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01:42 16.02.2016(updated 01:43 16.02.2016) Get short URL
The Syrian ceasefire accords, signed in Munich, have laid bare the impotence of Washington regarding the ongoing civil war, and have proved that resolving the almost five-year conflict depends on Russian interests in the region, international affairs observer Marc Champion wrote, in an opinion column for Bloomberg View.“Since when did Russia, rather than the US, play the deciding role in any part of the Middle East?” he asked and, answering his own question, said, “Since now. The terms of the truce show the impotence of the U.S. in Syria.”
Fyodor Lukyanov, Chairman of the Presidium of the Council on Foreign and Defense Policy, noted in a conversation with Champion that the situation in Aleppo underscores the bottom line of Moscow’s campaign in Syria.
"This is an absolutely crucial issue, both for Syria's future stability, and for Russia to demonstrate that the whole operation made sense. You need some kind of spectacular event of the scale of retaking Aleppo to do that," Lukyanov stated.
Lukyanov expressed doubt that the Syrian ceasefire will be fulfilled at first take, as conditions for peace are deemed impractical at this point. But peace in the region could “live” if diplomats can harmonize the various clauses in the agreement. This scenario has been shown to be workable in Bosnia and in Ukraine, the expert observed.
Champion questioned how a peace in Syria would develop after Aleppo, the country’s largest city, was retaken by Assad’s army.
Lukyanov suggested that a Turkish intervention in Syria would be “inevitable,” as Ankara would be dealing with an increase in refugees fleeing the ongoing violence in the war-torn country. At the same time, he said, the advance of Syrian and Kurdish forces would strip Turkey of control over the border with Syria, leading to creation of a “Kurdish proto-state” in the region.
Under this scenario, a standoff would expand, leading to a direct Russian-Turkish confrontation, something nobody wants, Lukyanov noted.
© Sputnik/ Alexei Druzhinin
Why Putin’s Strategy in Syria Wins Over and Over Again
The recapture of Aleppo will seriously impact the outcome of the Syrian civil war, as it will simultaneously mark the success of the Moscow operation in Syria while pulling the rug on form under the stated opinions of the West with regard to Russian activities in the region, Champion added.
Control over territories reclaimed from Daesh would be accepted by Assad rather than by rebels backed by the US and Turkey.
“Kerry's problem, and that of the US and its allies, is that by now Putin holds virtually all the cards. Russia may not be the dominant player in the Middle East, but when it comes to Syria, it certainly is,” Champion said.
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