The fall of Deir ez-Zor and the collapse of Daesh in Syria

What the Fall (WTF) ?!

The Fall of Deir ez-Zor and the Geopolitics of Levant

Foreign Policy Concepts Editorial

The relentless advances by the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) against the Islamic State, or ISIS, that have led to the fall of Deir ez-Zor bring into surface an emerging landscape of the Levant. Geopolitically, the new Levant is bound to be starkly different from its pre-civil war condition.

Four key factors contribute to making the new Levant unambiguously different from its former self:

  • A renewed and strengthened Iranian presence with the possibility of having its own military bases in Syria;
  • An emboldened Russia that is unabashedly projecting power against Saudi-inspired violent Islamists, which Moscow regards among the biggest strategic threats against its national and geostrategic interests;
  • The flow of investment from China for Syria’s reconstruction, partly as a reward for Assad’s resistance against the non-existent moderate rebels, many of whom happened to be citizens of China; and partly as a step toward making Syria a node for China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI);
  • The rise of new geo-energy dynamics involving export of hydrocarbon energy to the European markets.

The world has yet to witness the geopolitical implications of the fall of Syria back to Assad’s hands.

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