Why does Russia support the Assad regime? What are Russia’s interests to fight in Syria and defend the Assad regime?

Zuia Sayayi

JF-Expert Member
Mar 28, 2011
Russia is defending Syria’s sovereignty and is trying to work for an end to the bitter civil war at the request of the government of Syria that is officially recognized by the United Nations. There are several reasons for active Russia’s involvement in Syria, here are few that are the most important:

  1. There are over 2,000 radical islamists from Russia (mainly from North Caucasus) that are fighting in Syria. Eliminating them in Syria is better then waiting for them to bring terrorism back to Russia.
  2. Russia maintains a small naval base in Tartus, the only Russian base in the Mediterranean Sea. Russia would like to keep it.
  3. President of Syria had asked for help (the US-led coalition is in Syria without an invitation) so President Putin has decided to help President Assad. Without Russia’s help ISIS (and not the moderate rebels) could have taken Damascus in weeks. It appears that Russia is the only country that is willing to effectively fight terrorism.
  4. Russia uses Syria as a testing ground for their new weaponry, e.g. SU-35S fighter jet, Kalibr-NK cruise missiles, TU-160 long range bombers, etc. Actually in 2016 Russia has increased the export of weapons as a direct result of demonstrating their capability in Syrian conflict.
  5. Syria is not the only place where civilized world is fighting Islamic terrorism. ISIS is still present in Iraq and has spread to Libya, Afghanistan, Nigeria and other countries. If not stopped, they would advance into other Muslim countries, including those in Central Asia that border Russia, so Russia would rather fight terrorists as far away from their borders as possible.
  6. Every Western country (US, UK, France, Germany, European countries) declares publicly that ISIS has to be destroyed, but for some reason they are not willing to cooperate with Russia in that fight. So another objective of the Russia’s involvement in Syria is to gain the political recognition on the world stage.
Whatever the reasons are, I hope that the fight continues as long as it takes to defeat the terrorist organizations, such as ISIS, Jebhat an-Nusra and other moderate or radical terrorists that are fighting alongside them.


JF-Expert Member
Jan 10, 2018

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