In 2017, the US launched an ineffective cruise missile attack Syria’s Shayrat airbase in retaliation for a chemical weapons attack. So, what can the Western powers do now to deter the Assad regime from repeating last week’s chlorine gas attack on Douma?
The assassination of Andrei Karlov, the Russian Ambassador to Turkey, by a Turkish policeman has brought into focus the hugely deleterious impact of the Syrian war upon neighbouring states and the wider region.
As Turkey has progressively increased its involvement in the war in Syria, the Iranian leadership’s reaction has been mixed – a result of the different views within Tehran about the future direction of the relationship with Turkey. This internal debate will intensify as the possibility of establishing no-fly zones in Syria has been endorsed by the US.
Last Monday a UN aid convoy was targeted and destroyed by what appears to be Russian-made munitions. It is therefore likely that either the Russian Air Force or the Syrian Air Force carried out the attack.
Despite the obvious antagonism between Russia and the US, the two states can also cooperate, as the current deal over Syria indicates, especially when Moscow wishes to expand its available strategic options.
The deal to implement a ceasefire across Syria brokered by the US and Russia is a major development in the course of that country’s brutal conflict. It presents a faint glimmer of hope – the first in years – that an end may be in sight to what to date remains this century’s bloodiest conflict.
Russia’s direct intervention in the Syrian crisis has attracted a great deal of attention. A detailed analysis of the actual scope of the Russian military deployment in Syria indicates Moscow’s level...