Why Putin’s Strategy in Syria Wins Over and Over Again

© Sputnik / Alexei Druzhinin / Go to the photo bankVladimir Putin at the testing grounds of the Central Aero-Dynamic Institute (TsAGI) in Zhukovsky near Moscow after the test flight of a Sukhoi T-50 fifth generation fighter.
Vladimir Putin at the testing grounds of the Central Aero-Dynamic Institute (TsAGI) in Zhukovsky near Moscow after the test flight of a Sukhoi T-50 fifth generation fighter. - Sputnik International
Roland Lombardi, an independent consultant on Middle East issues, explained why Russia is playing some of the strongest cards in the Middle East and is likely to score a strategic victory in the region.

A multifunctional fighter-bomber Su-34 of the Russian Aerospace Forces lands at Hemeimeem air base in Syria - Sputnik International
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In his recent piece for The Atlantic, political analyst Dominique Tierney assumed that no matter what will be the outcome of the Syrian war – the situation will not get better.

Commenting on the article, Lombardi told Atlantico that Tierney’s point of view is biased and lacks credibility.

"It portrays the world like many so-called 'analysts' and 'experts' want to see it, and provides no real picture of the world. In the beginning of the Syrian crisis many of them wrote that Moscow will abandon Bashar Assad and he will be toppled in two weeks. And what do we see now?" he said.

According to the analyst, the allegations predicting failure for the Russian operation in Syria were based on initially false assumptions and incorrect historic remarks.

"For example, comparing the Russian aerial campaign in Syria to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979 is absurd! First of all, the regional and global environment has dramatically changed since then. In recent years, the Russian Armed Forces has undergone significant modernization. By 2020, they will be re-armed by 70 percent with modern equipment. […] And the operation in Syria has proved those measures highly effective," he said.

According to Lombardi, Moscow has had a clear strategy in fighting terrorism in Syria, including strengthening the Russian position in the Middle East.
He also noted that no one can predict the outcome of Vladimir Putin’s strategy in Syria.

"However, I don’t think Russia will lose in Syria," he underscored, saying that in fact Russian foreign policy enjoys broad support in the international arena.

"Russia is not diplomatically isolated. Many major nations like India support Russia in the UN, and like China in the UN Security Council. What is more, after the November terrorist attacks in Paris, many European countries, particularly France, have started drifting away from the risky US policy in the Middle East. Jordan, Iraq, Egypt, Iran and Israel are supporting Russian efforts in the Middle East. Even some Pentagon generals and strategists have called for cooperation in Moscow," the analyst explained.

Following indications from US Defense Secretary Ash Carter earlier this week, President Barack Obama confirmed on Friday that the Pentagon would deploy between 20 and 50 “advisers” to combat the self-proclaimed Islamic State terror group in Syria. - Sputnik International
Time for Washington to Admit 'Russia Is Right on Syria'
Lombardi also assumed that the Russian operation in Syria will not destabilize the region, while Turkey and Saudi Arabia could do this.

"Actions of Ankara and Riyadh are contrary to the settlement of the regional conflicts. It seems that the Turks and the Saudis are panicking since their regional strategy has failed. They are supporting militants and hampering the peace process and thus weakening their positions in the negotiations," Lombardi noted.

According to Lombardi, Russia’s persisting support for Assad comes from its unbiased view of the situation: there is no alternative to him so far.

"The Russian strategy is logical and consistent. It protects Russian and European interests as well," he pointed out.

The only risk regarding the success of the Russian campaign in Syria may be the possible rise of terrorist threats in Europe and Russia, the expert added.

"However, Russian security services are well known for their systematic and uncompromised activities against terrorists," Lombardi said.

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