THE RUSSIAN STRATEGY

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THE RUSSIAN STRATEGY

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international-datelineFour years of continuing war made the Syrian government forces grew weary, costing 250,000 lives and millions became refugees in foreign countries.

The US and its regional allies wanted the Syrian Pres. Assad to go. But the crisis had become intolerable and the US-led coalition in the region failed to ease the situation.

Recently, Russia decided to intervene directly in Syria, but instead became an ally to Assad. The US, its allies and the media threw speculations as to the reason for the Russian behavior.

Russian Pres. Putin said, “The aim of the US is to get rid of Assad, our aim is to defeat terrorism.”Accordingly, the Russian ultimate goal in Syria is much more ambitious than just helping the Assad regime.

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Moscow says it must aide Pres. Assad first to defeat IS and other terrorists before talks of reforms start.

The Kremlin considers that the fall of Assad’s regime or his early removal will turn Syria into another Libya, and eventually IS will emerge on top and make Damascus the capital of its caliphate.

Moscow believes , this will certainly further the radicalization of the Middle East and spread Islamic radicalism to Russia, the Caucasus region and Central Asia.

Putin emphasized that their real goal is a peace settlement dealing only with the official- political, healthy and moderate oppositions who are not foreign fighters or international jihadists, and build an anti-Islamic State coalition. Pres. Assad could be replaced in the future with new leaders who are able to control the situation in Syria.

This Russian analysis of the situation is radically different from the US and many Middle Eastern powers that think Assad is the problem rather than its solution.

Moscow believe that it has chosen the right strategy. Meanwhile, the Russian idea to establish an anti-Islamic State coalition is slowly finding support in Egypt, Jordan and Iran.

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Russian Foreign Minister said, “To liberate Syria we need to unite forces.” The situation makes the task of cooperation between the militaries more relevant, he says.

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Some also speculate that the Russian move into Syria is for the cause of oil price and boost the Russian economy.

But Russia’s intervention is as much about the US as it is about IS. It now claim the right to co-equality with the US in fighting terrorism and managing regional security.

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Know thy self, know thy enemy. A thousand battles, a thousand victories. (By Edgar Allan J. Tac-an)

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