Russian military expands its presence in Syria

But while the US has agreed to hold military discussions with Russian Federation, any quick cash-out for Moscow appears unlikely. “Not only with the United States of America, Russia, but with important regional partners, Iran and Sunni countries such as Saudi Arabia”. Russian Federation has billions of dollars of commercial investments in Syria, including oil and gas infrastructure. Other reports suggested that Russians are taking part in military operations in Syria.


Russian Federation is ramping up its involvement in the Syria war, which has left 250,000 dead and forced millions to flee their homeland since it began in March 2011.

Israel acted similarly, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visiting Moscow this week to agree with Putin on a coordination mechanism to avoid any possible confrontation between Israeli and Russian forces in Syria.

Its repeated vetoes, mainly on intervention in Syria or calling for investigations into alleged atrocities committed by President Bashar al-Assad’s forces, have led to criticism that the Kremlin is undermining the council. The Russian Federation has confirmed it has “experts” on the ground, but has declined to comment on the scale and scope of its military presence in Syria.

Russia’s move raises the stakes for the global gathering of world leaders at the United Nations, where the Russian president and Obama on Monday will have their first formal face-toface meeting in more than a year.

“Russia’s recent military escalation in Syria is a further reminder that, when the US does not take the initiative, others will fill the vacuum, often in ways that are harmful to our interests”, retired Gen. David Petraeus, former Central Intelligence Agency director and commander of USA troops in the Middle East, told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday.

For many Gulf Arabs, Russia’s entry into Syria’s war brings echoes of the older strains surrounding the Saudi-backed resistance to Soviet occupation troops in Afghanistan in the 1980s.

“But such issues on the ground complicate the matter and make it morehard to find a solution”, an official source in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) told Reuters, speaking on condition of anonymity.

“The GCC understands that a new Syrian entity carved out under Assad means preserving Iranian interests, which is to have a front in the Mediterranean”, he said.

“The extent to which Russian Federation can influence Assad, the extent to which there are negotiations and conversations to be had between Assad and the opposition, the Russian Federation may well be the path to them”, Oliker said.



JIJI PRESS  AFP  File  Russia is planning navy drills in the Mediterranean adding to concerns about its military build up in Syria