Military Review

The fight for the Middle East. Is the US “giving” Syria to Russia?

The withdrawal of American troops from Syria may lead to the fact that Russia will turn out to be the dominant military-political force in the Middle East. This is now worried by many Western analysts, who think that Moscow has "furnished" Washington in the struggle for the Eastern Mediterranean.

Military bases in Syria

One of the most important reasons for the increased interest of Moscow in the events in Syria was the presence in this country of Russian military bases that allow you to control the situation in the Eastern Mediterranean. For our country, bases on Syrian territory are of strategic importance.

The first important facility is a naval base in the coastal city of Tartus. Officially, it is listed as the 720-th point of material and technical support of the Russian Navy, opened almost half a century ago, in the distant 1971 year. In the post-Soviet period, interest in the base decreased, but then increased again, given the changing political situation in the Middle East and the world as a whole.

In 2015, the base was modernized based on the needs of providing the Mediterranean squadron of the Russian Navy, including up to 10 warships. The territory of the base has been leased for 49 years, and the lease is automatically extended for another 25 years. Now the base is designed for the permanent presence of 11 warships, including warships with a nuclear power plant.

In 2016, a decision was made to reformat the logistics point into a permanent naval base. Its creation is fully in line with Russian interests in this region, as it allows for the permanent deployment of ships of the Mediterranean squadron in the Eastern Mediterranean. Now the base in Tartus is also actively used by submarines of the Russian Navy.

The second important object is aviation Hmeimim base, which is located in the village of Hmeimim, where the Basil al-Assad international airport is located. Currently, this Syrian air base is used by the Aerospace Forces of Russia. On August 26, 2015, the airbase was donated to the Russian armed forces for free and now there are not only the aviation units of the Russian Air Force, but also the headquarters of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation in Syria, and the Center for the Reconciliation of the warring parties and the control of the movement of refugees.

The Khmeimim airbase and the Tartus naval base are key points for establishing Russian interests in Syria. Thanks to these bases, the Russian armed forces have the opportunity to operate not only in Syria itself, but, if necessary, in the Balkans and in the Eastern Mediterranean. The loss of bases, which would be almost inevitable if Bashar al-Assad was overthrown by pro-American forces, would be a serious blow to Russian positions in the Middle East.

In addition to the Russian armed forces, in Syria, according to numerous sources, there are also the formation of private military companies. They solve a variety of tasks - from security services to participating in special operations against the anti-Assad opposition. Syria has become another “hot spot” where a new model of the use of non-state armed groups has been tested.

By the way, almost all countries involved in the Syrian civil war are turning to such “mediators”. Americans support the Kurdish Self-Defense Forces and anti-Assad Sunni fighters, Turkey helps Sunni and Turkmen groups in northern Syria, Saudi Arabia finances a number of Sunni groups, Iran relies on Lebanese Hezbollah and Shiite armed groups from Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The participation in the conflict of groups and forces formally beyond the control of official governments allows us to avoid responsibility for their actions, and on the other hand, minimizes losses among the personnel of the armed forces, which reduces the factor of public discontent. Indeed, the death of mercenaries or volunteers does not cause such a public resonance as the death of servicemen, especially on the call - they say, people went to fight voluntarily and knew very well where and why they were going, their choice.

The war in Syria and the latest weapons

To a certain extent, the military operations in Syria became grandiose “military exercises”, which made it possible to test new types of weapons in practice, to work out the interaction of various types of armed forces and military branches.

At the same time, the Russian command paid special attention to missile and bomb attacks on the bases of Syrian militants. For example, missile attacks on anti-Assad positions were launched from Russian warships located in the Caspian Sea, as well as from submarines in the Eastern Mediterranean. It was the submarine that was in the Mediterranean that launched a missile attack on Racca, where at that time there were large forces of the anti-Assad opposition.

The war in Syria has demonstrated to the whole world that Russia can act not only by ground forces along its borders, but also use the great potential of its naval and aerospace forces. The attacks from the base in the Caspian Sea on distant Syria showed that for Russia it’s not even necessary to send ships in the immediate vicinity of the war zone - there are weaponallowing you to hit thousands of kilometers.

A special role was given to electronic warfare equipment, which American generals were forced to admit, analyzing the situation in Syria. So, back in the spring of 2018, the chief of staff of the command of special operations of the American army was forced to admit that in the Middle East, the American military had to operate in the most severe electronic warfare conditions in the modern world. That is, the Russian army tested in practice new electronic warfare equipment, which proved to be highly effective.

Thanks to the use of the naval base in Tartus, Russia has the opportunity, if necessary, to control submarine communication cables that connect the Middle East with Europe. In which case, our submarines can destroy the communications infrastructure, thus inflicting a powerful blow to Western countries. By the way, this has long been paid attention to by the command of the armed forces of Great Britain, one of those European countries that are panicky afraid of increasing Russian military-political influence in the Mediterranean region.

