While Russian President Vladimir Putin was meeting with his Belarussian counterpart Alexander Lukashenko, a terrorist attack occurred in St. Petersburg metro. Was it timed to coincide with the meeting? Was St. Petersburg chosen because it is where Putin was born, or due to its importance as the capital of tourism in Russia?
Russia’s direct involvement in Syria in support of the Assad regime, at the expense of the Syrian people, has brought about risks for Russia, which has pursued its interests without considering the security repercussions domestically and regionally. After more than six years of conflict there is still no solution, only more killing and displacement.
Using terrorist and sectarian militias only provides terrorist groups with a breeding ground and pretext. It is time to revise plans and put security before political interests. The whole region will benefit from this.
Dr. Hamdan Al-Shehri
Moscow is backing a fallen regime unable to stabilize Syria because it is the problem. Instead of dealing with the real problem and working with the Syrian people, Russia is backing the origin of terror: Iran and its militias. Russia says it is in Syria to fight terror, but one should not do so by using terror and sectarian militias. Otherwise one must be prepared to pay the price.
Today we face a big dilemma and a very dangerous situation in which nobody is safe. The only way to overcome it is to work together and fight terror with the security forces of Arab countries that are part of the coalition dedicated to eradicating it. Using terrorist and sectarian militias only provides terrorist groups with a breeding ground and pretext. It is time to revise plans and put security before political interests. The whole region will benefit from this.
• Dr. Hamdan Al-Shehri is apolitical analyst and international relations scholar.