Nasr al-Hariri to Asharq Al-Awsat: Russia Studying Alternative Options in Syria
Head of the Syrian Negotiations Commission Nasr al-Hariri said parties supporting regime leader Bashar Assad were now looking for alternative options four years after choosing to become involved in the Syrian conflict.
Hariri told Asharq Al-Awsat that although Russia stood by Iran in backing the regime, Moscow recently started to realize that its two partners are a heavy burden, particularly due to US sanctions.
He explained that security, stability and a political solution can only be achieved after the withdrawal of Iranian military forces from Syria.
He believes that the United States trusts that any solution in Syria would be guaranteed with the implementation of UN Security Council resolution 2254 and withdrawal of Iranian forces.
Moreover, Hariri praised the military contacts between Moscow and Ankara to reach a ceasefire in the northwestern region of Idlib.
The Commission has a priority to implement a truce in the area and is following up with international parties to alleviate the humanitarian suffering and address the catastrophic situation there, he added.
Russia is the most concerned state with ending the military escalation in northern Syria because it signed the Sochi agreement last year and it supports the regime, he continued, calling on the international community to exert more pressure to end the military escalation.
In September 2018, several areas in the countryside of Hama, Idlib and the western countryside of Aleppo were included in a de-escalation zone deal, signed between Russia and Turkey to avert a regime offensive against the last opposition-held stronghold in the war-torn country.
However, in April, the regime launched an operation against the extremist Hayat Tahrir al-Sham group in the Hama countryside in central Syria and nearby Idlib, saying the attacks were a response to the opposition's assault and infiltration attempts into Syrian military sites in the region.
“We are stronger than the regime,” Hariri said.
He explained that the Assad regime is currently in crisis because it failed to restore its relations with the international community, failed to convince the world via Russia about its capacity to return refugees and failed to regain control of regions east of the Euphrates River.