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April 17, 2018 No.
7431

Moscow's Reactions To The U.S.-Great Britain-France Strike In Syria: The Limited Strike Proves That Washington Is A Paper Tiger – Part I

The majority of pro-Kremlin opinion makers view the strike as merely a symbolic one that demonstrated that Washington is a paper tiger, intimidated by Russia. In contrast, independent editorialists believe that while the strike was limited, military tension between Washington and Moscow persists.

Below are reactions to the U.S.- Great Britain-France strike in Syria:


(Source: Geopolitica.ru)

Senator Kosachev: The Limited Strike Showed That Washington Is Afraid Of Russia

Senator Konstantin Kosachev, chairman of the Federation Council's Foreign Affairs Committee, argues that the strike in Syria was not targeted at "imaginary" Syrian chemical arsenals, but at the mere process of intra-Syrian reconciliation, which runs counter to Western aspirations.

The senator has also compared the strike to the "Gleiwitz incident" (an August 31, 1939 German attack on their own radio station in an area bordering Poland to supply a pretext for the German invasion of Poland on the next day). Kosachev said: "The 'civilized world', which prefers increasingly uncivilized modes of action, chooses bad examples to follow".

Moreover, Kosachev stated that the U.S. and its allies had learned nothing following the 9/11 terror attacks :"Today you support the latest 'moderates' in their fight against the legal authorities [in Syria], tomorrow they ['the moderates'] will come to your place and kill your fellow citizens. It won't be Assad [doing this]."

(Ria.ru, April 14, 2018)

Commenting on the argument that Russia has demonstrated weakness by declining to intercept U.S. missiles, Senator Kosachev said:

"I do not accept that position, and I don't say that in order to maintain dignity [literally keep my pants up] I'm saying that with all sincerity. The Americans have chosen the minimum possible scenario. They have consistently and clearly indicated that they are not impinging on Russian objectives. They have not risked tangling with Russia, which means that Russia is strong.

"The Americans are afraid of tangling with us. Thus, there was no direct reason for a [military] response, and this is good. This is actually the best news in a very bad situation. It they had touched us, we would have definitely retaliated. And the situation would have quickly spiraled [out of control]."

(Kommersant.ru, April 14, 2018)

Russia's OSCE Permanent Representative Lukashevich: Washington Is Assisting Terrorists In Syria

Aleksandr Lukashevich, Russian permanent representative in OSCE:

"Washington's, London's and Paris' actions directly assist the terrorists in Syria, who are under their direct control ... Such steps are inadmissible and illegal".

(Ria.ru, April 14, 2018)

United Russia MP Nikovov: The Strike Was Senseless

United Russia MP Vyacheslav Nikonov stated:

"Trump promised to demonstrate force; he demonstrated it. We see that the strike proved senseless, because we know that there are no chemical weapons in Syria. The strikes were targeting chemical weapon production and storage facilities – meaning they targeted nothing. In general I think the situation won't lead us to a serious escalation as many have feared"

(Ria.ru, April 14, 2018)

Former Kremlin Advisor Karaganov: This is Just Hooliganism

Former Kremlin foreign policy advisor and head of Russia's Council on Foreign and Defense Policy, Prof. Sergey Karaganov, stated:

"According to all signs, this was a symbolic strike. It was clearly agreed upon in order not to harm Russian troops – and in my opinion even Syrian troops.

"This is just common hooliganism designed to provide acknowledged proof that our so–called partners are not paper tigers. Yet, this shows once again that they definitely are."

(Ria.ru, April 14, 2018)

Military Expert Sivkov: This Was A Great Defeat For The U.S.

Military expert Konstantin Sivkov opined:

"This a resounding defeat for the US. They have sustained a deafening slap in the face. Once and for all the idea that the American weapons are invincible is buried. Thus, the idea of a no-contact warfare is ruled out."

(Ria.ru, April 14, 2018)

Russian Politologist Kortunov: The Strike Was Of Pedagogic Nature

Russian International Affairs Council Director General Andrey Kortunov explained:

"This strike, just like last year's one, is more 'pedagogic' in nature, than in pursuit of concrete military goals.

"The interesting thing at the moment is what will follow after the strikes, since I think, that the U.S. political opposition will blame Trump for repeating last year's mistakes because that attack has not achieved anything and that the current attack is no more than a public relations action and not a step towards solving the Syrian problem.

"I think that two paths currently exist: [either] the U.S. continues its direct military actions against Bashar Assad or it may invite Russia to new negotiations, taking into account that they have shown their unpreparedness to withdraw from Syria and that they still want to be an active player in the region.

"Yet once again, the early warning regarding the strikes was not enough. The [Russian side] should have received information regarding the exact targets of the Western coalition strikes in order to avoid a possibility of Russian facilities or troops being hit. Thus, I assume that the warning was provided on some levels: on the political and military. I also suppose that consultations between both sides have taken place – which object to choose for a precision strike. At least our military was informed in advance which targets would be hit."

(Russiancouncil.ru, April 14, 2018)

Kommersant Columnist Usin: The Limited Strike Minimized The Risk Of A Russia-U.S. Confrontation In The Middle East

Kommersant columnist Maksim Usin wrote:

"The picture emerges as follows: the strike was more a symbolic one. There was a few-days prior warning - the Syrians had a chance to remove all valuable military equipment from the bases, which were later bombed. The course of war won't change as a consequence…

"Yet, the [dangerous] consequences for our relations with the West following this conflict have been minimized, thus we may say that at the moment the risk of direct Russia-US confrontation in the Middle East does not exist. There is no cause for rejoicing, the news [from Syria] is dangerous and tragic, but everything could have been a lot worse...

"Moscow will inevitably respond diplomatically. There will be official statements on all levels, condemning the attack on a sovereign state, there will be an emergency UNSC session, i.e. the entire mandatory program will be fulfilled but still the most significant agreements were reached previously on the sidelines."

(Kommersant.ru, April 14, 2018)

Military Expert Fengelgauer: Nobody Needs A Real War, But The Risk Of It Still Exists

Military expert Pavel Fengelgauer wrote in the independent Russian media outlet Novaya Gazeta:

"It's definitely a good thing that we got by and that Western coalition strikes were essentially symbolic. But there is no guarantee that the actions will remain symbolic forever. It widely understood: once you have started bombing, it's hard to stop that.

"There are – both in Washington and Moscow –actors who for domestic political considerations benefit from having a state of maximum tensions in the mutual relations and who are living totally well with an imminent military threat. Nobody actually needs a real, 'big' war, but the dangerous balancing on the brink of it will likely continue."

(Novayagazeta.ru, April 14, 2018)