Putin’s Syrian tactics are now being used against Ukraine

Putin's Syrian tactics are now being used against Ukraine

In Ukraine, Russian and Ukrainian negotiators have repeatedly agreed to open so-called humanitarian corridors so that civilians can leave besieged cities such as Mariupol where the fighting has been intense. But Ukrainian leaders have claimed that the Russian military has shelled these corridors and killed people on the run. Using temporary ceasefires to allow civilians to flee is a proven method in war, but evacuations are often interrupted precisely because the fighting continues. Human rights organizations also point out that the oldest and most vulnerable often find it difficult to leave through humanitarian corridors. According to critics, humanitarian breaks in the battles are also used to regroup troops, reload and advance positions.

Humanitarian corridors in Syria

During the Syrian war, rebel-held areas in cities such as Homs and Aleppo were surrounded by Syrian regime forces and subjected to intense artillery fire and Syrian and Russian airstrikes. The civilian population has starved and medicine and food have not been allowed through. The siege of Aleppo lasted for several years and in December 2016 a passage was opened so that tens of thousands of civilians could leave. In Syria, during most evacuations, civilians have since been bussed to the last rebel-held area in Idlib. But critics say this has been a brutal strategy that has given the Syrian regime the opportunity to reclaim large tracts of land and relocate ethnic groups. Some have called humanitarian corridors “death corridors” in Syria. Russia has played an active role in negotiating ceasefire and humanitarian corridors in Syria. Russian military police have patrolled areas where Syrian civilians have been evacuated. similar evacuations in Ukraine?

Russia bombed targets in Syria

In 2015, Russian fighter jets began bombing targets in Syria to support the country’s President Bashar al-Assad.

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.

Russia has participated in negotiations on ceasefire and evacuations.

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: Cecilia Uddén and Johan Mathias SommarströmMiddle East Correspondents, Aron Lundanalyst and Syria expert at FOI

Host: Olle Wiberg

Introduction: Johar Bendjelloul

Producer: Katja Magnusson

Technician: Alma Segeholm, Johanna Carell, Mikael Strang


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