Mehmet Ali Güller

The Political Context of the Terrorist Attack in Moscow

25 Mart 2024 Pazartesi

On March 22, a terrorist attack at a Moscow concert hall killed over 140 people. This event highlights the complex power dynamics in a region where Russia plays a pivotal role.

First, let's delve into the attack's political backdrop.

U.S. Signals ISIS, Russia Eyes Ukraine

During the Moscow attack, U.S. officials quickly stated there was no evidence linking Ukraine or Ukrainians to the incident, raising eyebrows.

Conversely, Russian leaders, including Putin, have suggested a Ukrainian link, noting the capture of terrorists allegedly preparing to enter Ukraine.

Meanwhile, ISIS's claim of responsibility adds a layer of intrigue. Labelled the 'convenient enemy' of the U.S., ISIS has been notably active for three months, targeting nations opposed by the U.S., such as Iran, Turkey, Iraq, Syria, and Russia.

The deadly assaults on Iran on January 3 and Russia on March 22 marked unprecedented events for both countries. ISIS's activity spanned Iraq, Syria, and Turkey in the intervening period.

ISIS, a Lever for the So-called YPG State

The debate over U.S. military presence has been central in the region, also discussed by the Astana Platform, involving Russia, Iran, and Turkey.

As discussions about the U.S. withdrawing from Iraq and Syria gained traction and Iraqi officials declared ISIS defeated, stating the U.S. military presence on their soil was unnecessary, ISIS resurfaced. For three months, the group has been launching attacks, coinciding with the time the 'anti-ISIS coalition's future was set to be evaluated.

Since 2014, the U.S. has regarded ISIS as a means to internationally legitimize the PYD/YPG. Media narratives, especially in Atlantic outlets, have emphasized the "good PYD/YPG defending humanity against the evil ISIS," laying the groundwork for the creation of a PYD/YPG state in northern Syria.

The U.S.'s exit from Iraq implied a forced departure from Syria, potentially derailing the PYD/YPG state-building effort.

ISIS's resurgence, thereby sustaining U.S. presence in the region, underlines its utility as a convenient enemy.

Exporting Unconventional Warfare to Ukraine Front

The focus on Ukraine is crucial. With the U.S. indirectly pointing to ISIS during the conflict, Russian emphasis on a Ukrainian connection stands out. Future developments may offer clarity.

Two significant points emerge in this context:

1) Reflecting on my March 22 piece, 'Nuland's Departure,' I recalled U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Victoria Nuland's promise of "beautiful surprises on the battlefield" during her January 31 visit to Kyiv.

2) In my March 2 article, "Exporting Unconventional Warfare to Ukraine," I explored two scenarios: How will the U.S. and the U.K. conduct a 'prolonged warfare'? They might either deploy soldiers to Ukraine or export unconventional warfare to the region.

In summary, a complex power struggle spans from Central Asia to Ukraine and from Iraq and Syria to the Black Sea. Focusing merely on the accused can obscure the broader political landscape.

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