December 1, The Iran Project – Iran, Russia and Turkey’s commitment to preserve Syria’s unity and territorial integrity is considered as a big step forward which has never been taken by other players in the Syrian conflict –including the United States and Saudi Arabia.
Russia and Iran are the main international backers of the Syrian government in its battle against foreign-backed terrorists.
The recent high-level summit in the Russian Black Sea city of Sochi held by the leaders of Russia, Turkey and Iran has become a logical continuation of the Astana peace process over Syria and opened the door to the upcoming Syrian National Dialogue Congress.
Since March 2011, Syria has been fighting different foreign-sponsored militant and terrorist groups.
At Damascus’ request, Iran has been providing military advisory support to the Syrian military in its counterterrorism operations.
Russia has been also carrying out an aerial campaign in Syria in coordination with Damascus since September 2015 to further boost the Syrian military’s anti-terror fight.
On November 22, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Russia and Turkey at the end of the tripartite talks on Syria issued a statement to call for unity, sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Syria.
The text endorsed by Presidents of Iran, Russia and Turkey reads that the three countries are determined to help restore peace and stability in Syria underlined in the UNSC Resolution 2254.
Iran, Russia and Turkey are to help maintain ceasefire in Syria, the statement said.
The three countries also agreed to continue cooperation till final annihilation of the terrorist groups in Syria, it added.
Erdogan, Putin and Rouhani also discussed progress in the Astana peace talks as well as changes in de-escalation zones across Syria. The zones were established to reinforce a cease-fire introduced by the three guarantor states in December last year.
On Nov 23, Putin said that Iranian, Russian and Turkish presidents agreed to promote counterterrorism cooperation until full annihilation of Daesh, Al-Nusra Front and other terrorist groups.
After the end of the meeting of the three countries’ leaders in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, Putin said that they agreed to actively engage in solving issues such as establishing peace and stability in Syria and preserving sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country.
He also hoped that three countries’ agreements will accelerate trend of solving problems facing Syria and reduce risk of tribal and religious conflicts recurrence.
Russian president also thanked Rouhani and Erdoghan for holding conducive and fruitful talks, saying that Russia, Iran and Turkey approved to continue fighting terrorists including Daesh.
Stressing the need for increasing humanitarian aid to Syria on behalf of Iran, Rusiia and Turkey, he said that the three countries can encourage other countries to the important issue.
Putin pointed out that first step to start dialogue among all the Syrian parties has been taken.
ON November 25, representatives of Iran, Russia and Turkey at the United Nations signed a joint letter to the UN secretary general, demanding that the final statement of a recent summit of their presidents in Sochi be circulated as a United Nations Security Council document.
For sure, the trilateral meeting of presidents of Iran, Russia and Turkey in Sochi was part of political efforts by the three countries to ensure peace in Syria, which is recovering from a civil war that started in 2011 and turned into a brutal militancy including a large number of terrorist groups.
On November 19, Daesh (ISIL) terrorist group was flushed out of its last stronghold in Syria’s Albu Kamal. Liberation of the city marked an end to the group’s self-proclaimed caliphate it had declared in 2014.
The US has been conducting airstrikes against what it says are Daesh targets inside Syria since September 2014 without any authorization from the Damascus government or a United Nations mandate.
To sum up it is worth mentioning that Russia, Turkey and Iran’s efforts aimed at solving the Syrian crisis has borne fruitful results paving the way for the holding of the future National Dialogue Congress in Sochi. It signals that the center of the negotiation process has shifted from Geneva to Asia with the US’ influence on the talks waning.
Tehran, Moscow, and Ankara have also managed to form a genuine anti-terrorist coalition through well-coordinated work.