(MENAFN- Jordan Times) In a recent surprise visit by Russian President Vladimir Putin to Russia's Hmeymim airbase in Syria, the Russian leader declared total victory over Daesh and other opposition militants in Syria and announced the start of the withdrawal of Russian forces in the country.
It is a well-known fact that the Russian intervention in Syria more than two years ago salvaged the Syrian regime from imminent defeat and tilted the fortunes of the war in Syria in favour of Damascus. Having done that, Moscow believes that the stage is finally set for a political solution based on the military successes of Russian forces.
The US, however, does not see eye-to-eye with Russia on these projections and questioned whether in fact Moscow has won the fighting or even started in earnest the withdrawal of its forces from Syria.
US officials have openly voiced their scepticism about Putin's euphoric projections and declared that the victory over Daesh is premature. These sources contend that the Syrian government forces are "too few and too weak" to secure the stability of the country.
This US scepticism is based on the belief that notwithstanding Putin's declaration of victory over the enemies of Damascus, Daesh and other militants in Syria have ample opportunity to regroup and rise again as long as a real and profound political solution to the Syrian conflict remains unrealised.
A White House National Security Council spokeswoman has therefore commented in the wake of Putin's victory declaration that "we think the Russian declaration of [Daesh] defeat is premature".
"We have repeatedly seen in recent history," she continued, "that a premature declaration of victory was followed by a failure to consolidate the military gains, stabilise the situation and create the conditions that prevent terrorist from reemerging".
Pentagon Spokesperson Marine Major Adrian Rankine-Galloway also confirmed in the wake of Putin's visit to Russia's airbase in Syria that the US has not observed any significant withdrawal of Russian forces.
Meanwhile the US is maintaining a 2000-strong force in Syria and is on record as deciding to keep this force in Syria for as long as necessary.
This whole thing boils down to one thing: whether the Geneva peace talks between Damascus and the opposition will come to fruition. By the looks of things, including the latest round of Geneva peace talks, the two sides remain too far apart. Moscow is banking on the alternate Astana-Sochi peace processes to settle the Syrian conflict once and for all.
Yet without the hardcore political issues remaining unsolved, including the political transition in the country, the fate of the hundreds of thousands political prisoners in Syrian jails and holding fair elections under UN supervision, the conflict in Syria is projected to continue despite the Russian military gains on behalf of Damascus.
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