Why Russia’s Syrian op is more efficient than NATO’s

Russia's Su-25 aircraft take off from Hmeimim airbase escorted by Syria's MiG-29 fighter jets. © Russian Defense Ministry
The US hasn’t been invited by Syria to fight Islamic State and failed to work with their regional allies to curb support for it and other terrorists groups, says Joaquin Flores of the Independent Journalists Association for Peace.

RT: According to 'Focus' magazine, NATO hits fewer intended targets than Russia while possessing a bigger military capacity. Why is it so ineffective?

Joaquin Flores: They [the US] have 180 aircraft. And we are looking at Russians who have 40-50 percent less planes on the ground engaged in the sorties. Why they are being so much more effective? I think it is because they are actually trying to hit these targets. They are coordinating also directly with the Syrian government and working more closely with people on the ground. I think that the US campaign [that’s been going on for] a lot longer has been really unable to show results and they have also been unable to work with their own historic allies in the region to actually curb support for ISIS and ISIS related groups. So, I think that relates a lot too, it is what you really want to accomplish.

RT: Publicly NATO is quite skeptical about Russia's presence in Syria, even accusing Moscow of helping ISIS with its strikes. But it seems that the alliance actually realizes the effectiveness of Russia's campaign. Why the difference in the rhetoric?

JF: I think it is always going to be par for the course because it is normal for government to protect some information that it might have gathered related to national security in some ways. But I think that in the public discourse some of the things that NATO has said directly to the New York Times, what American media and Western media have published that really seem to understate the effectiveness of the Russian-led coalition on the ground. And I think when you really look at some of the motivations for this, it raises a lot of questions about the public access to relevant, useful and adequate information. Why is it that the American and Western European public are unable to get real information about the nature of Russia’s campaign in Syria. Another interesting point here is that when we look at many of America’s critics - there seems to be a large portion of them who crop up - a lot of America’s blunders to inadequate information that the analysts don’t properly assess what’s really going on. And I think that reports like this actually point in a different direction that America’s strategists actually do realize what is going on, what is at stake and what other players are doing.

RT: Recently we heard the State Department's spokesperson praising Russia's contribution in the peace process. Why it's been admitted only now?

JF: The Syrian government has only invited the Russians and a few other allies who they work with historically and it is not the US. I think that it is interesting, the sort of Jedi mind trick they try to claim that they can determine who has been helpful or not. As far as I am concerned they are not in the position to do this.

One of the reasons behind the contradiction between what NATO is saying privately and its private assessment of Russia’s Syrian operation is that the alliance “really knows what is going on now,” says Michael Opperskalski, journalist and expert on international affairs at Geheim Magazine.
However, “the official line is blindly completely anti-Russian. So, the reality cannot be reflected in the media and in the political line.”

Citing the report’s details, Opperskalski added that NATO was surprised by new Russian military technologies they hadn’t been aware of. “They are very nervous about the capacity of the Russian military. And they are self-critical that they were not able to penetrate by espionage and other operations into the Russian military structures,” he added.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.