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Iran in crosshairs as Syrian war winds down

As a resolution to the Syrian conflict grows closer, it is becoming clear that Iran is increasingly in the crosshairs of the Damascus regime's opponents and their backers.
Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif makes a pledge during the second makes a pledge during the second 'Thematic Pledging Session' at the donors Conference for Syria in London, Britain February 4, 2016.   REUTERS/Matt Dunham/pool - RTX25FTG

A new wave of violence seems to be shaking the fragile truce in Syria. On March 19, opposition groups launched a surprise attack on Damascus in apparent coordination with a separate offensive in the countryside of Hama province. The escalation was not solely aimed at the Syrian regime, but also at the two international de facto "caretakers" of the Syrian crisis, Russia and Turkey.

According to an Arab diplomatic source in Beirut who spoke to Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity, the aim of the opposition attacks has been to remind all the parties involved in the Syrian war that no one is totally in control. In this regard, the source said, “The US and the GCC [Gulf Cooperation Council] states were completely absent for the past 6 months, from the US [presidential] election until the Saudi deputy [crown prince and apparent] heir, Mohammad bin Salman, visited Washington. The visit was probably the turning point.”

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