Current Issues

Readout into the Implications of the Key Events and Developments on the Syrian Crisis in 2022

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The Syrian file has witnessed many events and variants on political, military and economic level in 2022, as the Syrian crisis is still going on without any expected solution soon. Given that it is being affected by the regional and international events, headed by the Russian-Ukrainian war, Iranian protests and the upcoming Turkish presidential elections, in which there were direct and indirect implications on the Syrian geography that has been divided to three main areas of control.

Altogether, all these events had negative effects in general that deepened the Syrian crisis and made it more complicated, in addition to the unprecedented collapse of the Syrian pounds. However, at the same time, the developments in 2022 revealed more clearly some of the strategic policies of the regional and international actors engaged in the Syrian crisis, especially the US stance, which seems to be determined to stay for a long-term in Syrian and the region.

In this file, we will attempt to shed the light on the key events and developments Syria has witnessed throughout 2022 and its impact, from all aspects, on the Syrian domestic conditions.

The Ukrainian war and its effects on the Syrian file 

After Russia had waged the war on Ukraine on 24 of February 2022, the Syrian regime Officials made it clear that they support the Russian military operation and described it as “History correction”, and they facilitate troops traveling to fight alongside the Russian army in the context of “return the favor” who helped them in defeating the Syrian opposition. Although of the regime’s enthusiasm towards Putin’s war, whether on the political or media level, it does not prevent the regime’s government to prepare for its negative effects on the already shrunken Syrian economy. While the Bashar al-Assad’s regime hoped that the Ukrainian war could contribute in widening the space of his political and regional maneuvers and could offer him a chance to increase his options against the regional and international powers, besides, Moscow would be obliged to depend more on him, in order to be able to maintain its influence in this vital region, amid a confrontation with the Western countries led by (US).

After more than 10 months of fighting, there are still a lot of greater implications of the war in Ukraine, to be evident, on Syria such as; the international community’s lack of interest for the political solution of the Syrian crisis, and the escalation of the Iranian-Israeli shadow war on Syrian territory, amid Moscow’s “wrath” to Israeli stance towards Ukraine And its renewed “condemnation” of the Israeli raids on Iranian-Syrian locations, slowing the momentum of Arabic rush  to normalize relations with the regime, until the US-Russian confrontation’s shape has been crystallized in Europe, and the potentiality of its sparks to be moved into Syria and finally the Europeans rashness to conduct a deep revision of their options in gradual opening up with the regime, which is being perceived as “Russia’s extension”.

On the other hand, the united and fast move of the Europe and NATO alliance formed a pressure to avoid any further Russian expansion in Ukraine, throughout imposing sanctions against Russia alongside many other procedures, which led to undermine the Russian influence in its controlled areas, including in Syria, in which Russian have already withdrawn from some locations, for instance, pulling 10 fighter jets and some of their troops in other regions in Syria back to home, this would also be reflected in weakening the Syrian regime, in the absence and preoccupation of his main ally, this would also lead to Iranian expansion on the Syrian territory more than ever.

There is no doubt that the Syrian file is still tied to regional and international disputes, and the political solution would stay suspended based on the interests of these states, which is winging according to the status of understandings and compromises amongst the state actors in the Syrian file, and it will stay suspended to the outcomes of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict and to what extent the US and Russia can separate the pathways of their interactions from each other, whether in Europe or in the Middle East.

Turkey rises the rapprochement rhetoric with Damascus in 2022

Turkey had initiated new signs about its reconciliation tendency with Damascus in 2022, which developed to hold a triple defense ministerial meeting between the Russian defense minister, Sergei Shoigu, Turkish defense minister, Hulusi Akar, and his Syrian counterpart, Ali Mahmoud Abbas, alongside Turkish and Syrian security officials in Moscow in December 2022. This coincided with Turkey’s increased threats and attacks on northeastern Syria. However, Turkey has not yet achieved what it aspires to from these policies, due to its conflict with the policies and strategies of actors in the Syrian file, such as America, Russia and Iran, and because of the Syrian regime’s lack of confidence in the Turkish government, which ignores Damascus’ basic conditions for normalization, which revolves around The need for the Turkish withdrawal from the Syrian lands, and the abandonment of the factions and organizations that Damascus considers terrorist groups.

