West Asia Monitor | Volume I; Issue XVIII

    City of Aleppo, October, 2009

    Source: Wikimedia

    Withdrawal to drawdown: Russia’s endgame in Syria

    By Mikhil Rialch

    On October 1, 2015, Russian warplanes started bombing anti–Assad targets off an airbase in Latakia, surprising the world with this unexpected intervention. Last month, not a few analysts had to eat their words as Vladimir Putin announced, “I think that the task that was assigned to the Ministry of Defense and the armed forces as a whole has achieved its goal, and so I order the defense minister to start tomorrow withdrawing the main part of our military factions from the Syrian Arab Republic.”

    Moscow’s shock–and–awe approach to the Syrian conflict comes in stark contrast to US prevarication as they attempt to hold together a coalition that is seemingly at cross–purposes within itself. But even a month later, foreign policy observers find themselves hotly discussing the reasons behind the Russian withdrawal, and how its Syrian adventure aligned itself with Putin’s long–term strategic objectives.

    Read the full Monitor here.

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