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Syria: new rules of the geopolitical game
Material posted: Publication date: 25-12-2013

The situation in the middle East remains difficult. In recent years relations between religious groups in Syria has reached new levels of tension. Sectarian affiliations gradually becomes convex in politics. The conflict between the Salafists, al-Qaida and Shiites escalate. In parallel, the struggle between the big geopolitical forces acquires new shades. As a result the middle East as a whole is moving to an even more complex geopolitical dynamics.

The victory of the jihadists, or the continuation of a sectarian war?

The situation on the battlefield and the political scene in Syria is far more complex. It is not clear who can represent the country in the international arena as the real opposition. The issue is more complicated occupation by a group called "jihadists", the headquarters of the Free Syrian Army (FSA). As a result, General Salim Idris fled to Turkey, then went to the capital of Qatar is Doha, and finally returned to his home in Turkey. Despite the entreaties of Western allies to return to their position, General Salim I. doesn't agree (see: Evgeny Grigoriev. Jihadists took staff of the Free Syrian Army without a fight / Nezavisimaya Gazeta, December 13, 2013).

Against this background, it is common information that the West reduced its support of the PAS. Instead talk about the process of convergence with the other branch of the opposition. In a new report, prepared by analysts of "The Wall Street Journal" Stacy Maitri, Ellen Knickmeyer and Adam Entous, States that the West and its allies in the Persian Gulf are negotiating with the Syrian armed Islamist groups (Michael Kelly. The West has completely changed its strategy in Syria / "" December 6, 2013).

Here the General situation is very complicated. Currently the Syrian opposition is divided into three groups. First, it is the Free Syrian Army. Its members are considered moderate by Westerners, prefer to the state of democracy, choosing as an example Turkey. Along with Washington and Brussels, they cooperate with Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar. The second group includes jihadi religious groups. This includes the "Islamic front". In their ranks were gathered mainly Salafi groups. "Ahrar al-sham", "Shukur al sham", the "Islamic army" and "Team unity" and others belong to the "Islamic front". The third group includes groups distinguished by closeness to al-Qaida. Its main members are the "EN-Nusra" and "Islamic state of Iraq and the Levant". The vast majority of members of these groups were foreign citizens (see: Evgeny Grigoriev. The article in question).

This shows that in the current Syrian opposition is dominated by religious groups. The main thing that unites Islamists, this is radicalism. They are the armed supporters of full liquidation of the existing regime. Thanks to these characteristics they are identified with the Mujahideen force in Afghanistan in the 80s of the last century. For the West "jihadists" are safer because they are not as militant as al-Qaeda, and, most importantly, are controlled close to the Washington States of the region. It is possible to call Saudi Arabia. After it is possible to show, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and others.

After it became clear that to overthrow Assad by military means is impossible, the West and Russia have started to give preference to groups that are able to influence the negotiations. On the eve of planned for January 22, the conference "Geneva-2" this issue became even more topical. For this reason, the US is trying to establish a connection with the Syrian jihadists and to persuade them to participate in the negotiations. One of the Western diplomats said that the main objective here is to save jihadis from the influence of al-Qaeda and to prevent their radicalization (see: Michael Kelly. The article in question). At the meeting of representatives of the United States, England, France, Saudi Arabia and Turkey, with representatives of the jihadists has been said on this side of the issue.

Middle East: the new dynamics of the global geopolitical picture

Thus, it is clear that the West is trying to change the balance of forces at the conference "Geneva-2" in their favor. Washington wants the agreement was based on a solid Foundation. We can assume that the goal is to take Moscow's initiative for a peaceful settlement of the Syrian issue. But it is obvious that the U.S. is not quite sure of the question, what branch of the Syrian opposition to discuss (see: Olga Kommersant-Kuznetsova. The Syrian opposition does not unite himself to / "Kommersant", 13 December 2013). Therefore, we can predict that in this direction the West will continue diplomatic maneuvers.

There is another factor that could undermine the Syrian plans of America. It comes to the implementation of the plan of the "Great Kurdistan". Behind this project are the United States. Most support Kurdish separatism have been from overseas. But the intention of the Kurdish groups close to the PKK, to create in Northern Syria, the Autonomous education has created some difficulties. In order to participate in the conference "Geneva-2" Syrian opposition calls for evaluation of the activities of the Kurds (see: Leonid Savin. Anti-Syrian project / "" December 6, 2013).

Among the Kurds themselves don't have political unity. Between Barzani and öcalan is a struggle for influence among Syrian Kurds. Here you can add and disagreements between the Kurds and the Assyrians, Turkmens and Arabs. As a result, the way the US plans and Israel to create a puppet Kurdish state has serious problems. These moments constitute a serious obstacle to the convening of the Geneva conference.

Against this backdrop, makes you think the attempt by some States to provoke in the middle East inter-sectarian tensions among the Muslims. Now on the political scene in Syria is the Salafi, al-Qaida and the Kurds as a "third force". If USA will give preference among them the Salafis, then this will automatically cause resentment among other religious groups. As a result the political environment in Syria will be formed according to sectarian affiliation and ethnic identity. It is easy to see that it will resemble the political environment of Iraq. Could this be a common feature of the political landscape of the Middle East? If the answer to this question is positive, in a greater geopolitical space will be uncertain and full of conflict situation.

It is obvious that in view of the serious clashes of geopolitical interests of major powers in the middle East political environment in Syria is falling apart. It seems that in the whole extent of deterioration of the recent struggle for the region, the initiative passed into the hands of external forces. In this situation, the issue of achievement in Syria's internal agreement seems to be very challenging. The jihadists have already demonstrated that stronger Free Syrian Army. It is difficult to say what political consequences it would entail.

But it is already clear that it is unlikely that as the leading political force in Syria by a specific political force. Of course, al-Qaida and the radical Shiite group will not sit idly by. This means that Iran and its allied Muslim States will intensify its actions to enhance its political authority in Syria. Who can guarantee that this process will not lead to the emergence of Moslem countries a new geopolitical conflict?

On the other hand, hardly in Geneva will be reached any final agreement. The intensity of political conflicts in Syria is not abating. On the contrary, there are new groups. It is unlikely that they will be able to rally. Obviously, the solution of the Syrian issue will be delayed. Assad is not the only obstacle on this way. Really can't agree on several major geopolitical forces.

Apparently, the political processes in the country become even more dangerous content. It is already absolutely clear that Assad is not a dominant force. And unknown political group, able to become a concrete alternative. This plan is not a situation that would suit both the US and Russia. And many in the region-forces that try to exploit this uncertainty. We can assume that in this context, the struggle between Israel, Turkey, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates for influence will acquire new shades. But what will benefit the people of the region and statehood? In our opinion, the answer to this question is unclear.



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