The recent Turkish U-turn towards the Syrian file, and raising the level of statements about normalization with Damascus, made the Syrian opposition bodies in a state of great confusion, in addition to Turkey’s statements regarding restoring relations with the Syrian government, and the Turkish president’s explicit declaration that Turkey’s goal is not to overthrow the Syrian president Bashar al-Assad from power in Syria, constituted a point of difference between Turkey and the Syrian opposition entities, which it did not hide its concerns to be left by Turkey, similar to what it did with the Brotherhood Movement, after restoring its relations with the Gulf states, and rapprochement with Egypt. All the demonstrations and protests that took place in the the occupied Syrian regions, which rejected the reconciliation that Turkey called for, was more or less incited by of the opposition and its factions leaders, who has come to fear about their fate, after the Turkish U-turn towards Damascus, and because of their concerns that Turkey will sell them as part of one of its deals with Russia and the Syrian regime, especially since Erdogan feels that his end gets closer with the 2023 elections, due to the internal opposition bloc against him, and the dissatisfaction of America and Western countries with his policies. Since his priority is staying in power in whatever form, he will not hesitate to play all his cards to stay in power for a new term, and it seems that he has pulled the card of the “Syrian opposition” and will throw it at the table of Russia and the Syrian regime, in return for the regime’s pledge to repatriate all Syrian refugees from Turkey, not recognizing any rights of the Kurds, cooperating with Turkish intelligence to fight the Autonomous Administration, and restoring the regime’s control over northeastern Syria.

In the light of the latest developments on the ground, several indications can be noted that Turkey is already trying to raise its relations to the diplomatic level with Damascus to achieve the aforementioned goals, these facts include:

1- Restructuring and uniting the factions:

Turkey has taken new measures in its controlled areas in northern Syria, such as putting pressure on the “National Army” factions, which were refusing reconciliation and normalization with Damascus. This prompted Turkey, throughout the stick of “(HTS),” to force these factions to yield to Turkish demands, as Turkey allowed “(HTS)” to enter the city of Afrin and expel the factions of the Third Corps from on October of 2022, and threaten to control all areas under control of these factions. After that, Turkey intervened and stopped the “Tahrir al-Sham” from advancing, and this indicates that these events were a scenario by Turkey, to arrange and create the conditions for reconciliation talks. What confirms this is what was resulted from the recent meeting that Turkish officials held for the leaders of these factions in Gaziantep, Turkey. At the meeting, the Turks demanded “the termination of all existing military formations, the dissolution of small factions, and a commitment to work only within the three military corps, which are the backbone of the “Syrian National Army.”

2- The Turkish talk about the voluntary return of the Syrian refugees:

It is no secret that one of Turkey’s significant goals of reconciliation with Damascus, is to solve the problem of the Syrian refugees in Turkey, and it seems that there are developments at the intelligence level between the two countries to return the Syrian refugees, but it seems that this Turkish scheme is not moving towards coming true. Since the European countries did not support Turkey in the scheme to settle refugees in the settlements it established in northern Syria, in addition to the pressures of local and international human rights organizations, which described the Turkish scheme as aiming for demographic change, and this is what forced the funding agencies for these projects, including Kuwait, to stop construction projects for organizations and associations that financed and supervised the construction of the settlements.

3- Turkish drones’ escalation in targeting the Kurdish leaders:

In another development that refers to fact that “Adana” agreement, which was amended by Russia between Ankara and Damascus, entered into force, which allows the Turkish drones to enter into the Syrian territory for  more than 30 km, and conduct strikes against the areas of northeastern Syria and the leadership and administrative figures in the region. This confirms that the intelligence cooperation between the two countries has reached advanced levels, given that both Turkey and the Syrian regime intersect their interests in the matter of fighting the SDF and the Autonomous Administration, but there are no big chances for diplomatic contacts, and it is still stalled, as evidenced by the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s refusal to meet with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, despite the Russian mediation, because he realizes that Erdogan aims to use this meeting as part of his electoral propaganda, and he is not serious about ending his occupation of Syrian lands.

The greatest obstacles to normalization between Ankara and Damascus

Despite all these factors and data that indicate that relations between Turkey and Damascus are heading towards normalization, this path is not without complications, especially since Turkey occupies large parts of northern Syria, which are the areas in which its loyal factions and extremist Islamic ones also have relations with Turkey, and this contradicts the first condition of the Syrian regime calling for the Turkish withdrawal from Syria to accept the full normalization of relations.

