Both sides - both Russian and American - periodically report to the world community about the success of their operations. Let's compare several reports.
On October 15, Igor Konashenkov, representative of the Russian Ministry of Defense, said at a press conference that the offensive actions of the Syrian military forces forced the IG fighters to retreat. Regarding the intensity of combat flights aviation VKS of the Russian Federation, then it has decreased over the past day, said the speaker of the Ministry of Defense. This is due to the fact that as a result of the offensive of the Syrian army, the contact line with the terrorist formations is being transformed. "The militants are retreating, trying to equip new position areas and changing on the go the existing logistics system for the supply of ammunition, weapons and materiel," quoted Konashenkova RIA News".
As reported on that day TASS, Su-25 attack aircraft of the Russian air group destroyed in the mountains of the province of Damascus a camouflaged IG base. About this, too, told Konashenkov.
In addition, Russian military aircraft destroyed a disguised artillery battery in the province of Hama: “During the conduct of aerial reconnaissance by Russian unmanned aerial vehicles in the Khan-Sheikhun district, Hama province, a strong point of terrorists with a disguised artillery battery was identified. I will note that the presence of artillery positions equipped according to all the rules directly indicates the presence of professionals with good military training in the ranks of the IG terrorists. ” According to Konashenkov, the Su-34 bombers and the Su-25 attack aircraft struck a sudden group strike: "By precise bombs, six artillery pieces, ammunition and four units of off-road vehicles equipped with mortars were completely destroyed."
Konashenkov also reported on the destruction of Russian aviation in the province of Damascus, in the area of Eastern Guta, the OSA “Osa”, previously captured by terrorists “IG” from the Syrian army. As a result of the use of the KAB-500 adjustable bombs, the concrete shelter in which the complex was located was completely destroyed.
In addition, the aircraft of the air group destroyed in the province of Aleppo the command post "IG" and the workshop for the preparation of high-explosive mines in the province of Idlib.
The next few paragraphs will be devoted to American achievements in Syria.
October 13, according to delfi.ee With reference to the BBC, the Pentagon delivered about fifty tons of ammunition to insurgents fighting against IG in northeastern Syria.
According to the Pentagon’s press secretary, during the night in Hassakeh province the C-17 plane dropped pallets with small arms weapons, ammunition and grenades. It is reported that all weapons were obtained by the rebels.
The leaders of the relevant groups are trusted by the US-led coalition, said a spokesman for the military.
Also in the press they write a lot about the preparation by the Americans of an offensive operation on the so-called capital of IG, the Syrian city of Rakka. The goal is clear - against the background of Russian successes in Syria and the apparent weakness of the American coalition, Washington also needs a victory. Desirable large. But Washington is not going to fight.
This is about creating a new alliance among the diverse Syrian opposition, which already has a name.
As the newspaper notes KommersantThe armed forces of the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union, supported by the United States, have joined the new Syrian Democratic Forces military alliance. His task is to fight with the Islamic State group. This was reported by Reuters.
The newly created association also includes groups of Assyrian Christians and some Arab formations.
Saudi television channel "Al Arabiya" notes that the new union is created under the leadership of the United States. Newspaper "Sight" lists the motley composition of the new association. Firstly, these are Kurds living in the north of the country and included in the insurgent groups "Popular Self-Defense Detachments" (YPG) and "Women's Defense Detachments" (YPJ). Both groups are subordinate to the "Democratic Union" - the party headed by Saleh Muslim. Secondly, these are the fighters “Burkan al-Furat”: the Kurdish troops and the “Raqqah Revolutionary Brigade”. Thirdly, the Assyrian Military Council is participating in the new alliance. Fourth, several other opposition groups joined the ranks of the union.
And here it may turn out that not all groups that have joined the next alliance have passed, as it were, a test for lice.
13 October TASS published a statement by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. According to him, in the "Democratic Forces of Syria", which the United States is positioning as a "moderate opposition", terrorist groups have been noticed.
Russia fears that a new US program in the region will once again lead to munitions falling into the hands of terrorists. “Yesterday, the United States reported that they had changed the concept of supporting the opposition; instead of training, they would drop ammunition,” Lavrov said. - Where does it go? Will they follow the jeeps that are in the hands of "IG"? "
“To be honest, we don’t even have any special doubts that at least a significant part of these weapons will fall into the hands of terrorists,” the Russian minister further noted. “This is a matter of concern, including in the United States, where the public, the congress, is beginning to ask questions about previous attempts to support the“ moderate opposition. ”
The United States is still moving away from contacts with Russia in coordinating efforts in the fight against terrorists, the Russian Foreign Minister noted. “Nobody has provided us with the coordinates of the moderate opposition. They used to talk about the “Syrian Free Army,” but it remains an ephemeral organization, Lavrov said. - Now they are talking about the alliance "Democratic Forces of Syria". We looked at its composition, there were seen groups that previously collaborated with the "Islamic State".
What should Russia do in this case?
