President of Russia, Vladimir Putin Prensa Internacional via ZUMA Wire

Poetin speelt Russische roulette in Syrië

LONDEN – Rusland en het Westen leken door twee recente tragedies – het neerhalen van een Russisch verkeersvliegtuig boven de Sinaï en het terroristische bloedbad in Parijs twee weken later – weer iets te hebben om het over eens te zijn: Islamitische Staat (ISIS) moet verdwijnen. Maar als je nauwkeuriger naar de Russische militaire operaties in Syrië kijkt – om nog maar te zwijgen het neerhalen van een Russisch gevechtsvliegtuig door Turkije – lijkt het prematuur om te concluderen dat de Russische en Westerse doelstellingen in dezelfde richting gebracht kunnen worden.

Vanzelfsprekend beweert Rusland dat zijn interventie in Syrië is gericht op het verslaan van ISIS en ‘andere terroristen.’ Maar volgens het ministerie van Buitenlandse Zaken van de Verenigde Staten zijn meer dan 90% van de Russische luchtaanvallen tot nu toe niet gericht op ISIS of het aan Al-Qaeda gelieerde Jabhat al-Nusra, maar op gewapende groepen die zowel ISIS als de Russische bondgenoot president Bashar al-Assad bevechten. In feite is ISIS sinds de luchtaanvallen begonnen in Aleppo zelfs opgerukt.

Dit betekent niet dat het vernietigen van ISIS niet op de agenda van de Russische president Poetin staat. Dat doet het vrijwel zeker wel. Maar hij heeft ook andere doelstellingen: het regime van Assad beschermen, de Russische militaire aanwezigheid en politieke invloed in de oostelijke Méditerannée en het Midden-Oosten uitbreiden, en wellicht zelfs de olieprijs opdrijven.

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