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Research studies

Russia’s marketing of its Syria intervention

Dr. Khaled Mamdouh El-Izzi
Writer and researcher in international affairs and Russian politics

Russia, for the sake of marketing its intervention in the region for the first time since the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the current military operations in Syria, the Kremlin has borrowed US government methods to replicate the media campaign of former President George W. Bush to win the hearts and minds of Americans.

The Russian military has consistently been cautious in its operations, whether in Chechnya, in Georgia, or in Ukraine. But in Syria, the Russian Defense Ministry turned into a news station working around the clock and offering television footages of ingenious missiles and air strikes backed by illustrated animation.

In the aftermath of September 11, 2001 attacks, Bush declared war on terrorism. In Russia, the Kremlin’s current intervention in Syria is being marketed in the same way. But the only difference is that this time the enemy is the Islamic state, which Moscow says itmight come to Russia once it has fulfilled its mission in Syria.

In the face of growing economic downturn and worried to hear news of the problems experienced by the separatists, who are backed by the Kremlin in Ukraine,many Russians are apparently enjoying the scenery and believingthe Kremlin’s message that its intervention entails a military and diplomatic awakening in the country.

The Kremlin believes that the propaganda campaign, which reached, as described by television broadcaster and the weather forecast for the weather conditions, as appropriate for launching air strikes, is yielding its fruits now.

With the first snow showers falling in the winter of Moscow, Jgoncharov said that the Syrian conflict is a useful tool to draw the attention of some of the Russians who do not wish to spend the night thinking about high prices, Western sanctions and declining budgets for families.

Jgoncharov said “foreign policy represents a theatrical performance here .. people open their televisions to follow a certain scene in the first place. Attacks and shelling and firing are all mere elements of the scene.”

The nature and objectives of the Russian escalation:
The gamut of these motives, strategy, and the vessels, alike, are what makes the growing Russian involvement in the Syrian crisis a much wider objective than fighting ISIS, which was raised by Moscow as a slogan for its operations in Syria at the start of these operations.

During the first week of operations, the Russian raids rate of about twenty rose to more than sixty air strike per day, mainly centered on the vast majority of Syrian rebels locations of all the groups, in areas of the countryside of Lattakia, Hama, Homs and Aleppo, the city of Aleppo itself. Perhaps the raids on ISIS sites had not exceeded 5 percent of the total air raids.

Such a rate of raids cannot be sustained without the availability of less than eighty aircraft; indeed, there are reports estimated the number of Russian planes in Lattakia base by more than this, including the modern Sukhoi and MIG aircraft that Russia has not sold yet to any other State. Russians also moved to the base of Lattakia and its surrounding dozens of modern tanks, including 90 T, the latest in armored Russian arsenal. But most importantly, the Russian presence also includes anti-aircraft batteries and interceptor aircraft. Given that Syrian rebels do not have any air presence, it is clear that the purpose of anti-aircraft and aircraft interceptor is to deter the pro-Syrian rebels’ regional and international powers.

Russian officials confirmed, as included in the decision of the Russian parliament, which has provided legislative cover operations in Syria, that the Russian military intervention will be limited to the air force, and shall not include ground forces in support of the regime. The New York Times, published in the October 6 / last October, a statement by the Chairman of the Armed Services Committee in the Russian parliament, in which he did not rule out the coming of Russian volunteers into Syria, including  former military, such as volunteers who were active in the eastern Ukrainian provinces. But this statement, even if turned into reality, does not mean that Russia will havean intensive  ground military existence in Syria. At least that’s the situation in the first week of operations. Given the Russian memory in Afghanistan, and that the balance of power in Syria is ever more lopsided in favor of the rebels than was the case in Afghanistan in 1979, any move overland to intervene will not find support from the Russian public opinion.

However, the wars as it is known, is not a purely rational affair, that can be calculated precisely in advance. Therefore, if the Russian air operations failed in incepting any significant positive change for the benefit of the regime, the expansion of the Russian involvement cannot be excluded at all.

Overall, the extent and time of the Russian operations in Syria will depend on the real objective of Russia’s direct involvement in the crisis. It is not yet clear whether the goal of Moscow is to maintain order and control, and securing this control, within the current existence of the regime circle in Damascus and the Alawi coast area around Homs and Hama; or that the aim is to assist the regime to recover full sovereignty over all Syrian territory; or even  to create a climate and a balance of power favorable for a political solution. Also, disclosure of the real objective of Russia’s operations,if Moscow has actually disclosed this target, will also identify the nature of the response of the pro-Syrian revolutionary’s  regional and international forces, which expressed opposition to the Russian intervention.

Russia and Revolutions Controversy:

The declared hatred and active opposition to revolutions is inherent not only in Russia’s painful experience dating back to the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917, but also in the nature of the current system, which proclaims its faith and its commitment to democracy, but in essence a system of authoritarian character, but it may be authoritarian, “enlightened.” The discourse of modernity made by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, for example, in a speech at St. Petersburg Economic Forumin the month of June, implies the beginning of a broader political competition, but Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s plan to build a popular front proves without doubt that competition is severely curtailed in the  last election campaign. The corrupt bureaucratic superstructure of Putin’s regime is very solid and resistant to modernization, which means that the promotion of the arguments of Medvedev failed completely, and the chance to stay in the post of president for a second term was non-existent. It also means the closure of the door in the face of painful reforms, albeit peaceful. And as Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the most famous political prisoners in Russia, warned, anger could escalate over corruption [in Russia] in the same way that the escalation in the Middle East, making the revolution is the only possible way out of the current recession path.

