Whilst Russia has concluded the major part of her involvement in Syria, there are still Russian special forces and air support aiding the war against ISIS and other terror groups in the civil war. Simultaneously, the air forces of America, Britain and France are also bombing sites in Syria, yet the NATO side refuses to cooperate let alone coordinate with Russia.
There are several reasons for this. First of all, whilst Russia has vowed to use her resources to fight every terrorist group in Syria, the NATO side only purport to be fighting ISIS.
Now this is not as simple as it seems. Whilst ISIS is the most well known and largest terrorist group in Syria, there are several other groups of varying sizes who are ISIS in all but name, and occasionally are ISIS in name.
The membership of such groups is fluid and their allegiance to rival groups is very inconsistent. The groups change names, disappear (only for their fighters to form new factions or join others) and often have relatively improvised chains of command. Yet they all have what boils down to a singular goal; to destabilise and destroy the legally recognised government of Syria (according to the United Nations) and replace it with a disorganised, blood soaked theocracy.
To put it another way, if NATO are to be believed there is ‘good ISIS’ and ‘bad ISIS’, the difference being what one terror faction decides to call itself on a given day. The fact that a group not calling itself ISIS beheaded a 12 year old Muslim Palestinian boy just last week under the guise he was a spy doesn’t seem to matter. All that matters to the friends of NATO is that the savages committing one of the sickest acts imaginable didn’t have the words ‘Islamic State’ on their flag of death.
The even more crucial difference is that, bearing in mind Syria is a sovereign country (civil war or otherwise), no one has the right to enter Syrian airspace or land borders without the consent of the Syrian government. Therefore, any aggression on Syrian territory no matter the intended target, is legally speaking, an act of war against a sovereign state.
This is the case with NATO who have bombed parts of Syria without the permission of the government.
Russia on the other hand was invited by the government to assist with her armed forces in combatting terrorism. This explains why NATO has caused far more carnage amongst civilians. They are not in contact with the leadership of the country which is also fighting ISIS.
Prior to the 2003 invasion of Iraq, al-Qaeda terrorists had a vastly more limited capacity than one was led to believe by the speeches of George Bush.
Ironically, the very same things said in the early 2000s about al-Qaeda are now true of ISIS. They are terrorist death cult that has conquered vast parts of Iraq, Syria, Libya, and Nigeria and beyond and have well-wishers, admirers and even affiliates much further afield. How can people who claim to be serious about fighting this foe not care to collaborate with the Syrian government whose intelligence on the matter is better than any other due to the simple fact that they are there on the ground?
Unless one is going to cooperate with the legitimate governments of the region, one has no business being there. Quite possibly one is doing more harm than good.
Winston Churchill was an ardent anti-Communist, but he knew what the major threat to civilisation was: it was fascism. He united with Stalin to help combat this threat.
Whilst ISIS thankfully does not have the reach nor sophistication of the fascist war machine of the 1930s and 40s, that’s of little consolation to the innocent people of all religions, all ages and all sexes who have been mutilated, murdered, raped, sold into slavery and made impoverished by ISIS and their ilk.
Nor is this any consolation to those away from the Middle East who have died in terror attacks.
If the countries of NATO cannot put aside their ideologically driven views of the governments of Russia and Syria to cooperate and fight ISIS in the most legally assured and militarily mighty way possible, it means one of two things: they are either not fit to fight the battle or they are have no real desire to do so.