Laaneots: Russia, Assad will only acknowledge raw force ({{commentsTotal}})

Former chief of staff of the Estonian Defence Forces and current Reform Party MP, Ants Laaneots.
Former chief of staff of the Estonian Defence Forces and current Reform Party MP, Ants Laaneots. Source: (Postimees/Scanpix)

Retired Gen. Ants Laaneots, a member of the National Defence Committee of the Riigikogu, found that the attack against the Syrian air base was completely justified as the Assad regime will not acknowledge anything but raw force.

"How long can [we] play with Assad?" he said to ERR. "How long can [we] play with Russia and allow them to do whatever they please? This was a completely legitimate strike and it has been supported by other Western countries as well."

According to Laaneots, the U.S. conducted the strike very civilly, warning Russians who also use the air base two hours prior. He noted that the goal of the strike was to destroy infrastructure; the Al Shayrat air base was one of the primary facilities of the Syrian Air Force.

He recalled that in the civil war which broke out in Syria in 2011, nearly half a million people have died at Assad's hands, and believed that the Syrian leader should appear before the international court and receive a just punishment for his crimes against humanity. "The attack was the right answer," said Laaneots. "Neither Russia nor Assad will acknowledge anything but raw force. And the Russians themselves are guilty of covering for Assad, who is in reality an executioner and an international criminal."

In the retired general's opinion, Trump and his circle are beginning to understand who Vladimir Putin is and what the Russian leader's ambitions are. Laaneots found that Putin's activities in Syria are characterized by the fact that after September 2015, when a Russian Air Force contingent was stationed there, less than 20 percent of its nearly 11,000 combat flights have been against the Islamic State group. "Everything else has been against opposition forces," he noted. "It is obvious who Master Putin supports."

Editor: Aili Vahtla



10 years since bronze night riots
Monument of contention

In late April 2007, the Estonian authorities removed the Bronze Soldier monument from Tallinn’s Tõnismägi. The unrest that accompanied the relocation have since become known as the Bronze Night riots.

Opinion
Easter Monday a public holiday? But you're forgetting productionEaster Monday a public holiday? But you're forgetting production
Estonia’s Easter Monday time loop: Discussing an additional day off

Every year, Estonia reliably asks itself the question whether or not Easter Monday should be made a public holiday. Opinions differ. While one side emphasizes the importance of family time, the other thinks an additional day off would threaten economic growth.

Minister of Social Protection Kaia Iva (IRL).Minister of Social Protection Kaia Iva (IRL).
Samost: Kaia Iva’s charisma could help IRL out of long-term low

In Sunday’s “Samost ja Rumm” radio debate show, editor-in-chief of ERR’s online news, Anvar Samost, and journalist and former politician Hannes Rumm discussed the potential and actual candidates for the chairmanship of the Pro Patria and Res Publica Union (IRL). At the time of the broadcast, Helir-Valdor Seeder had not yet made his intention to run public.