Is Syrian war heading towards a new era?
The war in Syria has been ongoing for over a decade now. The sounds of airstrikes, bomb explosions and violence are common and a routine for people of Syria, as the hope of war end is what keeps them going. But the past few days have been busier in the skies as air forces of Israel, Turkey and Russia have become more active in the Syrian skies, bombing targets in Mediterranean coast and deserts of the east in what can be called as the most comprehensive airstrikes by these nations in the past three years.
Launching a new series of ramped up airstrikes in Syria in past few days, Turkey, Israel and Russia have reaffirmed that the conflict in the war struck nation continues to be of raving criticality, with potential to escalate in coming months.
Early on Saturday, with Israeli airstrikes targeting multiple sites along Syria’s coast, loud explosions were heard in Latakia and the cities of Hama and Homs, where Syrian regime forces have re-established strongholds with backing from Russia and Iran. At least four soldiers had been killed in the latest clash between Israeli strikes against Iranian-linked targets. Sunday was the day for Turkish airstrikes targeting Kurdish positions in north-east of Syria, before coarse warnings by Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, of “another ground push into Kurdish centres that his government has earmarked as new homes for up to 1 million Arab refugees who NGOs fear face imminent exile”.
“The war in Syria risks becoming a forgotten conflict,” said Dr Lina Khatib, the director of the Middle East and North Africa programme at the thinktank Chatham House. “But ongoing airstrikes by Turkey, Russia and Israel show that regional interests remain at stake, with each of the three countries targeting its opponents to prevent them from consolidating their influence in Syria.”
“This serves as a reminder that the Syrian conflict is neither an isolated conflict nor a civil war whose stakeholders are solely Syrian. Regional and international interests have always played a role and the recurrent Turkish, Russian and Israeli bombings aim to protect those interests.”