Rami Al-Shaer, an advisor to the Russian foreign ministry, told The New Arab’s affiliate Syria TV that the Assad regime was prepared to work with and coordinate with the US “regarding all issues related to the Middle East” as long as Washington accepted Assad’s rule over Syria.
He said that the regime was taking this step due to differences that have arisen with its main ally Russia, recently exacerbated by fighting between the regime and rebels in Daraa.
Al-Shaer told Syria TV that a potential deal with the US would be a “kiss of life” to the Syrian regime, which he said was prepared to give the US oversight over the Syrian issue in exchange, marginalizing Russia.
He said that the Syrian regime was aware of Daraa province’s proximity to Israel and that continued fighting could potentially lead to a wider war with complex consequences. Assad therefore was prepared to coordinate with Israel and its ally the US in the region.
The province of Daraa saw some of the earliest protests against the regime in 2011, and was a rebel stronghold until captured by the Assad regime in 2018.
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Fighting broke out in the Daraa Al-Balad area of Daraa in June when residents of the city refused to participate in presidential elections which saw Bashar Al-Assad re-elected with an improbable 95.1% of the vote and was widely dismissed as a sham.
Al-Shaer said that Russia’s insistence on a ceasefire in Daraa and an agreement with rebels had placed the regime in a precarious position, amid ongoing unpopularity exacerbated by Syria’s economic crisis.
“Damascus for the past three years has bet that a division would happen between the Astana guarantor nations – Iran, Russia, and Turkey and used every means to bring this about and do away with the Astana peace deals,” he told Syria TV.
“I wouldn’t be exaggerating if I say that 90% of the Syrian people want a change in government”, Al-Shaer added.
He said the regime feared that peace deals with rebels in Daraa and their continued presence on the ground could lead to political change in Syria.
Al-Shaer added that he did not believe the US would accept the regime’s overtures, saying that the Biden administration was coordinating with Russia to implement UN Security Council Resolution 2254, which calls for a political settlement in Syria.