KARIN – Moscow is planning to sift the foreign military presence in Syria and put in place a new plan for the settlement of the conflict, the success of which will depend on the consent of all its actors.

“Moscow seems to resume its military operations in Syria and adopt new principles to participate in the settlement of the conflict in this country,” writes the newspaper Nezavisimaya Gazeta in its May 21 edition.
After meeting with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Vladimir Putin said he supported his decision to form a government delegation for the creation of a Syrian constitutional committee. Moreover, he was of the opinion that the triggering of the process of political settlement of the crisis in Syria was based on the withdrawal of foreign troops present on the territory without the approval of Damascus.
However, many actors in the settlement of the Syrian conflict do not recognize the current government of Damascus and require profound changes and the departure of Bashar al-Assad. Apart from the international coalition led by the United States, Turkey and Israel are among those recalcitrant actors. They occupy and control each a part of the territory of Syria.
The occupation of the Golan Heights by Israel is an outstanding example: for decades, Tel Aviv has embraced the plateau on the Syrian border and east of the Jordan, which Syria can not accept. However, the plots of Syrian territory that are in the hands of the US military and Turkey could suffer the same fate.
On the other hand, Alexander Lavrentiev, the Russian president’s special representative for Syria and Moscow’s main representative at the Astana talks, said the process of political settlement in Syria would be boosted with the withdrawal of all foreign troops from the country.
In recent weeks, hundreds of Syrian refugees have returned home. This return process is carried out only under the auspices of the Government of Damascus, on the basis of Decree number 10 – or the Law on Urban Renewal – promulgated by Bashar al-Assad.
According to statistics, Syria has more than 10 million displaced. To this we must add nearly 4 million emigrants and about 7 million internally displaced persons.
It is obvious that the rapid return of this population is not possible. Thus, Decree number 10 allows the government of Bashar al-Assad to seize the properties of those who do not wish to return to Syria, in a very short time.
Alexei Venediktov, editor-in-chief of radio station Ekho Moskvy, believes the new law could be a serious challenge in Syria.
According to him, Russia could persuade President Assad to cancel his decree and this is not in the interests of Moscow or Damascus.
The problems in Syria are solved one by one, but the establishment of lasting stability seems difficult. Moscow is therefore proposing a new formula of reaching an agreement between the Syrian political factions, and in this context, there is no question of changing the government and holding new elections.
The European Union and the United States have not announced their positions towards the new predispositions of Russia. Meanwhile, the Americans still support the Syrian opposition. France is in line with the same directive and, according to some reports, “more than 70 military members of the French special forces are spread over five bases in northern Syria”.
However, the prospect of a turnaround in Syria through the efforts of Moscow is covered with a halo of ambiguity.