Russia, Turkey, and Iran are playing a major role in Syria while the U.S. has been relegated to a secondary role, according to a Newsweek article published January 29.
The weekly notes that Russia, Turkey and Iran, having become guarantors of the end of the Syrian conflict, have acquired the status of the most influential powers in this country. The United States, on the other hand, is sidelined because it has practically stopped supporting the Syrian opposition, even though there are hundreds of American soldiers in Syria.
The support of Russia and Iran allowed Bashar al-Assad to gain control over most of Syria. His opponents occupy only small portions of territory, mostly on the Turkish-Syrian border.
The U.S. State Department has already begun to scrutinize the Donald Trump administration’s decisions on the Syrian issue. The U.S. has all but abandoned support for the Syrian opposition, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) are not represented in the current peace process. The U.S. continues to refuse to engage in direct dialogue with the Syrian government. Damascus, for its part, demanded the withdrawal of American troops from Syrian territory, Newsweek says.
Newsweek recalls that Syria is still under international sanctions and is expelled from the Arab League. However, Damascus has a significant influence in the Syrian Constitutional Committee, which is made up of representatives of the Syrian government, the opposition and UN-appointed members of civil society. Negotiations between the parties have not yet led to a significant result.
Newsweek notes that UN Special Envoy for Syria Geir Pedersen reported that he had meetings with Russian, Turkish and Iranian mediators in the peace talks, but did not mention the United States.