For Russia, the Syrian conflict is clearly a burden, but it is also a source of influence, through which the Kremlin has sought to develop its regional alliances, especially with Iran.
Recent changes in the Turkish government and the consolidation of Kurdish gains in Syria and Iraq may cause a shift in Turkey’s Syria policy.
For Turkey, changing course on Syria would be problematic and painful, but staying the course would be no less costly.
Highly sectarian media coverage and rhetoric surrounding the campaign to retake the Iraqi city of Fallujah threatens to further damage the strained social fabric of Iraq.
Russia and Iran are now trapped in a situation of mutual dependence where both stand to lose if the pact between Moscow, Tehran, and Damascus should fall apart.
Russia’s September 2015 aerial intervention in Syria would not have succeeded without a parallel Iranian intervention on the ground.
If negotiations fail to overcome the divide between rebel factions, the East Ghouta may be heading for a permanent internal split.
Iraq’s parliament is facing an unprecedented crisis centered around Prime Minister Abadi’s two failed attempts to pass a list of candidates for a new cabinet of so-called technocrats.
Tensions among rebel groups in Syria’s East Ghouta threaten to destabilize the enclave and perhaps even the broader Syrian rebellion.