Washington’s latest statements may cause Russia to increase support for Syrian president – Russian expert

Syria Map

MOSCOW. Oct 4 (Interfax) – The U.S. decision to unilaterally suspend interaction with Russia on the truce in Syria may cause the Russian Aerospace Forces’ operation in the country to last longer, Middle East expert and senior teacher at the Higher School of Economics Leonid Isayev said.

“I think that this will result in Russia getting more actively involved in this conflict from a military standpoint,” Isayev told Interfax on Monday.

As a matter of fact, the U.S. decision to unilaterally halt interaction on the Syria truce will force Moscow to step up its support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, he said.

“If the Americans stop the dialogue with their own hands, and we understand that we will not agree on sanctions and a peaceful settlement in Syria, Russia has no other choice but to increase support of the Syrian army,” the expert said.

“The Americans are still trying to maintain channels of interaction with Moscow. In fact, the question has been put point-blank to us now – either Russia will try to resolve the conflict together with the Americans or will become one of the sides in the conflict, as in this case they will deal with us as one of the sides in the conflict,” Isayev said.

At the same time, the expert ruled out the possibility of a direct collision between the Russian and U.S. military and provocations in Syria.

When assessing the possibility of declaring a no-fly zone over Syria, Isayev also ruled out such an option.

“A no-fly zone is unlikely to appear. Russia will veto such a decision,” he said.

“I do not think that a large-scale war should be expected: it is unlikely that the Americans will decide to intentionally engage in collisions and provocations with Russia in the run-up to the elections. No one wants to drive Russia into a corner either because everything can be expected of it in this case,” the expert said.