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Russia will show pragmatism in seeking Syria solution

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Significance

Government forces have struggled to make headway in their offensive against the final rebel stronghold in the north-west. That campaign enjoys significant Russian support. Resolving the Idlib situation is critical for Russian ambitions of ending the war and securing a transition to the reconstruction phase that will allow Moscow to reap the benefits of its investments.

Impacts

  • Russian initiatives will insist on the perpetuation of the Assad government and restoring its authority.
  • Moscow may press Damascus for concessions to finalise a constitutional committee, helping gain international buy-in.
  • Turkish cooperation is needed to curb (and ultimately eliminate) Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, a powerful jihadist faction in Idlib.
  • Russia will carefully manage the fate of North Caucasian fighters in Syria to avoid them returning to domestic insurgencies.
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