2 thoughts on “Syria: more international repercussions”

  1. There is a comprehensive statement of US policy by Rex Tillerson as of 17 January (so before the Iranian drone and the Israeli F-16) at https://www.state.gov/secretary/remarks/2018/01/277493.htm – I am thinking particularly of the section headed “The United States desires five key end states for Syria”.
    On the specific question of the possible breakup of Syria, it’s worth looking at what the State Department spokeswoman said under pressure on 8 February. The poor woman didn’t have much to go on, and ducked as many questions as she could, but in reply to the question “And you’re committed to the unity of Syria?” she felt able to say “we have said that all along, yes.”
    As for British policy, see Boris Johnson’s interview https://english.alarabiya.net/en/webtv/reports/2018/01/30/Al-Arabiya-s-full-exclusive-interview-with-UK-Foreign-Secretary-Boris-Johnson-.html (go to 14 minutes) in which he says two things of significance: first that nobody now believes that Asad’s removal should be a precondition for talks, and second that nobody wants to see a Balkanised Syria and that Syria must be brought together again through the UN process.
    I’m not aware of any recent discussion of Syria in Parliament.

  2. What I miss in current commentaries on Syria is any clear account of declared US policy. Sundry casual references suggest that while they are more or less reconciled to the fact that the opposition cannot topple Asad, they are set on ensuring that the regime does not control the whole of Syrian territory, whence their backing for the Kurds, strained relations with Turkey (to put it mildly) and clashes around Deir ez Zor. Is their eventual political solution the break-up of the country? Is there anything on record? Perhaps there is no policy but if there is, I assume HMG have bought into it as usual without Parliamentary discussion (or have I missed that too?) It is certainly possible that Syria may never be put together again but from the outset it has been consistently reported that even our favoured moderate opposition groups in their safe haven coffee shops in Turkey steadily declared themselves opposed too fragmentation and if it does happen I see no good reason why we should favour or take responsibility for it.

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