Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov had to answer the question of whether Putin was preparing an address to the Federation Council about the deployment of Russian troops in Syria. Obviously, the West is not going to be satisfied with the negative answer to the question. The media campaign to discredit Russia in connection with the Syrian crisis has quite a few objectives and shows that Washington is not ready for a dialogue about the problem of the Islamic State.
US Secretary of State John Kerry said in a conversation with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov on Saturday said that Russia's direct military presence in Syria may escalate the conflict, lead to more deaths among civilians, intensify the flow of refugees and prevent the actions of the coalition of Western countries against ISIS extremists.
On Tuesday, the Americans increased pressure on Russia, as Bulgaria did not allow Russian planes carrying humanitarian aid to fly over the territory of Bulgaria to Syria. Athens sighed with relief because Greece was second in the air corridor.
Washington fears that Russia may supply state-of-the-art military hardware to Bashar Assad. Russia's military presence in Syria is not an issue at all - Russia does not conceal the fact of its military presence in the country.
The Los Angeles Times, for example, published a few satellite images of a Russian military base in the province of Latakia. The base, the newspaper wrote, was being built to station troops and heavy equipment. It was also said that Russia supposedly requested Turkey's assistance in the delivery of modern aircraft to Syria. Ukrainian bloggers found "evidence" in a YouTube video, in which they heard someone speaking Russian in an effort to teach Syrians use Russian military hardware.
The Western press then wrote that Russian troops had been deployed not only in the port of Tartus, but also in Homs and in other parts of Syria. An extensive selection of photos was published on The Daily Mail, for example. The photos depict bearded and camouflaged militia men without any references to the place and time of shooting, but Kerry's conclusions are there, of course.
According to The Independent, accusations of Russia of escalating the war in Syria mean that Obama is not ready to run a reasonable policy in the region. Russia has all chances to become a leading player in the fight against ISIS, as well as in the peace talks with Bashar Assad. The Syrian president will have to listen to Russia in order to survive. Russia and the United States will be able to influence the parties to the conflict in Syria only if the two countries work together. Otherwise, the Islamic State will be the only winner to the conflict, the newspaper concluded.
Obama does not want to work with Russia in this direction, because the destruction of ISIS is not one of Washington's goals. America's campaign about the upcoming "second Russian Afghanistan" in Syria indicates the following objectives. Firstly, people of the West should know who is guilty of the current refugee crisis in Europe - this is Putin. Secondly, the USA will not let the army of Bashar Assad destroy ISIS: the extremist group is beneficial for the US and its allies for various reasons - from the struggle with Iranian and Kurdish influence to reducing oil prices.
For Russia, the fall of Bashar al-Assad will mean the coming of unpredictable forces to power. They may take the side of the Caliphate to open the doors of the Caucasus to the Caliphate.
Russia "cooperates with Syria on a permanent basis," said Dmitry Peskov. According to Putin's spokesman, Russia supplies arms to Syria. Russia trains Syrian military men and supplies weapons to the country in accordance with the contracts signed 5-7 years ago.
Russia has a military base in Syria, there is also a contract for the supply of arms. To crown it all, there is a request for military assistance from the legitimate government.
"The US is trying to take Russia out of the way. The Americans need to support Islamists in order to topple Assad, - Vladimir Yevseyev, director of the Center for Public Policy Research told Pravda.Ru. - It doesn't go about the destruction of the Islamic State. The military in questions most likely protect the delivered hardware, which is absolutely normal.
"The United States uses private paramilitary organizations for such purposes, but Russia can not do it. They only protect cargoes, they do not take part in combat actions," the expert told Pravda.Ru.
According to experts' estimate, Russia would need to deploy 50-100 thousand men (plus transport and fuel) in Syria to be able to show influence on the course of fighting in Syria.
Does Russia need another Afghanistan in Syria? Absolutely not. Yet, this is something that the United States needs. For Washington, it would be very good, if the blood of Russian soldiers could correct the mistakes that the US made as it ruined good relations with the Islamic world.
Read article on the Russian version of Pravda.Ru