Director of the Center for the Study of the Middle East and Central Asia, political scientist Semen Bagdasarov told the newspaper "Sight"that Russia should work more actively with the Kurds, both in Syria and in Iraq. Syrian President Bashar Assad should promise autonomy to Syrian Kurds. The Americans are preparing an offensive for Raqqa, which will be called "liberation." “We must support and supply weapons to the Syrian Kurds who are affiliated with the Kurdistan Workers Party,” the expert believes. - Moreover, it is necessary to assign our military advisers to the Kurdish self-defense detachments. Kurdish military must be taken to the Russian military academies. It is high time to invite Syrian Kurdish leader Saleh Muslim to Moscow and organize a meeting with representatives of the Ministry of Defense. In addition, it is high time to intensify contacts with the anti-American force, the Kurdistan Workers' Party. ”
Americans have long cooperated with the Kurds.
“Syrian Kurds have been cooperating with the American coalition against the IG for a long time, with the defense of the Kurdish city of Kobani,” said Yuri Nabiyev, president of the Society for Solidarity and Cooperation with the Kurdish People, at a glance. - Then the support of coalition aviation helped the Kurds to lift the siege of the city and win back some of the Kurdish territories. In the territory of Iraqi Kurdistan, the Americans prepared about seven thousand Syrian Kurds to attack the IS terrorists. Recently, a meeting of Syrian Kurdish leader Saleh Muslim and President of Iraqi Kurdistan Massoud Barzani was held in the presence of Americans. ”
As for Raqqa, the source said that the offensive operation to seize Raqqa for Americans is a matter of prestige: “For Americans, it’s a matter of prestige: they have to show at least something to their population and the international community after so many years of unsuccessful war against the IG . The Kurds, in turn, defend their homes, and they welcome Russia's participation in the operation against terrorists. Intensive negotiations and consultations are taking place between Moscow and the Kurds. ”
Syrian international journalist Abbas Juma, who asked questions "Free press"He believes that the Kurds are “in general” coordinating with the Syrian authorities. The journalist said that he had “information” on this score.
“If the Kurds storm the capital of the Islamic State in Syria, Ar-Rakku,” he said, “in this case, the authorities will certainly demand that they not join any alliances with Dzhebhat al-Nusra or with others small groups.
On the questions of the "joint venture" and said the above Semen Bagdasarov.
He believes that there is no doubt that the US has recently dropped 50 tons of ammunition: “It is clear that the cargo was intended for the Syrian Kurds. I have said many times that the “Kurdish question” is key in the outcome of the military operation “on the ground”.
The expert was asked the following question: “On October 10, in Paris, the Special Representative of the Russian President for the Middle East and Africa, Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov met with the chairman of the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party, Saleh Muslim. Incidentally, he came to Moscow in August 9 of the year. In your opinion, did Russia fail to agree on cooperation with the Kurds in the fight against IS? ”
Bagdasarov gave the following answer: “Have we tried to do it seriously? It is clear that Saleh Muslim asked for weapons, and given that the Kurds are quite well-disposed towards the Russian Federation, many of them studied in the USSR, then we had every chance to turn the Kurds to their side, to make a link between them and the troops of Assad and these forces storm the capital of the "Islamic State". The expert added:
“In Russia we are now only heard, the Americans are fools, and we are supposedly the smartest, but in reality the States seized the initiative from us - we must call things by their proper names. And now it turns out that the Assad troops, with the support of Iran, Hezbollah and our aviation, are attacked mainly by groups that do not belong to the IG, while the Americans have formed an alliance that will directly attack Al-Rakka. Here's a deal. ”
Let's sum up.
In Syria, there have been two coalitions. The first is based on the Russian Aerospace Forces and the Syrian army, supported by Iran and the Lebanese Hezbollah. The second is led by the United States. In addition to the states that have joined the United States, the “Democratic Forces of Syria”, including the united Kurdish forces, will take part in it. Experts have no doubt that Washington is betting on the Kurds, who are generously endowed with weapons. Russia, on the other hand, seems to have missed the Kurdish chance.
Washington needs a victory in the region, a victory by someone else’s hands, but on condition of American participation (so that was something to talk about). As a result of the victory (attack on Rakka), the State Department could proclaim success on the Syrian front of democratic forces supported by great America. Thus, Washington could raise its prestige, and at the same time and once again click on the nose of Moscow: they say, while you are fighting on the side of the “tyrant Assad”, the democratic forces are fighting with our help in Syria with terrorists for a bright future. And if the "Syrian Democratic Forces" succeed on the front, it will be difficult to protest against American criticism.
The territory of Syria will eventually be divided into even more fronts. The Kurds are unlikely to turn their weapons against Assad, but the composition of the “Syrian Democratic Forces” is heterogeneous, and the name itself says a lot.
Only a true alliance of forces ready to confront terrorists can lead to a common success and defeat the IS. But as long as the United States and Russia will implement separate plans and separate strategies in the region, relying on different allies, the chances of a complete victory will remain small. The Syrian conflict can be protracted and become another episode of the Cold War, demonstrating not international competition, but international political competition.
Observed and commented on Oleg Chuvakin
- especially for topwar.ru
- especially for topwar.ru