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Syria Brief: Expected developments in next few months

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Key events to look forward to in Syria in the final months of 2017.

1. War in Syria expected to end in December 2017, reconstruction process to start with Chinese and Russian cooperation. Regional powers on good terms with the Eurasian power duo have chances to participate. Global estimates puts reconstruction projects in Syria and Iraq value at around $2 trillion over next 10 years. Excellent opportunity to bring together Arab countries in a push to revive the region. Western powers have rejected participation in the reconstruction process as long as Bashar al-Assad is at the helm of Syria. Which again gives China with its huge economic power an upper hand in the region further diminishing the US regional clout.

2. Syrian-Jordanian borders reopening to be decided upon end of October in meetings between American, Russian and Jordanian security and military officials in Amman. The result will mark a watershed moment for the revival of both political and economic relations between the two countries. For Jordan reopening of the border with Syria will have huge economic benefits, beyond that of the trade between two countries that existed prior to the breakout of war.

3. Syrian Borders with Lebanon to open with full capacity mid-December. – Borders opening with neighboring countries are a clear sign that the war in Syria is winding down. According to Russian MoD reports more than 90% of the territory has been liberated from ISIS, and most is under government control. The remaining pockets are soon to be retaken. De-escalation zones are expected to be regulated and handed over to Syrian government soon, as all major powers have pledged their commitment to the territorial integrity of Syria.

4. Putin and Merkel plan to visit Syria early next year. – Significant point that signal soon ending of hostilities and normalization of relations with the post-war Syrian government.