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Friday, February 23, 2018

“What will be the consequences of the withdrawal of Russian troops from Syria”

Conclusion the main part of the Russian forces from Syria raises many questions. Why, for example, it happened before he was taken by the ISIL capital of raqqa? What happens now with Assad, whose position is clearly weakened? Finally, if a correct comparison with the end of Soviet operations in Afghanistan, which led to very unpleasant consequences? We will try to understand.

Conclusion the main shock of the Russian military contingent in Syria means the transition to a new, no less difficult phase of the conflict. Most likely, there will be less war, more controversy and ideology. This, of course, also a war waged by other means. As far as Damascus, the U.S., Europe and some other players will be able to evaluate the opportunity, will be judged in the coming days. So far dominated by emotions.

“In General, all this is more like the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan than the Soviet from the same place. Left base, infrastructure and a sufficient number – too”

No matter how high the degree of public rhetoric in the triangle Russia–West–Damascus, you need to understand: without guarantees for Bashar al-Assad and without prior fixation of a common framework of the political structure of Syria in the transition period of withdrawal would not exist. Therefore, U.S. and European negotiators internally ready that soon Assad will go nowhere, but to admit it out loud, the West can not afford.

In General, all this is more like the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan than the Soviet from the same place. Left base, infrastructure and a sufficient number, and government forces re-equipped and partially trained even places. In this case, the regular situation on the front of the stable and with the odds in favor of Damascus, as peace talks being conducted on a parity basis. No one is “cast adrift”, to the contrary.

Yes, after the departure of the Russians the possibility of Damascus to continue offensive operations will be reduced. We emphasize: it is in the area of offensive action, not in total support of the front. The ceasefire in large parts of the territories will lead to additional release of combat troops, which will fill the problem areas. Comparing Assad with Najibullah, former Afghan army with modern Syrian (supposedly neither they nor the others could not fight without the support of Moscow), is incorrect and are in the field of propaganda. Let’s start with the fact that the infrastructure of ISIL and the opposition destroyed to such an extent that they are only theoretically able to perform some effective operation. That and tried to do a week ago, capturing some of the heights on the road to Aleppo, but the day had been knocked out. This event was so widely racearena (including anti-Russian motives) that created the impression of an almost global victory. In reality, such is the attack by the forces of one battalion – the only thing that now fit the jihadists.

What made the army of Syria with the support of the Russian VKS (infographics)But it is now hardly possible to speak about the capture or Idlib border with Turkey areas of Latakia and Aleppo. To negotiate with Ankara on ending the supply of insurgents will not succeed neither the United States nor the European Union and fueled from abroad fighters will be locked in there for a long time. It is not yet clear what the volume of Russian military equipment and personnel still trapped in Syria. It is clear that Hamim air base is in Russia, there probably will be a base for drones and their operators, but for the most part they will be involved in the so-called regime of the ceasefire. We will not monitor the front line, and to protect the already occupied territory. In this case, as said the Supreme commander, outstanding military personnel must be protected from the ground and from the air and from the sea. This means that on the basis Hamim will remain part of the marine corps and special forces, shock and rescue helicopters and C-400. And in the port of Tartus and in the Eastern Mediterranean will be the Russian Navy ships of the main classes. This is enough not only to protect themselves and the base, but if necessary to plug some “hole” on the front, especially in terms of technical support of the Syrian army.

On the other hand, the position of Assad in diplomacy is clearly weakened. If the military targets that were set for the Russian group generally performed, it is possible to evaluate policy outcomes is difficult. At the same time, the fact of the beginning of negotiations and maintaining the continuity and stability of power in Syria is already a great success. If the jihadists continued to advance toward the sea at Latakia that was before the advent of the Russian group, now we can talk about total defeat of Damascus. And now the government controls most of the so-called inhabited Syria and under ISIS control remains a desert with few relatively large cities.

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