Yes, the stance has changed

تم نشره في Wed 13 May / May 2015. 06:01 PM - آخر تعديل في Wed 13 May / May 2015. 06:03 PM

By Muhammad Aburumman

US known writer David Ignatius, in his article yesterday entitled "New Cooperation in Syria" (Washington Post), talked about all the important and new variants in regional, international, and local game in Syria, resulting from the new alliance and cooperation, or what can be called, in practice, the new regional hub - at the face of Iranian influence - of Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar.

The direct and major results of the new alliance has emerged in the province of Idlib, in the build-up to the battle of Aleppo; through the formation of the "Jaish alFateh", which Jabhat alNusra has been integrated into, which has achieved great victories in those areas, and made Bashar alAssad’s army weaker.

Ignatius does not rule out that alNusra will soon announce its separation from alQaeda, to get themselves off of the war on terror list, and qualify for the next stage of Syria. This is a prospect that, as we know, has been debate and discussed by senior level officials a few months ago. It is theoretically possible, but it is complex and politically difficult, and represents a crossroad for alNusra, posing a threat to its internal cohesion and its political and ideological identity; it is not easy to take such a step.

At a time when the US writer, who is close to some of the important decision-makers there, indicates that Maj. Gen. Ali Mamlouk, former intelligence chief and a security cornerstone in the regime, is under house arrest today, while other reports confirm that he is accused of trying to overthrow alAssad, Ignatius, points out, to attempts to find a deal with Russia and Iran on the fate of the alAssad regime, and the next stage.

The significant impact of the new axis (Saudi-Turkish-Qatari) does not stop at the borders of Syria. According to Ignatius, too, there is an initiative to change the rules of the game in Libya, by finding agreement and understanding between Major General Khalifa Haftar and the powers of Fajir Libya (close to the Muslim Brotherhood), to create a united front in the face of Islamic State there, and there are consensual political solutions.

In short, the regional situation has changed, and the rules of the game have changed. Turkey and Qatar have become closer to the security and strategic perspective of Saudi Arabia than Jordan, UAE, and Egypt. These three countries need to determine their destination in the next phase. It is most likely that it would seek to catch up with the new alliance.

Now, and with King Salman bin Abdulaziz, the Saudi vision has changed, approaching the Turkish-Qatari vision in important aspects; with respect to Syria and Iraq. That has been reflected in the Saudi relationship with Hamas and the Yemeni Reform Movement and factions of militant Islamic Brotherhood in Syria and Libya. That means that we are facing a new reality, at a time when the gap increases between the position of the United States and Saudi Arabia. The current summit at Camp David was more effective at entrenching the differences than bridging the gap.

In the last period, the gap was clear with the "decision kitchen" in Amman, and pushed it to ease the intense diplomatic activity we saw before, awaiting the outputs and outcomes of the Saudi shift, which has now become a fait accompli, and a new and key to understanding variables.


This article is an edited translation from the Arabic edition