Key Takeaway: The ongoing Vienna process will likely fail to end the Syrian Civil War because it does not provide adequate incentives to Syria’s powerful armed opposition factions to lay down arms. The Vienna process relies on agreements made between international powerbrokers independent from the demands of both pro- and anti-regime Syrian factions.
In response to Turkey’s downing of a Russian fighter jet on November 24, 2015, Russia deployed its most advanced surface-to-air missile system to Bassel al-Assad International Airport in Latakia Province, eastern Syria. The S-400 SAM system is capable of contesting most of the airspace over Syria, southern Turkey, northern Jordan, a significant portion of Israel, as well as all of Lebanon and Cyprus. This map shows the potential reach of the S-400 missiles stationed in Latakia which have an effective range of up to 250 miles (400km).
This map shows the potential reach of the S-400 missiles stationed in Latakia which have an effective range of up to 250 miles (400km). At 250 miles, the S-400 is able to track and target aircraft based at numerous United States and Allied Coalition airbases (including Incirlik Airbase) in the region.
The Hill (Dec. 7, 2015): "The U.S. and its allies must resist drifting into a flawed partnership with Russia and Iran in Syria in order to defeat ISIS....The apparently easy solution offered by Russia will nonetheless fail. Russia cannot actually deliver the results the U.S. requires in Syria."
ISW's Syria Analyst and Evans Hanson Fellow Jennifer Cafarella makes the case that "The framework for a political settlement in Syria, recently negotiated by the United States, will fail to end the Syria Civil War." arguing that "The diplomatic track must be a partner and beneficiary of a sound military effort. It cannot be a substitute." Read her full op-ed in the Cipher Brief here.
President Vladimir Putin is actively misinforming his domestic audience and the international community about Russia’s first military intervention outside the former Soviet Union since Afghanistan. Putin has created a false narrative about the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) to disguise the true objectives behind Russia’s intervention Syria and is using this narrative to manipulate the international community.