In recent years, Russian fighter jets and soldiers have taken part in the war in Syria – and received military training in sharp combat. Russia has repeatedly been accused of bombing civilian targets such as hospitals and schools, something Russia denies despite human rights organizations providing evidence that hospitals were attacked. Today, Russia has an air base and a naval base in Syria. The majority of all Russian military officers and fighter pilots have served in Syria for some period and new weapons have been tested there. Russia has invited foreign journalists to follow the Russian troops and give a positive image of Russia’s role in Syria. For example, when a Russian symphony orchestra was flown in to perform at the World Heritage Site in Palmyra after the site was taken back from the terrorist group IS. The leader was a Putin supporter who had previously supported the president’s annexation of the Crimean peninsula in Ukraine. With Russia’s help, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad managed to regain control of almost the entire country. Today, President Assad is one of Vladimir Putin’s most devoted supporters and one of the few world leaders who have praised Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. Hear what President Putin may have learned from the military and diplomatic lessons of the Syrian war that he can now use in Ukraine.
Russia’s role in Syria:
In the autumn of 2015, Russian airstrikes on targets in Syria began.
According to President Putin, the target was IS terrorists, while human rights organizations claim that civilian targets were also bombed.
Russia has fighter jets at Hmeimeem airfield and a naval base in Tartous on the Mediterranean.
After Russian President Vladimir Putin decided to help Syrian President Bashar al-Assad militarily, the wind has turned in Assad’s favor in the Syrian war.
Participants: Aron Lund, analysts at FOI, the Swedish Defense Research Agency, Johanna Melén, Russia correspondent and Cecilia Uddén Middle Eastern correspondent
Host: Jesper Lindau
Introduction: Johar Bendjelloul
Producer: Katja Magnusson
Sound engineer: Jacob Gustavsson
Source: ICELAND NEWS