Strategic Council Online: An Asian affairs expert has described a security conference between heads of Turkish and Syrian intelligence agencies in Russia after long years an important and eye-catching development. “Considering its field victories Syria seems to have sent a strong message to the Turkish authorities about complete withdrawal from Syrian lands and the decision to fight terrorism and return all occupied Syrian lands.
Strategic Council Online: Although the increase in the number of US troops deployed in eastern Syria cannot significantly affect major developments and the security order in the West Asian region due to its small number, but it could contribute to continuation of Syrian and Iraqi crises as well as affect the oil markets.
Dr. Hossein Ajorlou – Middle East affairs expert
Strategic Council Online: An international relations professor said that the Iranian military operation against the US military base in Baghdad was merely a blow to American grandeur and that Iran’s response will be given in due time and within the geography of the Resistance. The Americans should estimate their response within the new calculations not the previous evaluations that Iran exercised restraint.
Strategic Council Online: In case of establishment of the ‘Club of Sanctioned’ the effectiveness of the sanctions tools, including synergies between the economies of the sanctioned countries, by using techniques such as expanding multilateral pacts, creating alternative financial messengers for SWIFT and initiating new financial platforms make these countries immune from US trade sanctions.
– Seyyed Mohammad Reza Mousavi / Political Economy Researcher, Office of Economic Diplomacy Studies, Imam Sadegh University
– Amir Hossein Arabpour / International Political Marketing Researcher, Office of Economic Diplomacy Studies, Imam Sadegh University
Strategic Council Online: A university professor said that the US criminal assassination of Lt. General Qassem Suleimani was the result of Washington’s desperation against Iran and General Suleimani and his braveries. He added the Americans thought that with assassination of General Suleimani they would be allowed to revive the US-led and managed ISIS.
Strategic Council Online: With stability gradually returning to Syria, the countries at war with Syria are now struggling to make a contribution to rebuilding the country and at the same time reap the economic benefits.
Mohammad Lahooti – President of the Iranian Export Confederation
Strategic Council Online: The United States bombed five strongholds of Hashd al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilization Forces) in al-Qa’im near the Iraqi-Syrian border on Sunday, December 29, 2019 which left 25 martyrs and more than 50 injured. The Americans claim the attack was in response to an attack on December 27 on an Iraqi military base where a group of US troops were also deployed. During the attack, several Americans and a number of Iraqi Army forces were injured and a US civilian contractor was killed.
Strategic Council Online: The President of the Strategic Council on Foreign Relations emphasized that Iran’s view of its relations with China is strategic and comprehensive.
Strategic Council Online: An expert on Turkish issues has called Ankara’s policies toward Syria “ambitious” and said that under the current conditions Turkey faces challenges in the field of terrorism, the Syrian refugee crisis and the Kurdish separatism near its border that may face its internal security with a challenge.
Strategic Council Online: An international relations professor said that Turkey had entered into the Syrian crisis by unrealistic and inaccurate calculations, adding: “Turkey not only failed to achieve its initial goals but the crisis made Ankara face new challenges.”
Strategic Council Online: The Turkish government has announced that its army will remain on the Syrian soil until the political situation in Syria is stabilized despite calls by Iran, Russia and the Damascus government for withdrawal of foreign forces including the Turkish army from Syrian territory.
Hassan Hanizadeh – Middle East affairs expert
Strategic Council Online: By announcing a plan to launch a “European Naval Mission” for Security in the Strait of Hormuz and the Persian Gulf, France wants to test what it has been dreaming of as a “European NATO” for years, an institution that has neither been consolidated in thinking nor it is applicable in practice.
Hamideh Safamanesh – International Relations Researcher
Strategic Council Online: An expert on European affairs, referring to a quartet summit of Europe and Turkey on Syria on the sidelines of the NATO summit in London, said: Turkey has been seeking a series of political concessions over developments in northern Syria in recent years.
Strategic Council Online: Former Middle East Director-General of the IRI Foreign Ministry believes that after the recent drone attacks on Saudi Arabia, the authorities in Riyadh have concluded that the crisis is getting out of control.
Strategic Council Online: Under the current circumstances, the US will maintain a presence in Syria, in the form that it will relinquish less important regions either to Turkey or even indirectly to Russia or Damascus central government, but it will still keep sensitive centres like oil wells or strategic points that it thinks could cut off the communication lines between Iran and the Mediterranean under control.
Amir Ali Abolfateh – American Affairs Expert
The Strategic Council Online: Former Middle East Director-General at the IRI Ministry of Foreign Affairs said drafting the Syrian constitution is a very difficult process, adding that an understanding between international and regional powers could help this trend accomplish its goals otherwise each of these players has tools to disrupt the agreement.
Strategic Council Online: A Middle East Affairs expert says the US oil smuggling from northern Syria is state piracy. “The United States has long looked to the oil wells of Deir ez-Zur and al-Bukamal and is conducting a series of studies on this case.” Wells have been done and it has been concluded that there are huge oil and gas reserves in the eastern Euphrates and in Deir ez-Zur.
Strategic Council Online: A meeting between US delegation led by Vice President Mike Pence and Turkish officials in Ankara ended with the announcement of a 120-hour ceasefire in northern Syria. Following the talks, a joint 13-article statement was issued between Turkey and the United States, which, in addition to sparking harsh criticism by Trump’s opponents to its clauses, the Syrian presidential adviser described it “vague.”
Hamideh Safamanesh – International Relations Researcher
Strategic Council Online: An expert on regional issues said the agreement between Russia and Turkey on northern Syria was in the interest of all parties, adding: “If Russia can persuade armed Kurdish fighters to keep away from Turkish borders, which is very difficult to do, the reducing of the tension will continue.”
Strategic Council Online: Developments in Syria and measures taken by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to fill US military withdrawal from Syria over the past few weeks have further exposed the weakness and desperation of the European governments in pursuit of their political and security goals in the Middle East.
Morteza Makki – European Affairs Expert