Russian intervention in Syria

munaRussia today is leading the political scene in the Middle East. It was a surprise for many Arabs that Russia sent its aircraft to Syria and set up a military base, but the question that comes to the minds of many is why Russia intervened in Syria at this particular time? This topic is worth talking about. Until last week, all signs in Syria were that the crisis in the country is heading to no solution, no peace and a long war of attrition, while organizations like the United Nations and its agencies around the world are observing the situation with faint calls demanding to stop fighting as more people are suffering and dying, especially in the absence of consensus to address the international crisis and a scary population displacement of almost the entire country of its citizens.

Russia chose to enter the Syrian quagmire with all its military and political power, and Russia has all the logical reasons to do so now. I find this timing perfect. It’s really a hard blow to opponents of Russia, but Russia wants to protect its interests. Certainly, the Russian decision to intervene in Syria was not unilateral, but in coordination with Iran, Iraq and decision-makers in the region. Such a move can’t be taken solo.

The Russian official justification was that fighters from Chechnya and the rest of the former Soviet Union have formed their own faction in the north of Syria and are posing a real threat to Russian national security. I remember how many times I wrote about the seriousness of foreign fighters and that they may evolve from merely scattered militants to a strong group with expansionist interests, especially since there are many countries adjacent to Russia that may constitute a threat to Russian security and interests. I know that some people do not see this as a satisfactory reason or only a half-truth. It is enough for those who just want to see the killings stop.

There are many objectives for Russia from Syria today. The first is to send a message to the world that Russia is a power that gave a long time to the US administration to resolve things to no avail. It became evident to the world that the United States is not serious in eradicating IS or ending the killings in Syria. A year ago, it formed an international collation alliance to strike IS in Syria, but things appear that is more like an alliance to protect it, other terrorist groups and foreign fighters and not eliminate it, and today America plans to send weapons to the Syrian opposition. We are not so stupid!

Whatever the justifications and reasons for the Russian intervention in Syria, the important question is how will this be reflected on the course of events in Syria and in the region? The goals of the Russian intervention is not only to protect the Syrian regime – this may be one reason – but to change the military balance dramatically, and if Russia succeeds in doing so, it will impose itself as a superpower in the world and will have a view on all issues, plus gaining the respect and trust of the allies and more. So far, Russia looks strong enough to inflict painful blows to the militias’ terrorist centers.

It is very important for Russia to resolve matters quickly there, so the coming months will be crucial to avoid entering a war of attrition like in Afghanistan, but the situation is different now than it was at that time. A military escalation is very likely in the coming weeks and possibly for Iraq too, and surrounding countries such as Kuwait may need to raise the level of security readiness. We are in a war zone or at least a conflict, so we need to be alert and cautious.

The success of Russia in Syria means that it will have easy access to Iraq to eliminate all terrorist demons there. This will have direct repercussions on all issues of conflict in the region, and will be an explicit declaration of victory of the Russian-Iranian axis over the American- EU alliance. It’s a painful blow indeed. Certainly, we are on the cusp of a battle between international hubs, and the course of events in the region after the Russian

By Muna Al-Fuzai
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