Therefore, there are no chances for holding a dialogue at the level of the leaders of the two countries in the short term, unless the Turkish forces withdraw from Syria, because Damascus cannot open a direct dialogue with Turkey, pledge to protect the borders with Turkey, or return the Syrian refugees, while most of the border areas between the two countries are mainly occupied by Turkey, so if Damascus is required to take responsibility for the border areas with Turkey, as the duty of any government towards its neighbors, then this commitment is not partial, as the border with Turkey start from Latakia province to Al-Hasakah province, and Ankara must hand over all the border areas it occupies to the Syrian government.

In addition to the complications of the presence of (HTS) file, which is classified as a terrorist organization, in Idlib, and this may require Turkey to either transfer the “(HTS)” from Idlib to other regions in northern Syria, and integrate it with the new structure that it intends to form for the factions, and the (HTS) will implicitly be in full control over it, or abandon Idlib and allow Russia and the regime to invade it.

Another obstacle in the path of normalization is the international positions, especially the American and Western ones that oppose any normalization between Turkey and Damascus, and may impose sanctions on Turkey if it insists on normalization, before finding an international political solution to the Syrian file.

The outcome

According to these facts, it is unlikely that there will be normalization between Damascus and Ankara, before a specific timetable and mechanism is approved by Turkey to withdraw its forces from Syrian territory, and stop its support for the armed opposition and jihadist groups, at the very least. The withdrawal will be a guarantee of Turkey’s commitment to the new agreements with Damascus, if they take place, but indications indicate that Turkey does not show any intention to withdraw, and it wants to keep the control over the current situation, and to agree with Damascus on two main files, which are fighting the Kurds and returning refugees to Syria, throughout the intelligence relations between the two countries, without access to direct meetings between the leaders of the two countries at the present time, but these plans of Erdogan have become exposed, due to his devious and excessively pragmatic policies, and its radical transformations. Therefore, Damascus cannot trust Erdogan’s policies, because Damascus realizes that without Turkey fulfilling these two aforementioned conditions, it cannot cut off its hand from Syria and view Turkey as a neighboring country.

If we look at the objective circumstances, there are many facts confirming that the normalization of relations between Ankara and Damascus now will not reach the level of eliminating the Autonomous Administration, nor will change much of the equation in North East Syria, for several reasons:

1- The decision to eliminate the Autonomous Administration and restore Damascus’ control over North and East of Syria is not in the hands of Damascus, in order to pledge this to Turkey – in the event of normalization – to do so. If Damascus were able to do that, it would have done it even without reconciliation with Turkey. Moreover, without normalization, the two sides have never stopped indirect cooperation to fight the Autonomous Administration, and therefore normalization will not change anything from the equation, especially with the continued presence of the Coalition and the US in the region.

2- The future of the Assad government is still suspended, and it has not been officially recognized, either by the Arabs or the West, and all the attempts of some Gulf and Arab countries to pull it from Iran’s fold and return it to its Arab surroundings, in exchange for re-floating Assad, have failed, because Assad has not made any change in his relations with Iran. This means that even if Turkey was able fully to normalize relations with Damascus, this does not mean that the Syrian regime has overcome the risks of its departure. On the contrary, Turkey’s reconciliation with the regime may increase the return of Arab and Western pressures on the Assad government, and demands for his departure.

3- The Turkish attacks and violations in the North and East of Syria during 2022

The Turkish occupation and its factions committed thousands of violations against the regions of North East Syria and its residents during 2022, and it is considered the bloodiest and most materially and physically harmful year for the population, after the Turkish invasion of the regions of Tal Abyad and Serêkaniyê / Ras al-Ain in 2019. The number of the Turkish attacks reached during 2022, to 17,596 violations, according to the statistics of the (SDF) Media Center, and the Turkish occupation used fighter jets in these attacks, alongside drones, artillery and tanks, and caused great damage to the infrastructure, residential areas, as well as roads and farms, threatening openly and clearly causing a humanitarian catastrophe, especially in light of the widespread destruction and continuous bombing by the war machine of the occupation.

4- The SDF and Coalition operations against ISIS in 2022 

The 2022 year witnessed an escalation of cooperation between the International Coalition and the SDF to chase ISIS sleeper cells, in addition to the continued providing logistical and military aid and the deployment of reinforcements by the Coalition to North East Syria. In this context, the two sides launched 67 security operations, which resulted in the arrest and killing of 318 ISIS sleeper cells, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

As for the “People’s Hammer” operation launched by the SDF in Al-Sina’a (industry) prison on January 2022 as a response to ISIS launching a massive attack on the prison in an attempt to smuggle thousands of its detainees there, the SDF announced that 3,500 detainees of “ISIS” had been arrested, in batches, of those who tried to escape from prison, as they were forced to surrender and the SDF took back the control of the building in which they were holed up. While 386 terrorists who attacked the prison from outside were killed during clashes.

