March 15, 2016 Inquiry & Analysis Series No. 1236

Cartoons In Gulf Press Criticize Russia's Military Intervention In Syria

March 15, 2016 | By E. Ezrahi*
Russia, Syria | Inquiry & Analysis Series No. 1236

On March 14, 2016, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that the following day Russia would begin withdrawing most its forces from Syria, stating that they had accomplished most of their objectives there. He added that some Russian forces would remain at the Hmeymim airbase in Latakia Rif and in the port of Tartus.

Russia's military intervention in Syria is opposed by the Gulf states, particularly Saudi Arabia and Qatar, and this opposition has found expression in the press of those countries.[1] One of the forms it has taken is cartoons, with some of the harsher ones showing Russia and President Vladimir Putin as murderers of the Syrian people and destroyers of their country, who serve the regime of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad as they claim to fight terrorism. Some painted Russia and the Assad regime as working to thwart the intra-Syrian talks in Geneva as well as the temporary ceasefire in Syria, which came into effect on February 27, 2016. Other cartoons showed Russia as the true sovereign of Syria, and portrayed the international community as impotent against Russia's crimes against Syria, even accusing the UN of authorizing Putin to murder the Syrian people.

Following are some of the cartoons published recently in the Gulf press:

Russia Does Not Fight Terrorism In Syria - It Destroys The Country And Kills Its People

"Russia fights terrorism!!!" (Al-Watan, Saudi Arabia, February 7, 2016)

"Russia" with bloody paw crushes "Syrians" (Al-Iqtisadiyya, Saudi Arabia, February 7, 2016)

"Russia" rests atop a pile of the skulls of Syrians it has murdered (Al-Watan, Qatar, December 15, 2015)

Putin takes aim at "terrorism!!" (Al-Quds Al-Arabi, London, December 5, 2015)

Putin nurtures Syria with "terrorism" (Al-Watan, Qatar, December 27, 2015)

Russian bear picks its teeth with the bones of Syrians (Al-Watan, Saudi Arabia, February 13, 2016)

Putin - a patchwork of previous dictators including "Hitler," "Mussolini," "Lenin," "Stalin," "[Pol] Pot," and "Hulagu [Khan]" (Al-Iqtisadiyya, Saudi Arabia, February 18, 2016)

Gift from "Russia" to "Hospitals in Syria" (Al-Watan, Qatar, December 26, 2015)

"The targets of Russian jets in Syria" are civilians and "markets in liberated areas [controlled by the opposition]" (Makkah, Saudi Arabia, December 2, 2015)

Russian jet fuels the "Syria" fire (Al-Watan, Saudi Arabia, January 5, 2016)


Fighting ISIS Terrorism - Putin's Pretext For Russian Military Intervention In Syria

"Putin" uses "ISIS" to justify his intervention in Syria (Al-Watan, Saudi Arabia, February 19, 2016)

Putin's puppet show - "Russia" "combatting the  terrorism" of "ISIS" (Al-Watan, Qatar, December 24, 2015)

Putin plays a "combatting terrorism" tune as the "ISIS" crow sings and Russia and Israel do a dance of destruction  on Syria (, January 16, 2016)


Russia Supports Assad, Collaborates In His Crimes

Russian jet keeps a crippled Assad  afloat, as he uses barrel bombs against Syrians (, December 30, 2015)

Assad takes cover in a Russian nesting doll (Al-Watan, Saudi Arabia, February 6, 2016)

Assad, supported by Russian boots in Syria (Al-Watan, Saudi Arabia, February 17, 2016)

A bloody "Valentine's Day" for Assad and "Russia" (Al-Watan, Qatar, February 14, 2016)

Assad mounted on Putin scorpion (Al-Watan, Kuwait, December 10, 2015)

"Russia" blinds the world to the possibility of "removing Assad" (Al-Watan, Qatar, December 28, 2015)


Russia, Assad Regime Are Lying About Seeking Ceasefire, Political Solution

"Russia" continues to crush "Syrian people" during "temporary  ceasefire" (Al-Watan, Saudi Arabia, February 26, 2016)

"Russia bombs Syrian citizens while calling for peace talks" (Makkah, Saudi Arabia, January 23, 2016)

Assad and his genie Putin upend  negotiating table (, January 29, 2016)

"Geneva 3" - a cover for Assad's use of Russian force (, February 3, 2016)

Russian and Syrian jets pick at the carcass of "Geneva 3" (Makkah, Saudi Arabia, February 6, 2016)

Russia blinds Assad  to UN's "Geneva 3 negotiations" over "removing Assad", "humanitarian  situation," and "combating terrorism" (Al-Watan, Qatar, January 30, 2016)


Russia - The True Sovereign In Syria

Assad, "Russia's" junior partner (Al-Jazirah, Saudi Arabia, February 13, 2015)

Putin in the "Syria" seat  at "Geneva" negotiating table (Al-Watan, Qatar, January 30, 2016)

"Russia will not remain in Syria forever" - as Assad clings hysterically to "Putin" (Al-Watan, Qatar, February 16, 2016)

"The Russian Nesting Doll and Syrian Sovereignty" - Putin is the largest, followed by Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, Iranian Supreme Leader Khamenei, and Assad (, December 24, 2015)


The World Is Impotent To Stop Russia Destroying Syria, Killing Its People

"Putin" receives "license to kill" from UN, proceeds towards "Rif Aleppo" (, February 8, 2016)

Russia and Iran use Assad to crush "Syrian people" while EU, US, and UN water-board Syria with crocodile tears (, February 7, 2016)

World weakly waves flexible stop sign as emperor Putin destroys "Syria" (, February 8, 2016)



* E. Ezrahi is a research fellow at MEMRI.



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