Turki Mustafa, Baladi News
The Arab Arena is witnessing successive developments in the US policy towards the hot files in the middle east since the advent of Donald Trump to the White House. The US president visit to Saudi Arabia and his meetings with Arab and Muslim leaders resulted in changes in the rules and means of confrontations in the regional and international arena, the thing that obliged all the parties to rearrange the region according to the new trend of the American policy and its traditional allies .
Shifts of the American Policy And Its Reflections on The Syrian Revolution
President Trump stood in Riyadh before a crowd of Arab and Muslim leaders describing Islam as one of the world's greatest religions, the thing that can be considered a change in Trump's rhetoric towards Muslims and Islam in general and this change can be attributed to the solidity of the American institutions with their deep strategic dimensions that have restrained Trump and though the US influence centers forced him to make concessions under the threat of dismissing him in case he violated the fundamentals of the American policy.
Riyadh Declaration and Changing the Balances of Power In the Region
The shifts in the American policy that would affect the conflict in Syria can be summarized as follows:
Confronting The Iranian Expansion in Syria and the Region
The new package of resolutions issued in Riyadh conference represent a clear change in the American policy towards Tehran unlike Obama's administration that allowed Iran to expand at the expense of the Arab region. The clear declaration of Riyadh that states confronting the Iranian expansion was preceded by the participation of American and British forces alongside the Syrian revolutionary factions, while advancing towards the city of al-Boukamal near the Iraqi borders. This advancement coincided with attempts by Iranian Shiite militias to control the strategic region of al-Tanef in order to control the International road of Baghdad-Damascus, but the International coalition bombarded the military convoy of these militias in a clear message that they will never allow them to reach the crossing.
Expanding the concept of terrorism to include Shiite militias
Riyadh declaration resulted in creating a regional –American alliance against terrorism including the Lebanese militia of Hezbollah as Trump declared that the American orientation is now clear regarding targeting Hezbollah that was classified as being a terrorist organization by Saudi Arabia and the US .
On the other hand, Iran was not deterred by burning the convoy of its first campaign to control the strategical crossing of al-Tanef that cost it dozens of Hezbollah militants who were killed in the attack and so it chose escalation by sending another campaign of its agents and mercenary like Hezbollah, al-Nujaba'a Iraqi Movement and the Afghani Fatemeioun Brigade who take their orders from the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps.
The Russian Shock
The shifts in the American strategy pushed Russia to work according to a different policy in order to keep its hegemony in Syria and so it presented the de-escalation project to adjourn the operation of putting pressure on Assad's regime which became a burden on the International Community.
The Russian policy aims at gaining time till the American policies became clear and to impose itself as being an international partner in the conflict regions of the world, however, Russia is aware that the existence of its ally Iran along with its militias in Syria is now rejected on the international and regional levels and even the de-escalation agreement doesn't give Iran the legitimacy to stay in Syria as the International agreements of Geneva and Astana include a political solution that forces Iran and its militias to leave Syria. That's why Russia is now maneuvering to gets its share in beneficial Syria in exchange for cooperating to expel Iran and put an end to the Syrian war.
Riyadh declaration has put Syria in a huge political crisis and reversed the balances of power due to creating a Gulf-Turkish-American access that will end the Russian hegemony on the Syrian file along with eliminating Iran, the most prominent ally of the Russians and though their new goal will be keeping Hmiemim military airbase and Tartus port on the Mediterranean under their control.
Syrian Revolution In Light of the Transformations
The role of the Syrian National Revolutionary Forces has diminished as a result of internal and external factors, in addition to the fragmentation of the armed factions and though the role of the political opposition became limited to the regional and international plans that are put for it. The opposition forces both military and political are now counting of Riyadh declaration to make a change in the Syrian scene as they are looking forward to realizing this declaration through enhancing the military support and provide a permanent air cover to the military operations in the Syrian desert, whether against ISIS or the Shiite militias. Those developments on the other hand, force the revolutionary factions to change their tools to cope with the current of reconstructing those factions in one military body that is linked to a political team able to invest the shifts in the regional and international scene.