Medvedev’s  initial reaction to this “highly complex events” was the alarm explicit risk: “We have to face the truth. In the past, such scenarios were alarming to us, and now the attempts to implement are more likely. In any case, this scheme will not work. “This conspiracy theory was clarified in the semi-official accusations on taking advantage of social networking sites, such as Facebook, to incite unrest, as was made clear also in the analyses of experts pointing to the involvement of Western intelligence agencies, which claimed that it was working on testing the strategy of” inciting chaos under control “. With continuing revolutions for weeks and months, it became clear that the interpretation of the revolutions as a foreign conspiracy is not an ingenious idea, but Russia has not abandoned the idea that the basic and necessary authoritarian regimes in the Middle East region as a whole. Although Putin described the Gaddafi regime as “distorted and ugly monarchy”, but he stressed that this system «in general satisfies the localpolitical mentality and practice.

Russia believes it has been removed from the Middle East and prevented from selling its weapons because of the “conspiracy” of America that overthrew its allies and the rise of political Islam hostile to it in alliance with America.Thus, Russian President Putin, considersthat his alliance with the Shiite axis against the US-backed Turkish Sunni axis constitutes a warranty for Russia’s survival in the region, so as not to repeat the defeat once again in Syria, as is the case in Afghanistan previously.

The new Russian strategy that is based on striking terrorism in their region, which has not recovered from it because Russia is fighting a war in Syria against terrorism and will not allow its victory in Syria, since the victory of terrorism there means its expansion towards the natural and historical influence of Russia in the Islamic republics in Central Asia, and therefore the Syrian file fell captive of the US-Russian war files, where both parties areseeking to score points between them in the context of resolving all outstanding issues, for resolving files will enable Russia to return to re-play a dual role in the international polarity.

Russia has demonstrated many times as the US need to play roles (success in the chemical’s Syrian and Iranian nuclear agreement and its success in Geneva 2), and accordingly, Russia sees its capacity and its power in the Security Council and tries to impose its conditions by re-strong mind and the ability to “disruption” for financial and military interests, but “the game of nations” have changed with the collapse of the pro-Russian regime Ukraine, forcing Russia to change attitudes and ease them, or go toward militancy, where the Caesar of Moscow will try to compensate for the loss of Ukraine by getting more and more inflexible in the Syrian file through the unlimited military, logistic and financial support to Syria, and perhaps the final resolution in the Security Council, which has been agreed upon unanimously explains that Russia had given the signs that point to turning a new leaf and to agree to multiple files, or Russia can use its coarse strength in defending its geo-political and economic interests.

In the context of waiting for the final word of Russia on the events in Ukraine, which has to be conducive to a big deal between the two countries, the Russian president may be forced to review his overall strategies, which were based on replacing America in the light of its recent decline and withdrawal from the area, as well as the non-submission by Russia of a new form of the world that would be acceptable as a role model.Thus, the Ukrainian opposition linked its fate with the Syrian opposition by raising the flag revolution in Tahrir Square in Kiev.It is clear that the files’ solutions,despite distant geographical spaces, but with the compromiseson the “table solutions,” might be best of solutions.

If the Tunisian and Egyptian revolutions did not incept any real change in Russian policy, which was just watching, the Libyan revolution that shook the stick of Russian politics that was puzzled at how to deal with the Libyan scene, Russia was not in favor of the Libyan revolution since it erupted merely announcing that it is against the bloodshed, and it called for opposing external interference. But it tried to change its position when the features of defeat began to loom on the horizon in September of 2011, where he called on General Qaddafi to leave, and postpone the negotiations with the Transitional Council.

Russia signed the international agreement, which allowed the forces of the Atlantic to move and hit the Libyan forces, opposed the intervention at the same time, according to a policy through which it was trying to say that the West did not take Russian interests into account, ignoring the rights of the Libyan people and signing the international agreement, claiming that its interests were jeopardized by the West, Gaddafi was entirely dependent on Russia in all matters of life and economic means, forgetting that it was involved militarily in Libya and involved in the killing of the Libyan people through its support for the hordes of Khamis and the presence of  its mercenaries in the Libyan military formations, specifically in Air Force, as if exercising a double standard in dealing with the crisis. For Russia is existent in Libya through military formations and Slavic mercenaries, and it is a signatory to the statement internationalist No. 1973 issued on March of 2011, and therefore who will be the victor will be the ally.

But political events were referring to the contrary, the Russians themselves caught up in the face of the people, felt that since the outbreak of the Libyan uprising the loss was inevitable, and tried to conduct mediation between Gaddafi and his opponents in the National Transitional Council, but failed.

Syrian Revolution and Russia:
If the Russian position from Libya had not raised the anger of the Arabs directly and fast, but the Syrian scene was harsher and more severe in raising the wrath of the Arab people and the Arab states, because of the Russian deal with Syria and its people throughout the events that caused the death of a million people and the displacement of more than 11 million Syrians inside country and 4 million abroad, and led to destruction of  the Syrian infrastructure and the control of blood on all scenes of Syrian life.

In Syria, the peaceful revolution that started from the city of Deraa in March 15 turned intobloody killing after five to seven months of the outbreak of the Syrian popular uprising by Russian and Iranian direct intervention in the course of events.

