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Putin Recalled Saddam and Gaddafi, and Told Arab Journalists Why He Supported Syria

At the beginning of 2011, fierce conflicts broke out between the Syrian government, the Syrian opposition organization and the Islamic State, and the two sides fought violently, causing extremely serious turmoil. To this day, this protracted civil war is still not over, with conflicts breaking out from time to time.

After the start of the civil war, the Free Syrian Army and other anti-government forces supported by Western countries rose rapidly and occupied a large amount of territory, causing the government forces to retreat steadily. At the critical moment, Russia stepped forward and directly provided air force support, allowing the government forces to turn from defense to offense.

After Russia left the field, the international media immediately interviewed Putin and asked him why he supported Syria. You must know that in the previous wars in Afghanistan and Libya, Russia only provided limited support and did not end in person.

In the interview, Putin first recalled Saddam and Gaddafi, and then told reporters why Russia supports Syria.

Syrian conflict

limited support to Iraq

During the interview, Putin said Russia had provided support for Iraq, giving it a clear no vote in a crucial UN vote.

Regarding the conflict in Syria, Russia has maintained a neutral attitude from beginning to end, and has not provided support for North Vietnam’s air strikes. Putin and the Russian government did not have much opinion on Gaddafi himself after the conflict was resolved.

As for Russia’s choice to intervene in the Syrian civil war, it is purely to support the government forces against the brutal and disorderly rebels, and to bring peace and stability to the Syrian people as soon as possible.

Of course, these statements made by Putin are relatively official, which conceal Russia’s true attitude to a certain extent. So, what is Russia’s true attitude in the face of Iraq, Libya and Syria, and why are there completely different operations?


First of all, it is certain that before the US military invaded Iraq, Russia provided substantial support. The United States had previously attempted to resolve the Iraqi issue through armed force at the United Nations, but it was eventually vetoed by Russia, making it impossible to obtain the support of the United Nations in name.

However, the United States is bound to win Iraq. When it cannot obtain nominal support, it still insists on choosing to bypass the United Nations and launch an attack on Iraq. And the latter had no resistance at all in front of the powerful United States, and was soon beaten to pieces.

Under such circumstances, even if Russia wants to provide support to Iraq, it has nothing to do. After all, if you want help from others, you must first support yourself.

Secondly, although Iraq has a good relationship with Russia, it rejected Russia’s proposal to a certain extent before the war began.

In fact, after Iraq was exposed to have weapons of mass destruction, all countries believed that it was necessary to conduct an investigation. The United Nations also passed the so-called Resolution 1441, which believes that peaceful means should be used to thoroughly investigate and destroy weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

US military

After the adoption of this resolution, the Iraqi side conducted internal consultations, and many people agreed with the UN’s solution, but Saddam never made a statement, which led to the delay in the implementation of the proposal.

In order to force Iraq to submit, the United States has repeatedly issued threats of force in public. Bush Jr. even directly stated that if Iraq does not accept Resolution 1441, it will directly launch a war. Faced with the naked threat of the United States, Saddam, who has always been tough, finally rejected the proposal.

Saddam’s statement immediately put Iraq into a passive position, and it was hard for Russia to step forward again, so it could only sit back and watch the situation deteriorate. In fact, Russia still wanted to prevent the US from invading Iraq, but it was really powerless at the time.

Because Putin had just come to power at this time, he exhausted all his efforts to quell the Chechen rebellion in the country, and then slowly let Russia recover from the pain of the disintegration of the Soviet Union. Under such circumstances, Russia is simply unable to provide substantial support to other countries.


Observing Libya

If it is said that Russia is willing to help Iraq but is unable to support it, then the Libyan air strike that occurred in 2011, Russia is completely on the sidelines.

In fact, it is normal for Russia to make such a choice, after all, its relationship with Libya is far from being close. Many people have the impression of the honeymoon period between the Soviet Union and Libya, so they subconsciously think that Russia will provide help.

But the actual situation is not the case. In the 1980s, Gaddafi had conflicts with the Soviet Union over the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan. The Lockerbie air crash that broke out afterwards made the Soviet Union even more angry, and directly cut off diplomatic exchanges with Libya.

After the disintegration of the Soviet Union, Gaddafi worked hard to restore relations with Russia. The two sides cooperated in many fields. Libya once purchased a large amount of weapons and equipment from Russia, with a transaction volume of more than 4 billion US dollars.


However, it should be noted that the relationship between Libya and Russia is only pure arms trade, and the relationship between the two parties cannot be said to be very good.

And after the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, Saddam’s rapid downfall dealt Gaddafi a fatal blow.

