The statement by the head of the Pentagon, Ashton Carter, that in the very near future the Russian forces would probably suffer losses in Syria, caused indignation in the Russian Defense Ministry. “In their views on activities by the American militaries in various operations, representatives of the Russian Defense Ministry have never publicly expressed their expectations of deaths of American soldiers,” Igor Konashenkov, a representative of the Defense Ministry, stated.
Aleksey Fenenko, Associate Professor of the Faculty of International Security in World Politics of M.V. Lomonosov MSU, is less diplomatic in his estimations of statements by top officials of the Western countries: “The statements of the US and UK leaders seem paranoid.”
Fenenko says this, relying on information from Washington and London on their intention to fight both ISIS and Assad. “In Syria there are no other forces except ISIS and Assad. Yes, there are a few forces that the Americans call moderate Islamist groups. In fact, they are quite radical Islamist Sunnis. But if you look at the map, at the areas they control, these are negligible regions. ISIS, in fact, has destroyed all the others, and now there is only ISIS against Assad. Any failure of Assad, any unrest with the Syrian leadership will simply lead to the fact that, with an absolute guarantee, ISIS will be in Damascus in a few days.”
Fenenko thinks that it is cynical to onvitr Assad to resign: “Just imagine, that in August 1942, they would say: "Let the Soviet Union stop fighting unilaterally, let's think with whom we can replace Stalin, let's start some changes to the Soviet leadership and then we can resume the war.”
The expert doesn’t believe that the UK or the Americans are short-sighted. According to him, they are working on a protraction of the conflict in the Middle East. “A protracted armed conflict in the Middle East is necessary for the US and the UK. It cuts the EU off from the energy sources of the Persian Gulf and Iran. No matter how much the EU talks about the intention to build oil and gas pipelines there, in general this idea is buried once and for all. There is one alternative: they will be supplied by US and UK tankers that will help them to keep control over the world energy market,” Fenenko believes.
He also points out that an Arab battalion has not been created yet against ISIS in the Middle East. “Perhaps they know the direction of ISIS. ISIS is moving to the west and northwest. That means they aim to destroy the secular states. They are destroying Syria now, the next state, I'm afraid, will be Turkey,” the expert predicts.
He has recently returned from Dushanbe and realized that Central Asia is really afraid of ISIS. “There are real enclaves that are really controlled by ISIS in Afghanistan already. How did ISIS get to Afghanistan? After all, it is separated from the Middle East by Iran, by a large hostile territory. There is only one option: through Pakistan by sea. And who can give it passage by sea, this is a big and interesting question. That is, probably, the third objective, which is objectively beneficial to the United States and Great Britain, it is, shall we say, the ignition of a conflict in Muslim regions. This will involve Russia and Turkey in a very difficult, exhausting struggle, quarreling with each other, and distracts their forces from the disputes with the United States and Great Britain,” Fenenko thinks.
Finally, according to him, ISIS buries any EU projects on creating a peaceful zone in the Mediterranean without British participation.