Almost win: what made Syria Russian troops


The task

The Syrian operation starting in October 2015, the President and Supreme commander Vladimir Putin put the Russian VC group the following task: “Our task is to stabilize the legitimate government and create conditions for a political compromise.” In November 2015 he noted that the purpose of VC in the region is the need to “cleanse Syria from the militants, the terrorists and to protect Russia from possible terrorist attacks”.

On Monday, explaining the decision to withdraw troops from Syria, Putin said: “I Believe that the tasks set before the Ministry of defence. Therefore, I order you tomorrow to start the withdrawal of the main part of our military groups of the Syrian Arab Republic”.

Commenting on Putin adopted a solution close to the Kremlin, the source said that the agreed three main objectives: launched negotiations on the world, the terrorists discarded from Damascus and are unable to overthrow the legitimate government and their organizations has suffered significant damage, which allows to stabilize the situation.

A few other problems Russia calls the analytical company Stratfor. According to her, Russia in Syria aims. First help the allied regime of Bashar al-Assad and the extension of Russian interests in Syria. The second objective, according to experts of Stratfor, this is a test and demonstration Park of the Russian army.

The third task in the framework of the five-month war in Syria, Stratfor analysts say, is the fight against international terrorism. Finally, experts indicate that Moscow in the Syrian war were and goals with great diplomacy.

The last problem considers the principal Deputy Director of the Institute for political and military analysis Anatoly Khramchikhin. In his opinion, it is the task of image — to force the West to speak with him on equal terms. “This goal was met. We could observe that the resolution of the Syrian problem were engaged in two countries — Russia and the USA”, — said the expert.

Support Assad

For five months of military action, Russia has managed to keep in power one of its key allies in the middle East — Bashar al-Assad, strengthening his position. By September 2015, his army was on the verge of defeat, was recognized as the interlocutors close to the Kremlin administration, commenting on the reasons for the start of military operations. According to them, terrorists were already in the suburbs of Damascus, and before the fall of the Assad regime remained a matter of weeks. In such a scenario to power in Syria could come terrorist group, Moscow could not allow this to happen, the interlocutors noted.

Many are involved in the conflict, the players expected, when the Assad regime will be exhausted and will fall, says expert at the Centre for Arab and Islamic studies of the Institute of Oriental studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences Nikolay Sukhov, but active support from the Russian VKS broke this script.

With the participation of Russia were taken under the control of the strategically important Syrian territory. Almost taken in the ring a second after Damascus Republic city — Aleppo. The government army in the fall of 2015 with the support of the Russian bombers, units of the Lebanese Hezbollah and the Iranian rebels were able to cut off the city from the Northern territories to the opposition. Was liberated by Syrian airbase Quires, who was in the siege of the militants for more than three years.

Within five months under the control of Assad returned most of the provinces of Hama and HOMS. Completely liberated the province of Latakia. Assad’s army started fighting for the liberation from the terrorists of the ancient city of Palmyra.

According to analysts Stratfor, Russian aviation, along with the support of Iran and Lebanon had enabled Pro-government forces to gain an advantage over the opposition groups across the country. However, according to Stratfor, the withdrawal of the Russian HQs out of the country will weaken the forces loyal to Assad.

A show of force

“Ground” called Syria, the head of Rosteh Sergey Chemezov. “We see how everything works [in Syria], what is good and what is bad, correction and modification,” stated Chemezov role of the Syrian campaign in an interview with WSJ.

In the Syrian operations for 167 days participated almost all modern aircraft, strategic aircraft, complexes, anti-aircraft defence ships and submarines. Grouping more than five months increased to 70 aircraft including the latest fourth generation fighters su-35.

The Syrian campaign was a baptism of fire for the strategic bomber Tu-160, which was not involved in military conflicts. However, he made little sorties, since the use of bombers from Mozdok is not advisable, says military expert Michael Khodarenok.

In addition to aviation groups on the base were 4 thousand personnel. In addition, after the incident in Turkey su-24 Russian military base deployed on the whole complex of anti-aircraft defense. Among them, the “Pantsir-S1, Buk-M2”, antiaircraft missile systems With-400.

