Since the beginning of the Russian military operation in Syria a year passed. During this period, Moscow helped Syrian government army to take the initiative in some parts of the Arab of the Republic, helped her break into Palmyra, destroyed many terrorist bases and, unfortunately, has lost 20 of its military. However, the victory over the banned in Russia “Islamic state” is not necessary to speak, as well as full compliance with international and regional players.
Videoconferencing in Syria during operations in the Arab Republic made more than 10 thousand sorties. Photo: mil.ru
Blow to expand
Among the successes that have been achieved with the participation of Russia, the entrance to the ancient part of the looted and ruined Palmyra, the retreat of ISIS from the suburbs of Damascus, cleansing the North-Western areas of the Arab Republic. Heavy and yet not disentangled node remains Aleppo, the strategically important city, where concentrated entirely different forces involved in the conflict. Now the town is once again going through the offensive of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. For the last week in Aleppo was the largest bombing in history five-year conflict, says the UN. Because of this, the US even expressed a willingness to suspend the bilateral contact with Russia on Syria.
The main success on the ground was that the Russian aviation together with the forces of official Damascus failed to prevent the territorial expansion of the Caliphate declared by ISIS in 2014.
“IG lost a little, — has noted in conversation with “MK” senior lecturer of the Department of political science school of Economics Leonid Isaev. — We hardly managed to win from them large areas. It lost control over the Syrian-Turkish border where he managed to displace. It moved away from the suburbs of Damascus. It lost ground near Palmyra, and that it is now a tense situation. To say that PAL is fully released, it is impossible. In principle, we could win in IG of 10 percent. But the most important thing that ended the situation with the phenomenal expansion of territories, because ISIS has grown at a tremendous pace. I don’t think the success this year must be judged by the fact that we managed to take back from ISIS. The success that we at least put an end to its expansion”.
Disorder and the fault of the allies
Another battlefield was the diplomatic sphere, where conflicts Russia and its partners, with interests in Syria, occur regularly so that the exchange of loud accusations acquired a more symbolic meaning. For the year Russia and the US managed to pass in Syria the way from ardent antagonists to ready to work together players, and then again to return to their original positions. A new round of tensions that led to the pause in joint work the two countries were accidental strikes on Syrian army in the town of Deir al-Zor, the responsibility for which was assumed by the American coalition, as well as the execution of humanitarian convoy of the UN, which has accused Moscow and Damascus.
“Such a diplomatic scandal was typical of the previous episodes — says “MK” Leonid Isaev ” when he interrupted the February “Geneva” (i.e. the talks on the political future of Syria. — “MK”), when fighting broke out at Aleppo. From diplomats also heard many unpleasant words at each other. And if you remember what happened over the past few years… there is Nothing supernatural no, no, we have not seen before the September incidents, 2016. A series of diplomatic scandals and accusations already looks ritual. Russia says negotiations should continue. John Kerry after a meeting of the UN security Council and International Syria support group (ISSG) also stated that the United States do not see other solution of the political crisis, but political. It is evident that the parties will attempt to revive the peace dialogue.
According to the analyst, questions to ask the allies of Russia and USA that have no interest to fulfill the Russian-American agreement. “From this point of view, our Russian-American agreement can be effective only if we learn to defend them, and a United front, — said Leonid Isayev. We Americans must make it clear to its allies in the region that the agreements that we reach in our bilateral format, needs to have priority over our interests in the region and their interests. Then they will work. Our peace initiative last year was not realized in practice, largely because of the provocations that have arisen through the actions of our regional allies.
They understand that the slightest provocation on their part, and between Russia and the United States immediately trouble starts. Relations between Moscow and Washington are bad — all perfectly understand it. To generate contradictions between the two countries is easy enough, so these are. Until we learn to defend our agreements with the United States, the agreement will not work. Will arise shot gumkonvoi an attack on the position each other of violation of a state of emergency, the boycott of peace talks”.
The dissatisfaction of Syrian neighbors
Initially, Russia’s military campaign aimed at ISIS and affiliated with “al-Qaeda” and “Frente al-Nusra” (a group banned in Russia), was associated with complex risks. For example, these included the possibility of a real collision with the state troops, trying somehow to influence the course of war in Syria. It happened in November 2015, when a Russian su-24 was downed by the Turkish military, believing that the pilot had violated Turkish airspace. Despite the fact that Moscow and Ankara have come to terms about this incident, the danger still remains, given that Turkey is more deeply involved in the Syrian conflict by sending its troops into Northern Syria.
The “Syrian” question also prevents to establish contacts with Saudi Arabia, which is strongly opposed to the Assad regime. When the operation began, the Russian HQs, a number of radical Saudi Ulema have even called for a Jihad against the Russians. Of course, the official position of Riyadh looks far more restrained and balanced.
It is not excluded that Saudi Arabia will also take a limited participation in the Syrian conflict: recently, the Minister of foreign Affairs of the Kingdom stated that in the event of failure of the peace talks on Syria, where the Saudis are supporting one of the opposition factions, he has a “plan B”.
Analysts often say that the Russian military operation also has a religious section, given that the highest echelons of the Syrian government represented Shia minority, the alawites, which include the President and the Assad clan. So often talk about the “Shiite coalition”, which includes not only the official Damascus and Moscow, and Tehran to support Bashar al-Assad, including by units of the Islamic revolutionary guard Corps. Recall that the ranks of the IG most of all, on the contrary, join the Sunnis.
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The Russian operation in Syria is not over yet. And, given the situation in Aleppo, you may want to suggest that the climax has yet to see.
“The most important outcome is that we managed to coordinate efforts with the United States, another question — how well coordinated they are, — says Leonid Isayev. But what created the ISSG, is the fact that the joint action. The main result of the work of the ISSG — managed to stop the trend of worsening of the position. Now the situation in Syria is serious but stable level. With all this we managed to prevent the expansion of “Islamic state”. No longer is it about the expansion of ISIS, the attack on new territory. Now rather, we are talking about what the group is trying to hold the territory that she previously had to capture.
Managed to deliver quite a big problem, “al-Nusra”. Fact that she has been renamed, try to disguise as other “moderate” terrorist groups, that Al-Nusra refused the connection with “al-Qaeda”, proves that she does it not from good life. We managed to launch the “Geneva”. The fact that we collected a great number of warring parties at the same table, it is already a great success.”
The war in Syria. Chronicle of events