Russian Exploits in Syria

Section Editor: Malcolm Green

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Russian Jet-fighters have the capability to land and originate airstrikes from Iranian Airfields, Photo courtesy of Emily Boswell.

Since last September when Syrian president Bashar Al-Assad was in dire threat of being ousted out of power, Russia has been continually intervening into the Syrian conflict. Russia has had a long history of being involved in Middle Eastern politics, but the reasoning has remained the same.

They have invaded, assisted, and overwritten the authority of many countries in the region when it stands to increase their own geo-political prowess. With Syria, it is the same concept, increase Russian relations in the Middle East to establish a long-standing military presence.

Putin has shown his ability to be able and annex provinces, which he sees to be ethnically Russian as in Ukraine, but when sheer military power has no influence over the actions of other countries, he resorts to solutions that are more diplomatic. The Assad government in Syria is one of the last two allies Russia has the in the Arab world and they are willing to go through any means necessary to keep a tight hold them.

The country of Syria has a repeated history of offences with surrounding Arab countries including Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and Jordan. These countries are also coincidentally the same countries funding and arming the non-state militant groups attempting a takeover of the Assad government.

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The Syrian civil War has long raged on and has displaced many of the country’s original inhabitants. Photo courtesy of  Emily Boswell

 

The Arab League itself does not officially recognize the current government of Syria and instead is one of the main proponents of the Syrian National Coalition. The Russian Government, as well has one of the most stressed relations with the Islamic countries that surround Syria. Turkey, while saying they are fighting an extensive battle against the Islamic State, is only targeting the Kurdish Freedom Fighters to their Southern border. This exemplifies how Turkey and Russia have opposing goals in the Syrian conflict.

Russia wants to secure the established President Bashar Al-Assad. Turkey intends to exploit the situation by further persecuting Kurds who fight ISIL and the Assad government.

Turkey shooting down a Russian Jet escalated tensions to point where the U.S was nearly pulled into another unnecessary armed conflict in the Middle East since Turkey is a member of NATO. Exacerbating the ordeal, Russia currently has the ability to designate attacks originating from Iran.

This forces the hand of many Sunni Arab countries to further their participation into the Syrian Civil War. The Gulf states are currently establishing further Sunni oversight in the formation of a possible new Syria if Assad loses power.

This puts Russia in the position of no-longer remaining a neutral entity in the conflict and could possibly lead to a decrease in oil sales from the Persian Gulf to the Russian Republic. With that very likely possibility, the U.S and multiple Gulf States have exerted the power they hold with this influential resource to have Russia continually withdraw forces from the region.

Much of the Syrian conflict, and its eventual outcome, depends heavily on the militaristic powerhouse that is Russia. With the dwindling assistance from Russia, the reigning government in Syria is sure to be ousted, but we as Americans will have to deal with the aftermath.

Much of the resistance to peace deals in the Middle East has come from the autocratic government in Syria. The dominant force in suppressing many ethnic minorities in the region is Syria, and perhaps with the removal of the current government, there can be an era that fosters in peace and prosperity for the commonly oppressed.

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