With the sea of air cover was provided by ships operational connection the Russian Navy, including submarine B-237 “Rostov-on-don” and the missile cruiser “Varyag”. This group of ships has carried out launches of 48 cruise missiles “Caliber” on Syria. This was the first use of these cruise missiles in the military operation.

According to experts of Stratfor, Russia demonstrated the full range of available weapons and shown to future partners the potential of his weapons. According to experts, one of the results of successful demonstration — preparing the deal on $8 billion in arms shipments to Iran.

As noted by Khodarenok, during the operation was used several types of weapons not previously used by Russia. First of all, the expert says, this is a strategic cruise missile of sea basing “Caliber” missiles and air-launched Kh-555. In addition, specifies Khodarenok, were applied the corrected bombs KAB-500. “The use of such projectiles is a pass to the club of the privileged powers,” — emphasizes the military expert. However, he notes that this is an expensive weapon, whose price is not comparable to the affected targets.

The fight against terrorism

As noted by international observers, the majority of strikes for five months of the campaign fell on the positions of the Syrian campaign. The Russian side denied all charges, noting that in the said areas are terrorist groups, including “al-Nusra Front” (banned in Russia).

According to the results of the operation, the defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said that Syria had destroyed 209 objects of the oil infrastructure of terrorists, and 2912 of the means of delivery of petroleum products. About 2,000 terrorists — natives of Russia were killed.

Russian military assessments of its effectiveness are concentrated in the liberated territories, without mentioning the total number of terrorists eliminated. At the briefing of the General staff of the armed forces on 15 January, Lieutenant-General Sergey rudskoy said that 100 days was freed 217 settlements — of about 1000 square km territory.

The coalition led by the USA publishes data on the number of the killed terrorists: on January 2016 in the bombings in Northern Syria and Iraq had destroyed more than 22 thousand of terrorists “Islamic state” (banned in Russia). In this case the Syrian Kurds, with air support which provide the coalition forces, were able to increase the controlled territory to 15.8 thousand square meters, of 186%.

“These Russian planes are irrelevant. It is basically the zone of action of the coalition forces,” — commented military expert Pavel Felgengauer. “Our state is struggling with the opposition, calling them terrorists,” explained the expert.

Diplomatic successes

The West were strongly against the Russian military intervention. The U.S. side has repeatedly stated that Russia strikes as the ISIS militants and the opposition and civilian population. In October 2015 U.S. Senator John McCain has stated he has evidence that only part of Russian missiles striking the positions of the IG (banned in Russia) while others are not meant for terrorists.

Despite the accusations, the military action really helped the negotiation process, says former Deputy Prime Minister of Syria Qadri Jamil. “He goes, and never was. Forces that want a political solution, with more confidence, whereas the strength of supporting terrorists, is gone,” — said Jamil.

Russia and the US agreed to a truce, which was announced on 27 February. “We agreed to establish a system that will allow us to ensure that the missions are really only against the “Islamic state” or “dzhebhat EN-Nusra” (both banned in Russia),” said John Kerry (quoted by “RIA Novosti”).

American and Ukrainian politicians and public figures have repeatedly stated that Russia is making diplomatic efforts to resolve the conflict in Syria to distract international attention from its actions in Eastern Ukraine. This is, in particular, wrote in August 2015 in the Wall Street Journal, the head of the McCain Institute David Kramer. He estimated that since the visit of U.S. Secretary of state John Kerry in Sochi in may to meet with President Putin and the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, the main topic in U.S.-Russian relations were mostly Syria and Iran.

However, the United States claimed that Russia’s actions, including military operation, do not distract from the Ukrainian agenda. “This, of course, not distract the attention of the USA from Ukraine. Our policy in relation to Ukraine stands alone,” — said in early March the US Ambassador to Ukraine Jeffrey Payette in an interview to the Ukrainian edition “Today”.

“The goal is to prevent the fall of the Syrian state, in my opinion, made. The reduction of terrorism — partially implemented,” the results of campaign Qadri Jamil. He noted that Russian military action had been originally announced as temporary and turned out to be really temporary.

The withdrawal of troops from Syria is not the end of the war, says Khodarenok. “It’s not a victory, opposition groups have intensified in connection with the withdrawal of troops, and the situation will develop further”, — the expert warns.