Since When Did Russia Get The Right To Speak On Syria’s Behalf?

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Andrew Korybko |

The democratically elected and legitimate government of the Syrian Arab Republic has its own international representatives and doesn’t need Russia to put words in its mouth when talking about Damascus’ supposed positions on the very sensitive topics of Idlib and “Israel”.

The Russian-Syrian Strategic Partnership is experiencing unprecedented strain at the moment in spite of all public statements to the contrary after Moscow is implicitly politicizing its possible emergency energy aid to Damascus and potentially laying a strategic trap for it with the Tartus port deal, but now it’s turned everything up a notch by appointing itself to speak on Syria’s behalf about the very sensitive topics of Idlib and “Israel“.

President Putin said that “our Syrian friends consider [the liberation of that city] to be inadvisable given this humanitarian element” of countless civilians residing in the potential conflict zone, while his Special Envoy for Syria Alexander Lavrentiev defended the controversial digging up of “IDF” remains in the Arab Republic by his country’s military as “an act of interest for the Syrian side”.

Read more: Russian army starts patrols around Manbij in North Syria

The problem, however, is that neither of those two statements accurately reflect reality as it objectively exists.

Syria has been struggling for many months to obtain Russian approval for its long-awaited liberation offensive in Idlib and many of its citizens are sorely disappointed that Moscow has thus far refused to grant their country’s military its request, in order to avoid jeopardizing Russia’s delicate “balancing” act with Turkey.

Regarding “Israel”, the self-professed “Jewish State” is Syria’s enemy for many decades, and it’s extremely unlikely that Damascus would sacrifice its hard-fought anti-Zionist reputation within the Resistance by agreeing to have Russia unearth “IDF” remains on its territory in exchange for the return of just two prisoners.

Nevertheless, Russia publicly misrepresented Syria’s true position on these sensitive topics, knowing that it’s extremely unlikely that its partner will openly contradict it out of fear of suffering unpredictable consequences if it dares to do so, hence why Moscow will probably get away with what it just did.

Read more: Russia, Turkey, Iran hail US Syria withdrawal

Still, this begs the question of why Russia would even do this in the first place and what it wanted to achieve.

It can’t be known for sure, but it looks like the Idlib remark was a message to Turkey that any potential unilateral military action by the Syrian Arab Army in that region would be a “rogue” attack and that Ankara therefore has Moscow’s permission to deal with it accordingly.

As for the “Israeli” quip, Russia is probably trying to sow discord between Syria and Iran as part of its campaign of pressure to get Damascus to initiate Tehran’s dignified but “phased withdrawal” from the Arab Republic, in order to fulfill one of the most important objectives of the so-called “working group” that was recently set up by “Putinyahu’s Rusrael“.

Considering the strategic goals that Russia is pursuing by putting words in Syria’s mouth, it’s very likely that Moscow will continue this provocative policy until it either gets what it wants or Damascus publicly contradicts it in order to set the record straight.

DISCLAIMER: The author writes for this publication in a private capacity which is unrepresentative of anyone or any organization except for his own personal views. Nothing written by the author should ever be conflated with the editorial views or official positions of any other media outlet or institution. 

Andrew Korybko is a political analyst, radio host, and regular contributor to several online outlets. He specializes in Russian affairs and geopolitics, specifically the US strategy in Eurasia. His other areas of focus include tactics of regime change, color revolutions and unconventional warfare used across the world. His book, “Hybrid Wars: The Indirect Adaptive Approach To Regime Change”, extensively analyzes the situations in Syria and Ukraine and claims to prove that they represent a new model of strategic warfare being waged by the US. 


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