[QODLink]
Inside Syria

Has Ukraine shifted attention from Syria?

We analyse what effect Russian diplomacy and military action is having on the three-year-old crisis.

Last updated: 12 Apr 2014 19:06
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback

Russia was credited with averting a US strike on Syria by proposing that President Bashar Al-Assad give up his arsenal of chemical weapons. Now its actions in Ukraine risk diverting international attention away from the daily cycle of bloodshed in Syria.

Some observers suggest that Russia's actions have given Assad’s forces time to regroup and gather strength. Russia and Syria have deep political, historical and cultural ties. Russian arms exports to Syria were worth $1 billion in 2011, and have been crucial in propping up the army.

Moscow has provided important economic support, and wrote off around 70 percent of Syria's $13 billion debt to Moscow in 2005. Strategically, the Syrian port of Tartous serves as Russia's only outpost in the Mediterranean, saving the Russian Navy long journeys across the Black Sea.

But intentionally or otherwise, has Russia’s intervention in Ukraine pushed Syria off the top of the international agenda and into the background?

Presenter: Mike Hanna

Guests:

Mahjoob Zweiri - a professor of modern and contemporary history of the Middle East at Qatar University 

Alexander Shumilin - head of the Moscow-based Center for the Analysis of Middle East Conflicts

Mark Kimmitt – a former US assistant secretary of state for political-military affairs, and former deputy assistant secretary of defense for the Middle East

215

Source:
Al Jazeera
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Featured
Referendum on Scottish independence is the first major election in the UK where 16 and 17-year olds get a vote.
Blogger critical of a lack of government transparency faces defamation lawsuit from Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.
Farmers worry about their future as buyers shun local produce and rivers show an elevated presence of heavy metals.
War-torn neighbour is an uncertain haven for refugees fleeing Pakistan's Balochistan, where locals seek independence.
NSA whistleblower Snowden and journalist Greenwald accuse Wellington of mass spying on New Zealanders.
join our mailing list