Syrian uprising has moved from a popular uprising into an international conflict of high style, and Russia had a leading role in raising the level of what is going on there to almost a third world war between the United States and the West, where Russia blocked all the channels and international initiatives seeking to resolve the Syrian crisis peacefully.

The Syrian crisis that has entered from the outset the framework of political disputes and inter-attractions between the international parties to intervene in the bazaar of international haggling between senior players at the expense of the cruel tragedy wherein the Syrian people are paying heavy taxes of their lives and livelihoods, where the Syrian scene  has become harsher than was expected because of the  continuation of war and the level of its violence. Russia knows very well that the Syrian file, which she gripped tightly by the help of Iran, Syria, Israeli and by a green light from the the US, was her key to resolve the many crises, including returning to the international arena through the Syrian gate in the first place, which is the key to ending the economic crisis imposed on her with the West, since the imposition of the economic blockade, which was imposed since 2014, during the occupation of the Crimea in Ukraine.

Although the overall belief among Russian politiciansindicates that that President Assad no longer has a role in Syria’s future, they are still sticking to Assad’s person until the result of an international agreement secures an alternative, or the production of an alternative version of someone similar to Assad and his regime that would help Russia in perpetuating her new role on the international arena and keeping the Syrian file in her hand in agreement with the US administration.

Those following up the Russian relations in Syria, saw that Russia could use its power and influence in Syria to resolve the tragedy that befell the people who demanded freedom, democracy and social justice, and Russia went through this experience knowing very well that these demands are simple rights of oppressed peoples suffering from the scourge of injustice and oppression .

But Russia was getting tightened more and more in dealing with the Syrian file,building its next international strategy on the Syrian arena, and building new alliances through the Syrian gate, where the Russian position was becoming based  on private interests through the relationship with the Iranian alliance, which Russia has been trying to build a Sunni coalition vs. Shiite alliance, where Putin’s memory still sees that it was this Sunni Arab-Turkish-Pakistani  alliance, which helped break up the Soviet Union.

Russia believes that this new alliance, which has become known asthe Oil (Shiite)  Crescent, will secure Russia’s strategic place in the world of energy, especially after the recent discoveries in the Mediterranean basin by means of  Iran and its allies, who have become stretched from Iran in the Caspian Sea, through Iraq and the Syrian regime and Hezbollah in Lebanon, which is dominating the state. In addition to the Cypriot gas ally Orthodox Russia, and Israel, which will be in the need for Russia in this field in order to play a leading role by virtue of the Russian cover, in addition to the existence of a Jewish majority of Russian origins in this state.A huge and great wealth emerged in the Mediterranean basin,  of which Russia has promised herself, being a guarantee for lasting stability of their existence in this inflamed region, which makes of Russia a protecting garrison for everyone therein, but the economic embargo on Russia and the falling of global oil prices prevented the development of this scheme, making the orientations of Russia gradually differentby entering militarily in direct Syrian war in order to make a direct firearm display by means of her weaponry, which suffered consecutive defeats in the shadow of the Arab revolutions, as well as to display the advanced weapons in this region historically dependent on Russian arms, this area was a successful testing ground of the Russian weapon.

Russia’s military intervention in Syria:
A question still arises for everyone: What does Putin want from Syria?Certainly, everyone has become aware that the Russian military intervention in Syria is not to show solidarity with President Bashar al-Assad, nor did he transport his soldiers from Russia airlifted to new military bases in Lattakiaonly to keep Assad’s regime.This is a foregone conclusion, as President Putin was not worried about the loss of the only port left for Russia in the Middle East (in the warm waters), but President Putin, by this theatrical show, sent a message to the world and the West that he can take control and move as and whenever he likes, and that it was him who decides without consulting anyone. This theory was confirmed by the sudden exit of the Russian air force out of Syria, and Russia’s commitment to the truce unilaterally process, under the cease-fire that was completed in the wake of the Geneva.
Going out of Syria was done secretly and in a very puzzling manner, and the questions and speculations continue to beat the unequivocal answers about Russian goals and her rush to participate in the Syrian war.

Hence the answer is clear that the Russians confirmed by their going-out process that they are in possession of the logistic paper of movement in the regional domain and are the decision-makers as regards going in and out wherever and whenever they want.

As regards the Russian withdrawal , the Lebanese political expert, Ghassan Salameh, said in an interview that “he  who says that was aware of the decision of the announcement of the withdrawal of Russian troops from Syria, is a liar.Even the United States and Saudi Arabia  were surprised at Russia’s decision to pull out of Syria because Putin’s strategy has been as follows: I enter when I want,  go out when I want, and come back when I want, and the Russians are eager to implement the decisions taken by their administration, and the reason isthe difference in views with the Syrians, “citing Putin as he said that” withdrawal is to promote the political solutions in Syria. “

He indicated that “there is a Syrian resentment by some Russians, a clear difference between the Syrian and Russian attitudes toward the military situation and the political process in Syria, despite the fact that there is an understanding and convergence on some points, but that this is not comparable to the Iranian-Russian alliance.”

Perhaps the bias by Russia primarily to one doctrinal camp in the region against another doctrinal camp too, is a necessary one-way corridor to assert its position on ground and secure its interests on the shores of the Mediterranean.

But the rapid retreat off the Syrian site and the dispute with the Assad regime and the Iranian regime,forced her to turn towards the Turkish regime to arrange the Russian – Turkish relations for the benefit of Russian orientations.

