Egyptian journalist and commentator Fahmi Huwaidi in the Qatari newspaper "The Pininsula" told about the "mystery of the sudden withdrawal" of the main part of its troops from Syria by Russia.
The author recalls that the global media are now “concerned” with two major Middle Eastern topics: the sudden withdrawal of Russian troops from Syria and the announcement of the Kurdish federation in the Syrian border zone near Turkey.
"Both news became unexpected for everyone, ”writes a columnist. There was a lot of analytics, lots of comments. Until now, experts are trying to understand how these events will affect the outlined redrawing of the map of the region. Many have written on these topics, but analysts have no agreement on the reasons for the sudden partial withdrawal of Russian troops.
The only thing that all analysts agreed on was the recognition that the step taken by Russian President Vladimir Putin confirmed his status as a major player in the international arena and, in particular, in the Middle East. It also became clear that the fate of Syria is in the power of Russia, which now has strong positions at the naval base in Tartus and at the Hmeimim airbase).
The general understanding of the actions of Russia is as follows: Moscow planned mainly to protect the Assad regime, and not to fight ISIS. In addition, Moscow “reacted” with the Syrian scenario to Western sanctions imposed due to the Ukrainian crisis. Most analysts believe that the reason for the withdrawal of troops was the success of the agreement between the US and Russia (on a political settlement in Syria). The second possible reason is that the pressure from Russia on Assad forced the latter to accept the idea of the federalization of the country, which he had previously rejected. The third likely reason is the economic crisis in Russia due to the decline in oil prices. This caused a reduction in the military budget, and the war in Syria, according to estimates, requires up to three million dollars in everyday expenses. The fourth reason may be that President Putin is concerned about Obama’s decision to deploy military forces on a permanent basis along the borders of the Baltic and Eastern European countries.
Anyway, everything will become completely clear in the next few weeks. Something is already clear today: the Arab states have lost control over their own destinies, the author believes.
Turkey and Saudi Arabia are now rejoicing: they were not satisfied with the Russian troops in the region.
Three other players are concerned: 1) Syrian regime, which "lost one of its key supporters"; 2) Israel, who felt comfortable in the presence of Russia, because it impeded the growth of the influence of Iran and Hezbollah in Syria; 3) Syrian Kurds, who increased their influence along the borders of Turkey with the help of Russian troops and wanted to create a federal system that would be supported by both Russia and the United States. Russian fighters, in fact, helped them "achieve their goals."
What did the parties to the conflict come to in the region?
Today, not one of the Arab capitals has an answer to the question “what will happen next,” the Egyptian columnist believes.
According to the analyst, the Arab states share the loyalty of the masters: some glances at Moscow, others at Washington. There is no other choice: local states have to follow one of these two capitals. Now the Arabs are busy "listening to the daily news from there."
However, "the only correct answer," the author believes, must "come from the Syrian people." According to Fahmi Khuvaydi, this people “have not abandoned their dream of freeing themselves from Assad,” despite the fact that the clashes in the country have been going on for five years now.
Apparently, we add, for “clarifications” about this “dream of the Syrian people”, the American Secretary of State also flew to Moscow and Kerry. Probably, his visit is connected with an attempt to find out something about the actions of Russia - after all, "the mind does not understand Russia." Oh, American something for sure.
The fate of Assad, whom Russia has openly supported by military force since last year, is no longer in the hands of the “Syrian people” that Fahmi Khuvaydi is praying for. It is rather in the hands of Putin. (By the way, the Egyptian realizes this, it is not easy to write that “the fate of Syria is in the power of Russia.”) And Kerry went not to the “people” to negotiate, but to the Kremlin: to get at least 1%, even a hint, that for “sly plan "prepared by the Russians. Do not know. Not those times. On the issue of "learn" it was good to talk with Gorbachev or Yeltsin. They learned everything, and even more. Today, the Kremlin has somehow changed abruptly, and prefers to make surprises in politics.
The Kurdish issue and the federalization of Syria, too, certainly do not bypass the agenda, even if the press does not know anything about it. After all, the United States favors the Kurds and is ready to pinch here a barrel of Turkish "neosultan". Washington is left to negotiate with Moscow, for which Erdogan has for some time ceased to be a “partner.”
In addition, after the withdrawal of troops from Syria, John Kerry and his boss, Obama should be very interested in the almost forgotten situation in the east of Ukraine.
Mr. Kerry has often gone to Russia in recent years, and this suggests that the Egyptian commentator is somewhat right: Russia has managed to prove its status as a major player in the international arena. Even the transatlantic hegemon, who recently spoke of the “international isolation” of Moscow, has to reckon with this “player”.
Observed and commented on Oleg Chuvakin
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- especially for topwar.ru