Syria: the reconfiguration of the conflict

Over the past few days in Syria, there were several important events that demonstrate changes in the strategic situation in the conflict.

Israel unmasked

Israel, for the first time since the start of the Russian military operation, dealt a blow to the forces opposing the Islamic state. Samir Quntar was killed. He was a leader of Hezbollah, of Druze origin, who had prepared anti-Israel  activities in the occupied Golan Heights. Earlier we wrote why Israel is interested in weakening Syria and actually supports the terrorists of ISIS in the region. In line with this, Israel made two unfriendly step towards Russia - a Russian citizen, Alexei Burkova,  was arrested upon request. and the US began talks with Ukraine and Turkey to establish a free trade zone.

Russia does not want a conflict with Israel

A delegation have arrived from Russia to Israel to resolve contentious issues. Haarez newspaper reported that for the talks with the Israeli leadership, Russian president's special envoy on Syria, Alexander Lawrence, has come. The Russian President and the Israeli Prime Minister discussed the contentious issues on the phone. Russia, realizing the strategic divergence of interests with Israel, through negotiations is trying to delay Israel’s entry into a full-scale war.  Israeli ally Turkey continues the diplomatic game, assuring at the official level that is not interested in a conflict with Russia.

The talks postponed

Future negotiations on Syria seem to be unclear. Syrian troops killed the leader of the organization "Jaish al-Islam”, Zahrar Alloush. The blow was dealt during the gathering of militants, which was attended by representatives of "Ahrar al-Sham", among the others.  Both Russia and Iran are not interested in joining the negotiation process of these organizations. They are against terrorism and fear their legitimization as a party to the negotiations. On the other hand the Saudis insist on the recognition of the Shiite groups, including Hezbollah, as terrorists. Turkey and Saudi Arabia on the one hand and the US on the other also have contradictions. The Turks and the Saudis did not intend to include in the negotiations the Kurds, while the United States however wants to play the Kurdish card. All of this combined  does not give the opportunity to create a united list of terrorists, and therefore the list of those who might take part in the talks on Syria is uncertain.

Evacuation of ISIS

According to the Iranian news agency, Fars News, during the operation to free Ramadi, the Americans evacuated leaders of ISIS by helicopter. At the same time, allied Syrian government troops and militants have carried out the evacuation of opposing forces including ISIS militaries from southern Damascus. In the first case, the Americans show that they are interested in preserving ISIS in Iraq as the only counterweight to the growing influence of  Iran. Second, Damascus fulfills a kind of exchange of populations to make the space it controls less fragmented. The particular rise of ISIS at the expense of other Islamists groups is beneficial to Damascus. In a sense it gives to the West a single public choice: Assad or ISIS.