WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Moscow has achieved its political goals in Syria with a limited use of military, US Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Senator John McCain stated on Thursday.
"Despite predictions of a Russian quagmire, [Russian President Vladimir] Putin has instead used limited military means to achieve distinct political goals," McCain said. "Vladimir Putin is playing a weak hand economically and demographically, but he is consistently playing it better than we are playing ours,"
The US-led coalition of more than 60 nations has been carrying out airstrikes in Syria and Iraq against Daesh since the summer of 2014. However, the coalition has acted in Syria without the approval of the country’s government or an authorization by the UN Security Council.
The US senator continued, "Meanwhile advanced Russian military capabilities remain in Syria enhancing Putin’s ability to project power beyond the region, once again the US response has appeared confused, reactive and inadequate."
On September 30, Moscow began its air campaign in Syria on Damascus' request, during which the Russian Aerospace Forces conducted precision airstrikes against the extremists' targets. On March 14, Putin ordered to withdraw most of Russia's military contingent from Syria after accomplishing its objective.
The Russian leader has repeatedly stated that Moscow’s campaign in the war-torn country would only be limited to air operations.