Sammy Ketz writes about this in his material for channel "France24".
According to the analyst, the “inflexibility” of Russia's position on Syria is partly due to Moscow’s desire to protect strong bilateral ties with the latest “client state” in the Middle East. After those years, when the Kremlin’s influence in the region was rapidly declining, Russia, as well as Iran, demonstrated a “sharp return” to the politics of the Middle East. This happened in 2015, when they gave support to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Decades of being a supporter of the "Syrian regime," reminds the journalist, Moscow only this year "raised the stakes" in the fight, deploying its Air Force in Syria and starting to "bomb the rebels" fighting against the "Assad army."
At the same time, Tehran, after many years of isolation and Western sanctions, has returned, claiming the seat of a regional power.
Analysts, the journalist further notes, doubt that both Russia and Iran will eventually receive "leading roles in the region." Rather, both states “will be bogged down in the quagmire of the Middle East.”
The rebirth of Iran and Russia is obviously more and more manifested in their “shameless interventionism,” says Karim Bitar, head of research at the Paris Institute of International and Strategic Relations. Moscow and Tehran are only trying to "fill the void" that has formed in the region due to the "American retreat."
The interventionist approach is obvious: after all, the conflict has been going on here for almost five years. For several years, limited to financial assistance and the provision of military advisers, Moscow finally launched an air war in support of Assad. This happened relatively recently, in September 2015.
The actions of the Russians were directed against the “patchwork” - various armed forces hostile to the Assad regime: from the US-backed rebel groups to the “Islamic State”.
With the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Moscow lost its influence in the Middle East, the author recalls. But the Russians for many years invested in the region.
In May 1994, the Democratic Republic of Yemen yielded to the pressure of Saudi Arabia.
Russia's influence in Iraq came to an end when, after the US invasion, Saddam Hussein was overthrown and executed.
In addition to the Middle East, Moscow received a “repetition stories»In Libya: in October 2011, with the UN sanction, a military campaign was launched against Russia's ally Muammar Gaddafi
“The West has deceived us,” said one high-ranking Russian diplomat.
Syria remained. This is the last bridgehead of Moscow in the Middle East, the author recalls. His loss would have written off Russia as a second-rate state.
By displaying a “non-flexible” stance on Syria in the international arena, Moscow not only defends bilateral ties with Damascus and, consequently, with the Middle East, but also positions itself as a defender of the Christian minority in the region. “Revanchism”, characteristic of Russia after its humiliation of the reform period, is also partly manifested.
Expert Aydar Kurtov believes that Russians have pushed “national interest” to actions in the Middle East: it’s better to strike terrorists abroad rather than drive them away from the Russian borders.
In addition, the Kremlin is seeking to restore Russia's position in international politics, comparable to what the Soviet Union had, the analyst explained.
The fruits of Russia's actions in Syria are already there. As the journalist writes, Russia has strengthened ties with Egypt, Jordan, the monarchies of the Persian Gulf and secured a central role for itself in the search for a political solution to the Syrian crisis. US Secretary of State John Kerry recently described Russia's role as "constructive."
At the same time, Iran strengthened its power: it seriously invested in the defense of its ally (Damascus) and played a prominent role in the international negotiations on Syria.
“Russia and Iran began to cooperate conscientiously to prevent the total destruction of the region,” said Mohammad Marandi, dean of the faculty of world studies at Tehran University, to a correspondent.
According to Marandi, already “in the coming weeks” other political actors and other countries will come closer to the Iranian-Russian position regarding attitudes towards extremists.
The last forecast, we add from ourselves, seems to be a little consistent with reality.
The site Amnesty International just appeared a publication devoted to the results of a study of the actions of the military aviation RF in Syria.
The compilers of the document are confident that other actions of Moscow in the region may constitute “serious violations” of the norms of international humanitarian law, and the bombing of civilian facilities in Syria may be characterized as “war crimes”.
As human rights activists suggest, Russian forces attacked civilian targets, striking residential areas and medical facilities. Representatives of the civilian population died from these blows, Amnesty International experts write.
In addition, the Russians allegedly bombed both military targets and civilian objects, making no distinction between them.
The document also says that the Russian armed forces, attacking military targets, caused “excessive damage” to civilians. And this kind of “attack” can represent “war crimes”.
Finally, human rights activists point to some kind of “evidence” of the “illegal use” by Russians of “unguided bombs” in densely populated areas and “cluster munitions”.
However, human rights activists are either mistaken or lying. Either their “testimony” itself needs a testimony.
December 23 Russian Defense Ministry denied allegations of cluster munitions in Syria. "Russian aviation does not use them," - leads Interfax Statement by the representative of the Ministry of Defense, Major-General Igor Konashenkov, made by him at a briefing.
According to Konashenkov, dozens of foreign journalists are present at the briefing. They personally visited the Khmeimim airbase and almost every day they took off the preparation of aircraft, takeoffs and landings.
“But no one has ever shown or even asked questions on this type of ammunition, because there is no such ammunition at our base in Syria,” the general said.
We can conclude, let us add, that the Western press, and especially the human rights activists who have joined in the persecution of Moscow, will by all means prevent the process of “reviving the USSR” that Hillary Clinton, being Secretary of State, has not started in the Middle East USA. The Russians will continue to be portrayed as murderers of civilians and almost brothers of terrorists from the “IG”: after all, instead of the latter, they allegedly prefer to bomb the “rebels” fighting against the “Assad army”.
Observed and commented on Oleg Chuvakin
- especially for topwar.ru
- especially for topwar.ru