The increasing pace of cooperation between the International Coalition and SDF, in 2022, and the infliction of painful blows on ISIS sleeper cells, prompted the latter to launch several attacks on the SDF headquarters, and attempts to target prisons and Al-Hol camp, to smuggle detained ISIS members and ISIS families, the last of which was “ISIS” attacks On December 26, 2022, against SDF headquarters and a prison that houses hundreds of ISIS members in the city of Raqqa. The latest ISIS activity came in light of the escalation of the Turkish threats against North and East Syria, and the SDF’s preoccupation with preparations to confront any possible Turkish military operation.

Aiming at curbing ISIS activity, which has increased recently, by taking advantage of the Turkish threats against the region, the SDF announced on December 29, 2022, the launching of an operation called “Al-Jazeera Thunderbolt” with the support of the International Coalition to chase ISIS cells in the areas of Al-Hol and Tal Hamis.

The International Coalition also pursued the leaders and members of ISIS and the jihadists present within Idlib and the Turkish occupation areas in the countryside of Aleppo and Al-Raqqa, by targeting them from the air and carrying out landing operations, where the activists of the (SOHR) were able to document 7 operations of the International Coalition in the aforementioned areas during 2022, two of them in Idlib, 3 in the “Euphrates Shield” areas, 1 in the “Olive Branch” areas, and 1 in the “Peace Spring” areas. These operations resulted in the death of 19 people and the arrest of at least three others.

5- Iran’s protests and its implications on the Syrian file

During 2022, the Iranian regime witnessed one of the greatest challenges it has faced since the foundation of the Islamic Republic. The popular demonstrations broke out, which spread all over the Iranian provinces a couple months ago, after the Iranian Morality Police had killed the Kurdish girl. It coincided with the Iranian domestic and foreign policy facing a state of deadlock that it has not experienced in four decades.

Unlike the previous protests, these angry protests are a call for a radical change of the regime in Iran, which were factional, with specific demands, and lacked popular solidarity among all components of the Iranian people. These protests are considered as the longest uprising that the Islamic Republic has witnessed since its foundation in 1979.

What is remarkable about this popular movement is the leadership of the new generation and women in leading the protests, insisting on moving forward in destroying the pillars of the Islamic system, bringing about structural changes and social transformations that do not accept turning back, and creating a culture and a new state of consciousness, in which the freedom is going to be its main pillar.

The beginning of the change

Despite the Iranian regime’s response to the demonstrations and its resort to a brutal crackdown in its quest to quell them, it has become clear that this regime is in a state of confusion and lacks any strategy to take control of this movement, which surprised the regime with its continuity and innovative tools that drain regime’s energy in a focused and thoughtful manner.

When we examine at the events on the ground in Iran, we find that change has already occurred, and this is evident in the streets, schools, public places, and even in official circles, where we find many women and girls do not wear scarves (Hijab), which is considered the first defensive line for the Iranian regime to defend the principles and values ​​of the Islamic Revolution. .

This change does not accept any kind of way back, and changing this new reality requires more violence on the part of the regime, which would cause the fire of protests to be fanned, especially since the indicators of this direction that the regime has already taken, by killing Demonstrators and the start of executing arrested demonstrators, confirm the demonstrators’ determination to confront and move towards achieving their demands for change.

The Iranian regime’s plight

The continuation of the Iranian protests in this rate, in parallel with the civil disobedience movement, and the Iranian regime’s inability to resolve it, will contribute, over time, to the joining of wider segments to the movement, after paving the way for other segments that are still afraid of the regime’s oppression until now. This would put the Iranian regime in a real dilemma, and we might witness a crack in the structure of the regime, and within its security and military institutions, which many observers suggest that there is a conflict between its wings. This may be evident from the recent sermon of the supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, who addressed the “Basij” militia, which has absolute loyalty to him and his regime, and sharpened the determination of its members, urging them not to be weak in front of the popular movement and to continue cracking down, without addressing the regular army or the “Guard.” Revolutionary and not involving them on a large scale in cracking down the protests, in order to prevent the major defections, which might end up in overthrowing his regime quickly.

