Syria: who's involved, and what do they want?
Among those glancing at Syria's seven-year conflict, a simple but misleading that the relationship between the US and Russia was at rock bottom. Russia is not protecting Assad because of any significant economic or. Quite simply, Soviet “economic and political penetration” of the Middle Tracing relations between Russia and Syria reveals long-term Soviet. As reported in the previous entry of Putin's World, the ties between the Russian and Syrian governments have ties going back well over forty.
After the latest apparent chemical attack on civilians by the Assad regime though Russia blamed the opposition for the attackTrump sprung into action again and publicly castigated Russia.
Trump first claimed that the US would be sending over missiles, taunting Russia with a series of tweetsbefore lamenting that the relationship between the US and Russia was at rock bottom.
Putin's World: The Economic Ties Between Russia & Syria
And now, a set of limited missile strikes in collaboration with US allies has targeted supposed chemical weapons productions and storage sites. In the UN Security Council, Russia has consistently vetoed resolutions that could repeat the Libyan intervention inwhen a no-fly zone was liberally interpreted to justify regime change. Russia is not protecting Assad because of any significant economic or military ties, but for two other specific reasons.
For one, Russia presents the integrity of Syrian governance structures as a bulwark against radical Islamist alternatives. The two share a strategic outlook on key regional issues, not least the plight of the Palestinians.Why Russia Is So Involved With The Syrian Civil War
Syria has historically acted as a key conduit for Iranian support to Hezbollah as it resists Israel from neighbouring Lebanon. That in turn means Iran vitally needs a friendly government in Damascus to safeguard its strategic clout in the region. And alongside their forces, Iran has helped corral volunteer fighters from across the Shia world to join the fight, initially as defenders of sacred Shia shrines.
Iran has been working with Russia and Turkey to establish de-escalation zones in Syria, but recent Israeli air strikes and the looming threat of Western action against Assad bring in the very real spectre of direct clashes — with Iran, Hezbollah, Syria and Russia on one side, and Western and Israeli forces on the other.
Turkey Alpaslan Ozerdem, Coventry University At the end of their trilateral Syrian summit on April 4, the leaders of Turkey, Syria and Iran put on a show of unity — but it was somewhat misleading.
- Russian involvement in the Syrian Civil War
- Re-Emergence: A Study of Russian Strategy in Syria, the Middle East and Its Implications
- Russia-Israel Relationship Transformed by Syria Conflict
The three countries are still deeply divided over the Syrian war, and on what sort of peace they would want to see. Russian counterinsurgency operations in Syria have generally been limited to close air support in Syrian military offensives, a small contingent of special operations forces, and a complement of ground forces that have provided base security since the start of Russian operations.
Naval forces have provided support fires via naval aviation and Kalibr cruise missiles launched from ships off the Syrian coast. These contractors have also appeared in the Ukraine conflict, in which Russia denies involvement.
In FebruaryRussian contractors were part of an operation to secure a vacant oil field alongside a pro-government militia. An image shared on social media of Russian mercenaries operating in Syria Twitter In the spring of andRussian airstrikes and special operations forces were instrumental in giving Syrian forces the edge in capturing the ancient city of Palmyra from the Islamic State.
However, renewed operations in March re-captured the city.
Russian special operations, or Spetsnaz, have also made their mark serving alongside Syrian military units and front-line militias. Special operators have performed in an advisory role alongside Syrian units, taking part in the spring offensive in Palmyra and filling reconnaissance roles in airstrikes on Islamic State and opposition targets.
The Russian way of warfare is part of the larger Russian attempt at spreading influence, and thereby control, in Africa, the Middle East, and the Caucasus. As such, understanding the ways Russia has conducted its modern wars is vital to understanding its intervention in Syria.
The application of non-linear or hybrid warfare in the battlespace is part of Russian strategy to divide and conquer, thus allowing for greater Russian control over the actors and outcome of the conflict. Security assistance has also played a role in the application of control as noted below.
In the Second Chechen War ofRussian forces sought to use local militias as both supplements to ground operations and as political tools following the end of the conflict.
These militias were born out of the divide and conquer element of Russian strategy in Chechnya, thus giving Moscow local allies against the Chechen resistance. The Chechen strategy saw Russian-militias eventually take power and align themselves with Moscow, which continues to this day under current leader Ramzan Kadyrov. However, Russian foreign aid has increased markedly after a drop following the fall of the Soviet Union.
Soviet-era aid was essential to its foreign policy and the projection of communist ideology overseas. Priority regions and countries could be identified by mapping total amounts of aid and recipients of higher portions. The Middle East received massive economic and technical assistance throughout the s and s; the financing and construction of the Aswan Dam in Egypt exemplified Soviet strategy to pull countries from Western influence.
The number of recipients of Soviet equipment transfers increased from 29 countries in to 36 between and Previously, Soviet arms transfers consisted of older equipment, often surplus.
However, in the late s and early s, militaries of the developing world began fielding near-first-line equipment like the T main battle tank and the MiG interceptor aircraft. Major internal disorganization hindered the ability to exercise a strong foreign policy beyond the immediate Russian periphery. While aid programs were virtually dormant during the s, they were slowly restored under President Putin and then under President Dimitri Medvedev in the mids.
Russian military aid increased greatly in the weeks preceding the intervention in Syria. The policy of defending institutions from terrorist threats is a primary element of Russian foreign policy and global engagement.
With historical examples of abuses under both Soviet and Russian regimes, human rights violations are pervasive in current air operations.
Russian strategy in Syria and the Middle East is clearly marked by shaping regional security and politics thru time-tested means of forward deployed military forces on land and sea, economic and security assistance, and bi-lateral training exercises taking place in both regional states and Russia itself.
Arab states are notorious in their bid to retain sovereignty over their economies and armed forces, using limited amounts of foreign assistance from both Western nations and Russia to take advantage of assistance opportunities, but protect against too much outside influence and succumbing to dependency.
In a broader sense, Russia has created an independent narrative in the region. Attitudes toward the Russian military and its hardware, however flawed and accident-prone, makes clear that timely and effective Western counters to the ways in which Russia projects power and exploits fissures in policy and influence will be slow in realization and implementation.
Russian involvement in the Syrian Civil War - Wikipedia
InHarrison was a non-resident intern for the Center for Political Military Analysis at the Hudson Institute, researching security issues related to Russia and China. Army, the Department of Defense, or the U.
This article appeared originally at Strategy Bridge.
Syria exported confectionery, fruit, fabrics, wearing apparels, and a number of other raw materials. The LA Times reports: Aghayev explained the economic importance of the debt agreement: Total amount of the Syrian debt to Russia reached In the article he referenced me to, he explains the benefit both countries saw from the debt agreement in the following years: Thus, inthe international trade between the Russian Federation and the Syrian Arab Republic was 1.