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The Russian government has declared that the active phase of Syrian military operations is at an end. In a ‘mission accomplished’ moment, Russia’s Chief of General Staff and First Deputy Defense Minister Valery Gerasimov, while talking with his Turkish and Syrian counterpart, declared that Russia’s efforts, along with its allies in the region, had allowed for a path forward to forge peace in Syria.
“I expect that today we will find common approaches to continue further work in the Syrian direction,” Gerasimov said while sitting down with Chiefs of General Staff of Turkey and Iran, Hulusi Akar and Mohammad Bagheri, reported Russian state news agency TASS.
The general noted that the three countries’ joint efforts helped to preserve sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria, stop the civil war and create conditions to restore peace and bring refugees back home, wrote TASS.
“The active phase of the military operation in Syria is nearing end. Although some issues are yet to be solved, this stage is coming to its logic end.”Russia and Iran have done much to resolve the Syrian crisis.”
“Thanks to our joint efforts, terrorists are being wiped out from the Al-Bukamal area in eastern Syria and the Syrian-Iranian border will soon be taken under control…Completely eradicating militant groups, which is only a matter of time, will allow us to move to the post-conflict settlement. But before we do that, we need to secure the previously achieved military gains to prevent terrorists from returning to Syria.”
In addition, Kremlin spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, refused to speculate about the future of Syrian President Bashar Assad. “Only the Syrian people can see Assad’s future role…I cannot tell you anything at this point.”
Analysts have speculated that Russian President Vladimir Putin is looking for a way out of the Syrian conflict prior to the 2018 presidential election and to stop the financial bleeding for Russia as economic growth continues to be anemic back home. In any event, Russia has succeeded in reestablishing its influence in the Middle East and has done so with much less expense than her American counterparts.