Geopolitical Dynamics in the Syrian Civil War: The Role of National and Transnational Veto Players in Determining the Future of Syria

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Addis Ababa University


The current Syrian civil war is full of political complexities. Syria’s flux has been accompanied by various narratives and geopolitical interests that are promoted by international, regional and national actors with diverse positions and weights. The US, Russia, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Iran, and the Islamic State in Syria and the Levant (ISIL) are among the main actors on Syria’s conflict pattern. These and other actors provide different and incompatible as well as complex narratives to the Syrian conflict that, in turn, makes the Syrian conflict the worst of all at the global level. It can be observed that (a) Russians and Iranians support the Syrian state and oppose anti-regime groups and ISIL (b) The United States of America backs moderate rebels and Kurdish forces and is against the Syrian state, ISIL and Islamist groups (c) United Kingdom and France assist moderate rebels and are in opposition to the Syrian state, ISIL and Islamist groups, (d) Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Jordan sponsor Islamist and moderate Syrian opposition groups and challenge the Syrian state and ISIL and (e) Turkey helps out rebels and Syrian Turkmen and confronts ISL. These different and complex narratives have not brought any viable solution to the Syrians to date. This research concludes that the interaction of these national and transnational veto players closed the path to peace and security of Syria at the cost of Syrians and Middle Eastern peace. It is very difficult to think of a viable solution through these deliberately formulated and intricate situations where the various irreconcilable interests of the veto players are on the agenda. Durable solutions will not come unless each of the veto players leave or minimize their egoistic interests.



Syrian civil war