Deciphering Russian Interference in Syria

Masarat 21st issue, published December 2015/Rabi Al-Awwal 1437 Hijri. 


‘Deciphering Russian Interference in Syria: What is at Stake for Moscow?’

Amid the turmoil in the Levant, a region entangled in the Syrian civil war for over four years, a significant change in trajectory has recently taken place. In mid September 2015, Russian armed forces deployed along the Syrian Mediterranean coast in the Latakia and Tartus governorates, presenting to the international community a rapid military build-up as a fait accompli. Russia’s mobilization sheds light on three patterns illustrating its stance and strategic goals on Syrian soil:


1- Learning the lessons of the past (namely, the aftermath of yielding Libya’s fate to the West) as well as safeguarding geo-economic interests in Syria;


2- Reasserting Russian posture on the global stage by deploying military clout in the Mediterranean, Caspian, and Black seas;


3- Seeking to avoid repercussions on, and further volatility in, the Muslim-majority Russian territories of the North Caucasus.