Russia’s monopoly on intervention in Syria

Mashari Althaydi

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The situation in Syria does not require Russia to warn of World War III if the international community does not accept Moscow’s point of view regarding the conflict. This is nothing more than a crude threat that completes a mission started by the Russian military.

Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev is alluding to Turkish or Saudi intervention, meaning that Iran - distant in terms of geography, religion and language - has the right to impose its Revolutionary Guards and militias from Afghanistan, Iraq and Lebanon without this being considered by Moscow as an attempt to trigger a world war.

Russia’s intervention aims to turn the tide in favor of the Syrian regime, rather than fight the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Should we leave Russia and Iran to focus on striking the real Syrian opposition that is fighting the regime?

Surrendering the country to Moscow and Tehran means handing them the region, but the vast majority of its inhabitants will reject their tyranny.

Mshari Al Thaydi

The cessation of hostilities in Syria, agreed upon in Munich to allow the delivery of humanitarian aid, ended before it began due to Russia’s insistence on continuing to shell Aleppo in order to enable Kurdish militias to control the Turkish-Syrian border and prevent the Syrian opposition from communicating with Turkey. All of this benefits Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Moscow’s intervention is the dangerous one. UNHCR spokesman Rupert Colville condemned Russian-Syrian airstrikes against hospitals and schools in northern Syria, and the latest Russian strikes have caused 50,000 Syrians to flee to the Turkish border. Another objective of Moscow’s intervention is to pressure Turkey. The most serious threat would be emptying northern Syrian for the benefit of sectarian displacement plans.

Existential threat

Turkey and Saudi Arabia will not tolerate these existential risks. This is why Ankara said its determination to eradicate this danger in northern Syria means doing whatever it takes. This intervention must be U.S.-led under an international umbrella.

Russia takes pride in isolating the national armed opposition in southern and northern Syria. Surrendering the country to Moscow and Tehran means handing them the region, but the vast majority of its inhabitants will reject their tyranny.

This article first appeared on Asharq al-Awsat on Feb. 17, 2016.

Saudi journalist Mshari Al Thaydi presents Al Arabiya News Channel’s “views on the news” daily show “Maraya.” He has previously held the position of a managing senior editor for Saudi Arabia & Gulf region at pan-Arab newspaper Asharq al-Awsat. Al Thaydi has published several papers on political Islam and social history of Saudi Arabia. He appears as a guest on several radio and television programs to discuss the ideologies of extremist groups and terrorists.

Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Al Arabiya English's point-of-view.
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