Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the end of the military operation and the withdrawal of Russian troops from Syria, he also announced that more than 90% of the terrorists and bases in Syria have been eliminated, and that the Syrian army can eliminate the remnants of these groups.
President Putin decided that Moscow will now intensify its efforts to reach a final settlement for the Syrian crisis, through a political process. Presumably this political process has been going well during the past three months, and that most of the Syrian opposition groups or factions, the armed and non-armed ones, in addition to the Syrian regime, have taken part in the negotiations. However, as soon as the Russian military operation were concluding in Syria, and as soon as the end of “Daesh” and “Jabhat al- Nusra/Al-Nusra Front” seemed to be very imminent, obstacles facing the political process started to uncover, this led to the failure of the eighth round of Geneva negotiations, because some of the opposition factions returned to square one, insisting on demands and conditions they had previously waived, such as the fate of President Bashar al-Assad.
The Hidden Goals of Washington
Moscow believes that the efforts of some opposition factions to thwart the political process, do not happen in a vacuum, and they are not initiated because of the factions’ own ambitions to get a larger share of the Syrian cake, at the conclusion of the political settlement. Moscow believes that there is something which is more dangerous, which it can see on the ground.
There are foreign parties behind these factions who are trying to thwart the political process, especially or namely Washington.
Washington believes that the success of this political process, under the supervision of Moscow, will add great political victories to Russia achievements’, in addition to its great military victories, which were witnessed by the whole world, Washington fears the growing Russian presence in Syria, and the in Middle East, in the sense that this presence will create a threat to its interests and perhaps its presence in the region. On the other hand, Washington believes that hindering the political process is not enough to curb the strength and the rise of the Russian presence in Syria and the region, taking into consideration that this political process is under the auspices of the United Nations, and its failure will not be attributed to Russia, as much as it will be attributed to the international community, as well as the opposition factions, who would be considered responsible for this failure. Therefore, Moscow believes that Washington’s hidden goals are far more dangerous than just hindering the political process.
Since the beginning of the significant degradation of “Daesh” and the flight of its remnants, because of the Russian aircrafts bombardment, more notably during the second half of 2017. Russia continuously accused Washington and the US-led international coalition in Syria, of supporting terrorist organizations, especially “Daesh” and “Jabhat al-Nusra” and helping them to escape the Russian bombardment, as well as providing safe havens for the terrorist away from the fight zones. The main reason behind the accusation is that Washington insisted to keep its military forces in the Syrian territory, despite the announcement of Russia to withdraw its troops. The Russian troops came to Syria at the request of the legitimate Syrian regime, while US troops forced themselves, with no legal or international legitimacy. The spokesman of the US Defense Department, Eric Bahon, said “Russian President Vladimir Putin’s announcement of troop withdrawals does not mean, in many cases, a real reduction of troops and does not affect US priorities in Syria”. He added that the Washington-led international anti-terrorism coalition would continue its activities in Syria.