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In Syria Russia Isn't in It to Win It

Russia needs to dive in rather than just dipping in its toe

This post first appeared on Russia Insider

The author is a famous writer and left wing political activist

Obviously, Syrian government troops do not have enough strength to liberate the country from the Muslim ultra-radicals. That’s clear because since 2011 they have been fighting the Caliphate, an aggressive state that is unprecedented in modern history. In fact, Assad’s army is fighting against the Devil, and we’ve helped him only a little!

<figcaption>Only a ground operation will properly deal with this lot</figcaption>
Only a ground operation will properly deal with this lot

There is now daily talk of Assad’s government troops, with the support of the remaining Russian Air Forces, are preparing to liberate the province of Aleppo, freeing the largest city in the country.  

But Jabhat al-Nusra has begun to combine with other Islamic troops to attack Aleppo, and it turns out there are a lot of them. In addition to 8,000 gunmen concentrated in the south and south-west of the province of Aleppo, al-Nusra repositioned yet another 1,500 troops wanting to fight against "Assad".

That happened after a successful PR campaign in Palmyra that was unnecessary from the strategic point of view. It’s too bad that they tried to disguise an unsuccessful war with the Caliphate by taking Palmyra. 

The Caliphate had captured Palmyra as a propaganda tool to show its opinion of "Roman" civilization. 

The Russia-Assad union liberated Palmyra as propaganda demonstrating its respect for "Roman" civilization.

But the West remained indifferent. Nobody shared our artificial joy. 

Russia is vexed by the West’s lack of respect for the liberation of Palmyra.  They don’t understand that what’s important to the West, the Crusaders, is WHO liberated the ruins of Necropolis. Since the liberators were Russians and Assad, they just pursed their lips.

Meanwhile both al-Nusra and the Caliphate are coming out like mad devils from the planet’s pores deep within the Earth, bearers of hate for anyone who does not share their ideology. 

The world’s 1.5 billion Servants of Allah are the largest religious group on the planet. 

So Assad and a bunch of Russians decided to attack a lion and shouted that they were going to win back the province and liberate Aleppo from the blockade.  In response, the lion roared and jumped over them. On the way, it tossed around the weak allies of the Free Syrian Army. Dozens more cunning armed groups desert the Free Syrian Army for Jabhat-al-Nusra.

And Turkey on top of that. With spiteful pleasure, Erdogan  allows thousands of gunmen to pass through Turkey’s borders to Syria. Their goal is to divide the Kurdish north from Syria and stick it - but where? Either to the Caliphate, or to Turkey; very haphazard. Anyway, they will sooth the Kurds, pacify them with shelling and mass executions. The deceitful United Nations special envoy to Syria, Staffan de Mistura "doesn’t plan for the Kurds to participate in the talks", to Erdogan’s joy. 

The United States declared that the “battle for Aleppo should play a critical role in defining the direction of the civil war”. As always (remember how during WWII they kept delaying the opening of the second front until 1944?) they play for time, waiting to see who is winning, having a plan B for the delivery of anti-aircraft weapons to Assad’s opposition to shoot down Russian planes. They may have already started to do that in secret, otherwise how could they shoot down our helicopter? I don’t believe it fell to the ground.

I say that the Russian strategy of minimal interference in the Syrian conflict has become ineffective. This was to be expected, since the same strategy failed in the Donbass. 

So now we have, on the Devil’s side, the Caliphate and Jabhat-al-Nusra, and we can observe true heroism (though aimed at us) and self-sacrifice (using the absolute weapon – suicide-bombers); and minimal Russian interference together with Assad’s thinned out, battered troops on our side.  

Russian actions were and remain insufficient to change the course of the war in Syria. Only a land operation can destroy the Caliphate's expansion in Syria and Iraq. The Caliphate will remain in Libya and Afghanistan and is just about to break out in Indonesia. We need to expel them from Syria at least. 

Our strategists are too slow, indecisive and inert. 

Russia expects victory, not TV-features on Palmyra’s rocks.  

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