"After two years of Russia’s military operations in Syria, it is now clear that its results have been successful both in military and political terms. Russia has turned the tide of the conflict. Russia is now playing a key role in the Syrian settlement and its influence in the Middle East is beyond any doubt," Giampiero Venturi, Italian geopolitical analyst with the website Difesa Online, told Sputnik Italy.
Moscow has been conducting an anti-terrorist operation in Syria since September 30, 2015. Unlike the operation by the US-led international coalition, the Russian efforts in Syria are fully legitimate since the campaign was launched at the request of Syrian President Bashar Assad.
According to Venturi, the situation in Syria underscores the importance of global efforts against terrorism, especially against Daesh. Russia’s involvement has changed the political and military situation in Syria, but it also sheds light on the geopolitical balance in the Middle East, a region that has been the "victim of Western political mistakes" for the last two decades.
He also underscored that the Russian operation in Syria is an example of an effective counterterrorism campaign that has "real results."
"Russia proved that it is possible to fight terrorism with military force. What is needed is an international alliance of countries, that would have a clear understanding of their goals," Venturi pointed out.
Commenting on possible future developments in the region, the Italian expert suggested that Russia is likely to play the role of mediator in the new political and military environment.
"Iran will return to the international arena in the future, but Israel is not ready to accept Tehran’s expanding role in Syria and the Middle East as a whole. Russia is the only country that can talk to Iran and at the same time give security guarantees to Iran. In the long run, Russia will be a mediator in the Middle East," he concluded.