Salwa Aksoy, a member of the Syrian Opposition Coalition (SOC), emphasized that the Russian aggression against Syria, which began eight years ago, is part of an international conflict over the region and Russia’s desire to strengthen its influence and sell more weapons. She added that Russia would not leave Syria unless it was compelled to do so.
In an article published on the Syria TV website, Aksoy noted that on September 30, 2015, Russia initiated its aerial bombardment of Syria, marking the start of its first military action outside the borders of the former Soviet Union since the Cold War.
Aksoy explained that Russia’s initial aerial bombardment in Syria targeted areas in the countryside of Homs and Hama under the pretext of “airstrikes directed at the sites of ISIS terrorists,” a claim disputed by the US Department of Defense. The SOC also asserted at the time that the bombing resulted in the deaths of women and children.
She stressed that Russia’s aggression was justified under the pretext of countering terrorism, especially the Al-Nusra Front, which Moscow consistently used as cover for its extensive bombing campaigns with various weapons and bombs, causing civilian casualties.
Furthermore, Aksoy emphasized that Moscow’s intervention aimed to prevent the fall of its primary ally, the Assad regime. This pretext was also employed to justify Russia’s brutal attacks on the city of Aleppo in 2016, an assault characterized as “hell” by the head of the United Nations Office of Humanitarian Affairs, Stephen O’Brien, due to the targeting of the city’s healthcare infrastructure, resulting in the destruction of over six hospitals.
Aksoy clarified that Russia’s aggression against Syria, while driven by multiple factors, ultimately serves to preserve Russian presence in the region and support the Assad regime. For Moscow, the fall of Assad would be a “victory” for the West, posing a threat to Russia’s regional interests.
She added that Russia’s extensive deployment of weapons to Syria indicates that its objectives extend beyond propping up the Assad regime; it seeks to prevent any “Western” foothold in Syria, particularly defenses against air attacks.
Aksoy stated that Moscow views the Arab Spring as a “Western” plan targeting its regional interests, citing the case of Libya and NATO’s military intervention, which resulted in the demise of Moscow’s ally, Gaddafi.
She further noted that Moscow’s longstanding goal, dating back to the 1990s and continuing under Vladimir Putin’s leadership, has been to expand Russian influence in the region, creating a multipolar global system rather than the unipolar system represented by the United States. This includes maintaining control over sea routes in the Black and Mediterranean Seas.
Concluding her article, Aksoy emphasized that Russia is unlikely to withdraw from Syria unless compelled to do so. It is still too early to predict the situation in Syria a year from now, but ultimately, the Syrian people will have the final say, regardless of international intervention.
(Source: SOC’s Media Department)