Gaddafi, who has always been arrogant and has repeatedly uttered wild words to the “five permanent members”, is really scared this time. He is worried that if he continues to be tough, he will arouse dissatisfaction from the United States. Thus, beginning in 2004, the relationship between Libya and the United States began to heat up rapidly.

Gaddafi even showed a pro-American attitude on many occasions. In order to please the United States, he even dared to speak out on the Chechnya issue, publicly accusing Putin of launching a war against Chechnya.


It can be said that before the bombing in 2011, the relationship between Libya and Russia had cooled down long ago and almost lost contact.

Therefore, when the United States proposed to resolve the Libyan issue by force and proposed relevant resolutions, Russia did not choose to use the power of veto, but abstained like China.

Considering that the U.S. proposal had been approved by many member states during the voting, Russia’s abstention was to some extent an acquiescence to the military operations launched by the U.S., Britain and France, and it was a completely sidelined attitude.

In fact, what Russia did at the time was also understandable. After all, it still had a lot of problems to deal with, and it was impossible to get involved in the distant North African affairs.


Moreover, the main initiator of this air strike is not the United States, but France, which has huge interests in North Africa. Since it was not provoked by the United States, there is naturally no need for Russia to confront it.

Secondly, from the point of view of Russia’s own interests, the collapse of the Gaddafi government is of some benefit to them.

Because Libya was an important oil exporter at that time and had the largest oil reserves in Africa, if it was hit, global crude oil prices would follow.

At this time, Russia is already the world’s second largest oil exporter, and the rise in oil prices is very beneficial to it. The fact is also the same. After the fall of the Gaddafi government, Russia received hundreds of billions of dollars in extra income that year, making a lot of money.


full support for syria

Unlike the previous few times, after the Syrian conflict broke out, Russia offered assistance almost immediately. Not only did it take the initiative to provide assistance such as military loans, supply of weapons and equipment, and training of military personnel, it even personally went to support the Syrian government forces in 2015.

Seeing such an enthusiastic Russia, Saddam and Gaddafi would be surprised if Izumi knew about it. Why is Putin so active on the Syrian issue?

What is certain is that there is a clear logic behind all the double standards in the world, and it is impossible to make a contrast out of thin air. The same is true for Russia. The reason why it is so active is that Syria has a completely different meaning to it than Iraq and Libya.

First of all, Syria is located in a key position in the Middle East and has always been a battleground for military strategists. The United States has been trying to completely control the entire Middle East region, and Syria is a nail that must be removed because it is a staunch ally of Russia.

Syrian conflict

In this regard, Iraq and Libya cannot be compared with Syria at all. The former has always been aloof from Russia and has a mediocre relationship; the latter has not only had conflicts with the Soviet Union, but is also a North African country, and its geographical importance cannot be compared with Syria at all.

The ally relationship between Syria and Russia is very strong. The two have not only cooperated in many fields and have close exchanges; Russia also has a huge naval base in Syria, which is the only foothold of the Russian Navy in the Middle East .

If this military base is lost, then Russia’s influence in the Middle East will inevitably drop to freezing point, which is completely unacceptable to Putin.

Second, the Syrian civil war is completely different from the Iraq war and the conflict in Libya. The latter two have the direct end of the US military. If Russia also actively intervenes, it will inevitably lead to fierce confrontation between the two powers, leading to extremely serious consequences.

Syrian conflict

In the Syrian civil war, the United States did not directly participate in the war, but played a proxy war, supporting rebel forces such as the Free Syrian Army and the Kurdish “People’s Protection Units”. In this case, Russia has no problem supporting Syria with all its strength.

Finally, Russia’s Caucasus region has been repeatedly harassed by terrorists, and the supporters behind these people are the “Islamic State” forces in Syria.

If the Syrian government collapses, the “Islamic State” is likely to grow stronger and pose a greater threat to the Caucasus region.

In order to nip the risk in its infancy, Putin chose to act decisively to help the government forces fight against the “Islamic State” and other rebel forces.



It can be seen that the reason why Putin adopts a completely different attitude towards Syria from Iraq and Libya is because Russia has very core interests here and cannot be harmed at all. It is impossible for it to sit back and watch the Syrian government forces collapse.

To be honest, the three armed conflicts in Iraq, Libya, and Syria have obvious differences in the nature of the war, the participants in the battlefield, and their importance to Russia, and they should not be lumped together.

Moreover, after Russia entered the 21st century, its development has not been smooth, and it is impossible to provide substantial support to Iraq and other countries just to oppose the United States.

Source : Baidu