As predicted, things are getting hairy all over again in Syria, a place where too many conflicts are going on. The casus belli this time is the little town of Manbij, in the northern part of the country. Actually is controlled by Kurds, with logistic support from the US. Russians and Americans found themselves together against the will of the Turkish government to seize the town, a move that greatly enraged the leadership of this regional power. Check here the story, from Stars and Stripes.
There are many conflicts that are out of the media beat, including the ongoing confrontation in Ukraine between national government, Russian-sponsored separatist and Russian armed forces. Said conflict is in progress since 2014, with a significant portion of Ukraine – the Crimea region – de facto annexed by Russia in spite of every international treaty.
Last week, on Thursday December 4th, Mr. Vladimir Putin was addressing his nation about what’s going on this year and the perspectives for his country in the next year. A few hours before, in Grozny, a group of gunmen launched a surprise attack. The consequent battle lasted for several hours, leaving 19 bodies on the ground and many injured. The message was clear, loud and brutal as usual. Chechnya is not pacified as the Russian government pretends, neither is under total control as its president, Mr. Ramzan Kadyrov, likes to state at all times.
When Putin was re-elected, his program could be synthetized in two themes. Peace in the Caucasus area and a steady economic growth. Years later, Chechnya is still not pacified, the years of repression and civil rights deny have all but enlarged the problem to Dagestan and Ingushetia, while the recent drop in the oil price and the economic sanctions against Russia (motivated by the conflict in Ukraine) have put the economy on its knees. Not a good time to speak about success for the new Czar, isn’t it?
It’s almost scary to see what’s going on the media in Germany about the Ukrainian crisis. While the news coverage is good as it gets usually you may see some of the most important men of the country taking as many distance is possible from a direct involvement of the Germany in the crisis – they take side with Putin to Hell and beyond.
Present days Syria’s crisis is a good start to think about how Putin’s Russia look at the whole Middle East in short and middle terms (from 1 to 5 years). After the shake down of USSR in 1991 russian presence in the Middle East and in the Persian Gulf has been close to be wiped out. No political sphere of influence was viable for a nation in rubble, not to mention the overwhelming military power of the USA that was already on the brink to squash Saddam Hussein’s regime in Iraq.
After the end of the Cold War we had a number of conflicts with the direct participation of NATO countries, wars and “peace missions” that hardly got any real winner. USA and its allies won every battle on the field but how many of this wars gave us a better world?
All right, we’re on the eve of a bombing campaign against Syria. Everybody knows it and all of us already got the commemorative T-shirt (My brother bombed Syria and all I’ve got it’s this lousy T-shirt?). What we have to remember is that they’re waiting for an opportunity to strike back.