President Vladimir Putin is actively misinforming his domestic audience and the international community about Russia’s first military intervention outside the former Soviet Union since Afghanistan. Putin has created a false narrative about the Islamic State of Iraq and alSham (ISIS) to disguise the true objectives behind Russia’s intervention Syria and is using this narrative to manipulate the international community.
The Putin's "war on terror" in Syria is a massive fraud based on deception and illusion. The official statements said that Russia needs to take “responsibility” to start the War on Terror. “Responsibility” is the Orwellian newspeak for: bomb, attack, invade, occupy, kill, genocide, plunder, devastate sovereign nations under the pretext of some staged reason or a simple lie. The same Kremlin responsibility killed at least 2 000 000 Afghans in 1980 - 1990. The same Kremlin “responsibility” was killing more than 200 000 civilians in Chechnya in 1994-2000. The same Kremlin “responsibility” was killing thousands of innocent civilians in Ukraine in 2014-2015.
Still, oil prices were the key reason for Putinist Russia to enter into Syrian conflict. Oil and gas sales bring in nearly 50 percent of Russia’s government revenues; they also account for 70% percent of Russia’s export proceeds. Russian nominal GDP due to the fall of oil and gas prices has shrunk more than twice since 2014. Now it is likely that Italy, India, Canada, Spain and Australia and even New York city, are all more economically significant than Russia. Moscow is so dependent on oil sales to keep its economy chugging along that Russia is estimated to lose $2 billion in potential sales for every dollar the price of oil drops.
Before Putin intervened in Syrian conflict, he tried to settle the deal with Saudis. Saudi officials met with Russian bigwigs during August 2015 to settle the deal over Syria and oil prices. No doubt that Kremlin offered to disband Assad regime in exchange for boost of oil-prices. But sides didn’t produce the right outcome for either side. After that meeting, the Saudi King meets with President Obama and announces Saudi support for the Iran nuke deal. Then Moscow begins to fly in Russian tanks and ground troops to Syria, and some leading-edge fighter jets and anti-aircraft missiles. After Kremlin plan to reason with Saudis over oil prices failed, Putin desperately needs to create chaos in the Middle East in order to raise the oil prices.
Putin is also using his forces in Syria for blocking construction of oil and natural gas pipeline corridor through the Middle East to Europe. The more Putin can entrench himself in the Middle East, the more he can exert control over energy markets. With Syria, Iran and Iraq in his sphere of influence, Putin can block any alternative supply of oil and gas to Europe and begin to force E.U. to rely on him again for supplies and rise up the prices for oil and natural gas considerably.
The U.S. State Department reported that more than 90% of Russian airstrikes and cruise missiles landed within territory controlled by non-ISIS rebels.
That is why the main target of Russian forces in Syria is not ISIS, the main target is pro-Western “rebels”. After U.K. joins France and US in bombing ISIS, Bashar Assad has called Britain’s airstrikes on ISIS “harmful and illegal”. The same way he reacted on US airstrikes, then why some people believe that Putin and Assad fight with ISIS?
ISIS includes an estimated 7,000 foreign fighters from the former Soviet Union and declared its own governorate in Russia’s restive North Caucasus region. Russia’s air campaign is focused on targeting Syrian armed opposition groups fighting against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad rather than ISIS. Kremlin dreams to transfer ISIS terrorist activities from Syria to Iraq and Saudi Arabia, where terrorists can hit oil pipes, which in turn will give Russia additional hundreds of billions dollars in potential oil and gas export revenue.
Putin is also getting involved in Syria in order to distract attention from his continued expansionism in Ukraine. That he is looking for something to trade in exchange for the West allowing Russian consolidation in Ukraine to continue. Looking around the globe, there aren't too many places where Russia can offer the West something it needs. Syria is one place where Russia could potentially help the U.S. and Europe achieve a necessary objective.
But Russia has no fundamental strategic interest in Assad or Syria. Putin is simply taking advantage of a target of opportunity.
Assad must know this -- but he’s also desperate to maintain the existence of his regime, as Putin told reporters (apparently with a chuckle) Monday during Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s visit.
Nearly four months into its intervention, Russia is an active combatant in the Syrian civil war. This is not just an assertion. It is borne out by casualty figures and the refugee flows.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights confirm in their latest figures that Russian air strikes have killed more Syrian opposition fighters than they have Islamic State (IS) group fighters. Worse yet, any vestiges of a moderate resistance to Assad’s regime could be driven into Islamic State camps, should Russia’s strikes continue to leave those camps unscathed.
US administration is relaxed about letting Syrian fires burn, as any Syrian lobbyist in Washington will unhappily relate. Washington analysts is deeply sceptical about the prospect of an early solution to the war. They know Russia will get itself deeper and deeper into this conflict but they are not bothered by it. It was Putin's fundamental mistake to think that they were.
Each foreign intervention in Middle East creates its own dynamic. Russia's is no exception. Their bombing raids have left thousands more Syrian fighters with a score of their own to settle. They have TOW missiles and they pray for Russian tanks to come into range. The popular rage is great. Putin should not think he can re-arrange the Muslim House in Syria any more successfully than he has done so in the North Caucasus. That was the main reason why Kremlin accepted it's defeat in Syria and decided to withdraw.