Russian-Iranian relations in the context of the Syrian war

The fighting in Syria allowed Russia to establish closer interaction with Iran. In recent years, Tehran has become one of Russia's closest allies in the Middle East.

Iran simply has no other perspective, given the difficult relations with the United States and Western Europe, rivalry with Saudi Arabia and long-standing hostility with Israel. Since Tehran was also interested in maintaining the regime of Bashar al-Assad in Syria, the Iranian and Russian armed forces actually acted together, and interaction mechanisms were worked out.

For Iran and Syria, the Russian military presence has become a guarantee of security and its own troops. Indeed, while Russian forces are on Syrian soil, Israel is afraid to strike at Iranian positions in Syria. Now the Israeli leadership is extremely unprofitable for Russia to deploy a broad air defense system in Syria, since this would completely deprive the Israeli army of the opportunity to strike at the positions of Hezbollah and the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps in Syria.

At the same time, Russia gained wide opportunities for pressure both on Israel, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, as well as on Iran and Syria. In fact, Moscow regained the position of one of the strongest actors in Middle Eastern politics. Now all the parties to the conflict in the Middle East are listening to Russia, since Moscow maintains normal relations with Ankara, and Riyadh, and with Tehran, and with Jerusalem. And the same Israelis are also forced to reckon with Russian troops in Syria.

Will the Americans “Give” the Middle East of Russia?

For the United States, the Middle East has ceased to be the "number one point" on the map of the modern world over time. Although the U.S. Army is still present in Syria, Washington is showing less interest in Syrian affairs. If during the Cold War the Middle East was one of the main regions of the world where the confrontation of the two systems unfolded, now the same Asia-Pacific region is of much greater importance for the American leadership.

Now the administration of Donald Trump does not hide the desire to withdraw as many American soldiers as possible from Syria, as well as from Afghanistan. By the way, it was for this reason that serious contradictions arose in the military-political leadership of the United States. Many US military leaders did not want to withdraw from Syria, fearing that it would undermine US positions and allow Bashar al-Assad to end the opposition once and for all.

In addition, opponents of the withdrawal of troops drew attention to a very dangerous situation with Iran and Israel. The presence of the Iranian military in Syria, the activation of Hezbollah controlled by Tehran - all this creates numerous risks for the State of Israel, the traditional US ally in the Middle East. But Trump, despite his most supportive attitude towards Israel, still did not give up the idea of ​​minimizing the American military presence in Syria.

Interestingly, the Americans, who so zealously criticize Russia's relations with Ukraine, do not require Moscow to withdraw Russian troops from Syria, and indeed they react rather sluggishly to Russian support for the Bashar Assad regime. But does this mean that Washington completely abandoned the idea of ​​controlling the Middle East and decided to “give it up” to Russia?

Most likely, we are not talking about this, the Americans simply got very seriously confused in the Middle East, got a lot of problems, and not only financial ones (still spend billions of dollars on maintaining not only their army, but also armed groups opposing Assad, pretty expensive).

The fight for the Middle East. Is the US “giving” Syria to Russia?

Thus, the support of the Kurdish militia against Assad led to a sharp deterioration in relations between Ankara and Washington - for Erdogan, the Kurds are the worst opponents and any support from the Americans that the Kurdish militia receives, the Turkish president considers betrayal. But Turkey was once considered the main military-political ally of the States in the Eastern Mediterranean!

On the other hand, the United States is well aware that Russia is not interested in significantly strengthening Iran. In which case Moscow itself will stop Tehran. This is also evidenced by the fact that Vladimir Putin and Benjamin Netanyahu communicate quite closely, demonstrate the special nature of Russian-Israeli relations. Therefore, it is premature to say that the United States simply “cedes” the Middle East to Russia.
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  1. Same lech
    Same lech 1 October 2019 05: 20
    Well, finally, the article started talking about the direct participation of PMCs of different countries in this war ... which was obvious from the very beginning.
    I hope Ilya will not get it from his higher comrades. smile
    1. Megatron
      Megatron 1 October 2019 23: 50
      Of course they communicate closely.
      In our government, almost every second with a Jewish passport.
      Therefore, the anti-aircraft guns are silent ...
  2. Mikhail Drabkin
    Mikhail Drabkin 1 October 2019 06: 05
    You are writing Ilya Polonsky
    The fight for the Middle East. Is the US “giving” Syria to Russia?

