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"Small world war" developing in Syria?

Editor: Li Kun 丨CCTV.com

02-18-2016 14:16 BJT

By He Wenping, senior research fellow of Charhar Institute, West-Asian and African studies researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences

The Syrian crisis, lasting over five years, remains a pending issue without a political solution, while a peace process agreement was approved by the United Nations Security Council last year. However, after suspension of Geneva peace talks, hostilities have escalated and multiple countries have joined in the hot war here.

Coordinating with Russia's powerful air strikes, Syria's government army has continued to combat opposition factions.

Then Turkey started pounding Kurdish-controlled areas, including Aleppo in northern Syria. Additionally, Saudi Arabian warplanes have landed in a Turkey airbase, holding large-scale military exercises to prepare for an invasion against Syria. Turkey and Saudi Arabia appear eager to deploy ground troops to Syria. 

A turbulent Syria has gotten more intense, with two fighting sides willing to fight to the death.

One side is the Syrian government army and its allies Russia, Iran, Iraq and Lebanon armies under the assistance of Iran's military adviser. The other party is the United States, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar's opposition faction.

What's worse, the "Islamic States," a known enemy of the world, have also participated. Hence, the Washington Post reported that a small "world war" has erupted in Syria. Seeking political benefits have contributed to intervention of multiple states.

When the Syrian government army made progress in northern Syria with the support of Russia, Turkey, who took Kurdish arms as the largest threat and attempted to establish a "safety zone" in northern Syria, could not sit idle.

Ankara had worked with Riyadh, in efforts to overthrow Syria's Bashar Assad regime and to contain Iran by supporting Syria's opposition factions. Washington, who backed up Kurdish arms, turned a blind eye to Turkey's actions, and expected to see its strikes on Syria's governmental army and Russia.
Damascus and Moscow will never hand over their political power and interests for which they have fought for the past five years. Moreover, Moscow still holds a grudge after Ankara shooting-down Russian warplanes last year. It is most likely that Syria would be the best chance and best theatre for Russia to take its revenge on Turkey.

By taking the advantage of the Syrian war, all sides would attempt to seek stronger speaking rights at the negotiation table. The small "world war" in Syria may continue on, since peace talks were suspended.

However when the two sides beat battle drums, the international society favors restarting negotiations. UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura said the suspension of peace talks doesn't mean a "failure;" both sides hope to resolve differences.

US Secretary of State John Kerry and leaders of European Union called on Moscow to solve the Syrian crisis politically. Perhaps, the fighting sides of the Syrian war can cherish peace in order to end the small "world war."


( The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Panview or CCTV.com. )



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Panview offers an alternative angle on China and the rest of the world through the analyses and opinions of experts. We also welcome outside submissions, so feel free to send in your own editorials to "globalopinion@vip.cntv.cn" for consideration.

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