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    How Russia’s Five-Year Long Involvement in Syria War Changed Balance of Power in Mid East & Beyond


    On 30 September 2015, started an air operation against Daesh* in in response to a request for help from the Arab Republic's legitimate government headed by President Bashar al-Assad.

    Russia's Involvement Became a Game Changer

    The Russian involvement became a turning point for Syria, which has been engulfed by civil war since 2011. As a declassified document compiled by the US Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) in 2012 indicated, the major forces driving the insurgency in the Arab Republic were the Salafists, the Muslim Brotherhood*, and al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI)* that “supported the Syrian opposition from the beginning, both ideologically and through media”. At that time the US and EU signalled their sympathy with the so-called “moderate” Syrian rebels and urged Assad to step down.

    In September 2014, the US intervened in Syria under the pretext of the war against Daesh (ISIS/ISIL)*, a terrorist organisation that emerged out of AQI. The US military led a coalition of several regional and external players – including forces from the UK, France, Jordan, Turkey, Canada, Australia – and provided support to the Syrian rebels and the Kurdish-dominated Syrian Democratic Forces () on the ground.

    Apart from the invasion by the US-led coalition, tens of thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands of fighters poured into Syria from Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq, recalls Ghassan Kadi, a Middle East expert and political analyst of Syrian descent.

    There was a…

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