MonitorsPublished on Apr 16, 2016 PDF Download
West Asia Monitor | Volume I; Issue XVIII

< style="color: #0a83cf;">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.

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