    -Russia should continue to use the range of tools and methods available to it to continuously strengthen its position in the Middle East. America does not give Russia anything and will not give it back — for every result, we must fight.
    -America can allow itself to temporarily retreat, and only because of the lack of political will and effective methods to oust Russia from the BV — it suddenly became expensive treasury and blood.
    —- Do not underestimate the traditional link between America and Israel, especially given the role of the Jewish lobby in America. The growing influence of Russia in Israel is clearly a threat to this lobby and is reflected in the continuous anti-Russian and Russophobic campaign in the media, Hollywood and Congress.
    —- Given the recognition of the role of Russia in Russian-speaking Israel, this is the erosion of the thesis of the Jewish lobby that the interests of America and Israel are united. And this raises questions in American society about the loyalty of this lobby to America.
    -One of Russia's permanent tasks is to demonstrate that the interests of Israel and America are not identical in connection with the constant and solid presence of Russia in the "suburbs of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem." And due to the fact that Russia is in fact a guarantor of the Russian-speaking (population) of Israel.
    -The Jewish lobby in America does and will do everything in its power to legitimize the military alliance between America and Israel, and to represent Russia as an enemy of America and the BV .
    —– An example is yesterday’s article on the need to disclose Russia's plans and strategies in the BV, on the constant “agitation” of the Israeli elite about the special role of America. | The Jerusalem Post (Israel): “What explains Russia's strategy for the Eastern Mediterranean?” Douglas J. Feith, Shaul Chorev. |
    1. Stas157
      Stas157 1 October 2019 07: 56
      Is the US “giving” Syria to Russia?

      Why suddenly? They will never give up. In the same place, everyone has already been "defeated" ten times. What to do there? And the fact that the number of military personnel is being reduced means that the situation has become static. And keeping them was considered unnecessary.

      while Russian forces are on Syrian soil, Israel fears striking Iranian positions in Syria.

      He is so afraid that he does this regularly without any twinge.

      the Israeli leadership is extremely disadvantageous for Russia to deploy a wide air defense system in Syria, since it would generally deprive the Israeli army of the opportunity to strike at the positions of Hezbollah and the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps in Syria

      And what is not deployed, you still need to deploy? And what then prevents to deploy? I remember Shoigu reporting that there, with the advent of the C-400 complexes and electronic warfare systems, there is a sufficient situation. Yes, and why is there to keep a strong air defense, if those against whom it is intended still impudently bomb Syria. Unless for your own protection, so that you are not inadvertently hooked.
      1. The comment was deleted.
  3. aszzz888
    aszzz888 1 October 2019 06: 53
    This is now worried by many Western analysts, who think that Moscow has "furnished" Washington in the struggle for the Eastern Mediterranean.

    The Merikatos have lost and there is no need to go to the pharmacy. It's just that their lackeys do not say it out loud, no matter what happens to them later (there are sanctions there, a trade war, and there are many more things in the arsenal of the "world gendamme"). bully
  4. rocket757
    rocket757 1 October 2019 07: 33
    Russia will prove to be the dominant military-political force in the Middle East

    This is an assumption, Wishlist, which should be supported by VERY MUCH THAN !!!
    We'll see.
  5. Gardamir
    Gardamir 1 October 2019 08: 04
    God is on you that we are worthless.
    Examples at the beginning of 90x all rushed to buy video recorders. but already after 10 years we switched to disks, another 10 flash drives .. Mobile phones appeared widely in the beginning of the zero, but less than ten have already moved to smartphones.
    Times of oil and coal pass. Or maybe someone works as a fireman on a drone. While in Russia they laugh at the Mask, the United States is replacing gasoline with other types of energy. Yes, not one day. But many will not immediately notice.
    Our military after the 08.08.08 fights also laughed, the Americans are making films about aliens. And then they grabbed their heads, so the Warrior appeared.
    1. Dym71
      Dym71 1 October 2019 12: 08
      Gardamir, please provide a summary of your comment, otherwise it is not entirely clear where you are driving: mobile phones-smartphones, disks-flash drives, hydrocarbons - alternative forms of energy, "Ratnik", a fireman on a drone, not clear at all request
      1. Gardamir
        Gardamir 1 October 2019 15: 56
        it’s not clear
        Well, sorry, morning, I was in a hurry. When oil was the only source of energy. The United States took over the Middle East. We will not notice how the world will switch to other sources, maybe everything will be decided in these ten years. Therefore, the United States concedes, "let Russia get stuck in the last century," and America will invest in other ways of obtaining energy.
        1. Dym71
          Dym71 1 October 2019 17: 33
          Quote: Gardamir
          Well sorry

          There’s nothing to apologize for
          Quote: Gardamir
          in a hurry.

          And on the contrary, I always carefully read your comments bully
          Quote: Gardamir
          We will not notice how the world will go to other sources, maybe everything will be decided in these ten years. Therefore the US is inferior

          This is just talk, they will not surrender anything to anyone voluntarily
          Quote: Gardamir
          and America will invest in other ways to get energy.

