Cold war in middle east

Russia and China cast veto in the UN security council against any Libyan style intervention in Syria. In addition Russia has opposed any new sanctions against Iran and supported Iran in it's dispute with West. With Russia  taking a strong stand in Middle East, there is a new cold war in Middle east.

Arab spring started with popular uprising against dictators. However very quickly it turned into an effort by West to remove the regimes hostile or not under the control of West. West replaced it's own dictators with new faces or plaint Muslim brotherhood. For decades Muslim brotherhood has been used by CIA against progressive Arab leaders such as Egyptian leader Gamal Nasser. In fact Nasser banned Muslim brotherhood and put their leaders in prison.

In the current context the regimes which are hostile to West are Iran and Syria. Russia has long standing economic and military ties with both of them. Syria has been a loyal friend of Soviet Union for decades. There is also a defense treaty with Russia. Removal of Baathist regime in Syria or the Islamic leadership in Iran will lead to total loss of Russia's influence in Middle East. In short Russia will become a regional power in Europe and Asia.
Syria is also the critical front line state against Israel. Syria supports the Palestinian struggle in all it's forms. Infact Syria is the only Arab state to stand steadfast with Palestinians. West wants to weaken Syria so that Palestinian struggle especially the armed struggle will be weakened. West's objectives in Middle East are primarily to protect it's economic interests and in relation to that Israel.

It is in this context Russia sent it's only aircraft carrier and accompanying destroyer to port Tartus in Syria. It has also said that it will not participate in the the so called international conference in Tunis where decision will be made for western military intervention in Syria. Intervention will come from Turkey and Jordan.
In the mean time Russian leaders have talked to Syrian, Iranian and importantly to Iraqi leaders. Iraq's shia leaders are close to Iran and support Syria . In addition any Sunni government in Syria will support Sunni rebellion in Iraq. As such Iraq has a vested interested in ensuring that the present regime is in power in Syria. Russia is building an Iraqi/Iranian alliance to support Syria.

Death of the western correspondents in Syria is extent of Russian involvement. These journalists who we infiltrated with the Sunni rebels in Syria set up a highly sophisticated press center in Homs to assist the rebels. This center was tracked don by Syrian forces with the support of Russian satellite and eves dropping equipment.

In short Russia will continue to support Syrian and Iranian government short of direct military intervention. Russia will supply Syria and Iran all the necessary equipment to fight western forces. In addition it will also create pressure on Turkey on it's northern border. It can also apply pressure on U.S allies in Europe or elsewhere. As the elections are approaching in both US and Russia there is a new cold war in Middle East. Miscalculations by West on Russian resolve will have catastrophic consequences.

Only solution to Syria's crisis will have to come from Syria. Genuine dialogue between Syrian ruling Baath party and internal opposition will come with the solution. External Syrian opposition is only furthering Western interests in the country.

23rd February 2012