“Depuis quelques semaines, le gaz naturel est source de nombreuses tensions en Méditerranée orientale : le bloc 9 de gaz naturel disputé entre Israël et le Liban est devenu l’objet de menaces entre les deux pays. Et la Turquie a bloqué un navire italien lançant des opérations de forage dans le bloc 3 disputé entre les Grecs et les Turcs chypriotes. Ces tensions illustrent l’évolution du paysage stratégique de la Méditerranée orientale depuis 2009.” expliquait Joe Macaron, Analyste à l’Arab Center (Washington) sur les conflits au Proche-Orient dans un article publié le 5 mars 2018, dans Orient XXI, “Montée des tensions autour du gaz en Méditerranée, Israël face au Liban, la Turquie face à Chypre”. Cliquez ici pour voir le lien vers l’article de France Culture.
While this level of diplomatic involvement might not always be needed, the United States should keep these actors engaged and their calculations in check. Hezbollah does not want to give the impression of conceding to Israel, and the Lebanese government wants to avoid the pitfall of directly negotiating with Israel. In return, there are no high stakes in this maritime dispute for Israel, which is not motivated to give a gift to Lebanon with nothing in return. That’s the core of the stalemate. Click here to read my latest analysis.
My take on whether the Syrian war is over or not, part of a regular survey of experts on matters relating to Middle Eastern and North African politics and security by Carnegie Middle East Center. Click here for the full link.
“The war in Syria is multifaceted and from it various parallel conflicts have emerged over the years. The civil war came to an end with the U.S.-Russian ceasefire agreement for southern Syria last July. The war against the Islamic State was mostly concluded this month with the recapture of all border crossings between Syria and Iraq. Continued tensions along the borders of Israeli-controlled territory and Turkey, if not properly addressed, might lead to asymmetric warfare between Israel and Hezbollah or between Turkish and Kurdish forces.
Rather than Syrian rivals voluntarily negotiating a deal, it was external factors that imposed a cessation of hostilities. Turkey’s realignment toward Russia and Iran, which led to a fragile nationwide ceasefire in Syria last December, and the U.S. decision last July to terminate arming the Syrian rebels, have closed the supply lines to the northern and southern front of the armed opposition. Washington also endorsed Moscow’s concept of deconfliction zones across Syria. While influential foreign actors are making long-term plans for postwar Syria, putting in place a stable and prosperous order is not on the horizon. The armed conflict is gradually shifting to a political battle that will determine what kind of Syria will emerge from the conflict and who will run the country’s security, politics, and economics”.