What also confirms the Iranian regime’s confusion is the audio leaks of some security agencies that talk about how different these demonstrations are from their predecessors, and that the demonstrators are determined to engage in a long-term revolution against the regime.

In this context, we can also read the extent of the depth of the threat facing the Iranian regime, from the recent statements of the commander of the Revolutionary Guards, Hussein Salami, who confirmed that the conditions in Iran are dangerous and momentous.

The international pressures

There is no doubt that the explosion of the domestic situation in Iran this way was desired by many countries, which had been engaged in a cold, almost a sterile conflict with Iran, especially (US).

The prospect of reaching a consensual formula for reviving the nuclear deal has been blocked, and Iran is being stubborn not making any concessions, especially with regard to its missile program, its destabilizing regional interventions in neighboring countries, its failure to comply with the International Atomic Energy Agency(IAAE),  by not presenting its guarantees that Iran has fulfilled its obligations under the “Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons(NPT).” treaty and providing clarifications about the traces of enriched uranium discovered in three secret sites, all of which would push the West and (US) to pursue an escalating policy against Iran, and go towards actually supporting the popular movement, and this is what we did not witness in the previous popular protests, despite of the fact that the Iranian regime had severely repressed them, the most recent of which was the 2019 uprising, in which nearly 1,500 demonstrators were killed within three days, according to international reports, while the number of people killed in the current protests has reached nearly 500 since its outbreak four months ago.

The other issue that will strengthen the position of these countries against the Iranian regime is the latter’s alignment with Russia in its war against Ukraine, its supply of drones to Russia, its intention to supply with it ballistic missiles, and providing facilities for the it to transport equipment and personnel from Syria via Iranian airlines to the battlefields.

The US and European sanctions followed successively against those in charge of crackdowns against popular protests in Iran, the most significant of which was Iran’s kicking out from the Women’s Rights Committee at the United Nations, which is considered a serious beginning of a change in the Western position on the Iranian regime, or perhaps the beginning of imposing international isolation on Iran.

We also notice, with regard to the resonance of the Iranian popular movement abroad, is the creation of an unprecedented global state of solidarity with this movement, in parallel with the formation of an Iranian lobby of the Iranian community opposing the regime abroad, which works diligently to strengthen global solidarity with the movement back home. This is vis-a-vis “Nayak”, the lobby of the Islamic Republic, which is always working to polish its image in front of public opinion and global decision-making centers.

Undoubtedly, it is the Iranian people at home who will determine the course of this uprising, through its continuity and the dismantling of the regime’s power from inside, and this in turn needs time, and if events proceed in this way, it is likely that we will witness the disintegration of the regime alongside military, political and institutional defections, and this would then prompt (US) and the West to line up publicly to support, more effectively, the opposition front that would be formed against the regime.

We also do not rule out directing military strikes against nuclear facilities, after reaching conviction of the weakness of the effectiveness of the Iranian regime’s response, the US Special Envoy for Iran, Robert Malley pointed out “if none of the diplomatic efforts to stop Iran from obtaining a nuclear bomb succeed, the US President, Joe Biden will agree as a last resort to a military option”. This intention probably reflected in the joint air maneuvers between (US) and Israel, at the end of last November, which were considered the largest between the two countries, as these maneuvers simulated the use of aircraft to bomb Iranian nuclear facilities.

The impact of the Iranian crisis on the Syrian file

Iran is considered one of the main supporters of the Syrian regime, since the start of the Syrian crisis in 2011, and it has not hesitated to support it with money, weapons and military expertise, just as Iranian oil tankers have repeatedly docked at Syrian ports in order to supply the Syrian government with the necessary fuel, in light of the international sanctions imposed on Syria, in particular the Caesar Act.

With the outbreak of the recent Iranian protests, and the expansion of its spot, the Iranian regime was preoccupied with trying to quell these protests and protect itself from the danger of collapse, subsequently; its support for the Syrian regime had been affected. Perhaps, the deepening domestic crisis in Iran, the energy crisis in the cities of the Syrian interior, and the Syrian pound’s loss of its value against the US dollar to unprecedented levels, are a reflection of the decline in the level of this support.

