Does Russia play its own game in Syria?


A new Syrian peace agreement is ambitious, full of pitfalls and the best hope for a resumption of the ceasefire and peace talks in Syria. The kernel of the agreement reached after 13 hours of talks in Geneva after confidential meeting of J. Kerry and S. Lavrov, is a staged ceasefire, a reopening of humanitarian aid, followed by a grounding of the Syrian air force in those areas dominated by opposition fighters recognized by the west.

When the long-awaited peace has been agreed by the U.S and Russian authorities, many thought that it would be the turning point for all fighting sides in the shadow of the endless bloodshed in Syria. In the aftermath, the U.S and Russia had reached an agreement, unexpected U.S air strike killed approximately 60 soldiers of the government troops. The situation has worsened when the UN’s humanitarian convoy delivering food relief to a rebel-held area near Aleppo, was targeted during the airstrike. According to the UKbased Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, it was unclear who was the behind of airstrikes in the suburb of Aleppo. However, Russia and the U.S authorities blame each other in violating fragile ceasefire in Syria. Most probably, the attack on the humanitarian convoy has been carried out by the Russian military as the opposition forces as well as, Islamist groups do not have air forces, and Assad’s troops do not have necessary military equipment for night airstrikes. The US state department spokesman John Kirby said in a statement: “The destination of this convoy was known to the Syrian regime and the Russian federation and yet these aid workers were killed in their attempt to provide relief to the Syrian people.”

That attack followed on the heels of a massive bombing of the United Nations humanitarian aid convoy on Monday that killed one aid worker, approximately 20 civilians, and destroyed at least 18 of the 31 aid trucks. US intelligence officials believe Russian forces carried out that airstrike.

The airstrikes destroyed the whole medical infrastructure of Aleppo, which devastated the humanitarian tragedy even worse. Such a crucial method of Russian military staff aimed to sharply cut off the resistance of local people in Aleppo and force them to capitulate. Hence, Moscow assured that it can not fully rely on Assad’s weakened army as it is already incapable to re-seize the ruined Aleppo. Russia says that the United States was not fulfilling its obligations under the ceasefire agreement. In addition, there is certain evidence that Russia seeks for implementing its own targets in Syria, rather than to save the Assad’s regime. Obviously, the hypothesis that Russia directly supports Assad’s regime is outdated. Undoubtedly, the military operations that carry on by the government troops are ruling under Russia – Iran joint patronage. Now, the military campaign against rebellious city Aleppo conducts mainly by Lebanon-based Hezbollah organization. “The real, strategic and greatest battle is in Aleppo and the surrounding area,” Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah said June 24, just days after his fighters along with the Syrian army and allied forces tightened the siege on opposition fighters inside Aleppo. A month later, Nasrallah said the troops’ success in advancing the siege.

For the resistance groups, Aleppo is more than a simple battle. Undoubtedly, it is a challenge that would have implications on the future of the war. The Syrian Armed forces that weaken day-by-day due to the endless desertion is almost incapable carrying on a serious attack on rebellions. The only powerful wing of the government troops is the Air forces intelligence and its chief general Suheil al-Hassan, who is considered the most powerful figure in Assad’s army. Seemingly, the current escalation of the Syrian crisis is not a source of concern for Russia, therefore, it useless to hold further negotiations in order to halt the ongoing violence. A part of it, Moscow intends to be the only victor in Syria as it will allow to advance strategically in the Middle East region. The peaceful transition in Syria could not be envisioned without neutralisation of all foreign players including jihadist groups, moterizeni sil. The failure of major leading countries to do so gave a wide appeal to Russia to launch its own game in Syria.

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