There is no doubt that the Damascus regime is at the forefront of the governments whose relations with Iran have exceeded the existing level between any two friendly countries. Indeed, it can be confirmed that Syria, during the era of al-Assad the son, has become a vital area for direct Iranian influence. Some Iranian officials may even view it as an Iranian province and should Its affairs are run from Tehran.
This Iranian perception has been strengthened in a more clear way since the outbreak of the Syrian revolution in March 2011, as Iran was the de facto supporter of the Assad regime in confronting the uprising of the Syrian people. Indeed, Iranian leaders may have become the actual decision-makers just as they are the field leaders in drawing up confrontation strategies and planning. To besiege cities, and then force their residents to empty them, as the former commander of the Quds Force in the Revolutionary Guards, Qassem Soleimani, did in his siege of the city of Darayya and Moadamiyat al-Sham in the summer of 2015.
Based on this al-Assad identification with Iranian policies and Damascus’ absolute dependence on Iranian hegemony, the Gulf leaders built their policies regarding the Syrian revolution. Tendency to directly intervene in the course of the conflict in Syria, and in its field aspect in particular, so it supported factions and military brigades against the Assad regime, and provided them with all the elements of power and influence, and its choice of these factions was accompanied by ideological selectivity, as it supported the factions that carry the ideology of “Salafism” Scientific “, which is in contrast to the Shiite ideology adopted by Iran as a factor of shipping and mobilization for its expansionist project and its policies of expansion.
It can be emphasized that the war on the Syrian geography since mid-2012 embodied in its dimensions a regional and international conflict through local tools, and the Assad regime is no longer the primary target behind these conflicts. The Syrian geography seemed preoccupied with managing the conflict and its continuity more than it was preoccupied with finding solutions to the Syrian issue, which means that the declared goals of each party are not fixed, but rather subject to change and rotation according to the process of managing the conflict and what the balance of power leads to, as well as the strategies of the major countries that witnessed a clear shift. Since late 2015, when Washington formed the “Syrian Democratic Forces” and its goal was to fight “ISIS” away from the Assad regime, it was paralleled by Ankara’s initiative to coordinate with Syrian opposition factions to fight the “SDF”, away from the Assad regime, in a step parallel to the American initiative.
What cannot be ignored is that the turn embodied by Arab policies, led by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and some other countries, towards the Assad regime in the aftermath of the earthquake of February 6, was not far from the shadows of the strategies of the major powers, even though Saudi Arabia and most of the Gulf countries have remained – throughout the years. The precedent – with an American anti-Iranian rhetoric, and is trying to build on it in its call to confront the Iranian threat, but the US rhetoric towards Iran has become let down by actual credibility, and this betrayal is embodied in relation to the Gulf states with great care on the part of the Biden administration, and behind it Europe, to adhere to the nuclear agreement with Iran, and proceeding with the approach of containing Iranian power and coexisting with it instead of confronting or killing it.
Therefore, this American disclosure regarding Iranian policies necessitated a Gulf retreat led by Saudi Arabia, which goes along with the policy of appeasement that Washington pursues towards Iran. There must be a political shift accompanied by actual initiatives towards Iran, and perhaps the first of these initiatives is the agreement that took place between Riyadh and Tehran under the supervision of Beijing, and that agreement carries with it the seeds of all the initiatives undertaken by the Arab League against the Assad regime. Perhaps the entitlements necessitated by this political turn are reflected in the complete Saudi abandonment of the rhetoric of confronting Iran. Indeed, the constant demand of the Gulf states of the Assad regime to distance itself from Iran has become an echo of unnecessary talk to restore it.
Based on these previous transformations, the Syrian issue becomes – according to Gulf policies – part of the echo of the past discourse, which should not become an obstacle to the narrow authoritarian security interests of those countries. Al-Asadi is the opposite of practices, and indeed (the criminal of yesterday) Bashar Al-Assad landed in Jeddah, and he was received as (His Excellency the President of the Syrian Arab Republic).
What happened at the Jeddah summit was a violation of the policy of managing international and regional conflicts. Al-Assad’s attendance at the Arab summit is considered a clear violation of all the decisions of the Arab League, none of which the regime has implemented, and a violation of international resolutions, of which it has not adhered to any decision. This presence of the head of the regime is considered a clear message from The Arab leaders and leaders of the Syrian people, that we were happy with what Assad did to you during the past twelve years, and here we crown the victory wreath and celebrate it and receive it as a hero’s welcome.
The question posed by the Syrian people to these leaders and leaders of Assad’s peers is how can you embrace and shake hands with a person who committed thousands of war crimes against his people and displaced more than half of them, and whose detention centers are filled with hundreds of thousands of women, men and children, and how do you expect the Syrian people to understand this message?