21:59 GMT19 June 2021
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    Commenting on reports in the British media that the UK is getting ready to "pivot" its focus from Iraq to Syria and "is preparing to mount a major offensive in Syria next year," Russian security expert Sergei Sokolov has explained to Radio Sputnik the real reason behind this move.

    The UK's Royal Air Force (RAF) is "preparing to mount a major offensive in Syria next year as it takes the fight against ISIL (Daesh, Islamic State) to the "heart of the caliphate" in Raqqa," British national daily The Telegraph reported on Sunday.

    It quoted senior military sources as saying that from next spring the RAF is "likely to 'pivot' its focus from Iraq to Syria as it seeks to bolster rebel forces fighting Syria."

    The newspaper said that last year the RAF mounted just 60 air strikes in Syria compared to 347 in Iraq. However Britain hopes that Mosul will be "re-taken by spring of next year," which will enable "RAF Typhoons, Tornados and Reaper drones to mount a fresh offensive in Syria."

    Commenting on the above reports, Russian expert from the Federal Information Center Analysis and Security Sergei Sokolov explained to Radio Sputnik that the UK simply wants to rival the successes of the Russian Aerospace Forces and Syrian government troops in Syria.

    "Neither the US nor the UK ask for any permission for such activities or support it with any international documents," he told Sputnik.

    "This is simply an attempt to "balance" the forces in the region which arose after the successful joint military operations of Russia's Aerospace Forces and the Syrian Army of President Assad," he explained.

    The expert is convinced that the British military will go on with their support of the so-called "moderate" opposition rather than fight against terrorists.

    "There is no clear division between terrorists and the so-called "moderate" opposition," he told Sputnik.

    What is portrayed as the "moderate" opposition is nothing but the very same terrorists under a different name, he explained. The UK therefore will be acting in an alliance with the US providing cover to the "moderates."

    Sokolov however suggested that it is the US and its relationship with Russia which will define the developments in the region.

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    moderate Syrian rebels, Syrian conflict, Britain's Royal Air Force, Daesh, Sergei Sokolov, Syria, Russia, US, United Kingdom
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