The reason behind Russian Airstrikes in Syria

Russia has started there air campaign in Syria after Vladimir Putin spoke before the UN general assembly.  These airstrikes are being carried out against what the Russian government says are ISIS targets, although many media outlets and human rights organizations are disputing these claims.  As we look at the reasons behind why Russia is operating in Russia, it becomes a little foggy.  For a long time it was only the US and there coalition operating from the air in Syria.  When this was happening the US was could be seen as trying to spread there interests in that region just like they have for so many years prior.  As discussed in class the role of countries trying to project its strength around the world and presenting there plans as furthering democracy.  The airstrikes can be seen as the US trying to restore what they see as democracy in a region of the world that has been overrun by religious extremists who don’t believe the same things as we do.

On the Russian side of this scenario is Vladimir Putin who is trying to assert his country into a region where there are already multiple different countries and groups trying to gain power.  The airstrikes that are being carried out are said to be hitting ISIS targets, but really are just giving the Syrian regime cover to gain ground in there civil war.  Russia is disguising there support of the Assad regime with airstrikes with what they say are against ISIS.  By doing this they are strengthening the central government which has been at odds with rebel groups for almost 4 years now.  Again we see that countries try to spread there ideas onto other countries, and the easiest way to do that is by flexing there military power.

Over the past 4 years there have been hundreds of different rebel and terrorist groups that have been trying to overtake the Syrian regime and take control of the country.  Both the US and Russia are now trying to implement what they think is there version of “democracy”.  Both are using airstrikes to help get rid of ISIS, except Russia is also assisting the Syrians to retake control of the country because this is how they think stability will return to the country and will help there ally.  Each country is trying to accomplish the basically the same thing of creating a more stable region, but are doing it with completely different strategies.

syria pic


6 thoughts on “The reason behind Russian Airstrikes in Syria

  1. This was a very interesting topic to pick from. As mentioned in an earlier post by a fellow classmate, Russia and the US are have thought to be together when fighting against ISIS, this still remains true but your post made some things come to light. Everyone is against ISIS but once that is out of the way Russia will be trying to push for the Assad regime because it will benefit them. Stability in regime does not equal a steady ally or steady state. The U.S. trying to implement “democracy” is a better strategy for them because it will obviously help the U.S. gain Syria as an ally.


  2. Very interesting topic and I can agree with you. It seems as if both the US and Russia are competing to make Syria become their idea of an ideal government as well as an ally. However, we will not really know Russia’s motive until we eliminate ISIS from Syria.


  3. Interesting post! In my opinion, the Syrian Civil War has devolved into an international proxy war between the East and West with the United States and Russia supporting opposing forces within the country. Furthermore, interventionism in Syria is unlikely to be successful because of a range of confounding factors, such as geography and geopolitics. The rebellion in Syria is fractured with opposition forces in control of rural areas and government forces garrisoned primarily in major cities, in addition to the Islamic State’s control of large swaths of the country’s northeast. In regard to geopolitics, the onslaught of great-power-funded militias, foreign state and coalition airstrikes, as well as Russia and Iran’s military support of the Assad regime all coalesce to infer that the possibility of a peaceable and sustainable conclusion to this conflict is rather doubtful. Time Magazine has gone into much more detail on the subject of interventionism –,9171,2116135,00.html


  4. I see this as nothing more than another proxy war between America and Russia. Both sides are doing exactly what was done during the cold war: backing opposing sides of a conflict they really have no reason to be in/ Russia does have a naval base in Syria but thats about it. While saying this I believe that the Syrian civil war is way too complex and fractured for any single side to be the good or bad guy. I guess the one group that can and should be targeted by all is ISIS, but the fracturing and factionalism wont help in that endeavor.


  5. The fact that both U.S. and Russia are so involved in what is happening in Syria shows in a lot of ways how much they are trying to unnerve one another. Russia seems to be trying to go back to the days of constant back and forth in interests that started with the U.S.S.R. The biggest hope then is that it does not devolve into a proxy war between the two countries. In fact it’s interesting to note that the other power in the world right now, China seems to have that exact outlook.


  6. Do you think that due to the different strategies and missions behind both the U.S. and Russia will eventually lead to either a small scale confrontation or further escalate to war. Both have the mission to suppress ISIS and their regime, but Russia does support the current government of Syria as well as neighboring Iran. Very interesting topic, it does look like a proxy war almost taking us back to those Cold War roots and policies.


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