Russian new step was to catch a Sunni regime in the region that secures direct entry into the current geopolitical changes, so it was not possible to imagine that Russia passed on the Syrian approach without the participation of Turkey and other countries concerned. Moscow realized since its September2015 military interference that the strength of fire will not succeed in imposing their views in Syria, and that the opposition resilience, despite the intensity of the military intervention of astate that is supposed to be a superpower in the military sense, is not only due to the efficiency of the fighters, but to a counter regional investment that will not allow Syria to fall within the ends that can be drawn by the coalition line with Damascus, Tehran and their related accessories.

In this context, the Lebanese journalist Khairallah Khairallah writes that everything is changing in the Middle East and in a much wider framework thereof. So, the Russianscannotbut change, not for nothing, but because they began to feel the need to reposition in the light of developments in the region and the world. Among these developments driving the discovery by Russia of the international order, which she thought she could blackmail indefinitely. The world at the end of the day is not the world of Syria battles, including the economic system.

Political analyst, Mohammad Kawas, sees that it has become evident that Russia is in full possession of the entire clues of the Syrian conundrum, with its military and diplomatic dimensions. There is no military mobility for the regime and its allies without a green light consistent with the visions of the leadership in Humaimam, nor any political negotiating approach could pass without the consent of Moscow. If the those who did understand this rule were to rebel against this axiom, their losses will rise, as is the case of Hezbollah in the countryside of Aleppo, and his generals will fall, as is the case of Iran’s officers in Khan Tuman.

This Russian monopoly of the Syrian file is not coming from the tyranny of sweeping Moscow, but from an international consensus, and it seems regionally as well, for entrusting Syria to management of the Kremlin led by Vladimir Putin. Although this “agency” has delayed, but Washington, which has experimented the Russian performance during the years of the Syrian crisis, has conceded the Moscow talents, which qualify the Russian to do the job until further notice.

Russia’s marketingof her intervention in the war on Syria:
Russia for the sake of marketing her intervention in the region for the first time since the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, by her current military operations in Syria- the Kremlin borrowed methods of  the US government to replicate the media campaign of former President George W. Bush to win the hearts and minds of Americans.
The Russian military has consistently  been cautious in its operations, whether in Chechnya, Georgia or Ukraine. But in Syria, the Russian Defense Ministry turned to the news station working around the clock, offering skillful television footages for missile and air strikes backed by illustrated animation.

In the aftermath of September 11, 2001 attacks, Bush declared war on terrorism. In Russia, the Kremlin’s current intervention in Syria, is being marketed in the same way. But the only difference is that this time the enemy is the ISIS, which Moscow says itmight come to Russia once it has fulfilled its mission in Syria.
In the face of a growing economic downturn and worry over news of the problems experienced by the Kremlin-backed separatists in Ukraine, it seems thatmany Russians are apparently enjoying the scenery,believing the Kremlin’s message that the Kremlin’s intervention is an indication of a military and diplomatic awakening in the country.

The Kremlin believes that the propaganda campaign, which reached, as described by television broadcaster presenting the weather forecast for the weather conditions, as appropriate to launch air strikes, has not come to fruition yet.
With the first snow showers falling in the winter of Moscow, Jgoncharov said that the Syrian conflict is a useful tool to draw the attention of some of the Russians, who do not wish to spend the night thinking about high prices, Western sanctions and declining budgets for families.

Jgoncharov said “foreign policy represents a theatrical performance here .. people open their televisions, it is important for them to follow a scene. Attacks, shelling and firing are all elements of the scene.”

The nature and objectives of the Russian escalation:
A question arises on all diplomatic and political forums and also by the public: why does Putinic Russia insist on supporting  the Assad regime, which has fallen at the popular and moral levels, by murderinghis own people with Russian weapons. These weapons which are being handed to it according to international treaties, as claimed by Russia.

Among these motives, strategy, and the vessels, alike, are what makes the growing Russian involvement in the Syrian crisis much wider than the mere objective of fightingISIS, which was raised by Moscow as a primary slogan for president Putin’s operations in Syria at the start of these operations.

During the first week of operations, the Russian raids rate of about twenty rose to more than sixty air strike per day, mainly centered on the vast majority of Syrian rebels locations of all the groups, in areas of the countryside of Lattakia, Hama, Homs and Aleppo, the city of Aleppo itself. Perhaps the raids on ISIS sites had not exceeded 5 percent of the total air raids.

Such a rate of raids cannot be sustained without the availability of less than eighty aircraft; indeed, there are reports estimated the number of Russian planes in Lattakia base by more than this, including the modern Sukhoi and MIG aircraft that Russia has not sold yet to any other State. Russians also moved to the base of Lattakia and its surrounding dozens of modern tanks, including 90 T, the latest in armored Russian arsenal. But most importantly, the Russian presence also includes anti-aircraft batteries and interceptor aircraft. Given that Syrian rebels do not have any air presence, it is clear that the purpose of anti-aircraft and aircraft interceptor is to deter the pro-Syrian rebels’ regional and international powers.

