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    The results of a poll conducted by research company Populus have shown that Europe is not perceived by Europeans as a major force in the fight against terrorism and, in particular, against Daesh in Syria.

    According to the survey, respondents believe that Washington and Moscow play the most important role in tackling terrorism in the Middle East. Such perceptions could be related to Washington's specific conception of security and the success of the Russian military operation in Syria, security expert Merve Önenli Güven said in an exclusive interview with Sputnik.

    Güven pointed out that in the period of the Cold War Europe had the idea of security policies "under the aegis of America." Such threats of modern time, like the military conflict in Syria and the refugee crises only strengthened such perceptions among Europeans.

    Moreover, "the analysis of the statements made by US leadership shows that in the context of strengthening Russia's positions in the Middle East, the United States prefers a balanced compromise policy to confrontation in its relations with Russia. This could be another reason why Europeans perceive America as a leading player in the negotiation process on the Syrian crisis," Güven said.

    Another important result of the poll revealed that the Syrian government army and Kurdish defense forces are also viewed by respondents as influential forces in the fight against terrorism in Syria. According to Güven, Moscow has also played a key role as the Syrian army managed to regain their positions with the support of Russian forces.

    "When the clashes in Syria just started, the government army was one of the major players in the region. But over time, it has lost its leading position. Now, thanks to the support of Russia, Assad's forces once again managed to strengthen their role," the expert said.

    "We see that the initial US strategy aimed at the Syrian settlement ‘without Assad' has been transformed into a strategy providing for Assad's participation in the negotiation process," she added.


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