Briefly to the beginning of the implementation agreement No. 3 between the United States and the Russian Federation providing for a ceasefire in the South-Western and southern Syria.
1. The truce is of course will not stop the war, and will be another temporary backup as long as there are no long-term agreements on the future of Syria. Real negotiations on the future of Syria between the major coalitions and their fellow travelers will start after the Caliphate is defeated and the boundaries of the spheres of influence of the parties are determined, which will become a platform for talks on the Syrian settlement and the interests of the major participants in the war, or serve as starting positions for the next phase of the war, without the Caliphate.
2. The fighting will subside, but Suwayda and Deraa are likely to remain hotbeds of tension, especially since the “moderates” are actively mixed with “immoderate” terrorists and “al-Nusra” will not observe such agreements, although its influence is somewhat less than in Idlib, where it struggles with “Ahrar al-sham” for supremacy. Therefore, if Turkey can guarantee the compliance of “Ahrar al-Sham”, and the United States can guarantee the compliance of the FSA, then Saudi Arabia and Qatar could guarantee for “Al-Nusra”. But Qatar defected from the front of the “struggle for Syrian freedom,” and Saudi Arabia persistently pretends that it does not finance international terrorists. Therefore, the structures associated with Al-Qaeda and, above all, Al-Nusra, will be the main destabilizing factor, in addition to the actual contradictions between the US and Russia.
3. Sides using the truce to continue to implement their plans for the summer campaign of 2017:
A) the SAA will continue the operation to liberate the East of Hama and Eastern HOMS, Central and southern regions of Raqqa province, as well as advancing towards Deir-ez-Zor.
B) Iran, through its “proxies” will continue to build a “Shiite bridge”, trying to extend control over the Syrian-Iraqi border from both Syria and Iraq.
C) The United States will seek to bring to victory in the assault on Raqqa, to constrain the advance of the SAA to the South of Raqqa, to put a spoke in the wheels of Iran (including through various provocations) and to play the Kurdish card.
D) “Green” will continue to clarify the relationship between themselves and the second bottom of this conflict will be in the struggle of Turkey and Saudi Arabia for control over the key factions.
E) “Al-Nusra” in the light of such developments would likely be somewhat weakened, but not destroyed will, as indeed, ISIS will be as well.
F) Turkey will continue its policy towards the Kurds, while it will try to persuade Russia and Iran not to interfere with it and with the “Kurdish punishment”. It is more likely that Erdogan will be denied, but if the Kurds lose their coast, he will joyfully serve as the whip.
4. If armistice #3 lasts for a long time, this will not only be a definite achievement for US-Russian relations, where there is a high degree of mistrust, but will also create prerequisites for the solution in 2017 of a number of key tasks – the capture of Raqqa, The liberation of Deir ez Zor, the dissection of the remaining territories of the Caliphate into two parts and the creation of prerequisites for its final defeat in 2018. For Damascus, this agreement creates another diplomatic backup, which, along with the agreement in Astana, provides Assad with an opportunity to actively fight only on the part of the fronts where he has the opportunity to concentrate his far flung forces. This kind of war, when in part of the territory of Syria formally does not fight, and on the other – is at war in full, quite reflects the desire of the Russian Federation and Iran to limit their participation in the war.
5. The execution of the ceasefire depends on two things – whether the United States will fulfill its obligations under the control of the militants and most importantly – if they want to fulfill them. As shown by the example with the impact of the US air force at Deir ez-Zor immediately after the transaction No. 2, the U.S. under Obama demonstrated that the agreement was hot air, which ultimately led to the fact that the Kremlin switched to Erdogan and began to negotiate with him to bypass Washington, which on some issues was simply not needed. Whether trump is more responsible about his obligations and whether he can be responsible with a strong domestic political pressure will see in the coming weeks. It may also be noted that the success of the Astana agreements and capacity to enter into U.S.-Russian deal appeared last but not least thanks to the crisis over Qatar, which has now either already disappeared from the camp of the enemies of Assad, and is in the process of withdrawing from the Syrian war. Fermentation in the camp of the anti-Assad forces is pushing US towards a more pragmatic politics, where the demands of Assad’s departure are overshadowed and in General it is supposedly ready to hand over the responsibility to Russia entirely.
This does not mean that the United States has abandoned its real goals in the Syrian war, but working with the Kurds and a rather languid struggle with the Iranian “proxies” is much less ambitious than the program that was put forward by the American hegemonists two or three years ago, When the question of what Assad can stay, was not even discussed as a terrible heresy. Now the situation has changed somewhat (thanks to Russia and Iran) and the US is forced to respond to these changes, bringing a more pragmatic approach to its Syrian policy, instead of traditional ideological oversight. If this trend prevails (which is not obvious, since the adherents of the “hard-line” will seek to prevent de-escalation in Syria) and will have a long character, we can expect other deals in the Middle East. In the case of the short life of the deal, US-Russian relations in Syria are likely to be further degraded.