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Putin Sends 5 Messages by Announcing Syria’s Ceasefire | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Russian President Vladimir Putin (Reuters)

London – Russia and Turkey brokered a ceasefire in Syria which was put into effect on Thursday midnight, thus Syria witnessed on Friday its first day of nationwide ceasefire.

Syria’s military said it halted operations at midnight, except against ISIS and other terror groups.

By announcing the ceasefire, Russian President Vladimir Putin has managed to deliver several messages, according to informed sources on the Syrian developments.

The first message directed to his own country informing his people that Russia will not sink in an open war in Syria, which brings back memories of Afghanistan and the toll it had on the country’s economy.

Sources also believe that Putin is keen not to be involved in a long-term intensified relation with the Islamic world jeopardizing its interests and citizens by being portrayed as “The great Satan.”

According to the same sources, the Russian diplomatic attack came few weeks before Donald Trump enters the White House. The success of current ceasefire in Syria will encourage the Trump administration to cooperate with Moscow in fighting terrorism beginning from Syria, which will reflect positively on other issues.

The third message is directed at countries in the region that sympathized with the Syrian revolution. Moscow believes that those countries would rather see a Russian-Syria rather than an Iranian-Syria.

A political solution in Syria would mean the presence of all foreign militias on Syrian soil must be discussed, which will put Iraqi, Lebanese, and Afghani militias loyal to Iran in an awkward situation.

Putin’s fourth message is directed at the Syrian opposition itself, informing it that Russia is the only power able to – convince and force – the regime to accept the deal. In addition, the agreement is guaranteed by both Russia and Turkey.

The last message is directed at the Syrian regime itself. By intervening in the Syrian war in the summer of 2015, Russia saved the regime from toppling down, something which Iran wasn’t able to do.

Also, Moscow granted the regime a strong position in the negotiations, that’s why it feels that it is its right to demand certain concessions that Russia could use – to avoid – going into another cold war with the U.S.