Creating new perspectives since 2009

Russia strengthens its influence in Syria following Israel strikes

January 20, 2022 at 2:51 pm

Russian troops in Daraa, Syria on 1 September 2021 [Yasser Alhatib/Anadolu Agency]

Russia is consolidating its presence in Syria following two rounds of Israeli airstrikes last month on the Port of Latakia, which was targeting alleged Iranian arms shipments.

According to a report yesterday on Arabi21, Russia’s joint patrols, on Monday, with Syrian forces is a precursor to Moscow’s control over the Port. Citing Ahmed Mazhar Saado, a political analyst, the report states that Russia’s presence in Latakia is to re-assert Russian hegemony in the region and that there was a mutual aim by both Russia and Israel to limit Iran’s presence in the country.

It is also worth noting that the Israeli airstrikes have been persistent, despite the presence of Russia’s S-400 defence systems.

Saado speculates it is also why Russia was silent about the bombing of Latakia Port, so as to strengthen its own position there, as it already has control over the Port of Tartus. The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) also cited opposition sources claiming that Russia is looking to expel Iran and Iranian-backed militia from the Port. However, according to Iran’s Mehr news agency, Syria remains a scene of “cooperation and convergence” between Tehran and Moscow, despite attempts by foreign propaganda to create discord between the countries.

Russia has also concluded a number of long-term economic agreements with Damascus, the Arabi21 report continues, primarily in relation to investment contracts in the oil and gas sectors, in addition to a 49-year agreement in the Tartus Port.

In line with Russia’s interests, ports in Syria and Russian-controlled Crimea signed agreements yesterday to enhance economic ties, with Syria also keen on welcoming more tourists to Latakia.

READ: Raqqa residents reject Syrian regime reconciliation proposals