Did the Russian ''Holy'' War Come To An End?
27 March 2016
By Salman Aldosary
Nothing beats the accuracy of economic feedback when analyzing political
decisions. As soon as Moscow announced its forces withdrawing from Syria, the
Syrian pound suffered a 20 percent fall in worth. Thus it clearly stipulates
which party is most affected by the Russian recent decision.
Russia had called its intervention in Syria, months ago, a ''holy war'', yet
still pulled out.
It doesn't matter why Moscow took a sudden decision, nor is it significant if
the departure is real or a mere tactical move. What truly counts is that
Moscow has registered a thump against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's
regime for the first time since Russia took the chance to strike an alliance
with the ruler against his people.
The extent of effectiveness the Russian decision accomplished will be made
clear during the upcoming Geneva peace talks.
Russians outdid all others when it came to supporting Assad's regime, in
addition to being accomplices in all the crimes committed. When Moscow
announced intervention in Syria, it was justified for reasons of
counterterrorism, however, the world was later shocked that the guns were
aimed at the moderate Syrian Opposition, while terrorists couldn't be more
Moscow will not invest its whole self in a 5-year-old complex crisis which is
going on indefinitely. At the end of the day, Russians want to end the
mounting crisis. Even though Moscow doesn't share the Opposition's vision for
Syria, yet at the same time, it doesn't share Assad's outlook for the country
Assad's regime has disregarded the limits to its power, forgetting that it
only rules a quarter of its fragile state.
The regime operated as an independent government, while failing to recall that
the strings of its administration are all well-pulled.
In the ballpark, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem's last announcements
stunned the Russians more than it ever did Assad's adversaries.
The good news is that Russia began the process of rectifying the disastrous
mistake it committed six months ago when it unwarrantedly intervened in the
Ground facts state that the Russian intervention did not achieve any true
tangible progress; we can go as far as saying that the withdrawal was put into
effect after accomplishing an insignificant fragment of its principal targets.
Numbers show that Moscow needs 30 years to succeed with anchoring Assad's
regime in its place, given that operations maintain a high frequency. When
Moscow launched its mission, it expected that by pounding the moderate Syrian
Opposition, instead of terrorists, it would turn tables on the battlefield.
However, Russians have utterly failed and the theater of war gravely
disappointed Russian President Putin, the same person who had declared
defeating ISIS as the goal for the Russian intervention.
Putin's alleged target against terrorism in Syria failed utterly.
On the other hand, Assad and his administration had a completely misguided
reading for the military Russian intervention. Assad took the Russian
intervention for granted. The Syrian president believed that the interference
will be an endless, free-of-charge swift game changer. He completely
disregarded the economic and geopolitical factors that stand in the way of the
Russians doing the regime's job, especially with the latter displaying
terrible ego as it vetoed the whole political process, a step that even Moscow
Assad's administration believed that it had complete control over the game.
Eyes will be fixed on the upcoming Geneva events, and will definitely be
zoning in on the Syrian regime, instead of the Syrian Opposition. Tables are
completely turned. The Syrian Opposition has successfully been able to set the
tune of the negotiations to its benefit, and continuously put the regime under
The world will closely watch the Syrian regime's delegation have a better
understanding of the incredible Russian measure.
Withdrawal was decided in Moscow; however, its entailing details would be
justified in Geneva.
Who knows, perhaps U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry was right when he
described the upcoming period to be the best chance, in years, for peace in
Salman Aldosary is the
editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper.