Tough Reaction of Russian Military against U.S. Actions in Syria

Because of the downed Syrian Su-22 Russia stopped cooperation with the United States on the Syria memorandum. According to Valdai Club expert Vladimir Yevseyev, despite the tough reaction of the Russian military, the memorandum will be restored. The question is on what conditions.

The main reason for the combat actions of the US Air Force, which the Russian Defense Ministry called "the grossest violation of the international law and de facto military aggression" against Syria, is that the US politicians have not yet made a final decision which fundamental direction to take.

"There are two directions: one involves fighting in Raqqa, the second is the activities in southern Syria near the Jordanian border, where a buffer zone is created. The uncertainty regarding these two directions pushed the Americans to shoot down the Syrian aircraft. The US itself still cannot determine even its nearest tactics in Syria. In such conditions it is extremely difficult to develop the Russian-American military cooperation," Vladimir Yevseyev, head of the department for Eurasian integration and development of the SCO at the Institute of CIS countries, said in an interview with

According to the expert, now the US is doing everything to ensure that the memorandum does not function, although it is clear that the Americans will have to fly in the Russian air defense zone, and such flights are fraught with incidents.

"The US often creates problems which it later tries to resolve. So it happened in Syria, when the US waited for a moment to overthrow Bashar Assad, whom they considered a tyrant," Yevseyev said. The Americans only imitated the struggle with radical Islamists in Syria, and this could simply lead to the country's disintegration into many parts. Moreover, Americans are extremely inconsistent in Afghanistan, where they say that they are leaving, but after they are beginning to build up their presence.

"I think that the US does not have a strategy in the Middle East in general, and specifically regarding countries of the region. Their tactics leads to the instability of taken actions, because they are not coherent to a further strategy," Yevseyev said.

In April 2017, Moscow has already suspended the Russia-US memorandum. This was due to the US attack against the Syrian Shayrat air base. The operation of the memorandum was restored a week after the attack.

Yevseyev believes that despite the tough reaction of the Russian military, the memorandum will be restored and the question is on what conditions. "Earlier, in order for the memorandum to become operational, a visit to Moscow by Rex Tillerson was required, and a long work was carried out. How long it will take now for Russia to do this kind of work, is unclear; whether Rex Tillerson is ready to come to Moscow again - is also unclear," the expert said.

According to Yevseyev, in the current situation the US itself must first determine which direction in Syria is the priority for them. "If this direction is Raqqa, then they should reconsider their position. If their interests lay in the south of Syria, in the buffer zone near Jordan, then in this case they will not develop cooperation with Russia, and, accordingly, the memorandum in this case will not be operational for a long time, "Yevseyev said.

"There is still a scenario in which they do not accept this decision," Vladimir Yevseyev said. - Then there will be a [high] degree of uncertainty, since a slowdown in decision-making on the main direction of US activities can significantly complicate the fight against the ISIS (banned in Russia - Ed.). And many will have a question whether the US imitated the fight against ISIS in order to try once again to overthrow the hated regime of Bashar Assad."

Views expressed are of individual Members and Contributors, rather than the Club's, unless explicitly stated otherwise.