[continued from Part I (dated: 5th October 2013)…] Both the US and Russia have significant vested interests in this region. Continuance of a favourable regime in Syria is of utmost importance to Russia. Russia maintains an extremely important military base in Syria at its port city of Tartus, in form of a naval installation which is their sole existing military facility outside the former Soviet Union. This is the very
United Arab Emirates
While it appears that an armed conflict has been averted for the present, the possibility of its recurrence in future cannot be ruled out at all. In response to a proposal from Russia, Syria has agreed to give-up on its chemical weapons and facilities. Although the US has agreed with Russia on its proposal on Syrian crisis, there still remains a major and dangerous difference in opinion between the two sides, as to how the US would respond in case Syria goes back on its words. A few days back, the US had even hinted at using the military option in the event that Syria backtracks on its promise. However, the US President Barack Obama carefully avoided any mention of this during his address to the United Nations General Assembly last week. It is important to note that at a time when the US has agreed to this Russian brokered deal, they have also started preparing for increasing weapons supply to the Syrian rebels fighting the government forces. Along with the US, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Qatar too are assisting rebels through all possible means. The Syrian rebels have also found growing sympathy from Turkey and Jordan as well. At this same time, Syrian President has claimed that the external forces, especially Turkey that are supporting the rebels will have to repent, as the rebels that they are currently supporting would turn against them in the days to come. All these happenings certainly point towards the possibility of escalation of strife and violence across Syria, in particular, and the Middle East, at large, in the days to come.
Just when the situation in the Middle East was reaching boiling point and waiting to explode in the form of an expected US-led attack on Syria, a piece of smart and shrewd diplomacy by the Russian President, Vladimir Putin undid it all for the US. Putin’s op-ed in the New York Times, while questioning the US plan of attacking Syria, without seeking UN approval, saw this as an attack