|Screen grab from video released by Russian Ministry of Defense|
Even faced with the Islamic State, the West would rather lose Syria and other countries of the region rather than support the pro-Assad policy of Moscow.
In Novorossia Today
October 3, 2015
Translated from French by Tom Winter
Russian roulette in Syria: Putin plans six moves ahead.
Even faced with the Islamic State, the West would rather lose Syria and other countries of the region rather than support the pro-Assad policy of Moscow. [Your translator would have written Russian CHESS in Syria…]
These last days, the Russians have managed to surprise the Americans three times over. First, in upping their military support to the regime of Bashar Al-Assad. Next when they opened a coordination center jointly with Russia, Syria, Iran and Iraq in Bagdad, for sorting out the assignments for the four countries. The last and the biggest surprise was what the Americans have called “pouring gas on the fire,” when Moscow launched air operations against the jihadists in Syria, notifying Washington one hour in advance of the strikes.
A more or less lucid examination of the mid-eastern context, with the Shia-Sunni Israeli-Paestinian tensions, would have shown that betwixt two evils, Russia has chosen the lesser.
Either Russia would have left Da’esh to propagate itself beyond the Mid-east; for, once the Syrian regime had fallen the Jihadists would be in Russia and in post- soviet countries, obliging Moscow to get involved in land operations even in the heart of the country, with all the consequences that would ensue. Or Russia aids the legitimate government of Assad by equipping the Syrian troops on the ground, and bombarding the Da’esh positions.
The success of the Russian strikes are undeniable. Since September 30, an Islamic State command center has been obliterated in the Aleppo province and another one in the town of Raqa, while the one American strike did in — two excavators.
The polemics keep on swelling around the effectiveness of the actions of the coalition of 62 countries … Myriam Benraad, a specialist in Middle East, researcher at Sciences Po in Paris [with a doctorate in political science], gave us her view of the conflict that is again becoming more international: “The Middle East is a trap for all who set foot there. It is a quagmire, a powder keg. My essential hope for the Russian engagement in Syria is that it may revive much more serious negotiations between Russia, the United States, and the other actors in the region to decide the fate of Assad and what can get put back together in political terms. At the time of the Gulf War, the Russians and Americans were closely coordinated to respond multilaterally around the Iraqi crisis. These US-Soviet agreements of the time, in the period of the cold war, were aimed at giving birth to a collective security managed by the UN, but were betrayed by the Americans (for the war in Iraq, 2003 and Libya in 2011).
“The Russian involvement in Syria is a response to unilateralism. It’s obvious. Sergei Lavrov has said it a few times over. And Americans are paying the price. Other countries, such as Venezuela, have raised their voice, saying that the United States cannot keep on behaving as they have been doing over the past 25 years. I think those Russian-US tensions, with the Ukrainian crisis behind, can finally result in a dialogue between Washington and Moscow. “
Meanwhile, the Russian Air Force had scarcely gotten the order from president Vladimir Putin to attack the terrorists in Syria when the western press fell into an inquisitorial frenzy. Accusing Russia of “flying to the aid of her ally Assad on the pretext of fighting terrorism” the big western media have spread out their choir of photos and videos showing Syrian victims among the civilians. But these men, women and infants covered in blood that denounce the “ferocious Russians” are nothing but fakes. The photos were taken September 28 (See above). With scarce a smile, and steel nerves, the Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov condemned the information war and underlined that its releases were premeditated.
The scandal was, moreover, far from unhorsing the Americans whose positions in the Middle East seem undermined by Moscow. Washington has asked the Iraqi authorities not to send the information that the United States communicates to Baghdad to “third countries” — namely Russia.
Why put a spoke in the wheel for the Sukhoi planes in Syria when the chairman of the US General Staff is prepared to cooperate tactically with Russian forces? And now Moscow could initiate air strikes against the Islamic State in Iraq, if the authorities of that country so request. A low blow for the US, the UK, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey, who respond with a joint statement calling on Russia to stop air strikes … One more proof that Vladimir Putin is on track …