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Crisis in Syria and Georgia

By Messenger Staff
Tuesday, September 4
A number of analysts in the Russian Federation, as well as in other countries, question what would happen if the West is to intervene directly in Syria against President Bashir Al-Assad's regime. Some analysts in particular think that in this case, Russia will take steps in the south Caucasus in an attempt at increasing its influence in the region.

The conflict in Syria looks as though it is not going to finish anytime soon. The ruling administration and the opposition from time to time claim some minor victories though neither of the sides has gained much of an advantage. The Al- Assad regime is a crucial point for the West, because Syria is considered an important ally to Iran. In the current confrontation, Iran supports the Al- Assad regime. Thus, indirectly, Syria acts as a battlefield of confrontation between Iran and the West.

Some Russian analysts suggest that Russia is doing its best also to support the Al-Assad regime so it can survive. However, Russia’s means to protect the regime are limited. It cannot openly assist the regime with arms and ammunition. It cannot send its troops to Syria. So, if the West uses different means to suppress the Syrian regime it might be successful.

The Russian political elite probably have plans to take adequate steps in case the Al-Assad regime collapses. It was some time ago Russia had had plans to provoke conflict in the Tskhinvali region and snatch this territory from Georgia. This was Russia’s preventive step because of Georgia’s NATO claims. On the other hand, it was also Russia's answer to the US and the West recognition of Kosovo’s independence. Therefore, some analysts do not exclude the possibility that in the case that the Syrian regime collapses, the Russians will create some provocations in Georgia, triggering and intervening into a neighboring country. Russian analysts suggest that the essence of the problems Russia is having in the north Caucasus is not rooted in this territory, but rather with Russia's southern neighbor – Georgia.

Some analysts even suggest that there will be a quick military operation occupying Georgian territory including the takeover of the capital, changing the government and installing a puppet regime in Georgia. Others however, suggest that if Georgian forces and the population resist a Russian invasion it could be followed with bloodshed and other undesirable consequences.

We should express our hope that such possibilities have been assessed by the US and other Western political figures so preventive steps could be taken.