Russian President Vladimir Putin addressed the UN General Assembly in New York on Monday and laid out his vision for salvaging what remains of Syria after years of civil war.
Faced with the rising star of the Islamic State, Putin argued that it would be “an enormous mistake to refuse to co-operate with the Syrian government and its armed forces who are valiantly fighting terrorism face-to-face.” His comments come on the heels of Russia's announcement on Sunday of a joint Russian-Iraqi-Iranian-Syrian intelligence sharing agreement.
Below, Syria Direct has compiled a sample of reactions from across the political spectrum concerning Russia's increasingly visible presence in the Syrian conflict:
Muhammad Abu Kamal, previous director of FSA affiliate Failaq a-Rahman’s media office
In a way, the creation of the Islamic State is what has extended the life of the regime, given that it is a pretext for anyone who wants to interfere in Syria to do so.
In regards to Russia, it has had previous influence on the ground inside Syria, in spite of its statement that it hasn’t had a role on the ground, but rather only in the air. However, over the past five years, there have been Russian specialists and Russian weapons, and perhaps even Russian soldiers in Syria in addition to Iranian fighters and Hezbollah.
This alliance is nothing more than the first step in dividing up the last piece of the Syrian cake, ignoring the people’s shares, people who have been crushed underfoot.
Zara Mastu, Kurdish journalist for Welati News Network website
This so-called alliance to combat terrorism is the biggest lie. It is Russia’s wish to have the Syrian regime as a partner, as if they are actually fighting terrorism, when in reality it is known that they are financiers of it. The majority of weapons that are currently in the hands of the Islamic State belong to the regime, [given to them] in order to sabotage the Syrian revolution.
Iraq, Russia, Iran, and the Syrian regime are the countries that stand against the people’s revolution. They are the same countries that have supported terrorism to plunge Syria into anarchy so as to tarnish the image of the revolution. For that reason, we doubt their sincerity.