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Saturday, January 20, 2018

“What factors threaten the truce in Syria”

At 23.00 Moscow time, or at midnight on Damascus, comes into force an agreement on a two-week ceasefire in Syria, the guarantors of which were made by Russia and the United States with the approval of the UN security Council. The chances of peace in Syria will indeed be achieved, much more than it seems. But there are numerous risk factors that should be analysed.

The agreement does not affect the terrorist groups, the struggle against which will be continued by the government army of Syria with the support of the Russian space forces, and the coalition led by the United States. But still no clear understanding of exactly which group of “moderate” armed opposition is ready for an unconditional ceasefire. Some of them already began to set his own conditions, including unrealistic, for example the termination of activity of the Russian group HQs in Syria. Another thing is that these guys by and large and no one asks: you either honour the agreement or not, and then have to act on the situation. But by default, all questions must now be resolved at the negotiating table. And this is the “table” does not mean that President Bashar Assad will invite everyone to tea in the camouflage and offer to share power. It’s not Khasavyurt.

“The implication is that if something goes wrong, the U.S., Turkey and some Arab powers will decide on military intervention in Syria will achieve its dismemberment and establishment of “zones of control”

The truce in itself is not peace. Identified two weeks – the date is largely arbitrary, since no formal commitments for its renewal no one didn’t assume. In fact, no one but the official Damascus, obvious responsibility for the failure of the truce can not be held. The Syrian government is obliged to respect (at least as partners in the negotiation process) to those ex-militants groups who agree to enter the peace process.

It is considered that the small groups carry the main danger for the peace process. They are unmanaged, and it is much easier to negotiate with large organizations, than to race with an olive branch to each field commander.

But in fact the situation is the opposite. Large armed groups, or formally assigned to the “moderate opposition” or the so-called Free Syrian army, controlled and coordinated at the level of intergovernmental policy, but not on earth. Most of their leaders see themselves as the bonapartes and the new rulers of Syria. Worse, many formally recognized by the West, opposition leaders in this regard, including generals, defectors and former members of Assad’s entourage, refused to participate directly in peace negotiations or evaded them.

What made the army of Syria with the support of the Russian VKS (infographics)But a small group fighting in isolated enclaves, and are quite willing to negotiate, and to integrate into Syrian society. The fact is that most of them consist of local people, whose conflict with the regime were political rather than religious or national character. And political contradictions present in Syria can be resolved, primarily through the delegation of rights to local government level to those groups of the population, which for five years of war has appeared in the real political faction.

The key word in the negotiations Damascus consciously transfers to civilian authorities. Civil governors of the provinces (and lower down the chain, representatives of regional and municipal authorities) stood at the head of created “councils of national reconciliation”. These tips doesn’t just happen and are not in an emergency procedure. They existed for a long time, but in the military situation, had such weight and such authority, which would allow them to engage in exciting their tasks directly. For the first time about the prevailing role of civil authorities over the military in the negotiation process with the armed opposition started talking somewhere in October – November last year, when the first projects were developed for the evacuation of the opposition from the surrounded enclaves.


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