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Opinion: Will Russia Succeed Where Iran Failed? - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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After two Russian planes were brought to the ground; the first a civilian plane which crashed over Egypt and the second that was bombed over Turkey, it seems that the Russians are bent on revenge and winning the war in Syria.

Now we see them implementing an intelligent plan revolving around the isolation of the Turks; the main player against Bashar al-Assad’s regime. If they fully succeed, their word will be the final word regarding the future of Syria.

Russian fighter jets and missiles have heavily bombed Turkish- Syrian border crossing points and supporting areas which the Turks consider to be under their protection. The Russians said that they have destroyed border crossings used by fighters and trade between the countries.

Jordan has already stopped all movement near its borders after the arrival of Iranians in southern Syria, specifically in Deraa. In Lebanon, the army and the Hezbollah militia closed the border with Syria just like the Iraqi Kurds have done since the battle for Kobani. As for the borders with Iraqi Anbar, they are open and do not grant the Syrian opposition an external dimension.

Now, after Turkey has been incapacitated as an actor in Syria, are we near the end of the Syrian revolution and the end of the moderate armed opposition like the Free Syrian Army on the one hand, and other extremist organisations like ISIS and the al-Nusra front on the other?

In my opinion, this is a temporary setback. I am not talking about the operational military aspect; rather, my opinion is based on the political and social motives for war. Syria and the Syrian people embrace the Syrian uprising, not foreign forces as opponents of the uprising claim. Assad’s regime belongs to the era of the Soviet Union and the Cold War that have fallen or changed.

Opposition will continue, and the Russians, Iranians and the remnants of the regime will not succeed in turning back the clock. Without a political solution that gives hope to all, the war will not end even if all border crossings are closed.

Abdulrahman Al-Rashed

Abdulrahman Al-Rashed

Abdulrahman Al-Rashed is the former general manager of Al-Arabiya television. He is also the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat, and the leading Arabic weekly magazine Al-Majalla. He is also a senior columnist in the daily newspapers Al-Madina and Al-Bilad. He has a US post-graduate degree in mass communications, and has been a guest on many TV current affairs programs. He is currently based in Dubai.

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