The Signpost Perspective: Russia’s Withdrawal from Syria

The news came out today that Putin is withdrawing the main part of Russian forces from Syria. It will maintain the airbase and naval base, but most of the fighter aircraft used in airstrikes and the support forces for those fighters, are being withdrawn. Putin said that the mission is completed.

Russian fighters sit on the tarmac at Hmeimim Airbase near Latakia.

Russian fighters sit on the tarmac at Hmeimim Airbase near Latakia.

For those who still cling to the idea that Russia will have a major role in the Middle East during the end times, this would seem like a reversal of what is “supposed to happen.” But for the Signposts, and particularly the Second Signpost, everything continues on course.

Iran needs Assad to stay in power, so that its Shia militants and IRGC can more easily flow men and materiel between the Mediterranean coast and Iran. Before the Russians arrived, Assad was almost on his way out. The Russians attacked the rebel strongholds in the western part of Syria, where most of the Syrian people live and where the largest cities are, so that the Assad regime would hold the key part of Syria. The rebels in the west, such as the Al-Nusra front, are almost extinguished.

Now what is left in Syria is mostly Assad’s Syria in the western part of the country, and the Islamic State (IS) in the eastern part of the country.

I thought that Russia might stick around for the Second Signpost itself to shield Iran, but apparently things do not need to happen that way. Assad himself with his consolidated grip on western Syria could be enough.

IS remains as the enemy to the west of Iran. Cleanly and conveniently, the Russians allowed Assad to consolidate western Syria while leaving IS mostly untouched. Iran still needs an enemy to the west for the Second Signpost invasion, and that enemy is still there.

This withdrawal by Russia from Syria does confirm a suspicion I have had.  Russia’s strategy in the Middle East is not to support individual countries like Syria.  No, its main strategy is to support Iran wherever it needs the help, for Iran is the main player in keeping all the Sunni nations – the centuries-old thorn in the side of Russia – busy.

Categories: In The News, Signpost #2: Iran, The Signpost Perspective

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11 replies

  1. All Glory to God


    Do you not think that this news paves the way for a Turkish Invasion? rather than some military action from Iran which has been Syria and was taking a beating until Russian air-force arrived. The only thing stopping a Turkish invasion is and has been the presence of Russian air-power.

    God Bless

  2. good points and well said

  3. Curtis,
    Not necessarily. The Signposts don’t show an invasion of Syria by Turkey so any such action would not be the sign we need to watch for. Turkey will however ally with Syria, and that may happen in any number of ways the common denominator being Assad is out.
    Other factors stopping Turkey from invading Syria is the USA, its NATO ally saying “no.”

  4. Reblogged this on Richard's Watch and commented:
    Mark Davidson’s analysis of this in the light of Daniel 8 is noteworthy, keeping in mind the ‘Gog-Magog’ alliance of Ezekiel 38. Debkafile claims last month’s rift between Tehran and Moscow is because of the latter’s collaboration with USA to end the conflict whereas Iran wants hostilities to continue. Their report shows Russia wants to keep its foot in the door. Also, in view of Putin’s disingenuous claims to pull troops out of Ukraine, “which later turned out to be merely routine rotation of forces.” UK’s Foreign Secretary is extremely sceptical, saying “Russia is completely un-transparent about its motives and its plans, (so) we can only speculate.”

  5. Article today in the New York Post confirms the real reason Putin/Russia are pulling out of Syria and its because of Iran! Incredible credence being given in that NY Post article to this commentary from Mark a couple of days ago and the 2nd Signpost!

    In Christ,


  6. Do you see an angle at all with Iran in conjunction to its communication of late with North Korea?

  7. Gary,
    Nothing out of the usual. N. Korea has supported Iran’s ambitions for years now.

  8. Hello Mark, I am so disappointed I missed the webinar. Is it recorded anywhere?

  9. Hi Pamela,
    I believe if you register at the site, you can still watch the recording for several days.

  10. where do the Kurds fit in???

  11. Wayne,
    Good question. I didn’t mention them in the post because the territory they hold in Syria is minimal – less than 10% of Syria. The bulk of the country is held by Assad and IS.

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