Dr. Blanga is a professor in the Department of Middle Eastern Studies at Bar-Ilan University.
After a decade of civil war, hundreds of thousands of casualties and immense destruction, it is now clear that Bashar al-Assad won the war in Syria. Assad's victory is the result of a variety of reasons, one of them is the military and economic assistance he received from Russia, his close ally. The present article follows the Russian involvement in Syria and examines what Russia’s interests are in Syria. Has the Kremlin taken a uniform and consistent diplomatic position towards Syria and the Middle East, both in the Soviet era and after the fall of the USSR, or has its policy changed over the years? Why did Moscow see fit to intervene in the internal Syrian conflict in 2015, considering that until then the United States seemed to have been dominant in the Middle East? Finally, did Russia take this action out of global motives that go beyond the regional context? The main argument of this article is that the Syrian civil war gave Moscow a one-time opportunity to penetrate the Middle East more deeply and further its ambitions in the region. Russia identified an outstanding opportunity to restore its status as a superpower and promote its regional and global objectives, at the expense of the United States.
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