In July of 2015, Russia decided to send troops, equipment and aircraft into Syria to back their longtime ally whose fight against rebel forces was beginning to take a dramatic turn for the worse. Even sections of the capital Damascus itself had come under rebel control. Eight months later, the Russian military is pulling out and the Syrian government forces, thanks to aid from Iran, Russia and Hezbollah, are firmly back in control of large portions of the country again. Now that the Russians are gone, experts are weighing in on what they think the Russians gained and lost by being in Syria. Here is my take on the good, the bad and the ugly from the Russian military’s presence in Syria.
The Russian military has long been thought of as a military that was reluctant to take part in conflicts that were far from its border and also one that had excellent weapons but had trouble keeping them supplied in times of conflict to put it mildly. The Russian’s time in Syria proved both of these things were no longer true.
Some of the Russians military technologies surprised the west with how advanced they were. Countries now have to respect more what Russia can do militarily and it makes them a bigger player on the world stage. It also proved to Russia’s allies they would indeed stick by them.
Why exactly did the Russians leave? Many analysts think it was because of finances and not because its mission was accomplished. The hard reality the Russian’s found out was that wars cost a lot of money and it’s no secret the Russian economy is struggling mightily with all the sanctions that have taken their toll on it.
The Russians got a heavy dose of Middle East reality and it definitely did not suit their tastes according to insiders. They found out just how ambitious Iran is as far as wanting to be a huge power broker in the whole Middle East; they realize that Iran is by no means the innocent and misunderstood country they claim to be at all. They also saw first-hand Assad’s arrogance and most likely now understand more why so many people took up arms against him.
Yes its true Russian Aircraft flew an impressive amount of sorties each day in Syria, as many as 100 in one day. The problem is, of all the ordinance that was dropped by the Russian Air Force, it is estimated that less than 20% of that ordinance was precision guided. This took a huge toll as far as the loss of innocent civilians was concerned and it also caused a substantial amount of unnecessary collateral damage to buildings and such that had zero military value.
Unfortunately, the Russians proved once again they could not be trusted. They said they went into Syria to take on ISIS and other terrorists groups. They subsequently labeled all the rebel forces fighting against the Assad regime as terrorists and attacked them all. Sadly, only a small amount of their missions actually targeted ISIS.
The game has definitely changed in Syria in favor of the Assad regime thanks to the Russians, but it left ISIS no worse off. It will be interesting to see what happens in Syria in the coming months and how the world shapes its opinion about the Russian involvement there.
Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.
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