Kurdish issue and Turkey’s relations with Iraq and Syria: 1991-2016

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2018
Akgün, Alper
This thesis aims to analyze the dynamics of Iranian role in the Syrian civil war, by assessing the impact of pragmatism and ideology over Iran‘s foreign policy in the conflict. This work will analyze the Islamic Republic‘s military involvement discussing whether Iran is shifting its defensive military doctrine towards a more offensive and aggressive policy. The thesis argues that during the first stage of Iran involvement in Syria, due to its historical alliance with Syria the reasons behind its involvement have been driven by a defensive stance. However, due to the deterioration of Assad position on the ground, Iran‘s actions have consistently turned more assertive, thus representing a substantial shifting in Iran‘s asymmetrical warfare. Finally, this study asserts that Iran‘s actual policy in Syria, due to its high military involvement, has increased Iran‘s power projection capacity, giving Iran consistent ability to waging conventional and symmetrical wars.