By OGN Staff
In September 2015 the Russian military entered Syria in the hope of propping up the Syrian dictator, Bashar al-Assad. At this time the Assad regime was on the brink of collapse as its Alawite stronghold of Lattakia was under serious threat from revolutionary forces. The intervention by Russia swung the war in Assad’s favor, as the revolutionaries were unable to find a solution to Russian aircraft, which struck with far more precision than the outdated fleet of warplanes belonging to the Syrian air force.
The US and its allies, although in opposition to Russian intervention in the Syrian conflict, could not offer more than words of condemnation in the face of Russian war crimes in Syria, which included the targeting of hospitals, schools and built up civilian areas. This lack of any real consequences for his crimes increased Vladimir Putin’s confidence in using Syria as a testing ground for over hundreds of weapons, with the Syrian civilians being the guinea pigs.
After six and a half years of Russian forces being in Syria, the brutal regime of Bashar al Assad has regained the majority of territory it had lost to revolutionary forces, who are now restricted to part of the north-western provinces of Idlib and Aleppo.
Yesterday the world woke up to the news that Russia had invaded its neighbor Ukraine. In response the US, alongside its European allies, have announced crippling sanctions against Russia and may totally break and isolate Russia if it does not change its course of action. This is already far more than the West did in response to Russian crimes in Syria, however sanctions are unlikely to deter Russia who see it as a core national interest to deter more Eastern European nations from joining the NATO alliance. In addition to Russian sanctions the US and some European nations have been providing military aid to Ukraine to the tune of billions of dollars to boost Ukraine’s chances in a war with Russia, much of this military aid being in portable anti-aircraft weapons, something that was desperately needed, but never given to Syrian revolutionaries.
Western timidness to Russian savagery in Syria certainly was one of the factors that lead to its confidence in invading Ukraine. Western armies are not expected to come swooping in to Ukraine anytime soon, with that being the case, it may only be a matter of time till Kyiv falls. This is not expected to be the end of the war though, with the US and their allies expected to make sure that Russia faces a long insurgency, just like they faced in Afghanistan and Iraq.