The Russian officials confirmed, as included in the decision of the Russian parliament, which has provided legislative cover for the operations in Syria, that the Russian military intervention will be limited to the air force, and shall not include ground forces in support of the regime. The New York Times, published in the October 6 / last October, a statement by the Chairman of the Armed Services Committee in the Russian parliament, in which he did not rule out the coming of Russian volunteers into Syria, including  former military, such as volunteers who were active in the eastern Ukrainian provinces. But this statement, even if turned into reality, does not mean that Russia will have an intensive  ground military existence in Syria. At least that’s the situation in the first week of operations. Given the Russian memory in Afghanistan, and that the balance of power in Syria is ever more lopsided in favor of the rebels than was the case in Afghanistan in 1979, any move overland to intervene will not find support from the Russian public opinion.

However, the wars as it is known, is not a purely rational affair, that can be calculated precisely in advance. Therefore, if the Russian air operations failed in incepting any significant positive change for the benefit of the regime, the expansion of the Russian involvement cannot be excluded at all.

Overall, the extent and time of the Russian operations in Syria will depend on the real objective of  Russia’s direct involvement in the crisis. It is not yet clear whether the goal of Moscow is to maintain order and control, and securing this control, within the current existence of the regime circle in Damascus and the Alawi coast area around Homs and Hama; or that the aim is to assist the regime to recover full sovereignty over all Syrian territory; or even  to create a climate and a balance of power favorable for a political solution. Also, disclosure of the real objective of Russia’s operations, if Moscow has actually disclosed this target, will also identify the nature of the response of the pro-Syrian revolutionary’s  regional and international forces, which expressed opposition to the Russian intervention.

Geopolitics and conflict in the Middle East:
The science of geopolitics is defined, according to the book byDr. Jassim Sultan, titled:Geopolitics of Geography and the Next Arab Dream, as the science which examines the relationship between the state and its external environment, its foreign policies, its perceptions about the ocean, and its impact on and vulnerability to the outside world, and how to formulate foreign policies and activities that have achieved greater returns and spared it risks.”

This is the science the major powers are trying to use in order to formulate their foreign policies with the fact that the great powers are always aspiring for influence, domination and control of new areas. So this science is associated with control on the ground on which the state lies, to exercise its influence by virtue of its geographical location, natural resources and by putting forward its own policy in order to secure its interests and protect its security.

Based on this concept,  researcher Dr. Nabeel Khalifa comes up with an analytical essay in Lebanese magazine (Al-Shiraa), where he displays that the Arab world is being re-charted according to new political orientations, indicating that “Russia knows today that the conflict within the geopolitics struggle that is based on competition and control over the regions is a struggle between the Christian civilization of the three, both Protestant (America) and Catholic (Europe) and Orthodox (Russia), along with the branch of the Hebrew Representative in Israel and the Zionist movement.
The other aspect is that which is representative of the Sunni Muslim civilization, and it can be said it is a clash of civilizations in every sense of the word on the basis of the universe, inclusiveness and the people,so as to include all of the background.This vision emphasizes the concepts of the American writer Samuel Huntington in his book The Clash of Civilizations, through which he stressed that the future of the next conflict in the new world will not be ideological or economic, but the great divide will be between humans themselves, and the predominant source of conflict will be cultural.Hence, what is required is to control political Islam and not on the Islamic religion per se, i.e.having control over the hard ideological core, owning most of the energy in the world, and having control over the world center, starting from Morocco through  Indonesia,according to the words of Henry Kissinger, who says that dominating  the middle worldwill be conducive to dominating  the whole world, which means that Islam will play a distinct role in this period that beset the Arab and Islamic region that everyone is trying to control.

In a geopolitical approach to the situation of the Middle East, especially the Gulf and the Fertile Crescent, i.e. the two points of transit between Asia and the Mediterranean, the most important oil reserve in the world, Dr. Khalifa confirms that the area we are shedding light on appetites major countries of the world, which, like other regional  forces, are ready to do anything in order to control them.This dimension has assumed great significance in the current period, especially after the events of September 11, where Islamism has replaced Russia asthe new enemy of the United States.

Through this analysis which offered by Western politicians, they carry with Putinic Russia two major topics to formulate a new strategy in the Middle East:
-Expandingto dominate the world’s humans, lands and the riches, and this is the subject of competition nowadays between the major powers in the squares of the world, including the Middle East scene known asthe composting barrels of gunpowder.
– The friendly rivalry between the major powers to protect the security and the fate of the Jewish people, an issue of existential  importance that cannot be delayed, and which has turned into a demographic battle that cannot be postponed, which is reflected in favor of the Islamic civilization, which is exposed to a process of persecution and direct confrontation with the West, and cooperation with regional countriesthat have their private and national interestscoated with ethnic and sectarian slogans.

Out of these tasks the major powers are seeking to establish a Shiite state in the Shiite Crescent Area between the Gulf and the Mediterranean, and this project wins a US- Russian- Jewish support for objective reasons related to the interests of objectivity to these strategic orientations of the great powers, at the expense of the Arab region, which has become a test yard in Syria and Iraq in order to clear and remove the Sunni influence, allowing countries to penetrate the Sunni bloc, geographically and demographically, politically and religiously and ideologically to weaken this influence, which has become a real threat to global political trends.  Hence, the feeding of extremism and investing therein had been the game of major powers to weaken this influence, but the risk and investment has become a bigger threat to those who bet on this trend and tried to investment it. The Russians who have signed with these propositions pure hostility to Arab countries and the Arab revolutions, and classified the Arab peoples that were in the backyards of the field as extremist and proceeded quickly to strengthen its relations with the Shiite alliance and support it in the face of  the general Sunni bloc,were in the view that the scheme for weakening the Sunni bloc has become ready and it is high time for fruit picking. But  actually, specifically in Syria, the facts were contrary to allraised scenarios, and therefore the Arabs were not the incubator environment for the terrorism of “Daesh and al-Qaeda.”

