In these latter days, influential political analysts close to the Russian leadership have been lambasting the course of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The reason for this was the March 27 telephone conversation between him and Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
According to the official Damascus discourse, it was about providing the Syrians with landmark financial assistance to support the country's economy and fight the spread of coronavirus amounting to several billion US dollars.
In fact, the two leaders discussed stepped-up action of the Syrian government army against Turkish troops illegally located in the north of Syria. The negotiations resulted in the first several-hundred-million-dollar tranche, which challenged Damascus to implement the verbal agreements.
Moscow has negatively assessed the outlook for a possible armed conflict between Syria and Turkey. Its probability made Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu urgently arrive in Damascus for talks with al-Assad on behalf of Russian President Vladimir Putin, having warned the partners about the military-political conflict escalation inadmissibility.
Judging by the current situation, the Syrian side was successfully talked out of adventurous and premature actions. But like night follows day, the problem of Turkey's military presence in Syria will have to be solved but requires specific coverage...
The United Arab Emirates is one of the first influential Arab countries to have established diplomatic relations with Syria. It should be noted that this was largely facilitated by the Russian President personally. The UAE provides a lot of military and technical assistance and financial support to the Libyan Marshal Khalifa Haftar, whose troops are waging a war against the Turkish-supported illegal armed groups standing with the government of Fayez al-Sarraj.
Under the security and cooperation agreement signed with the government of Libya, Ankara provides it with weapons, military equipment and munitions, and makes up for losses by transporting detachments of Islamic radicals from Idlib and other parts of Syria.
Russia believes that as of from the end of 2019 to February 2020, the Syrian government army has achieved significant results in neutralizing gangs in the "Idlib zone". However, the success came by means of heavy human and equipment losses, sending the Syrian army into the compelling need of a respite to create reserves by the beginning of March.
On March 5, Russian-Turkish agreements were signed in Moscow on the cessation of armed clashes, which Russia undertook to fully comply with under the stipulated conditions of Turkey's direct assistance in opening a road link between the cities of Aleppo and Latakia in the Idlib province.
There is no doubt that the Idlib zone ceasefire agreement is temporary in its nature: illegal formations of the Syrian armed opposition will not settle for disarming and handing the captured territory over to the government. Therefore, tough measures against them are inevitable.
On the other hand, in the upcoming hostilities Turkey will certainly take the side of detachments loyal to it, which is fraught with a direct involvement in an armed conflict with Syria, which, in turn, lacks a reasonable opportunity to wage a full-scale war.
Russia seeks to keep both sides from escalating the conflict and maintain the status quo for political reasons as well: if the conflict expands, the way the US or NATO will behave is anybody’s guess...
The current military-political situation in Syria allows Russia keep Turkish-American relations cold and dissuade Ankara from rash moves. Turkey's engagement in the internal political conflict in Libya is also in the interests of Russia and Syria: the Turks keep transferring additional detachments of Muslim fighters from Idlib to North Africa, thereby weakening the defensive capabilities of the Syrian anti-government force.
Russia is reluctant to complicating economic ties with Turkey beneficial for both countries.
It is for these and other reasons that Moscow has taken a tough stance against Bashar al-Assad's possible intentions to sign in to a direct military confrontation with Turkey. A number of Russian analysts and Orientalist scolars have prepared and published materials on the real status of the people, the prospects for political transformations and the fight against the worst evil – corruption. The conclusions are disappointing.
At the same time, it should be held that Russia remains the only true ally of Syria, with its leadership hardly going to weaken bilateral relations.