Although Russia has begun a withdrawal of aircraft and personnel from Syria it will continue to bomb terrorist targets in the war-stricken country. It is too early to talk about victory over terrorism, Russian Deputy Defense Minister Nikolai Pankov news agency Tass. (Radio Denmark 15 March 2016)
On 14 march, Putin announced he would withdraw most of his troops from Syria, since they had “achieved their goal” – and Putin says he wants to be a peacemaker now. Already on 15 March, the troops were leaving Syria.
One cannot help asking why this withdrawal comes so suddenly. Thereby, Putin is giving NATO, and Turkey in particular (reestablishment of Osman Empire) , a free hand.
Here are some possible reasons for Putin´s move
1) Is Putin´s move a trap for Turkey? Will Turkey now unhindered and openly invade Syria to fight the Kurds and protect their brethren in arms, ISIS? Acc. to Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov, Turkish soldiers have already dug in on Syrian ground, a few hundred meters south of the border.Her 2. Army is ready along the Syrian border. And Turkey safeguards ISIS camps south of the border.
Putin personally hates Turkey´s Erdogan and vice versa, since Turkey shot down a Russian aircraft last year. This photo is from before their ice age. Erdogan wants Syria to be part of his New-Osman empire. Putin is in his way
The Guardian 15 March 2016 writes: Putin’s announcement took military analysts by surprise: nobody saw the exit coming, including those with close links to the military hierarchy.
This has led many to question whether this withdrawal is for real.
2) “Nobody wanted to deal with Russia after Ukraine, and the goal of the Syria campaign was to force the west to deal with Russia again,” said independent military analyst Alexander Golts. “This has happened, and now they are getting out of the conflict with minimal losses. I think it’s a pretty brilliant tactical move
3) Stuff.co.nz: In ostensibly joining the fight against Islamic State – even though most Russian targets were other rebel groups – Putin hoped to win relief from sanctions imposed by the West over the war in Ukraine. But that didn’t happen. The sanctions have bitten Russia, as has the fall in world oil prices.
It may in fact be oil that has forced a rethink in the Kremlin. According to diplomats, the Saudis have been quietly telling the Russians that they were making a mistake by siding with the Shiite world when Sunni friends in OPEC might be more important when it came to stabilising the oil market.
4) Other Middle Eastern experts have also warned the Russians that they were in danger of getting into a war with Turkey, which in November shot down a Russian jet that allegedly briefly violated its airspace.
Russian officials have admitted it is unrealistic to fight to restore Assad’s full control over Syria and that it is time to seek a negotiated settlement.
5) The Telegraph 15 March 2016: Indeed, the timing of the Russian president’s announcement suggests Moscow is rapidly losing patience with the truculent attitude the Syrian delegation has displayed at the opening of the Geneva talk
Add to this the economic hardship Moscow has suffered as a result of its support for Mr Assad, and it is easy to understand why Russia is to keen to extricate itself from the Syrian quagmire.
Even if some sort of deal is brokered in Geneva, the immensely more complex challenge presented by Isil will remain. And Isil threatens the stability not only of Syria and the Middle East, but the world.
Saker is an American ex-military analyst of Russian origin, writing for Russia Insider – and he has an international system of blogs
The Saker 14 March 2016 : Sergei Lavrov has had an absolutely crazy schedule over the past month or so and Russian diplomats have been holding intense negotiations with all the regional powers. I am confident that the Russians planned their withdrawal at least as carefully as the planned their intervention.
The Russians went in with a small force and they achieved limited goals: the legitimate authority of the Syrian government has been stabilized and the conditions for a political compromise have been created.
By withdrawing their forces the Russians could be giving the signal to the USA that they are free to have their “little victorious war” against Daesh. But this could also be a trap for the USA. The US military might come face to face with Iranians and Hezbollah fighters. Furthermore, unlike the Russian Aerospace forces, the Americans will be committing ground forces.
The question will become whether the Americans will try to achieve a de facto partition of Syria – Brookings (de jure they cannot, since a UNSC Resolution specifically called for a unitary state).
Partitioning Syria has been, and still is, the longterm Israeli goal. Considering the immense power of the Neocons today (nevermind a Hillary Presidency!) the chances that the US will be trying to partition Syria are immense.
Does the Russian withdrawal not risk leaving eastern Syria in Daesh hands?In 2012, the US Defence Intelligence Agency brought the below information. So the Pentagon knows full well, that the Salafists (ISIL) alongside with the Muslim Brotherhood and AQI (Al Qaeda) are the insurgents in Syria. And the US, nevertheless, is funding and training (in Turkey) and equipping them to build one or more enclaves within Syria. This document must be the background of the above Brookings document
Finally, if the Turks and their Saudi allies do invade, that would almost certainly result in a partition of Syria as it is doubtful that the Syrian government could take on Daesh and Turkey and the Saudis at the same time. Iran, of course, might, but this would result in a major escalation threatening the entire region.
Putin leaves the door open for a “objectives completion” operation.
Moscow will keep its Khmeimim airbase in Latakia province and a base at the port of Tartus“.
The Russians will continue to supply the Syrians with hardware, training, intelligence and special operations and, second, they will retain the option of using military power if/when needed at very short notice (say in case of a Turkish attack towards Latakia, for example).
Russia is still weak., especially in comparison to the still immense AngloZionist Empire whose resources simply dwarf Russia’. Therefore, Russia acts carefully and well-deliberated.
But no one mentions the Russian nuclear bombs which make Russia anything but a dwarf.