MOSCOW, September 29. /TASS/. Moscow’s decision to provide military support to the Syrian government was, undoubtedly, a correct and adequate move to solve the situation, Senior Researcher of the Institute of Oriental Studies at the Russian Academy of Sciences Boris Dolgov told TASS on Thursday.
The expert was interviewed by TASS after his trip to Syria.
"Russia’s decision to support the legitimately elected leadership in Syria was, undoubtedly, appropriate," Dolgov said.
"The Syrian government’s military and diplomatic support was the most appropriate and adequate move to solve the situation. It should be noted that over the year that has passed since a decision was made on the use of Russia’s air task force in Syria, the Russian military’s operations have been a success and have helped in the struggle against radical Islamism, first of all, against the Islamic State [terrorist organization outlawed in Russia]. There are no doubts about that," the expert said.
"The conflict in Syria is no longer a regional conflict as it has already turned into the stage of a global conflict," he added.
"The Russian interference in the Syria situation has not yet fully crushed radical Islamism and the Islamic State in the country due to a number of factors, first of all, political factors," the expert noted.
The expert also shared his observations made during his trip to Syria. "What we have seen is an obvious success of the government troops and the population’s support for the Syrian leadership," Dolgov said.
It should be noted that 85% of the Syrian population lives on the territory controlled by Syria’s government while it is actually impossible to live on other territories as executions of Islamic State opponents are taking place there and there are neither food supplies nor electricity nor medicines there and people are fleeing from there. Thus, internal refugees have actually doubled the Damascus population."
The expert also commented on the situation with the US air strike on the Syrian army’s positions near Deir-ez-Zor.
"No doubt, the Russian-US accords were disrupted through the fault of the United States as the US air strike on Syrian positions was deliberate and this is the opinion of Syrians themselves," Dolgov said.
"This air strike enabled militants of Jabhat al-Nusra [terrorists of this grouping changed its name for Jabhat Fath Ash-Shaam outlawed in Russia] to immediately make an attempt of an offensive on the city of Deir-ez-Zor, a city where the larger part of the population supports Bashar Assad. It was only the firmness of the Syrian army that saved the city from a massacre, which militants would have surely carried out there," the expert said.
Syrian crisis can be solved through military and political means
In the expert’s opinion, the prospects of solving the Syrian crisis now "lie in the military and political field."
"It is perfectly obvious that peace can’t be achieved without suppressing the largest radical Islamist groupings affiliated with the IS, such as Jabhat Fath ash Shaam, Ahrar ash Shaam, Jaysh al-Islam and so on," the expert said.
"The rout of large militant groups is expected to ensure that small groupings, which already now actually agree to a ceasefire but are prevented from doing so by larger and combat-capable formations, will switch to truce and the start of a political process and the resumption of inter-Syrian talks for the political settlement of the conflict," Dolgov said.
Russia’s non-interference in Libya situation was a mistake
The expert said that the way Russia had acted in the Libyan conflict was a big political and diplomatic mistake.
"Comparing Russia’s actions in Syria and the way the Russian side acted in the Libyan conflict, both experts and the Russian establishment today realize that Russia made a big political and diplomatic mistake at that time," Dolgov said.
"In Libya, we lost billions invested by the Russian defense industry in the delivery of armaments to Libyans. Now we’re witnessing a collapse of the state in Libya where radical Islamic groupings are operating freely and a wave of refugees from that country has swept Europe. However, Europe itself bears responsibility for this flow of forced migrants," the expert said.