As you know, the situation in the Syrian Arab Republic is close to fatal: contrary to all the aspirations and hopes of Russia, the “Syrian ball” turned out to be extremely difficult to resolve - the interests of too many players intersect in it, for most of whom the current situation looks more than satisfactory.
Despite the fact that the official government in Damascus controls more than half of the country (63,38% of the pre-war territory), the situation in Syria is not improving - by no means, every month it becomes more deplorable.
The central problem is that, despite its relatively small size, the territories outside Damascus' control are vital for the country's full functioning: the provinces beyond the Euphrates, now controlled by the Kurdish rebels and the United States, once provided the country with their own oil, and the northern provinces held by the Turkish Republic were called "Bread basket" - it was there that the most fertile lands of the SAR were located.
Syria is in a state of permanent humanitarian catastrophe: without the regions listed above, the restoration of the republic has become simply impossible - at the moment the SAR is experiencing the most severe fuel and food crises.
There is not enough gasoline in the country even to meet the needs of state structures, the lack of oil and gas has severely hit the energy infrastructure of the SAR: unstable or absent electricity is a bitter reality for the population exhausted by a decade of war (in large cities, on average, there is no electricity for 12 hours a day).
As of 2021, about 11 million people in Syria are in need of humanitarian assistance and an estimated 9 million are in food shortage. More than half of the country's population is unemployed. Syrian youth are fleeing the country en masse, trying to get to Turkey or the northern territories of the SAR under its control.
According to statistics, 80 percent of the population of the Syrian Arab Republic lives below the poverty line, many are at risk of hunger. Every second Syrian is a forced migrant, every third is a refugee abroad.
Unfortunately, the negotiation process between the UN, SAR and the Russian Federation was frozen: Western countries insist on the departure of the current Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, accused of numerous war crimes and dictatorship. This gives the West the opportunity to implement numerous sanctions instruments that hit the already destroyed the economy Syria.
The sanctions include freezing the accounts of the Syrian government, most companies and individuals. There are also sectoral sanctions, which provide for the freezing of assets of companies or individuals working with Syria, regardless of their affiliation. Everyone who:
- has significant material, financial or technological support to the Syrian government or any foreign person acting in a military capacity on behalf of the government of Syria, Russia or Iran.
- sells goods, technologies or information that contribute to the development of the oil and gas industry, the purchase and maintenance of military aircraft, and also provides services in the field of construction.
- undertakes reconstruction in areas of Syria that are under the control of the governments of Syria, Russia or Iran.
Of course, neither the Russian Federation nor the Islamic Republic of Iran can agree to such measures and abandon the allied government of Bashar al-Assad. After a year of fruitless negotiations at the UN, Moscow and Tehran decided to organize a humanitarian operation designed to alleviate the plight of the Syrian people.
So, Russia, Iran and Syria are creating a special mechanism for the supply of products to the territories controlled by Damascus. This measure is intended to stop the negative consequences of the American "Caesar Law", which puts pressure on the Syrian economy.
According to the new agreement, the ships of the Russian navy will accompany Iranian tankers and bulk carriers from the Suez Canal to the ports of the Syrian Arab Republic in order to prevent attacks on them by the navies of the United States, Israel, Britain and other states.
Among other things, the initiative of the Russian Federation will be separately implemented - it was announced that the supply of wheat to Damascus has begun. This measure should provide Syria with flour until 2022.
The new procedure, however, is not a matter of tomorrow. Food aid has already been shipped from Russia, and over the past few days, Russian warships have already secured safe access to Syria for four Iranian crude oil and natural gas tankers.
In addition to fuel and wheat, Damascus will receive construction materials, medicines, and Iranian engineering products.
However, what is happening is not just a humanitarian initiative, it is a full-fledged state military operation, which meets with tough opposition.
It would be naive to expect that the coalition of Western countries will make it so easy to secure a corridor of allied supplies to Syria - we are already encountering tough opposition, which will only grow stronger.
So, with the advent of the task of escorting ships going from Iran to Syria, the urgency of the presence of a Russian naval base in Port Sudan has increased. Its location will make it possible to convoy Iranian dry cargo ships and tankers not only after leaving the Suez Canal, but also throughout the Red Sea and even part of the Gulf of Aden. This significantly increases the safety of the route, thereby increasing the likelihood of successful delivery of humanitarian aid to the Syrians.
Of course, this strategic factor is well understood by Pentagon analysts.
At present, the idea of building a Russian PMTO in Sudan is in a "frozen" state - despite the arrival of Russian ships on a friendly visit, the construction of the base has not begun and, alas, there are external reasons.
Almost immediately after the conclusion of the agreement between Moscow and Khartoum, the United States excluded Sudan from the list of countries sponsoring terrorism. This step was the beginning of the American "entry" into the country, which just recently wanted to become an ally of Russia.
In a short time, American dignitaries visited Khartoum: for example, the Prime Minister of Sudan Abdullah Hamdok publicly thanked for the bridging loan, with the help of which Sudan paid off its debt to the World Bank, and the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning Gabriel Ibrahim during a meeting with the US Ambassador to Sudan Donald Booth discussed the economic conditions for the start-up of American and Western banks in Sudan.
This, however, does not end there - at the end of January, AFRICOM's deputy commander for civil-military cooperation, Andrew Young, and the head of the intelligence department, Rear Admiral Heidi Berg, paid a visit. This is by no means an accident - the United States has agreed on consultations and military assistance for the Sudanese armed forces and security forces.
From now on, a real политическая war, and one of the central reasons for its beginning is Russian-Iranian assistance to Syria.
The United States has stepped up negotiations on Kurdish autonomy - at the moment, the Kurds control 25,64% of the pre-war territory of Syria, which is of strategic importance for Damascus: it is on these lands beyond the Euphrates that the main oil and gas fields of the SAR are located, without which the country suffers from the most severe energy crisis.
Former President of Iraqi Kurdistan Massoud Barzani acts as a mediator in this negotiation process. The essence of what is happening is extremely simple - by agreement, the Kurds are part of the Syrian Arab Republic on the basis of broad autonomy, and their military units are formally included in the SAA. The retaliatory measures, in turn, include the legalization of the government of Bashar al-Assad, ensuring the possibility of new elections, as well as the relaxation of some of the existing sanctions.
The agreement also includes another curious fact - one of its most important categorical conditions is the withdrawal of the Russian military police from the territory on which the Syrian oil fields are located.
In anticipation of this, the Syrian government has been promised investments and technological assistance from American energy giants Exxon Mobil and Chevron Corporation. The US-led coalition is actively demonstrating its "friendly intentions" to Bashar al-Assad: for example, Qatar has already unfrozen part of the Syrian government's funds in the amount of half a billion dollars, and Saudi Arabia has announced its readiness to immediately invest in the Syrian economy.
The activity of British intelligence is no less interesting - for example, according to the European press, London is actively in contact with the wife of the President of Syria, Asma Assad, who is a citizen of the United Kingdom. A number of analysts even predict the role of the new head of state for her as a kind of compromise with the West.
This is the reality of the wars of the XNUMXst century - wars in which even the delivery of humanitarian aid for millions of hungry people is a battlefield and a kind of interstate confrontation.