The Russian government has made up decision to directly intervene in Syria with all available military capabilities and this was primarily declared and acknowledged by Russian Foreign Affairs Minister Sergey Lavrov. He mentioned straight away the following: “We never ever have made any secret of our militaries presence in Syria. Our military specialists are working there, assisting to their Syrian colleagues to master our combat weapons. However, whether is needed we will be moving forward the steps in accordance to our national legislation, to international law and in compliance to implementing our international obligations and with fully consent stemming from the Syrian legal government. We helped, are continuing to help and will help the Syrian government when it comes to supplying the Syrian army with everything it needs. Russia is sending planes to Syria with both military equipment in accordance with current contracts and humanitarian aid. Hence, Russia will be keeping fight in Syria”. This is very serious statement that actually confirms Russia’s contemporary and nearest future plans regarding how to cope with geopolitical crisis in Syria. Moscow has been a staunch ally of the Assad government throughout the uprising that began in March 2011 and later descended into a civil war. At time being, Russia does not step forward to reinforce the presence in this country. On its turn, Russia proposed to the USA Administration creation of joint coalition against “Islamic Caliphate” and reinforces the joint effort in order to destroy completely the ISIS at regional and global levels. As it is known, Russia maintains a naval base in Tartus province, south of Latakia province. In addition to that the Russian forces are building a long runway capable of accommodating large aircraft near the Hmaymeen military airport in Latakia province. In May of 2015, the Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad appealed to the Russian government to deploy in Syria Russian military bases. At the beginning of September of 2015 the Russian government with endorsement of the National Security Council held its urgent session in Sochi at the end of August ordered to those militaries already sent in Syria to launch airstrike missions with Russian military jets MiG-31 exploited by the Syrian pro-Assad Air Force against ISIS units and started to provide military equipment and armament to Syria via all available transit routes, among them are to be identified as follow:
Big states’ (Great Powers’) competition is back. And like in times of the Cold War it is indirect, taking a form of so called “proxy wars”, in which many state and non-state actors take part. To call the things their names – we again witness geopolitical rivalry of Russia and the United States. Two obvious battlefields – Ukraine and Syria. Still, the main purpose of this essay is not to reveal the essence of global politics – after short presentation of its background several military lessons of the Syrian conflict, which proved some traditional military laws, broke some myths and presented some new war approaches, are going to be discussed.
In each confrontation there is one or several keys to the solution of the main problem. In case of Syria there are two fundamental problems. First, this country has many – also unfriendly (Turkey, Jordan) – neighbours, and borders are not under control. Therefore different fighters go through and strengthen the camp, opposed to Assad regime. Second, any war is impossible without money, and Syrian opposition is financed from abroad too. And there are no signs that in the near future Syria and its allies will be able to overcome those two challenges.