The Russian operation in Syria was part of Moscow’s global strategy aimed at restoring its international influence beyond the post-Soviet region. This strategy changed the balance of power in the Middle East, including diminishing the role of the United States.
According to the author, the future of Moscow’s strategy will depend on the military victory on the ground. In turn, it depends on cooperation with Iran, negotiations with Turkey and the "lassitude of the United States."
Success of Russia’s Strategy
Thanks to the Russian intervention, the Syrian government led by President Bashar Assad managed to restore public confidence lost after a series of failures in Spring 2015.
The situation is complicated in Aleppo where militants receive support from Turkey. Moreover, Russian warplanes have to support Syrian forces incapable of defending its territory, like it is happening now in northern Hama Province.
The author suggested that at the next stage of the Russian operation may involve an extended military presence on the ground, in order to protect strategic areas, including northwestern Latakia, Palmyra and Aleppo.
The author noted that the operation costs the Russian budget on average $3 million a day, and so it is affordable for Moscow. In addition, the showcase of Russian military power in Syria has already gained a number of new arms deal. In 2016, Russia’s portfolio of defense exports reached $50 billion against $38.5 billion in 2011. Russia is the second largest arms exporter in the world, with a market share of 25 percent.
"Russia will not withdraw from Syria due to financial difficulties," the article noted.
Washington Turning Away From Syria
"The Syrian problem will probably be left to Russia and Iran," according to the article.
The US will not oppose the Russian strategy in Syria. A ceasefire agreement signed by Moscow and Washington in Geneva on September 10 is a sign that Barack Obama wants to ease tensions in Syria even if this plays in the hands of Russia and Iran.
The reason is the lack of an alternative to the peaceful settlement to the conflict.
The US admitted its impuissance and this is a diplomatic victory by Russian President Vladimir Putin, the article read.
"Despite the fact that military achievements are minor and the victory will require doubled efforts, it is important that the US strategy to change regime in Syria has failed," the author concluded.