Syrians continue to flying to Turkey and Lebanon or at least to their borders trying to avoid the attacks of the army that intend to save the regime of President Assad. I was not able to find very accurate information coming out of the country because of the bans to the foreign journalists, the blockade of some blog sites and the fact that more of the news are in arabic and I don’t know the language. They talk of more than 1.200 civilians and more than 320 military or security forces dead so far, some of then killed after refusing to shoot to innocent civilians. And we are picking this information while seems that nobody is reacting. Only sanctions from the US, the last pressures from the re-elected Erdogan from turkey and his decision to open the border to the refugees flying from the battles.
But why is Assad able to do in Syria without any more problems while Gaddafi in Libya is being bombing for weeks because he is doing the same thing? shooting to his own (at the beginning unarmed) people who is asking for a change in the political regime?
The answer can be in Moscow, or more precisely in a port called Tartus in the southern Syrian coast, where Russia rebuilt five years ago a Navy base, it’s only opening to the Mediterranean. An answer to the anti-missile shield planned by the US for so long and pushed energetically by former president W. Bush, with very bad response by his Russian counterpart, president Putin. So, here we have another actor in the scene, the Russia of the Putin’s disciple, Medevedev.
Now there is not only the problem of reaching an agreement between the european and the american side of NATO to decide what to do like it was with Libya. Not even the plus risk of the proximity of Israel and the high sensibility of the region. Now there is needed to know what the Russians have in store for his position in the Mediterranean and the future of Syria and if they are more comfortable with regime like the iron fist of a surviving and known faithful Assad or the risky unknown if we talk about outcomes of democracy.
It’s very unlikely that NATO or the US act now openly against Russia to start another “Cold” or “Warm” war. So the diplomatic hot potato is going to and back and is in the Kremlin now, at the red quarter, but the red blood that is pouring is Syrian and doesn’t know about diplomacy, strategies, politic hot potatoes. They just would like to go back home in peace without fear to be killed by the military of Assad and eat the hot potatoes instead to be flying in danger and hungry.
Read a very interesting post of Joshua Landis on this matter.