On July 20, the American TV channel CNN reported that Syria decided to break diplomatic relations with Ukraine. This served as a form of response to the statement of the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, about the severing of diplomatic relations between Ukraine and Russia in June.

“The Syrian Arab Republic has decided to sever diplomatic relations with Ukraine in accordance with the principle of reciprocity and in response to the decision of the Ukrainian government,” the Syrian state news agency SANA reported on July 20.

It is understood that Zelensky decided to break diplomatic relations with the government of Bashar al-Assad after Damascus recognized the independence of the two Russian-backed separatist quasi-states, the Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR) and Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) in eastern Ukraine. In addition, Syria declared its intention to build diplomatic relations with the two states last month.

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Russia’s support for Syria

The Syrian government has been relying on Russian support for more than ten years. Moscow has repeatedly defended the country in the Security Council and supplied it with weapons, personnel and operational support.

Subsequently, in 2015, Russia began a “military operation” in Syria to support the Assad regime. Already in 2018, the Assad government recognized two more Russian-backed separatist republics, Abkhazia and South Ossetia, which are internationally recognized as part of Georgia.

Ukraine's Precipice
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Ukraine's Precipice

The $61-billion military aid package from the United States, if passed as expected, will allow the Armed Forces of Ukraine to bomb troops and operations behind enemy lines.

On June 2, according to Reuters and with reference to the Embassy of Ukraine in Lebanon, more than 100,000 tons of grain, which Russia stole from the temporarily occupied Ukrainian regions, was exported to Syria.

Syria’s hesitancy to fight in Ukraine

However, despite all the assertions of “mutual support” between the countries, promises made by the Syrian authorities about the systematic supply of mercenaries for the Russian army remain unfulfilled. The promised “easy walk” was replaced by reports of fierce battles and heavy losses among the Russians. It appears therefore that most of the Syrian military are not ready to risk their lives for the sake of illusory financial security.

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The hired workers were promised to be paid from $300 to $600 per month. They were also promised a role involving exclusively police functions to restore order in the occupied territories.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad had promised to provide Russia with 40,000 fighters for the war in Ukraine. But after the first wounded Syrians returned to Syria, the “fighting spirit” fell sharply. This was reported by the press service of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine on March 23.

On March 22, a meeting reportedly took place between the commander of the 8th brigade in the southern Syrian province of Dera, Colonel Nasim Abu Irra, and the general of the Russian Armed Forces, Alexander Zhuravlev, who serves as the commander of the Russian group in the southern provinces of Syria.

During this meeting, the Russian general made a clear demand for a list of names with personal information of fighters from the Abu Irra units and from the Syrian Defense Forces who are ready to participate in the war against Ukraine. Instead, the Syrian colonel did not give a clear answer.  He only promised to get in touch after consulting “with other representatives of the leadership of the 8th Brigade.”

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