Why Terror Attack in Russia May Be ‘Part of Hybrid War’

Saturday, April 8, 2017
By Paul Martin


Commenting on Monday’s terrorist attack in St. Petersburg, Turkish political analysts told Sputnik that it could have been aimed against Russia’s policy on Syria and Ukraine.

Kerim Has said that because the current aerial campaign in Syria is Russia’s first overseas military operation since the 1992 Soviet breakup, the attack could have been masterminded by Daesh or any other jihadist organization.

“The mere fact that the attack targeted civilians and that the bomb was filled with shards of metal, nails and ball bearings to increase its wounding ability, means that Daesh could have had a hand in that. Besides, we have heard their recent threats of terrorist attacks being planned in Russia,” Has said.

He added that now that Daesh has been flushed out of al-Bab and has been losing ground in Raqqa, the St. Petersburg bombing could have been meant to prevent possible coordination by Russian, US and Syrian forces fighting the jihadists in Raqqa.
“I still believe that [after what happened in St. Petersburg] Russia will only step up its military action in Syria,” Has told Sputnik Turkey.

He added that due to the recent spike in Russian airstrikes on terrorist positions in Idlib, the jihadist groups active in and around the city, including Ahrar ash-Sham and Jayish al-Islam, could also have been behind Monday’s attack.

‘If it becomes known that the attack in St. Petersburg was plotted by any of the jihadists groups active in Idlib, Russia could start training Kurdish YPG units and use them in the ground operation in Syria,” Bas noted.

He added that a large-scale Russian operation in Idlib could antagonize Turkey and upset the “fragile” alliance between Turkey and Iran.

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