          And what does not suit you the development of nuclear energy in the Russian Federation?
          1. Gardamir
            Gardamir 1 October 2019 19: 07
            And what does not suit you the development of nuclear energy in the Russian Federation
            Everything has a beginning. So it was in the distant 80s. One of the first perestroika television programs. The "Chernobyl disaster" has not happened yet. And in the program they talked about safe and clean nuclear energy with might and main. Some scientist stood up and said, "If the same amount of money was invested in the development and study of other power engineers, as is now being invested in the nuclear power industry, then it is not known which would be more profitable."
            This is just talk, they will not surrender anything to anyone voluntarily
            I agree completely.
            1. Dym71
              Dym71 1 October 2019 19: 34
              Quote: Gardamir
              So it was in the distant 80s. One of the first perestroika television programs. The "Chernobyl disaster" has not happened yet. And in the program they talked about safe and clean nuclear energy with might and main. Some scientist stood up and said, "If the same amount of money were invested in the development and study of other power engineers, as they are now investing in the nuclear power industry, then it is not known which would be more profitable."

              Almost 40 years have passed since then, I think that scientist saw this picture. yes
    2. Chaldon48
      Chaldon48 1 October 2019 12: 44
      Nonsense, the time of oil at the current consumption does not pass, rather, the time of windmills will begin to pass. It didn’t occur to anyone that a wind turbine is the most common mechanism that has a life cycle and ends sooner or later, no matter how much it is repaired and what then, mass demolition and who will do it and how?
  6. steelmaker
    steelmaker 1 October 2019 08: 24
    This is all the author’s Wishlist. Americans always say the right words and smile, but do the opposite. Therefore, the United States must be judged not by Wishlist, but by deeds!
  7. Ironcity
    Ironcity 1 October 2019 12: 46
    As they say, the Middle East is great, and there is nowhere to retreat behind Israel. They will not go anywhere, regrouping in connection with the main smut - Iran.
    1. Dym71
      Dym71 1 October 2019 17: 39
      Quote: Ironcity
      the Middle East is great, and nowhere to retreat, behind Israel

      Israel is an outpost, under certain conditions the United States will throw them without problems, Trump has a reason to kiss the gums with the Saudis. yes
  8. protoss
    protoss 1 October 2019 19: 09
    can I shout "hurray"?
    the presence in this country of Russian military bases that allow you to control the situation in the Eastern Mediterranean.

    damn what are you talking about? what control do you put in that word?
    Tartus and hmemim taken together to the same extent control the Mediterranean as I am alone, lying on a deck chair on Cleopatra's beach in Alanya, i.e. no way.
    can we detain foreign ships there? no.
    maybe we can land there somewhere in Albania, Israel or Greece, demolish the local government and put our own in order to milk them later? no.
    then what is it about? cut someone’s underwater cable. well, probably ... just what kind of move is this for what. it is possible, for example, to destroy a tanker with feces off the azure coast, also an act, by throwing NATO adversaries into trouble.
    military bases are not a thing in themselves; there must be real exhaust from them.
    apricots keep bases in the Persian Gulf and roofing the Saudis and emirs, push in them all kinds of glands, put pressure on the wards in the matter of oil pricing, etc.
    Turks for Qatari money (!!!) opened a base, covered the emir in greedy neighbors at a difficult hour, received billions of tanks of injections into their economy and a luxury Boeing for Recep.
    what benefit do we have with hmeimim, tartus and the Assad we saved?
    0 rubles 0 cents? if, in fact, billions in losses.
    what is the business in fact - only show off.
  9. Basarev
    Basarev 1 October 2019 20: 57
    The Americans realized in time: Syria would not be the winner, but the loser. A poor, backward, bombed-up country with aggravated tribal and sectarian discord ... In general, just like eastern Europe. Then the Allies breathed a sigh of relief when they heard Stalin's claims to that region: they would not have to throw huge billions into this black hole, undermining the standard of living of their citizens for the sake of these people who did not achieve anything. The union was stupid, taking eastern Europe into its zone. It was necessary to negotiate with the Americans about the complete neutrality of those miserable countries - as in Austria. But it’s better to stop at the border and declare victory in the war. It is not so important who takes Berlin - hundreds of thousands of lives of Soviet soldiers are more expensive.
  10. Mainbeam
    Mainbeam 2 October 2019 07: 13
    Strange article.

    1. Revelations about the Russian PMC pleased. I think that for a long time we will not see recognition on this topic on Russian television not only from statesmen, but even from journalists. Even the opposition does not say this, which is surprising.

    2. An incomprehensible layout of the actions of the states: it seems they are leaving, but, it seems, they will not give it back. The article has a detailed and logical justification that the Yankees reduced their interest in the presence of the Russian Federation in Syria, and the conclusion, like, states are not going anywhere.

    I think they won’t leave.