Russia has issued a warning to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad about attempting to retake the territory he has lost and gaining control over all of Syria. Moscow’s representative at the United Nations, Vitaly Churn, was the one issuing the warning to Assad during an interview with the Kommersant newspaper.
“Russia has invested very seriously in this crisis, politically, diplomatically and now also militarily. Therefore we would like Assad also to respond to this.
Last week, Assad stated that a ceasefire in Syria would not stop him from taking back his country. The international community has been working hard to bring a stop to the fighting in Syria. President Assad does not believe that peace talks should stop him from using force to regain his country. He believes his military would be able to regain control of Syria in a year as long as the supply lines to the rebels were cut off.
— AFP news agency (@AFP) February 19, 2016
Russia is a strong ally to Syria. They now want to make sure that their interests in Syria stay protected, and Assad trying to regain his country would not be in the interest of Russia. Vitaly Churkin went on to say that Assad must “follow Russia’s leadership” in regard to putting an end to the Syrian civil war.
Removing President Assad from power has been at the top of the wish list for the United States. It has been believed that Russia wants him to remain in power, but Russia has stated that they are not “wedded” to the idea of Assad remaining as president. The main concern for Russia is to make sure Syria does not deteriorate to the point that it is useless.
Russia’s actions do not mesh with its words. Since last September, Russia has been using its military might to bomb the military groups fighting against the Assad regime. Russia states they are only attacking territory where ISIS is but evidence proves they are also attacking the forces that want Assad gone from power. Assad’s military forces were unable to maintain their territory against the rebels. Experts state that Assad’s military would have been defeated already if Russia did not get involved in the civil war. If the Russian military stopped their bombing, the forces opposing Assad would be able to overthrow him.
Since Russia has invested their military and money to protect Assad, it is hard to imagine them not wanting to ensure that he stays in power. Mr. Churkin states that since Russia is so heavily involved in Syria, Assad has no choice but to obey what the Russian government wants him to do.
“If the Syrian authorities… follow Russia’s lead in the resolution of this crisis, then they have a chance to get out of it with their dignity intact. But if in some way they are knocked off that path – and this again is my personal opinion – then a very difficult situation could arise. Including for the Syrians themselves. Because whatever the capabilities of the Syrian army, it was the effective operations of Russian air forces that allowed them to push their opponents back from Damascus. If they take the position that they don’t need any ceasefire, and they need to fight on to the end and to victory, then this conflict is going to carry on for a very long time. And it’s frightening to imagine that.”
Adding more fuel to the fire are reports that Saudia Arabia may get involved in Syria in a militaristic role. Russia states that if Saudi Arabian troops begin fighting in Syria then this will lead to World War III.
— AJE News (@AJENews) February 12, 2016
Do you think Assad will obey what Russia wants him to do?
[Image Via AP Photo/Remy de la Mauviniere, File