dealt a heavy blow and Russia is no longer eager to protect his survival now that she has secured her interests and her share in the reconstruction plan via Turkey and the Syrian opposition, as well as US approval. Other indications have also cropped up in the shape of a cleavage within the hard nucleus of the regime, Bashar’s attempts to disrupt the draft constitution and to upset the ceasefire agreement. 

Bashar Assad is well aware that the survival of his regime is only nurtured by armed conflict and once the fighting ends and is replaced by a political solution, he will have no role in the process as any alliance with him would be denounced. These indications and the pressure exerted on Iran to leave Syria, coupled with the downsizing of its influence in Iraq, has left Iran with one option, namely to play for time and await the outcome of the US elections as she realizes that although the Trump deal is a general US policy, there exists, however, some differences of opinion within America on the one hand and between America and Europe on the other, on how to deal with Iran. Hence, the conservative leadership in Iran is manoeuvring by being intransigent on some occasions and responsive on others, in order to raise the stakes of its approval of the newly-appointed Iraqi prime minister, Mustafa al-Kathimi, America’s agent in Iraq, abandoning Bashar Assad and downsizing its military presence in Syria. This was noted in Ali Khamenei’s, the revolution’s supreme guide, , statement on Sunday 17 May 2020 in which he mentioned that “Iran’s enemies in some countries were striving to see the Islamic system withdraw and capitulate”. He also added that “with the grace of Allah the Almighty and with the alertness and steadfastness of the masses, the front of haughtiness will fail in achieving its designs.” 

As a result, the strategy of the US pertinent to the Deal of the Century has been determining the priorities of the process of events in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Palestine, especially as the deal constitutes the axis of the policy that Trump has been elected to execute during his tenure which was expected to be extended for another term were it not for the coronavirus pandemic that has eroded his popularity and put the Republicans in a race against time to impose a fait accompli on the files of the Palestinian issue and the expulsion of Iran from Syria and Iraq while downsizing its influence in Lebanon, as these files are interconnected. This is what the ambassador of the usurping entity to Washington alluded to by saying: “We must advance annexation now because we don’t know what will happen in the US presidential elections. Biden could win…. there is a window of opportunity now, so it must be done now.” And with the Republicans hellbent on expelling Iran from Syria, Bashar Assad is inevitably destined to lose his main backer on the ground and end up in the middle of the storm which will topple him and bring in an interim government to place Syria at the heart of Trump’s deal. 

1 Shawwal 1441h
24 May 2020