By Christopher KozakGrand Strategic Objectives:
• [Syrian Regime] Preserve the rule of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in a post-war Syria encompassing the entire pre-war Syrian state
• [Iran] Preserve a viable Syrian regime led by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad as a key member of the ‘Axis of Resistance’; achieve strategic positioning against Israel
• [Russia] Preserve the Syrian state – not necessarily Syrian President Bashar al-Assad – as a key foothold in the Middle East and an ally against terrorism
• [Hezbollah] Prevent the spread of the Syrian Civil War into Lebanese core terrain
• [Syrian Regime] Maintain Syrian territorial integrity through an ‘army in all corners’; consolidate Syrian civilian population in regime-held areas; bolster international and domestic legitimacy as ruler of Syria.
• [Iran] Position against Israel in southern Syria along the Golan Heights; preserve access to supply lines from Syria to Hezbollah in Lebanon; develop network of Syrian proxies to maintain Iranian influence if regime falls
• [Iran/Russia] Enable Syrian regime to defend core terrain along Syrian central corridor
• [Hezbollah] Secure Lebanese border region against incursion by militant groups
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