Russians’exit of Syria, an international agreement, or a domestic defeat ….
Perhaps the Russian decision sudden rapid withdrawal of Syrian quagmire has become the focus of global attention and local this rapid decision made by President Vladimir Putin, Supreme Commander of the Russian Armed Forces Bhsour Foreign Minister Sergei Shogo and Minister of diplomacy who gave things to them Bbda rapid withdrawal of Syria, raising doubts about the continued support of Moscow President of the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad.
Many see that step is questionable and Putin is maneuvering, especially in the shadow of our audit Syrian negotiations under international auspices to reach a political settlement between the warring sides between them

On the other hand, during the conference, which President Putin announced the night of March 14 and took the decision to withdraw, ordered his Minister of diplomacy to activate Russia’s role in the peace process to be held in Geneva and to intensify Russia’s participation in the peace efforts to resolve the crisis, pointing out that the decision came as a surprise to the United States, where Putin told  president of the Syrian regime, “Bashar al-Assad”  of his decision over the phone.
Putin could pick up signals in this resolution, which prompted him to take the decision to move out of Syria to avoid getting involved in a long war there.

And Putin is trying Putin to show his country’s desire in this quick decisions to contribute in the short term to support the peace efforts, which began in Geneva, in memory of the five-year anniversary of the Syrian war, and  is trying to put the blame in the event of failure of the talks on the causes, especially that he sees the opposition weak and gaunt and has no other choice but to agree on the agenda of Russia, or foiling the negotiations.
showed his country’s desire in this quick decisions to contribute in the short term to support the peace efforts, which began in Geneva, in memory of the five-year anniversary of the Syrian war, and who is trying to put the blame in the event of failure of the talks on the causes and especially that he sees the opposition weak and gaunt is no longer their capacity but to agree on the agenda of Russia or foiling the negotiations.
Russian Defense Minister tries during his statement to go to internal audiences in Russia that its forces liberated the 400 Syrian areas (villages and the cities) and captured 5000 square km, and this region constitutes less than 4 percent of the area of ​​Syria. Sergei Shoigu, the Russian Defense Minister, has announced in his statement that Russia  killed 2000 fighters of Russia originsand contributed to dismembering the first terrorist organization the Russian air strikes have been able to paralyze their movement.

The Kremlin for his part confirmed that it will retain a presence in Syria, in order to monitor the truce, noting that Russia would keep its military presence in Tartus naval base and air base in Humaimam near Lattakia, out of which 48 fighters are being operated.  Russia has transported around 2,400 troops since the beginning of the campaign.
It could be argued that the Russian intervention in Syria has now contributed to tilting the balance of the war in favor of the Assad regime, and there are fears that Russian troops withdrawal would lead to decline, even before the start of the political process, in the words of the newspaper.
But the secret of the rapid withdrawal, at a time when Russia had been declaring its permanent victories in Syria during six months, because of the involvement in the Syrian battlefield air operation, and its media were broadcasting on daily basis the fictional successes of Russian troops and the Syrian army.
According to Russian experts, it could be argued that Russia’s withdrawal from Syria, when advanced, is better than getting involved in the war. “The biggest risk of the operation in Syria is to get dragged into a long war, which did not happen,”  he adds.

President Putin will not declare a military victory parade in the Red Square; because victory was not achieved.The main goal for entering by the Russians into the Syrian war was to face ISIS, and ISIS still organizing wander and frolic in Iraq and Syria, and all the Kremlin could do was to level its strikes against moderate opposition, and to weaken it before peace talks begin this week. “

Faced with this sudden strategic Russian scenario, which transformed Putin from a war criminal to a peacemaker, we could say that we are before a series of interpretations that are still far from knowing the real answer for withdrawal, but we can stand up before several interpretations:

First, it can be said that President Putin: “decided to give up Assad because Assad  is the one who disrupts all Russian trends and swims counter current, it is through the withdrawal of military force, it expressed support for the formation of a transitional government, and this will lead to getting rid of the big obstacle of the  success of talks, especially that Putin was suffering from problems with Assad, and perhaps he found a different version of him in the military establishment, having connections with the Russian intelligence.

-Second: It could be argued that Putin as a man of intelligence, who practiced the game of  hit-and-run through a tactical withdrawal before the collapse of the talks expected by Russia, and owing to Moscow’s belief that the Syrian troops are in a good position to deal with the weak opposition forces now, and can help “Assad” through intelligence, electronic units and long-range missiles in Dagestan.
Third: It is related to the campaign in Ukraine, where the Russian forces cannot fight save on one front, and Vladimir Putin wants to make Russia an important ally of the United States,  get through it on the easing of sanctions imposed on Russia, and then re-campaign again.

Fourth: Arguably the point plaguing Russia for continuing its campaign which is oil, king of Saudi King, “Salman” planned Moscow visit associated with the discontinuation  of the Russian bombardment in Syria, Putin needs an agreement with Saudi Arabia on oil prices, in light of lower prices in the global market.