On the other hand, some political aspects inside Syria would probably be affected, in the light of the Iranian internal crisis getting worse, especially in the rapprochement between the Autonomous Administration and the Damascus government, as it was likely that Iran was standing in the way of this rapprochement, despite Russian efforts to push it forward. This is because any constitutional recognition of the rights of the Kurdish people in Syria would have an impact on stirring the Kurdish issue inside Iran as well. Accordingly, the deepening economic crisis in Syria, the preoccupation of Iran with its domestic situation, and Russia with its war with Ukraine, we might witness flexibility on the part of Damascus towards the Autonomous Administration in the next phase, The Turkish-Syrian rapprochement attempts could be an anticipation of the distance that will widen over time between the Syrian and Iranian regimes in the future, as a proactive step that impedes any constitutional recognition of the Autonomous Administration.

6- The collapse of the Syrian pound and expectations that the 2023 would be economically the hardest

Economic circles suggested that the 2023 would be the hardest economically for the Syrians, in the areas controlled by the Syrian regime, based on their expectations on the numbers of the draft general budget for the new fiscal year approved by the “Supreme Council for Economic and Social Planning.”

(The regime’s council had approved the initial appropriations for the state’s draft general budget for the 2023 estimated about 16 trillion and 550 billion Syrian pounds, an increase of 24.2% compared to the 2022 budget).

The value of the new budget is 5 billion and 881 million dollars, according to the exchange rate of remittance dollars set at 2814, while to the price of the dollar on the black market (5250 Syrian pounds), is estimated to 3 billion and 152 million dollar, while the value of the 2022 budget was around 3 billion and 90 million dollars based on the exchange rate of the dollar on the black market when the draft budget was approved at the time (3470 Syrian pounds).

However, the general draft of the budget for the new fiscal year was carried out according to the price of 3,000 Syrian pounds to the dollar, as the budget appropriations amount to 5 billion and 516 million dollars.

In general, the value of the initial appropriations appears to be somewhat close to the value of the previous budget, which means that the economic burdens on the Syrians will increase. Given that the new appropriations did not take into account the high rate of inflation on the local and international levels, in addition to the potential repercussions of the policy of the deficit financing at a high and accumulated rate estimated at 5 trillion Syrian pounds.

Thus, it is likely that the regime will continue issuing treasury bonds in the 2023, in addition to printing new monetary blocks, or what is called “deficit financing,” although this will lead to an exacerbation of inflation and an even lower exchange rate of the Syrian pound.

The regime paves the way for the issuance of large cash denominations, by increasing the powers granted to the Central Bank of Syria to print new currencies of denominations up to the value of 50,000 Syrian pounds, while the old authorization authorizes the printing of currencies up to 5,000 Syrian pounds.

7- Israel has struck Syria 32 times within 2022

Israel’s attacks continued during 2022 on Syrian territory against the sites of the Syrian regime, Iranian militias, and Lebanese Hezbollah, bringing the number of strikes to 32 times, during which Israel targeted Syrian territory, whether by missile or air strikes, which resulted in the injury and destruction of about 91 targets, including buildings and warehouses of weapons, ammunition, headquarters, centers and vehicles.

These strikes killed 89 soldiers, in addition to injury of 121 others of varying degrees based on what was documented by the (SOHR).

8- The US policy during Biden’s Era and its implications of on the Syrian file

It is no secret that the US President, Joe Biden, translated his slogan “America is Back” on the ground, which clearly appeared in the various areas of conflict to limit the escalation and expansion of Chinese, Russian and Iranian influence, America’s getting back to its position on the international scene, working to strengthen and bolster its relations with its allies in the world in general, and in the Middle East and Eastern Europe in particular, aiming at protecting American strategic interests and its areas of influence.

America continued moving forward in its support for the (SDF), within the framework of the international coalition to defeat ISIS, and to prevent its resurgence. At a time when the attacks of ISIS sleeper cells increased against the sites of the (SDF) and the areas of influence of the USA in Syria.

America follows a somewhat ambiguous policy in Syria in general, and the regions of North and East Syria in particular, with the exception of its support for Security Council Resolution 2254, and the Caesar Act sanctions imposed on the Syrian regime. Besides, announcing the reasons for its presence in Syria, which is manifested in combating (ISIS) terrorism, stopping Iranian expansion in Syria, and reaching a political solution to the Syrian crisis.

In light of the Russian-American conflict rage in Ukraine, we expect a tougher stance towards Russian influence in Syria throughout increasing the support and enabling of the (SDF) in Syria, aiming at protecting its strategic interests and continuing to confront Russian, Iranian, and even Turkish expansion. As America opposed – more than once – during this year, any new Turkish invasion against the regions of North and East of Syria, and forced Erdogan to back down from his threats.

Al-Furat Center for Studies-Translation Department.