Russia Puts Not Only Military, But Political Efforts in Syria - Commander
September 30 marks the second anniversary of Russian counterterrorism campaign in Syria which is defined not only by significant success on the battlefield but also by diplomatic victories.
Russia has played an important role in the Syrian settlement not only through military means, but through political and diplomatic efforts as well, a Syrian commander, Brig. Gen. Abdel Majid Abdel Hamid told Sputnik, commenting on the second anniversary of the anti-terror operation carried out by the Russian Armed Forces in Syria at request of Damascus. "Russian political and diplomatic position on Syria which manifested itself in the use of the veto for six times [in the UN Security Council] did not let the United States and NATO hit the country… It plays a big role in the success of negotiations [on Syrian settlement in Astana and Geneva], or, at least, at persuading the countries which support the opposition to send delegations, the efforts are ongoing in this area," Hamid said. The commander also noted that the Russian military support contributed to regaining of 85 percent of the country by the Syrian armed forces. He also underlined the importance of Russia's humanitarian aid. "Russia spread into the heart of almost all the Syrians, when it became clear that the main objective of its interference is to stop the bloodshed and create conditions for the Syrian settlement," Hamid said. He added that Russia's involvement in the Syrian issue at the request of Damascus was linked to two basic principles — the protection of the Syrian sovereignty in accordance with the UN Charter and the fight against international terrorism. The commander that the Syrian people would never "forget Russia's contribution to the fight against the international terrorism," "liberation of Syria from murderers and criminals who were supported by the Arabs and West." Syria has been in the state of civil war for over six years, with government forces fighting against both Syrian opposition groups and terrorist organizations. Moscow has been assisting Damascus since September 2015 at the request of the Syrian government, both through supporting the struggle against the terrorist groups and providing humanitarian aid to the residents of the crisis-torn country. Since the start of the Russian operation, the Syrian army managed to liberate the country's biggest city of Aleppo, the ancient city of Palmyra, as well as lifted the siege of the city of Deir ez-Zor.