Despite all these predictions and actual explanations seen by the Western press and  Russian observers of the file, we must stand clearly on the background, which forced Putin’s sudden withdrawal from Syria …
The Russian President has been able to grab the period of time for the start of the Syrian negotiations and present himself to his country and his people as a real maker  of peacein Syria as well as in Ukraine… especially since Putin is at the threshold of parliamentary elections and he wants to present himself for the presidency of the country for a long time. Therefore, he is aware that the military campaign sanctioned by parliament for him will not last forever, which interprets Putin’s keenness on retaining his leadership and the state.

It must be said that the Russian military rapid withdrawal from Syrian was a defeat for Russia, regardless of all the scenarios that are trying to paint or explain the event, so we can pause at the withdrawal and recall its external and internal causes:

First: Russia has been unable to achieve any field victory that could be declared, despite the change of military map on the ground in favor of the regime, which strengthened its negotiating shortcomings.

Second: Russia collided with the opposition of  invincible people, and perhaps the protests of first Friday of the truce on March 4 was all too clear that the Syrian people cannotbe defeated, despite all the inflammatory propaganda directed against them.
Third: Russia knows very well that Assad’s army victories are temporal, thus it knows well that al-Assad has become a burden on Russia and on its political relations with countries of the region, specifically the Arab Gulf.

Fourth: Russia knows well that the next failure of the negotiations shall give way for the Arab-Muslim intervention, which would put Russia before either of two options: (withdrawal or confrontation).

Fifth: Russia is trying to share files (Ukraine for Syria), but Russia could not do that. Therefore, it has been trying to isolate the other parties to capture the Syrian file and negotiate with America.
Sixth:Failure to achieve victory in the Ukraine requires coordination with the United States at the expense of others to bring violations onthe international arena in the Syrian and Ukrainian files, through the capturing by the US and Russia of the Global files.

On the domestic front the Russian calculations were more precise:
-Russia is preparing for parliamentary elections next September, and these elections must be prepared for well, and thus Putin presented the paper of withdrawal to Russian fans in order to reach and win the majority comfortably.
– Russia is suffering from a severe financial crisis, and the continuation of the war will not serve the Russian economy.
Russia  needs to give a good image before Saudi Arabia, which is well aware that it needed them in opposition control and to force it to continue negotiations, in addition to Saudi Arabia and the Gulf position with Russia on adjusting oil production process, which contributed not to the continuation of the economic meltdown.

Russian withdrawals came after US and Western assurances ensuring Russia’s interests in Syria, which is expressed by the Russian defense minister that the Russian bases will continue to work as had always been, in addition to the submission of Russia as an essential partner in the war against terrorism, through Russian tolerance for carrying out military strikes on the bases of terrorism under an approved truce that did not include Daesh and Nusra.

The Russians came out after the agreement on securing their interests and their influence at the expense of the Syria and its  people. The Russians know well that Assad will not last, and his troops will not continue, and this reminds us of the Russian withdrawal from Afghanistan when the Najibullah regime was left alone battling against the combatant forces in Afghanistan and the Russians left him to his fate, which led to his death without paying attention to him and his regime, and this scenario would be an honorable exit for Assad and does not bear the burden of protecting and helping him later.

The fate of the Syrian people and  their proper political transition remain pending with the Saudi position and the Gulf in particular, and with the international community seriously dealing with the Syrian crisis that has been left unattended for five years.
Arabs today are a key force to impose a political decision, and they have proven this through their serious dealing with many hot-button issues, with which they succeeded, raising the slogans of “the people of Mecca know better the twists of its hills,” Arab national security is above any other consideration.

Energy brokers a new conflict:

Russia and its President Vladimir Putin have got fed up with the West and its arrogance. The West did not treat Russia as agreat power in the world. Rather, itdisrespected it and reneged on all its promises to it.But basically the answer to this question remains in the rough in the process of international conflict, or “Nations game”, represented by having control over energy sources. Conflict over energy sources: the struggle for energy sources has actually begun when the twentieth century Azerbaijan -America agreement was signed, which was named the Baku-Ceyhan pipeline. At the time, Russia was suffering from economic, social, military and moral collapse and had not been able to maintain its rights and considered an interference in its internal affairs. But Russia today considers the battle in Syria as its own battle whereby Russia is being driven away from emerging energy sources in the Mediterranean areas, where it was promised to extract them alone, because of the dominance of its allies on this oil Crescent. Oil security is the main problem faced by the countries of the world, which increases demand for it, the existence of promising oil resources in this region, the Mediterranean countries, particularly Arab ones, opened appetite of the conflict wide between the major powers in order to preserve the interests and ensure the continuity of economic and industrial power-based energy, which introduced it in the fray of conflicts and alliances.

Energy in the new Russian strategy:

Putinic Russia, which has declared itself a superpower in the field of oil, gas and nuclear energy and because of the huge reserves in its geographic areas and because of its technical, scientific strength inherited from the previous era, which helped it extract this stock,and led it to adopt a new strategy in the third millennium. Russia depends on the normal force in the coming war. In this regard, writes researcher geopolitical Khattar Abu Diab, in the Lebanese Republic newspaper “dated April 8, 2013, in an article entitled« Russian policy in the eastern Mediterranean between Tartus base and the discovery of gas”that  maintaining the economic interests is a legitimate right of all nations, but not at other people’s expense. It was the oil power and high oil prices globally which helped current Russia to restore its role through the enormous financial and economic capabilities, which helped to restore a strong role as a player after 20 years of international marginalization due to the collapse which befell the Soviet Union and the socialist camp. The process of searching for new sites for oil and energy less expensive and safer for the environment and the population after the increase in accidents caused by the adoption of nuclear reactors to produce electricity, and the shadow of rising oil prices, has been theheadache of major powers, including Russia.Therefore, the world is currently experiencing a sharp international conflict over oil resources and the centers of its availability, which is concentrated in particular in the Middle East, Africa, Central Asia and Russia, the oilproducing and fostering countries. Europe depends entirely on gas and oil, which is imported from these countries, everyone competes on safe ways to transport oil and gas to the industrial countries and deliver it to world markets, especially after the intensification of competition among them. Russia and Iran, friends and enemies: Iran’s conflict with the United States is a struggle for the recognition of the geopolitical influence of Iran aspiring to lead the entire region.

