14 December, Thursday


Russia says good bye, but doesn't go - Syria - EXCLUSIVE

Specialist view

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The Kremlin occasionally talks about the withdrawal of troops from Syria. But it does not. Moscow does not know how to present the war in Syria as its victory as Iran became the true triumphant.
 
The war in Syria was started by the Kremlin after the outbreak of the war in Ukraine. All of the information on Syrian war that disseminated by Russian media was for PR. 
 
As polls show in 2015, most Russians supported the military intervention in Syria. 
 
After the Crimea, it was clear for everyone that if they continue to support this idea, they will indirectly support the endless governance of the country’s leader.
 
It does not work anymore
 
According to the Levada Center, 30% of Russians want the Kremlin to continue supporting Bashar Assad in the Syrian war, while 49% believe that it is necessary to immediately leave, and 21% find it difficult to answer. 
 
In addition, according to the Center, Syrian war reminds many Russians of the Afghan war, when Moscow for ten years was forced to wage a war of attrition. This is the worst association.
 
Another thing is how much the war costs. According to the International Institute for Strategic Studies it is about $8 million a day and for Russian economy this is a big number. It is urgent to withdraw troops from Syria, since this war starts to stand against the Russian regime.
 
That is why the Kremlin always announces the withdrawal of troops, but it does not do it.
 
The settlement of Syrian war is not real for near future. There are battles with the anti-Assad opposition. If you withdraw Russian troops, there will be a funny situation. The only support for Assad, except Russia comes from Iran. To leave Syria means to create conditions for the undivided domination of Persia in the region. 
 
Now ISIS moves to the borders of the Central Asia countries. A new version of this organization, which is more dangerous for Russia, is being formed there - ISIS-Khorasan. This organization, focused on expansion towards the countries of Central Asia, which threatens the Russian Federation. Unlike the Pashtun Afghan national Taliban, which is focused on the solving internal problems of Afghanistan, ISIS-Khorasan is an expansionist jihadist organization.
 
The influence of the Russian Federation in the Middle East is not even comparable with Iran. Russian troops will never be able to replace the Iranian and pro-Iranian forces on the ground. 
 
What will Iran get? It creates a Shiite belt through Iraq, Syria and Lebanon to the Mediterranean. 
 
The main trading partner of the Russian Federation is the European Union, which accounts for about half or more of Russian exports and the same amount of imports. For Russia, as for Iran, the EU is a source of high technologies. 
 
And if Iran's strategy is focused on developing strong economic ties with Europe, then Russia is moving in the opposite direction. Relations between Russia and the European Union are spoiled; sanctions are destroying the possibilities of scientific and technical modernization of Russia.
 
The most important thing is that Russian troops may be dragged into a large Middle East war, in which Iranians, Saudis, Israelis are already taking part ...
 
Syrian oil? 
 
However, SDS (Syrian Democratic Forces) controls 80% of oil reserves in this country. They are under the protection of the United States, which stated that they intend to support their government.
 
In a word, the benefits of Russia's participation in the Syrian war are not clear, and the risks are currently increasing. 
 
However, the Kremlin was in a strange situation. Russia can no longer keep troops in Syria, but it cannot withdraw them either. 
 
In addition, Russia wants to derive some benefits from the success of its ally, Assad. But it does not know how to do it.
 
Mikhail Magdi
Political analyst

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