Syrian Regime and Russia Resorting to Military Solution, Not a Peaceful Resolution at All
As the Syrian crisis continues to make the lives of Syrian citizens miserable, the United States of America once again called the attention of the Assad regime and Russia to stop the bombardment in opposition-held areas.
In a press statement in Washington DC, US Secretary of State John Kerry said the continued assault by Syrian regime forces – enabled by Russian airstrikes – against opposition-held areas have manifested a call for a military solution instead of a political one.
“The regime and allied militias’ continued besiegement of hundreds of thousands of civilians have clearly signaled the intention to seek a military solution rather than enable a political one.” – Secretary Kerry
US: Stop the Bombardment
The US Secretary of State clearly emphasized the need to stop the bombardment that caused sufferings to thousands of besieged civilians.
Secretary Kerry called upon the regime and its supporters to halt their bombardment of opposition-held areas, especially in Aleppo.
In addition, Secretary Kerry called upon the Assad regime and Russia to lift their siege of civilians in accordance with UN Security Council Resolutions 2165, 2254 and 2258.
He pointed out that it is past time for them to meet existing obligations and restore the international community’s confidence in their intentions of supporting a peaceful resolution to the Syrian crisis.
US Wants Resumption of Peace Talks
According to Secretary Kerry, the US is looking forward to the resumption of talks later this month, as outlined by Special Representative de Mistura.
“The world needs to push in one direction – toward stopping the oppression and suffering of the Syrian people and ending, not prolonging, this conflict.” – Secretary Kerry
Russia’s Direct Combat Role Worsens Refugee Outflow
US has asserted that Russia’s combat operations in Syria worsened the refugee outflow and even strained Europe’s ability to cope.
It was reported that at least 120,000 Syrians have been internally displaced as a result of regime attacks, aided by Russian airstrikes. And in less than two weeks, 52,800 people were displaced in northern Hama and southern Idlib alone.
In addition, since Russian combat operations began in Syria, Greece recorded its highest weekly migration flow of 2015. It is estimated that approximately 48,000 refugees and migrants crossed from Turkey into Greece.
Effects of Russia’s Armed Operations in Syria
The US said Russia’s own artillery and other ground assets around Hama and Homs, have greatly increased their soldiers’ vulnerability to counterattack.
In addition, Russia has failed to exact any humanitarian concessions from Asad as the price for Russian support. Thus, the regime continues to barrel bomb its own citizens with impunity, perhaps even emboldened by Moscow’s help.
Amid Russia’s intention to counter ISIS, the operation is expensive.
Russia is paying a steep price to its reputation in the fight against terror.
The US is limiting its military cooperation with Russia to the most basic aviation de-confliction to protect its own aircrews.
US and its allies are awaiting further evidence that Russia is sincere in its claims to want to fight ISIS and save Syria for the Syrian people.
In addition, the international community is doubtful of Russia’s intentions on launching military operations in Syria. The international community wants to make sure that Russia’s mission is to help save Syrian people from the perils of war rather than simply protecting Assad who bears direct responsibility for the country’s destruction.
Russia Supporting Assad?
Reports say Russia is still refusing to condemn the war crimes committed by the Syrian regime.
In October 2012, Russia and China vetoed a draft resolution that would have condemned the Assad regime. Russia is opposed to the establishment of safe no-fly zones which means that Russia is explicitly supporting the war-crimes committed by the regime.
Media reports say Sergei Lavrov, the Russian Foreign Minister, blamed the opposition.
Reports say that Russia is deploying naval military ships in the Mediterranean in an apparent gesture of support for the Assad’s regime.
Some analysts reportedly believe that Russia is worried about its heavy investments in Syria. Russia reportedly invested $30 billion in energy and tourism infrastructure and it has a naval base in the Syrian coastal city of Tartous. Reports say Russia fears that one day the international community might act against one of its client states in the old Soviet Union.
U.S.-Russia relations are often an uneasy mix of competition and cooperation.
The US has real and continuing differences with Russia. While it may be tempting to downplay Russia’s importance, the United States simply does not have that luxury.
As a permanent member of the UN Security Council; as one of the world’s largest nuclear powers; and as the world’s single largest producer of hydrocarbons, Russia’s strategic importance to the U.S. will matter for many years to come.