Eastern Syrian provinces, including Deir ez-Zor, Al-Hasakah, and Raqqa, are amongst the most intricate geopolitical terrains, with multiple local and international forces vying for influence and control. These provinces host a combined total of 167 military sites representing external powers – namely, the International Coalition, Russia, Iran, and Turkey. The distribution and presence of these foreign forces directly shape the security and military landscapes of the region.
This report, supplemented by an accompanying map, delineates the locations of external powers in eastern Syria. It provides an analytical perspective on the roles and missions of these sites, underscoring the profound impact of international actors on Syria's on-ground realities – beyond their already recognized political influence. These international parties maintain their varied interests directly on the ground, and support their local allies within their respective spheres of influence.
A notable polarization exists between the U.S.-led International Coalition and Iran, particularly in Deir ez-Zor. Russia, while certainly a major actor, adds to the complexity, especially in the northern provinces of Al-Hasakah and Raqqa. Here, Coalition forces, Russian and Turkish troops work to establish understandings amidst Iranian expansion efforts, especially in Al-Hasakah.
However, the sheer number of sites doesn't necessarily mirror the magnitude of influence. The accompanying analytical text with the map elaborates on other factors and the impact of each, along with the implications of the geographical distribution portrayed by the map.
This report serves as a comprehensive resource for analysts, experts, and decision-makers, aiding in deciphering the roles of international powers in eastern Syria, their impact on the security and military scenarios, and how local actors' interests align directly with those of international stakeholders.