16:42 GMT26 February 2021
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    Russia Versus ISIL in Syria (618)
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    Despite the West’s repeatedly expressed doubts regarding Russian airstrikes on ISIL militants in Syria, it should be crystal clear that Moscow has flawlessly calculated each and every move, Chinese analyst Feng Yujun wrote for an article in Global Times.

    The tenacity with which Moscow is carrying out its military operation in Syria pursues several goals.

    It is important to note that currently more than 7,000 Russian citizens are fighting on the side of Islamic State, and if these people set out to return home, it could be catastrophic for Russia.

    But getting rid of these terrorists is not Moscow’s only goal, Feng Yujun noted. By extending support to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Russia is strengthening its presence in the region, the analyst continued.

    "Russia aims to keep its bases in Tartus and Latakia and it is no secret that Moscow has long wanted to gain a position in the Black Sea in order to get a passage to the Mediterranean Sea eventually. It is also clear that Russia wants to feel more confident due to the ‘encirclement’ by NATO."

    There is also the factor of the ‘vacuum’ zone. At present the US is leaving the Middle East region and focusing its attention on the Asia-Pacific. The Middle East is therefore forming a ‘vacuum’. It is possible that Russia will seize this opportunity and take the vacant seat as the leading power in the region.

    Therefore, by restoring its influence in the Middle East, Moscow will make a strategically important move against the United States, Feng Yujun said.

    Russia is also trying to shift the internal position of the country that is facing recession due to the sanctions imposed by the US and Europe.

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    Russia Versus ISIL in Syria (618)

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    Middle East, airstrike, Syria, Russia, Latakia, Tartus
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