In an op-ed published in the online edition of Milan-based daily newspaper il Giornale on Saturday, the journalist suggested that Europeans should admit that at the moment, "the reality is that Moscow, alone, is waging a war against Islamist terrorism." Furthermore, according to Rossi, "Europeans should have no doubts: we must go along with Russia on this issue, no ifs, ands or buts about it."
The journalist recalls that up to now, much of Western media analysis on Russia's air war in Syria has revolved around the suggestion that Moscow is only there to "prop up the dictator Assad," focusing on targeting the so-called 'moderate rebels' just as much, if not more than ISIL extremists.
As far as Russia's assistance to the Assad government is concerned, Rossi explained that first of all, "Syria is indeed a long-standing ally of Moscow in the Middle East since the Soviet period, and when the Syrian civil war grew into an international conflict with the direct intervention of the United States, Turkey and Saudi Arabia, it was quite normal that Moscow sided with its ally, which by the way is headed by the country's legitimate government."
As for the suggestion that "Moscow is not in Syria to fight ISIL," which he called an "outright lie," Rossi noted that Russian intelligence sources have warned repeatedly and for quite some time that "thousands of foreign fighters" from across the Caucasus and Central Asia have joined the terror group. These men, "capable of operations not only in guerilla warfare but also in operations in the open field against regular armies," are "a ticking time bomb" for Moscow and its allies, "ready to explode in Central Asia and Russia in the coming years," according to the analyst. Therefore, it would be completely illogical, irresponsible, and frankly, impossible for Moscow to ignore this threat.
As for the suggestion that the Russian mission in Syria targets so-called 'moderate rebels', the commentator argued that the very idea of moderate rebels "is a lie we have carried over from the senseless war in Libya, now touting it for much of the Syrian conflict as well, at least until the sensational exposure of the US's failure to train [these moderates]. The 'rebels' bombarded by Russian jets are, in reality, jihadists linked to al-Qaeda and to other Sunni fundamentalist groups."
"The truth," Rossi suggests, "is that Putin and Russia are waging a war with no quarter given to Islamic fundamentalism, represented by the ISIL 'multinational' and its associates disguised as democratic moderate rebels." As a result of Russia's efforts, the journalist notes, "ISIL is suffering defeats in the field which were unthinkable only a month ago."
Noting that Europe has, until now, been "too shy in the face of the threat of Islamist fundamentalism," the journalist concludes that the Old Continent must step up, showing no hesitation in joining with Russia to defeat this grave threat.
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