October 21, 2022

The U.S. Needs a New Policy Toward Syria

Back to All
by Hadeel Oueis, Senior Research Fellow

Now is the best time to work with Gulf states and use the prospect of sanctions relief as leverage to prevent Iran from imposing its own conditions on Damascus.

Normalization with Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad is emblematic of the new approach Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, once a sworn enemy of the Syrian regime, has taken. Last month Erdogan expressed his willingness again to meet with Assad during a multilateral summit in Uzbekistan.

The fact that Turkey, once a leading advocate for regime change in Syria, is now sending clear signals about its readiness to reconcile with Damascus after similar gestures from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) should lead the United States to consider a new policy toward Syria.

The United States should lift some sanctions to improve the lives of the Syrian people in return for ensuring Assad’s cooperation in eliminating Iranian influence in Syria…