Russian intervention in Syria is the reason why the terrorists in that country have agreed to a truce, German geopolitical expert and magazine editor Manuel Ochsenreiter has told Iran’s Press TV.
He was interviewed in the wake of a leaked top secret NATO report which had described the Russian air force strikes as “efficient” and “accurate.”
Ochsenreiter, who is editor-in-chief of the leading current affairs journal Zuerst!, said that there are “two huge differences between the Russian anti-terror mission in Syria and the Western so-called anti-terror mission.”
The first difference is “that the Russians are officially cooperating with the Syrian government. That means also cooperating with the Syrian army on the ground. They are coordinating their attacks and that makes it quite efficient in a strategic and technical way.”
Difference number two, he said, is that the Russians are attacking all terrorists and do not distinguish between so-called “moderate terrorists” and so-called “extremist terrorists,” something which the American-led mission does.
“They [the Americans] are protecting some terrorists; they are even attacking of course other terrorists like the IS (Daesh) but also for example compounds which are under government, under Syrian government control.”
Asked by Press TV how much of a role Russian airstrikes had played in implementing the existing truce in Syria, Ochsenreiter said he thought they were “decisive.”
This was so, he said, because since the beginning of the war, the Syrian government has never been against a truce or against negotiations.
Objections to a ceasefire and negotiations had always come from the terrorists’ side, he continued.
“So the Russian mission, the Russian military mission increased the pressure against the terrorist forces in a tremendous way, what made them agree to a truce.
“I think this is one of the most important points which is always pictured in a very wrong way in Western media. It was always the Syrian government—and it was of course, also the Islamic Republic of Iran, and the Russian Federation, which said we have to get to a truce and we have to negotiate.
“It was the other side; it was the Western-backed terrorists, the [Persian] Gulf states-backed terrorists, the Turkish and Israeli-backed terrorists which refused to go into any negotiations until the truce.”
* The leaked NATO report said that the Russian task force in Syria had demonstrated “remarkable efficiency and professionalism,” and was “outperforming the more widespread groupings of the US-led anti-Islamic State coalition.”
The document points out that Russia deployed 40 warplanes, performing some 75 sorties a day until the ceasefire came into effect on February 27.
The US-led counterterrorist coalition, deploying about 180 warplanes against Islamic State (IS, former ISIS/ISIL), strikes only about 20 targets a day.
The paper says the number of Russian fighter jets on the ground is “clearly inferior in number” to NATO’s group, but the higher frequency of the Russian air raids makes them more effective.
The US-led counterterrorist coalition has been operating in Iraq and Syria for over a year, while Russia launched its offensive on terrorist groups on September 30, 2015.
The NATO report points out that the Russian task force obtains actual intelligence about important terrorist targets from special forces and spies on the ground, as well as Syrian Air Force aerial reconnaissance.
The NATO report acknowledged that it is the highly professional performance of the Russian task force in Syria that made the greatest contribution in putting an end to the cruel “display of power” practiced by terrorists in Syria for years.