أيمن الصفدي

The Unenduring Cease-Fire

تم نشره في Sun 28 February / Feb 2016. 03:42 PM - آخر تعديل في Sun 28 February / Feb 2016. 11:21 PM
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The cease-fire in Syria was brought about by an American-Russian arrangement. The implications of an escalation between Russia and Turkey that would lead to a direct full scale confrontation pushed for diligent mechanisms to contain the intensifying situation.

And this is what the agreement stands for: a temporary cease-fire with limited, set objectives. Clearly, it does not stand on sustainable grounds for maintenance. And in light of recent field complications, such an effort will be difficult to sustain, or to monitor the commitment of conflicting parties.

There is evident obtrusion in some militarised conflict areas included in the arrangement, and others that are not, like “Al Nusra” front —over whom the US and Russia do not disagree on considering terrorist, while being fostered by regional powers whose positions from the cease-fire are vital for its continuity.

On the other hand, there are factions included in the agreement, that are in alliance with “Al Nusra” in reality, like “Ahrar Al Sham”, who alongside “Al Nusra” and other factions control Aleppo, under the loose banner of “Jaish Al Fat-h”. And there is also the regime that does not hesitate to strike any oppositional faction, justified by there being “Al Nusra” or “Daesh” militants in the same targeted vicinity.

Speaking of short-term measures so far, it becomes even more difficult addressing medium and long term approaches; the civil war in Syria can be stopped only by one means of either military resolve, or by conveying to all involved the fact that the cost of pursuing the war is much higher than that of suspending it, or by coming to terms on a foreign-sponsored political solution that is supported by the fostering parties. None of the factors indicating the possibility of any of those three scenarios is at hand.

Neither the regime nor the opposition will be able to resolve the situation militarily. Both are convinced they can change ground facts by force, thereon to strengthen their positions on the negotiations table. Nothing indicates the positions of both involved parties are being mitigated or consolidated in regards to a comprehensive political solution. And the positions of regional powers involved in Syria through agency are still distant from one another. And above all that, the Syrian people still pays the only true price for this struggle, as the cost of involvement for international and regional players remain marginally low.

Given the current circumstance, the cease-far cannot be seen any more than it being a temporary necessity. Its collapse is inevitable should it not be contextualised into a general political resolution that is based on a fundamental proposition that is agreeable to all conflicting parties, nationally and regionally. And this is what the UN are seeking to attain through the negotiations scheduled to re-launch on the 7th of March.

However, nothing optimistically indicates that it will work. The success of this proposed resolution process is conditional to the agreement of both the US and Russia over the outcomes of the political proposition, and their willingness as well as ability to have other involved countries and parties comply. This is not easy; interests and goals conflict even among allies on both sides of the crisis.

The priorities for Moscow and Washington, now, include mainly the containment of the conflict within Syria. And the cease-fire may buy them enough time to arrive at a resolution that will prevent direct escalation between Russia and Turkey by outlining the territorial boundaries for the movements of the Syrian regime and the Kurds North and West of Syria. But nothing implies that anything more will come out of it.

On their part, the US waved the plan “B” banner, should the cease-fire fail, and it will not be an American decision to end the conflict militarily. It will go no further than the increased supply and support of opposition, meaning further escalation of the war and more suffering for the Syrians.

More so, there are analysis reports indicating that plan “B” revolves around the establishment of safe zones Russia and the Syrian regime will not be allowed to bombard. But this means a legitimation of the current standing situation, i.e. dividing Syria into territories. This will not resolve the Syrian crisis, mindfully, and will lead only to more suffering for the Syrians as well. Moreover, the regime would have to live with partial sovereignty over the country.

Consequentially, considering that the regime has torn the whole country to the ground to remain in power, it is doubtful they will mind the division of Syria, so that Al Assad may remain “President” forever.

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