Syria will mark the diplomatic path of the wars of the future

19 March 2018 | In the Media

“In the face of each other’s intransigence about whether or not Al Assad will continue in power, the United Nations-sponsored diplomatic process for peace in Syria in Geneva has been blocked and this has meant that the only thing that is under negotiation is humanitarian aid. This could mark diplomatic negotiations on future conflicts. “

Lurdes Vidal, director of the Arab and Mediterranean World department at the IEMed, warned in an interview on Betevé’s Notícia Oberta program, where she analyzed the complex evolution of the war in Syria, from the peaceful demonstrations of the 2011 to the current situation, seven years later and more than 500,000 dead and 5 million refugees after.

The violent clashes taking place today in the enclaves of Afrin and the district of Ghouta, the country’s capital, have led the analyst to explain the interests pursued in Syria by regional and international actors involved in the conflict, such as Turkey, which seeks to contain the Kurds on its border and Afrin – Kurdish until recently, or Russia, which wants to have a voice in the future of Syria and ensure the return of military spending there, in addition to securing its naval base in the Mediterranean, or Iran which seeks to maintain its influence in the Damascus regime and the Middle East. She also explained that today the priority of the Al Assad regime is to end one by one the bags of resistance that still remain in the country, as is the case of Ghouta.

For Vidal, 2013, when President Obama did not intervene militarily in Syria even though Al Assad had crossed the red line by using chemical weapons, has been the turning point of the war. Since that moment, on the one hand, Al Assad has obtained legitimacy, recognizing that it is his regime that dismantled the chemical arsenal and on the other, enters the Daesh (the self-proclaimed Islamic State) that with its rapid and brutal territorial expansion makes the Syrian president been perceived by the West as a lesser evil.

“It will take decades and several generations to see a peaceful Syria again,” she said, adding that although some kind of peace will be signed soon on paper, “there will surely be another decade of violence.” She also said that a “conflict relief” could soon be given that would transfer tension to other countries in the region, such as Turkey and Lebanon.

On Europe’s role in Syria, Vidal said its inaction had shown once again that the EU did not speak with one voice, and that in the face of refugees it had limited itself to “externalising border control to other countries – such as Libya – that do not offer the minimum guarantees of respect for human rights.”