The GPM Global Forecast is a bi-weekly, members-only article series for 2017. It provides analysis and short-term forecasting on key military, political, and economic events around the globe.
Another round of the Astana Talks being held in Kazakhstan
With the Syrian government now in control of most of the country, its backers in Tehran and Moscow, along with a former enemy in Ankara, are brokering another round of talks aimed at securing a long-lasting ceasefire.
The United States is not officially represented in the talks, though it has dispatched a delegation to observe the proceedings.
Up for discussion will be the establishment of de-escalation zones throughout the country and, more importantly, which outside power will serve as guarantor for the ceasefire within these zones. Expect Turkey to push for a larger role in rebel-controlled Idlib due to recent setbacks there for its proxy-of-choice Ahrar al-Sham, which has suffered a series of defeats at the hands of al-Qaeda affiliated coalition Hayat Tahrir al-Sham. Idlib borders Turkey’s Hatay province and its control by an antagonistic paramilitary group would be viewed as a serious threat by the Erdogan government.