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Russian military presence in Syria beneficial for US

24.09.2015 16:36

Recently, foreign media reported that Washington is concerned about the significant increase of Russian military aircraft presence at the air base in Syria, located near the city of Latakia.

However, US Secretary of State John Kerry said that Russia likely sent warplanes to Syria to protect the Russian military base, and it is not a sign of the beginning of an offensive campaign. "At the moment our military experts believe that the number and types of Russian aircraft in Syria indicate their use only for guarding this military outpost" - said Kerry.

Boris Dolgov, candidate of historical sciences, senior researcher at the Center for Arab Studies of Oriental Studies Institute told "Russian Peacekeeper" why Washington has softened its rhetoric on Russia's participation in the settlement of the Syrian conflict.

The expert noted that Russian and US interests in Syria are not akin. Moscow's actions are aimed at suppressing the ISIS terrorist group and preserving the current government of President Bashar Assad, while the US are trying to change the Syrian leadership because of their cooperation with Iran.

"Despite the agreement on the nuclear program, Washington perceives Iran as an opponent, perhaps even as an enemy. This is confirmed by American military officials' statements in which they do not exclude the use of force against Iran in the case of non-compliance with the reached agreement," - said Boris Dolgov.

According to the expert, the softening of the US position on the Russian presence in Syria may be due to Washington's interest in disclaiming responsibility for combating ISIS, which they had previously taken, having created a coalition against the terrorist group. Formed a year ago, the coalition has proved ineffective and has not been able to achieve significant results. In this situation, the US authorities see profit in the use of Russian weapons to suppress ISIS forces in the region.

At the same time, the goals of Russia and US differ significantly with respect to Syria, and it's hard to speak in advance about any kind of relations warm-up on the "Syrian issue," concluded Dolgov, noting that rejecting aggressive rhetoric may be a tactical move by Washington.