The US, UK, and France’s first missile airstrikes were rather improvisational and symbolic in nature.
Iranian, Russian, and Hezbollah forces were not attacked. Assad did not suffer strategically. The Syrian opposition, which expected much more, did not gain any serious advantages. Mass demonstrations in support of Assad are being held in Damascus.
Russian commentators have pointed out that France itself did not launch any missiles - all those launched were by British and American military forces.
Judging by the fact that all the missiles were launched at targets at a careful distance from the location of Russian soldiers, it seems that Mattis’ line won out in the US, as opposed to that of Bolton, who has insisted on directly attacking Iranians and Russians.
But why does Russia provide military aid to Syria? First, this is a geopolitical conflict. The front between Atlanticists and Eurasians runs in Syria. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, a political vacuum was created in the East and in the Middle East as well. There, the U.S. pursued a project focused on destroying nation-states—dubbed the "Greater Middle East Project." It even destroyed states that had behaved more or less loyal to Washington. The U.S. creates chaos to project itself as a hegemonic power. In the 1990s, Russia was weak and did not react, but in the early 2000s, it began to recover slowly. Today, Vladimir Putin has decided to actively oppose the U.S. policy of chaos in the Middle East. Russia’s military help against terrorism in Syria can be seen as an act of Eurasian geopolitics. Syria is located at the center of the battle between the representatives of a unipolar (U.S.) and a multipolar (Russia) world order.
Dugin: We have to see the struggle for geopolitical power as the old conflict of land power represented by Russia and sea power represented by the USA and its NATO partners. This is not a new phenomenon; it is the continuation of the old geopolitical and geostrategic struggle. The 1990s was the time of the great defeat of the land power represented by the USSR. Michail Gorbatchev refused the continuation of this struggle. This was a kind of treason and resignation in front of the unipolar world. But with President Vladimir Putin in the early years of 2000, came a reactivation of the geopolitical identity of Russia as a land power. This was the beginning of a new kind of competition between sea power and land power.
How did this reactivation start?
Dugin: It started with the second Chechen war (1999-2009). Russia by that time was under pressure by Chechen terrorist attacks and the possible separatism of the northern Caucasus. Putin had to realize all the west, the USA and the European Union took side for the Chechen separatists and Islamic terrorists fighting against the Russian army. This is the same plot we witness today in Syria or yesterday in Libya. The West gave the Chechen guerrilla support, and this was the moment of revelation of the new conflict between land power and sea power. With Putin, land power reaffirmed itself. The second moment of revelation was in August 2008, when the Georgian pro-western Sakashwili regime attacked Zchinwali in South Ossetia. The war between the Russia and Georgia was the second moment of revelation.
Protests and demonstrations opposing the ruling AKP in Turkey have rocked Istanbul, Ankara, and other cities over the last week. There are a number of demands, social andeconomic, but also significant among them is the demand to pull out of Syrian intrigues, end the alliance with NATO and USrael, and even for Erdogan to step down. This is either aimed at ushering in new elections before the 2014-2015 election cycle or possibly even something more radical than this. Naturally the latter possibility will depend in large part on both the role of the trade unions and the military. Both institutions having large numbers of sympathizers of nationalism (and related), Kemalism, and communism (and related); these can with some provisos be placed under the category ‘Eurasianist Current in Turkey’ and under this the subheading ‘Ergenekon’.
These protesters have rocked the ruling AKP’s claim to legitimacy in several days of robust demonstrations, bolstered by more recent news that Turkey’s main trade union federation has backed the protests. As of Thursday June 6th 2013 certain facts are becoming more clear.
From the point of view of geopolitics, Turkey belongs to the "coastal zone", and therefore, the geopolitical theorem of Turkish policy on a global scale is solved through the balance and confrontation between the two orientations - Atlanticist and Eurasian. Since the days of Kemal Ataturk, Turkey has a strong national consciousness, perceives its statehood as a colossal, almost absolute value, and tends to play a strong and independent part in the regional context.
Modern Turkey was born in a bloody battle on the Bosphorus against the British. Kemal Ataturk builds «young Turkey» on the basis of hard confrontation with the Anglo-Saxon project. In other words, the Eurasian choice lies in the foundation of the modern Turkish state, where anti-English momentum begins its modern history. The geopolitical line of Ataturk is clear: Turkey does not intend to be atlanticist colony: it's a free and fundamental choice of father-founder of the Turkish state. And this choice is Eurasian geopolitically.