21:12 GMT25 September 2020
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    Russia Versus ISIL in Syria (618)
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    Russia’s participation in the fight against ISIL in Syria could bring some major changes in the balance of power in the Middle East, Semyon Bagdasarov, the director of the Center for the Middle East and Central Asian Studies, told Radio Sputnik.

    On Wednesday, Russia launched airstrikes on ISIL targets in Syria following a request from President Bashar Assad. The Syrian government is fighting a number of opposition forces and radical Islamist militant organizations.

    Bagdasarov thinks the ongoing airstrike campaign against ISIL has so far been successful.

    "The results of first airstrikes enable the Syrian army to move further into the line of contact with terrorist groups and take control, from what I understand, of the highway between Homs and Damascus. That's why airstrikes are good help to the Syrian army and quite an effective operation," Bagdasarov told Sputnik.

    The political expert added that some countries in the region, such as Saudi Arabia, will try to hinder the Russian operation in Syria.

    The Saudis might start re-arming the terrorist organizations, such as al-Nusra Front, Jaush al-Islam (The Army of Islam) and Jaish al-Fatah (The Army Conquest) so that they have modern anti-aircraft missiles to counter Russian planes.

    Furthermore, the United States will attempt to bring together various groups of Syrian opposition forces to make them fight against the al-Assad and Russian forces.

    "Together with their allies, the Americans will try to consolidate Syrian opposition forces of various kinds. Similar to what they did in Afghanistan, creating a number of Mujahedeen groups," Bagdasarov explained.

    At the same time, the United States and its allies will try to tug away the Kurdish resistance forces of Peshmerga to fight on the side of "moderate" Syrian opposition against the army of al-Assad, the political scientist said.

    The United States will now sit back and watch how Russian airstrikes are conducted, what targets do they hit and with what purpose. The US Air Force reduced its own airstrikes, letting ISIL to recover a little bit, meanwhile closely monitoring the overall situation.

    It's a big game now and the US government needs to cautiously think through its future actions. Syria has become the board of a complicated chess game and a series of significant political moves will soon take place in the region.

    "There is a whole different war now," Bagdasarov concluded.

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    Russia Versus ISIL in Syria (618)

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    Tags:
    Daesh, airstrike, political game, military strategy, The Syrian war, Jaish al-Fatah, Jaush al-Islam, Peshmerga, Al-Nusra Front, Semyon Bagdasarov, Syria, United States, Russia, Saudi Arabia
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