Hence, the importance of the Russian-Iranian-Syrian alliance to control the energy sources comes to surface .. Iran, which is fighting a war for control of the Strait of Hormuz and is fighting a war in Yemen for control of the Strait of Bab el-Mandeb through its support of the Southern Movement in Aden and the Houthis, and in Kuwait, Bahrain and Lebanon and support for the Gaza Strip through its allies in Hamas and Islamic Jihad movement and deadly alliance with the regime in Syria to stay on the Syrian coast ports, and control of the three UAE islands. So, Iran’s influence lies in controlling the Arab Sea outlets to put up a new strategy based on Iran’s military power through the control of sea ports, and here we can go back to the old German strategy based on a steady military power and water power of moving, for water power is militarily stronger as a result of its ability to move, which enables control of the sea, and he who possesses control over the sea, would be the most capable of moving around and the strongest militarily. Interests are above all considerations: the of oil promising discoveries , and by virtue of their location in the Mediterranean, and by virtue of the recent occurrence of the European consumer countries, this area will transform into a major center of energy in the world, particularly by linking the gas lines, oil and electricity networks between the continents of”Asia, Africa, and Europe” via Egypt and Turkey, through Syria. Turkey is the gateway to the new gas extracted from the Caucasus and the Caspian Sea, Central Asia and down to the European assembly and distribution center in the Austrian city of “Bumajartn” in the center of Western Europe.

Turkey has set up a Caucasus gas connecting line known as the line of “Nabucco”, which will be linked later with the Arab line via the Syrian city of Banias in Homs, down to the Turkish border, along with linking the electricity grid lines in the Levant to the Turkish- EU electricity grid via Turkey. For these reasons, and due to its geographical location,  Syria will play a key role in the linking the process. Within such location, both the Asian and European links that are trying to export oil to Western Europe meet, in addition to the discovery of many new oil fields on the Syrian coast and near the Russian base in Tartus and the Lebanese border. As for Iran, it is trying to export its gas to Europe through the Nabucco pipeline via the Iraq – Syria – Turkey line, which was established since 2009. The Standpipes which are being built are aimed to get rid of the Russian pipeline restrictions and reduction of the gas quantity being exported to Europe, where Russia has become a monopolistic state of this natural wealth in its permanent attempts to have impact on the global economy. Russian interest in Syria goes back to the discovery of  Syria’s new wealth, which ranks high among the priorities of Russian policy, which depends primarily on the agenda of the Trinity: “geopolitics, money, and wealth” in the exercise of its new policy as described by the geopolitical expert, Dr. Khattar Abu Diab.

Russians, after the Arab revolutions, have adopted a hostile rhetoric against these fledgling revolts, by questioning them and promoting global propaganda warns of “radical Islam.”

As for the Israeli gas: Russia presented itself as the state of stability for the region under the shadow of the existence of a Russian – Jewish community with which it has special relations, as well as economic, financial and political capabilities, through friendly competition between Russia and the United States to protect Israel’s security. As for the Turkish gas transmission lines, Russia is trying to reach out to Turkey via proposals for building economic partnership, building power plants and the development of trade, which was marked by the visit of President Putin’s recent visit to Turkey.

The Middle East and the conflict of opposites:

The geopolitical importance of the Middle East comes as a result of the escalation of the importance of control of the natural gas, which highlights the importance of gas in politics and the economy due to the following reasons:

 freestanding gas a clean source and environment-friendly and ideal for the replacement of the power plants, which helps European countries in mandatory carbon dioxide reduction by the year 2020.

The economic cost of gas is lower than any alternative source of energy.Gas is a wonderful and guaranteed source for the European Union and the West. Russia is trying to control this source despite the attempt by Qatar to threaten the Russian markets, especially in the backyard “Ukraine, Belarus and Georgia..” The new fields that have been discovered in the Middle East, especially in Syria, makes Russia more intransigent and tougher to uphold the Syrian file, driven by its greedy ambitions.The last marathon visit by the envoy of Russian President Putin, Mikhail Bgdanov, to Lebanon, which brought with it many messages of the Parties to the Lebanese people, did not ignore the issueof the future of gas and what is Russia’s role in the process of drilling,  at a time when the Lebanese Ministry of Energy was receiving nomination for International Partnerships requests, including Russian companies

المركز الديمقراطى العربى

المركز الديمقراطي العربي مؤسسة مستقلة تعمل فى اطار البحث العلمى والتحليلى فى القضايا الاستراتيجية والسياسية والاقتصادية، ويهدف بشكل اساسى الى دراسة القضايا العربية وانماط التفاعل بين الدول العربية حكومات وشعوبا ومنظمات غير حكومية.

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