Just three months ago such a question would have been seen as nonsense. Would Russian engage militarily in Syria just to push Assad from power one political way or another? Nonsense right? Not completely. Let’s examine facts.
As I reported before the original of February 2016 ceasefire agreement was achieved without, yes without any input from Russian so-called allies in Assad regime or Iranian regime while Americans entered into agreement without even consulting Saudis or Turkey at all.
Knowing well that these are the warring sides on the ground, in fact sides that are conducting substantially independent policies and military activities were shockingly excluded from the agreement.
As a matter of fact it was confirmed by the fact that neither Turkey with 50k army deployed on the Syrian border or Saudis with they air force deployed in Incirlik air base were aware or even a party to the negotiation, nor were they apriori consulted about their results.
I am not even talking about the smaller warring parties on the ground that were not consulted even told officially, not for days but for weeks in an era of satellite communication, fighting each other unaware what was going on. And more.
I am not even talking about fictional “moderate” rebels or tribal forces but forces under direct command and control of Russian and US/NATO as well as YPG a critical military force in the north, completely shut out of any consultations. Believe or not, officially even Israel was not initially consulted, a theocratic regime that got itself involved in Syrian war by attacking Assad military at Golan Heights to protect ANF and bombing Damascus numerous times with impunity from Russian S400 system that easily would have taken them out, while Russians warplanes multiple violation of Israeli airspace were allowed peacefully.
And as I posited the official so-called ceasefire suppose not be applied to 90% of frontlines in Syria while in fact complete stopped Russian bombing of ISIL and ANF positions for 4-5 days at least and then reduced 90% in later weeks and months, why?
Why after having overwhelmed military momentum Russians suddenly stopped and ordered Syrian to do so while Americans and allies escalated their support for terrorists and opened up disgusting propaganda of nonexistent hospitals bombings by Russians and Syrians spewed by a MI6/CIA outfit such as SOHR.
Was such a propaganda a part of agreement? Agreement that instead of naturally lowering the rhetoric escalated it? But instead we had dead-end “Assad must go” mantra returned with vengeance.
And other gems even surprisingly from Russian FM saying that “Russia is not an ally of Syrian government but just fighting terrorism in Syria which is a matter of a straight lie, since Syrian government has over 50-years close relations with Soviets and now with Russia starting from her support of anti-colonial movement in Syria in late 1940-tie.
What for such a lie? For whose consumption it was done? Russian public? As a preparation to 180 deg political turn or for the west that already ignored it as being too rational for “savage” Russians.
And now, all the gains against western sponsored terrorists that not only Syrians paid with their blood for but Russians as well, hard-fought and achieved with space of last 8 months are being slowly reversed as I warned myself before in my posts.
Now more and more apparent split between Russian and Iranian governments is visible since Russians are accused of stalling IRG offensive in East Aleppo and refused to cooperate in the battlefield while terrorists are uniting and getting stronger. And fruits of that are already visible and this type of short-sided appeasement that Russians seem to pursue will for sure cost many more Russian lives very soon.
This frustration is also spreading among Syrian population who are left to rot in a quagmire with no hope of prompt resolution they thought Russian intervention would bring. Actually it’s already happen.
Russian military base surrounding areas have been just assaulted by ISIL mortar, car bombings, strangely in area of most pro Assad population and millions of refugees who suffered terror under ANF and ISIL and actively cooperated with Assad regime to eradicate their supporters from the area, and hence made it relatively safe.
So what happened? Why Russian cannot feel safe anymore in Tartus and Cheimjnin or in entire liberated Latakia province that was swept by massive pro-Russian demonstrations just six months ago.
Are their expectations dashed by what is happening? The worse situation is in south and east Aleppo where SAA and allies lost the ground unable to obtain close air support since Russian air force that is effectively operating ten combat aircraft only. Accusation fly and morale slowly collapses.
A critical question arises about why this phantom “Swiss” truce business from the beginning. What peace/truce they were negotiating? Syrian? Iraqi? Or greater geopolitical truce between two thermonuclear powers already engaged in new arms race. Forgetting the puny ME problem, big boys were talking. In fact if Russians counted on that they failed miserably so far by the fact of deployment of NATO Anti Missile systems in Romania and Poland and establishment of new semi-permanent NATO military bases in Baltics and elsewhere in Europe and overall arms race escalating.
As I wrote in my last post, a quagmire is about to become reality, if it is not already happening, while US strategy of chaos and deliberate inflicting more pain and suffering on Syrian people continues. The war, besides phony cover-up called Syrian ceasefire still continues unabated.
No equitable, reasonable solution has been found or even seriously discussed. What’s more worrying is that even Russian media is drifting away for previous sharp focus on this horrible war and now presents a “gray lie” that any peace in Syria is neigh and hence implies Putin political success. Both sides know that it is nothing further from the truth.
We must ask: when policy of appeasement of dying psychotic imperial aggressor becomes betrayal of long and reliable political friends?
So, did Russians secretly switch sides?
Judge for yourself.
A nice map of current situation.