The earthquakes that struck Turkey and Syria on 6 February devastated those regions. India established its credentials as an early responder, along with the global community. Humanitarian aid may not lead to a significant change in regional foreign policy, but people’s goodwill has been established in Turkey and a window opened in Syria for normalisation with its Arab partners.
Aleppo is back under the control of the Syrian government, the Russian ambassador to Ankara is assassinated for his country’s role in Syria, and U.S. President-elect Donald Trump wants to cooperate with Russia to fight ISIS in Syria. These momentous events in modern history compel an assessment of the geopolitics surrounding Syria.
2016 has been marked by unprecedented geopolitical dislocations and dispersals. In January 2016, Gateway House, identified the major emerging global trends. As the year comes to an end, several developments have confirmed these forecasted trends
By executing an influential Shia cleric among 47 other prisoners, Saudi Arabia has increased the possibility of prolonging conflict in West Asia. The country’s actions have stirred up its differences with Iran, thereby diminishing the possibility of finding political solutions to the civil wars in Syria and Yemen.
Today ISIS is the gravest international security threat. To defeat ISIS, the world should pay heed to India’s experience of the need to isolate state sponsors of terrorism. Ultimately, only when Saudi Arabia acknowledges the danger to its own survival from past policies of alleged support to extremist groups, can it be a reliable partner in the fight against ISIS.
Basher Assad has been voted to power in Syria in an election which is widely regarded as lacking legitimacy. This will be Assad’s third term in office and his victory is an indication of the control he continues to wield despite growing western backing of opposition groups
If the violence in Syria shifts focus to Damascus, the destruction will be incalculable. Damascus is one of the oldest cities in the world, a cultural and religious centre. It is a collective heritage. Forces on both sides, led by the U.S. and Russia, must get all parties to declare Damascus a weapons-free zone
The recent UNSC Resolution, which mandates the complete destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons, demonstrates that after more than a year, a degree of international agreement on the Syrian issue has been possible. In the evolving situation, Russia will now emerge as a major player
Can the world aspire to a future where the use of force is not seen as leadership? Can the U.S. and former colonial powers like France and UK, think differently and reject the use of force as first resort? Can China and India craft alternatives?
Twelve years since the Taliban attacked the country, U.S. President Barack Obama is preparing for yet another war with a country in West Asia, for breaching a ‘red line’ he had drawn. However, the red line he needs to draw is about where the moral fiber of his presidency lies in the waning months of his tenure.