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Daesh on the Run: Putin’s Decisiveness the Key to Russia’s Success in Syria

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Russian decisiveness in taking on the notorious Daesh (ISIS/ ISIL) terrorist organization in Syria is the key to Moscow’s successful military operation, political analyst Salman Rafi Sheikh stresses.

In contrast to the US-led anti-Daesh coalition, Russia has demonstrated a serious and realistic approach towards conflict resolution in the Middle East, according to Salman Rafi Sheikh, research-analyst of International Relations and Pakistan’s foreign and domestic affairs.

“There is a marked difference between what was happening in Syria before the Russian campaign against terrorist organizations started and what is happening today. If terrorist organizations, such as ISIL [IS/Daesh], are today on the run, that is primarily due to Russia’s indiscriminate bombing of what had otherwise literally become the ‘stranglehold’ of ISIL and other CIA-supported proxy terror groups. Thanks to Vladimir Putin’s timely entrance in the Syrian saga, his clarity of political objectives as well as military decisiveness,” Sheikh writes in his article for New Eastern Outlook.

There is no question that Russia has been very decisive in its approach. This has led to some sizable improvements on the ground. All the Western (including Israeli) “experts” had predicted that Russia air strikes would have little to no effect.

The success of the Russian airstrikes have also “forced the hand” of UK, France, Germany and US in doing something so that they receive some credit.

Based on the comments posted by ordinary people around the world, there is overwhelming support for the Russian airstrikes. The message people want to send is that all savages who decapitate or burn alive their victims must be wiped out.

Vladimir Putin delivers annual Presidential Address to Federal Assembly

According to the political analyst, what Russia has accomplished with its limited military contingent in Syria is more than just remarkable. Moscow’s successful military operation has forced the US-led ‘West’ into changing its “destructive policies.”Russian President Putin has strived to convince Western powers that political transition in Syria should be carried out by the Syrian nation alone. Only Syrians have the right to determine their political future, Moscow insists.

Sheikh recalls that for almost four years the West, on the other hand, has been making vain attempts to carry out a so-called “political transition” in Syria by virtually destroying the country.

“In fact, the biggest difference between Russia and the West has been, apart from the fact that the West has been supporting terrorist organizations in the Middle East, military decisiveness,” the analyst stresses.

Russian decisiveness and American indecisiveness are obvious. While Russia, since the very beginning of its operation, has been consistently eradicating terrorists in Syria, only one in four US warplanes has been striking Daesh-controlled territories.

“The US conducted 7,319 sorties over Iraq and Syria as part of Operation Inherent Resolve in the first four months of 2015. Of those, only 1,859 flights — 25.4 percent — had at least one ‘weapons release,’ according to data provided by United States Air Force Central Command,” the political analyst elaborates.

President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin, left, and President of the French Republic Francois Hollande

Russia’s military and diplomatic success in Syria is unquestionable, according to Sheikh. The analyst underscores that Moscow has gained new ground in the international arena. Moscow is now viewed as a truly global player that could lead the would-be “grand coalition” in Syria, he notes.Russia and France has begun coordinating their efforts in Syria, the analyst remarks, adding that the fact that Paris is now willing to cooperate with Moscow clearly indicates that Russian methods have proven effective. Sheikh reminds his readers that, about a month ago, Moscow’s Syrian campaign was rumored to be “counter-productive” by some so-called experts and media sources in the West.

Needless to say, the West was really embarrassed when Vladimir Putin revealed that almost 40 countries have been involved in funding Daesh, including some of the G20 member states.

“Whereas these revelations by Vladimir Putin clearly amplify Russian decisiveness and seriousness in defeating and completely eliminating the world’s ‘richest’ terrorist organization, it also reinforces the tacit continuation of Western indecisiveness about not only eliminating ISIL [Daesh] but also its own relations with it,” Sheikh concludes.

Shehab Al Makahleh |  Follow him on Twitter @ShehabMakahleh