In order to maintain the operation in Syria, Russia has to keep making successful strikes, says director of NATO Strategic Communications Centre of Excellence in Riga Janis Sarts, adding that Russia will likely become stuck in Syria’s military conflict.
During a discussion regarding the situation in Syria, Sarts mentioned that Russia currently carries out air-strikes in Syria. It is possible, according to Sarts, that Russia will soon commence land operations as well.
«All that, however, has limited influence. In order to maintain the operation and gain continuous victories, they will become stuck in Syria’s military situation, and this is not good news,» – said Sarts. He added that in addition to one problem Russia would have two and additional economic hardships on top of everything. «It was not a strategically rational decision in a long-term perspective. It will not improve the general security situation,» – he said.
As for ISIS, which is a terrorist organization, Sarts said his centre has analysed its activity on social networks and its propaganda. «Social networks are their main form of activity, which limits our ability to track them down,» – said Sarts. «They use people’s credulity very well,» – he added.
«We have seen many terrorist organizations over the years, but ISIS is currently the dominant one,» – Sarts continued, adding that other terrorist organizations had never been this ambitious. He adds that ISIS desperately wants to be called a state even though there isn’t one. In spite of all that, ISIS has succeeded in drawing in supporters, especially among young people who use social networks for communication. Sarts continued by explaining that ISIS has achieved its goal in a way – using shocking elements, including beheading and destruction of ancient monuments, the west talks about it now. «It has echoed here as well,» – said Sarts.
In regards to social networks, Sarts emphasized that Twitter is the backbone of ISIS terrorists. They continue their activities in spite of efforts of many governments to close their profiles. «They have an incredibly tough structure that resists these efforts,» – Sarts said. He added that materials released by ISIS mention how terrorists see part of Europe ruled by caliphate.
Saeima deputy Atis Lejins mentioned in the discussion that Europe is incapable of resettling all refugees, because its capacity is reaching its end. He said he expects the conflict to end within a year. Following the end of the conflict, however, it will be necessary to decide Syria’s future. Lejins also mentioned that Russia’s President Vladimir Putin «does everything with his bloodied hands only for his personal benefit». «The same as what has been done in Ukraine,» – said Lejins.
Latvian Foreign Ministry’s deputy state secretary and political director Educards Stiprais said Syrian President Bashar al Assad has led his country to a civil war. «It seems he is not really qualified as a politician. He exaggerated in his reaction,» – said Stiprais, adding that Assad may be part of the solution, but not the whole of the solution.
As it is known, Russia commenced air-strikes against ISIS forces in Syria on 30 September. Thereby Russia provides support to government forces in Syria.
According to official data, Russia has carried out more than 8,000 air-strikes over the course of one month.
Syria has been engaged in civil war since 2011. Syrian government now fights off armed rebel factions and terrorists from ISIS and Al Nusra terrorist organizations. According to data from the UN, more than 250,000 people have been killed in the armed conflict in Syria since its beginning.