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Op-Ed: Russia’s old/new approach in the world

Kurdish legal consultant, writer and journalist Chiman Salih explains that Russia’s approach to the Middle East is very dangerous as it threatens the stability in the region not just by allowing Bashar al-Assad to remain in power in Syria.
Russian President Vladimir Putin Photo Credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News

Ever since Russia’s reappearance in the Middle East and as a major actor in the international arena, it has tried to behave and implement the same Soviet Union approaches from decades ago, when it as the was one of the two major powers of the world.

Noticeably, in the course of directing the events in the Middle East over the last two years, Russia has worked to make some regimes very powerful. By allying with Russia, however, they are threatening their own people as well as the peace and stability of the region. Russia is negatively interfering in the affairs of other countries as it seeks to expand its authority.

Russia, along with the weakness of the US in the Middle East over last four critical years, is the reason why Bashar al-Assad has remained in power. After the images of the gas attack in which over a hundred people, including 11 children, were murdered, the cinder against Russia, Assad’s principal backer, is much hotter than the fire against Assad’s regime itself. The US, Britain and France have prepared a U.N. Security Council resolution to condemn the horrific chemical attack but Russia is saying that this is unacceptable, claiming that it is based on “fake information.”

However, Russia is not only threatening the stability in the Middle East by backing Assad. Moscow is also backing the Iranian expansion headed for the Mediterranean. Iran has ties to terrorist groups in Iraq and Syria, which allow the country to control soil in the two countries via these proxies and form an arc of influence reaching to the Russian naval base in Tartus. Iran is able to reach this area only because Assad is still in power.

It is clear to me that Russia is trying to downgrade the importance of human rights, respect, stability and peace in the world, threatening the achievements made in the past few decades by the international community. The question of how this Russian old/new approach advances will greatly depend on the reaction of the world to the horrific chemical attack. The people of the Middle East are praying that the international community makes a move.

JOL Blogger | Chiman Salih

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