Al-Zaytouna Centre for Studies & Consultations presents the paper “The Russian Military Intervention in Syria: Background, Causes and Consequences,” by Dr. Ishtiaq Hossain, who is an Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science, at the International Islamic University Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
This paper purports to explain the causes, and consequences of Russian military involvement in Syria not only on the Syrian conflict, but also on the regional and international politics. It tries also to portray the pros and cons of this intervention.
Hossain suggests several scenarios for the future of the Russian military intervention, although it is indeed very difficult to point out precisely this future due to the complex local, regional and international situation.
On September 30, 2015, Russian fighter aircraft based in Latakia, Syria, started bombing the forces opposed to President Bashar al-Assad in the Syrian cities of Hama, Homs and the outskirts of Latakia. This is for the first time since the end of the Cold War that the Russian military have been in action anywhere in the Middle East.
As reported in various media outlets if Russian troops are indeed deployed at a later date in Syria, then it would also be the first time since the 1970s that Russian military officers are stationed in the Middle East. The involvement of Russian military in the Syrian conflict is fraught with consequences for Syria itself, the region and the international arena.
This paper purports to explain the causes, and consequences of Russian military involvement in Syria not only on the Syrian conflict, but also on the regional and international politics.
President Bashar al-Assad assumed the presidency of Syria in July 2000, one month after the death of his father President Hafez al-Assad who had ruled the country since 1970. A British-trained ophthalmologist, Bashar al-Assad’s assumption of power in Damascus was generally welcomed in the West and the region as well. However, his promises to reform the country’s floundering economy and repressive political system never really took off the ground.
As the Arab Uprising, which began on 18 December, 2010, in Tunisia, and gradually swept through the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), forcing out of power one dictator after another in Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, and Yemen, civil uprisings against Assad’s regime erupted in Syria in March, 2011.
One of the first such civilian protests was in the southern city of Deraa, sparked off when a group of school children was arrested after they had written anti-government revolutionary slogans on a wall. Like in other countries during the Arab Uprisings, the mass protests soon spread over to all other major cities of the country.
The civilian uprising in Syria was met with brute force by Assad’s regime and the opposition to Assad soon transformed into organised resistance and by June 2011 first reports began to appear of defections from the Syrian army as officers and soldiers refused to carry out orders to fire on civilians.
At the end of July, 2011 the formation of a Free Syrian Army (FSA) was announced. The FSA and other armed resistance groups since then have been fighting to overthrow the regime of President Bashar al-Assad… Read More
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>> Paper: The Russian Military Intervention in Syria: Background, Causes and Consequences (14 pages, 1.7 MB)
>> Paper: The Russian Military Intervention in Syria: Background, Causes and Consequences (14 pages, 750 KB)
Al-Zaytouna Centre for Studies and Consultations, 9/11/2015