Cyprus Mail
Guest Columnist Opinion

Putting an end to terrorism in Syria

Russian air force helicopter on the tarmac of Heymim air base near the Syrian port town of Latakia

By Stanislav Osadchiy

By helping Syria put an end to terrorism, we are protecting all the countries in the region from external intervention and preventing the further spread of misanthropic ideology, extremism and transboundary terrorism. In aspiring to reach this goal, we must launch a specific, clearly oriented political process under UN auspices, based on the Geneva communiqué of June 30, 2012.

Russia is guided by the UN Charter and the fundamental principles of international law and is deeply convinced that the war against terrorism must be conducted on a universal legal basis with the UN Security Council having a leading role.

Russia has come to aid the legitimate government of Syria and has acted at its request and with its consent, and in accordance with Russia’s national legislation.

Our opponents have claimed that the majority of countries do not approve of Russia’s actions, and some Arab world representatives have gone as far as to threaten Russia with a world Sunni jihad. But there is no need to threaten us. The meetings during the 70th session of the General Assembly in New York, including high-level meetings, have clearly shown that many countries are in solidarity with us. They are not enthusiastic about the prospects of demolishing the regional security structure or the rise of an unpredictable extremist ‘Caliphate’ that would replace secular states. This new ‘Caliphate’ would have no respect for international law, state borders or the modern values that seem unshakeable to us. Neither Russia, nor European states or any other countries can feel secure.

The danger of demonising Arabs in particular and Muslims in general raises great concerns. At a time when Europe is shaken by unprecedented numbers of refugees, we may face growing xenophobia, anti-Islamic sentiments and the construction of inter-civilisation barriers. A number of other challenges can be added to this list: the consequences of ISIS actions aimed at forcing Christians out of the Middle East and growing inter-Muslim strife between Sunni and Shiite.

Accusations that the Islamic terrorism represented by ISIS originated from Russia’s “persistent effort” to keep Assad in power could not be further from the truth. Quite the opposite is true: it was the weakening of the authorities under pressure of foreign influence that resulted in a vacuum and the spread of anarchic zones in a significant part of the country’s territory which were quickly taken over by terrorists. If Assad resigns, the terrorists’ appetite is not likely to decrease, but the fighting efficiency of the Syrian army – the only power to actually combat terrorism – will decrease.

Special attention should be drawn to the inefficient, US-ruled anti-ISIS coalition not only in Syria, but also in Iraq. Their operation’s only outcome is the growing number of terrorists. Taking that into consideration, it remains unclear why Americans and their partners refuse to cooperate with Russia or the Syrian army in the war against terrorism. This week, the US refused to receive a high-level delegation from Russia or to send one to Moscow to discuss the situation in Syria.

Russia is frequently accused of not being able to tell ‘good’ terrorists from ‘bad’. Or, for that matter, of consciously avoiding bombarding ISIS yet fighting the Syrian free army, brigades of ‘moderate opposition’ and even civilians. One can hardly imagine greater fabrications. Any attempt to depict Russia as an accomplice of Assad’s regime evokes nothing but perplexity. Those who make statements of this kind should read more thoroughly the comprehensive and absolutely precise information provided by the Russian Federation’s ministry of defence on each operation conducted by Russian military forces.

It should be underlined once again that the air operation in Syria is aimed at eliminating terrorism in the country. Those armed barbarians who execute prisoners, trade people and drugs, bombard residential neighbourhoods and preach cultural and religious genocide can only be called terrorists. They certainly are to us, regardless of the flags they display.

Russia urges the establishment of an extended anti-terrorist front whose members will coordinate effectively and flexibly to achieve their goals and thus prevent nonselective actions and civilian victims. The task of consolidating forces in defeating terrorism requires united action by everyone involved in fighting ISIS: the Syrian and Iraqi armies, Kurdish and Shiite militiamen and brigades of wholesome anti-terrorist opposition in Syria. The Russian initiative of forming such a front could be a uniting factor in the war against the ISIS threat and help to prevent a further worsening of the Syrian crisis.

 

Stanislav V. Osadchiy is the ambassador of the Russian Federation to the Republic of Cyprus

n Syria

 

Related Posts

Our View: Traffic cams system is being held up by focus on minutiae

CM: Our View

Our View: Bank strike shows Etyk back to its usual dirty tricks

CM: Our View

Eurovision: Song contest or political platform?

Paul Lambis

Taiwan: the old codger misspeaks again – or does he?

Gwynne Dyer

Our View: Pointless media articles will discourage global companies from headquartering on the island

CM: Our View

Our View: Very little the government can do to stop prices rising

CM: Our View

16 comments

Comments are closed.