Sonntag, 11.06.2017 / 11:21 Uhr

Der Landkorridor steht

Thomas von der Osten-Sacken

 Iran kann Vollzug melden: Der lang ersehnte Landkorridor ans Mittelmeer steht. Mit allen Konsequenzen, die dies für Syrien, den Libanon und Israel haben wird:

For the first time since the Syrian civil war began, Iranian-backed militias appear to have secured a road link from the Iranian border all the way to Syria’s Mediterranean coast. The new land route will allow the Iranian regime to resupply its allies in Syria by land instead of air, which is both easier and cheaper.

The road network, which starts on Iran’s border with Iraq and runs across that country and Syria, was secured last week, when pro-Iranian Shiite militias captured a final string of Iraqi villages near the border with Syria. The road link zigs and zags across the two countries, but it appears to give Iran direct, uninhibited access to Damascus and the government of Bashar al-Assad, which the Iranians have been supporting since the uprising there began, in 2011. Since then, the Iranians have been Assad’s primary backer, sending men, guns, and other material by air and sea. (...)

“The corridor is done,’’ a Kurdish official told me, speaking on the condition of anonymity. “The Iranians can go from the Iranian border all the way to the Mediterranean.” Officials with the K.R.G. oppose the Iranian road. In 2012, they rebuffed an Iranian request to transit their territory to Syria. They want the Trump Administration to help block it now. “It’s an Iranian road,’’ Fabrice Balanche, a visiting fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, said.

The development is potentially momentous, because, for the first time, it would bind together, by a single land route, a string of Iranian allies, including Hezbollah, in Lebanon; the Assad regime, in Syria; and the Iranian-dominated government in Iraq. Those allies form what is often referred to as the Shiite Crescent, an Iranian sphere of influence in an area otherwise dominated by Sunni Muslims.