RussianIranianTurkish trilateral relations in the Syrian civil war

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Vienna School of International Studies

RussianIranianTurkish trilateral relations in the Syrian civil war
// Pathways to Peace and Security. 2023. No 1 (64) . P. 76-110
DOI: 10.20542/2307-1494-2023-1-76-110

Abstract. The Syrian uprisings in 2011 transformed into a fragmented, internationalized, and highly intensive civil war. The confrontation in Syria involved numerous local forces, regional stakeholders and outside powers. Among those various actors, Türkiye, Russia, and Iran played the key role in shaping the outcome of the conflict. Despite support by Russia/Iran and Turkey to the opposite sides in a civil war, the three powers successfully delineated their respective spheres of influence and established a modus vivendi to coexist and co-manage the conflict in Syria. The trio has worked as equals, checking and balancing each other in their actions in the Syrian Arab Republic. As the crisis in Ukraine escalated, a new geopolitical reality emerged, affecting the Syrian theater and the related balance between three leading external actors. Russia’s decreased focus on Syria led to an expanding Iran, disturbing the balance of power and pushing Israel to intervene more assertively. Erupting competition between Ankara and Tehran could also lead to escalation. This article attempts to provide a picture of the complex triangular interplay between the Islamic Republic of Iran, Russia, and Türkiye in Syria. It outlines the divergent and converging interests of the three as well as their actions and policies vis-à-vis Syria. The work explores whether antagonistic aspirations are bridged or not and investigates where the potential for escalation lies.

Keywords: Syria, Iran, Russia, Türkiye, the Astana process, civil war


About author

Amin Vogel (Austria) is a Postgraduate student at the Vienna School of International Studies (Diplomatische Akademie Wien).


Registered in System SCIENCE INDEX

For citation:
Vogel A. RussianIranianTurkish trilateral relations in the Syrian civil war // Pathways to Peace and Security. 2023. No 1 (64) . P. 76-110. https://doi.org/10.20542/2307-1494-2023-1-76-110



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