A year on Astana agreement, the winners are Iranians, Russians, Turks, the regime, and the biggest losers are the opposition factions, Tahrir al-Sham and ISIS
A whole year passed on the radical change of control in the Syrian territory, in which the control has been altering, transforming the loser into a bigger winner, and the wide-influential owners into scattered few-thousand kilometers controllers, within enclaves remained for them. Astana 4 has launched a lethal bullet on the influence of certain parties, making successive and gradual shifts and transformations through military operations and displacement deals; whose victims were civilians who did not trust the regime, so, whomever refused the agreements was displaced, and those who remained and refused to get out have stayed under the mercy of regime’s whip and Russian tricks, which is not trustworthy itself.
With Astana 4 before a whole year; the regime forces used to control an area about 36000 km² which is 19.3% of Syrian land area, and it was the third most powerful force in Syria, after the “Islamic State” organization, which was the most powerful force with more than 72300 km² which is 39.1% of the Syrian land area, while the Syria Democratic Forces was ranked second and controlled about 22.1% of the Syrian land area which is about 41000 km², while the rebel and Islamic factions, Hayyaat Tahrir Al-Sham, the Islamic Turkestani party and factions that include “jihadists” fighters, which used to control large parts of the Syrian territory have retreated in many areas, where they control 19.2% of Syrian territory with a geographical area reached over 35500 km² of the area of Syria, and within the overall area of control of the factions; the “Euphrates Wrath” Operation Forces and Turkish forces in the northeastern countryside of Aleppo control over 2250 km² which is 1.2% of the Syrian area, while the US-and-western-backed factions in the Syrian desert control the areas starting from line of the al-Tanf – Kherbet al-Shahmi crossing until the north of Khebret al-Zaqf camp, in which there is a camp of these factions; and the size of their controlled are is about 3540 km² which is 1.9% of the Syrian area.
And with the retreat of the “Islamic State” organization the factions have become the 3rd force in Syria, after the regime forces and the Syria Democratic Forces, also Jaysh Khalid Ibn al-Walid which swore allegiance to the “Islamic State” organization controls an area of about 250 km² which is 0.1% of the Syrian land area, and located in the Yarmouk basin in the western countryside of Daraa, adjacent to the occupied Syrian Golan.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitored all the military operations and the displacement agreements, which took place in the eastern Homs desert to the entire west banks of the Euphrates River in Deir Ezzor Province, with parts of the countryside of Al-Raqqah, Aleppo countryside and Rif Dimashq from the Eastern Ghouta, Qalamoun mountains and southeastern countryside of Idlib, the countryside of Hama and the countryside of Homs, where the military operations of all parties have included the provinces of Damascus, Rif Dimashq, Aleppo, Hama, Homs, Idlib, Al-Raqqah, Deir Ezzor, al-Suwaidaa and Daraa.
The military operations of the regime forces and their allies have enabled them to achieve a large and vast advancement on the Syrian territory, recovering hundreds of villages towns and cities from the hands the “Islamic State” organization, Hayyaat Tahrir Al-Sham and opposition factions, and the ratio of control has switched between the regime forces and the “Islamic State” organization, and with it, the factions’ control has also changed, where the regime forces became the party that control the most in Syria, after regaining about 75438 square kilometers since May 2017, the date of the start of Astana meeting, and the regime forces control an area about 11140 km² which is 60.2% of Syrian land area, while the Syria Democratic Forces remained the second and controlled despite losing Afrin area –which is one of the most important areas for the Syria Democratic Forces–, about 26.7 % of the Syrian land area which is about 49400 km², while the factions’ ration fell down and they lost more than half of the size of their controlled areas, where they control 10.1 % of the Syrian territory with a geographical area reached about 18703 km² of the area of Syria, and within the overall area of control of the factions; the rebel and Islamic factions and Hayyaat Tahrir al-Sham control about 11465 km² which is 6.2 % of Syria’s area, while the “Euphrates Wrath” Operation Forces and Turkish forces in the northeastern countryside of Aleppo and Afrin area control over 3695 km² which is 2 % of the Syrian area, while the US-and-western-backed factions in the Syrian desert control the areas starting from line of the al-Tanf – Kherbet al-Shahmi crossing until the north of Khebret al-Zaqf camp, in which there is a camp of these factions; and the size of their controlled are is about 3540 km² which is 1.9% of the Syrian area.
And the “Islamic State” organization has lost more than two thirds of the areas it used to control in Syria back in May 2018, and now it controls about 5643 km² which is 3 % of the Syrian land area, this includes Jaysh Khalid Ibn al-Walid which swore allegiance to the “Islamic State” organization, which controls an area of about 250 km² which is 0.13 % of the Syrian land area, and located in the Yarmouk basin in the western countryside of Daraa, adjacent to the occupied Syrian Golan.
The regional – international deception represented by Russia, Iran and Turkey, and the trick of stopping the hostilities that all military and political actors have bought, and directing the rifle collectively towards one enemy which is the “Islamic State” organization, have given the regime and Russians a huge gain within the Syrian territory in terms of the vast control of areas, they have also granted the Iranians a strategic gain through opening of the road of Tehran – Beirut, by imposing their control on the western banks of Euphrates River, the Turks have also had their share of Astana deal, and they took control of the entire area of Afrin by Operation “Olive Branch”, extending their border strip inside Syrian the territory from the west Bank of the Euphrates River to the border between Aleppo and the countryside of Idlib, while the Kurdish Forces have lost the entire area of Afrin, also the factions have lost their entire presence in Rif Dimashq Province, the southeastern countryside of Idlib, the southern and northeastern countryside of Hama, and the northern countryside of Homs, and the control operations were carried out as military operations and displacement agreements.
High resolution link for the map of distribution of the military forces within the Syrian territory and ration of control of each party in the first anniversary of “Astana 4” agreement