The Russian-Iranian Alliance: Aims, Objectives And Differences

Donate

Loading the player...

This analysis originally appeared at southfront.org in March, 2017

An Iranian delegation, led by President Hassan Rouhani, arrived in Moscow on Monday for negotiations with their Russian counterparts. Russia and Iran are allies in the ongoing conflict in the Middle East, and the ongoing negotiations between the Russian and Iranian leadership may be characterized as a peak of their mutual diplomatic activities in the first quarter of 2017.

Earlier this year, the Russian leadership had held consultations and meetings with almost all external and internal players in the Middle East, clarifying their positions towards the situation in Syria. March developments have shown that the many sides have not reached a seamless consensus over the conflict. Furthermore, some positions and opinions became increasingly divergent. Turkey and Israel expanded their support to militant groups and increased their own military involvement in the conflict. This situation forces Moscow and Tehran to adjust their plans for the spring-summer campaign of 2017. Besides this, Russia and Iran have a broad polıtıcal agenda to discuss.

The main reason behind the Russian-Iranian alliance in Syria is a joint concern over security threats from terrorist groups and geopolitical competitors using terrorist groups and western controlled, surrogate regimes for exerting pressure on their perceived opponents.

The current Middle Eastern battleground borders Iran, is located approximately 700 km from the borders of the Russian Federation, and only 450 km from the borders of the former USSR. Syria and Iraq are traditional targets of manipulation by the more powerful and influential players of the globalist international establishment.

Some experts believe that these, once well-known external players, sought to acquire control over the region in several steps, implementing several “controlled chaos” approaches.  New types of quasi-state terrorist structures, like ISIS, appeared because of these experiments, which had been enacted in the region, or as a result of a gross dereliction of duty. Regardless, this growing threat of highly organized and ideologically motivated Sunni terrorism led to the creation of the Iranian-Russian military alliance. However, Moscow and Tehran could have different approaches on the operational level. They have different attitudes towards the retention of power by President Bashar al-Assad. Iran stands for maintaining the current status quo while Russia does not rule out a creation of a coalition government representing the interests of different Syrian ethnic and religious groups. Moscow and Tehran have different negotiability in the case of working with other regional players, including Turkey, Israel, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. This situation is determined by a number of ethnic, religious and historical factors. There is a notable difference in the level of pressure that Moscow and Tehran could face from global players. Russia is more vulnerable to various types of pressure than Iran, because of its role in world politics, its ample geographic territory, democratic political system, the multi-ethnic and multi-religious structure of its population, and its involvement in other key conflicts.

Nonetheless, these differences are negotiable and do not influence the general nature of the military and political cooperation between the two powers.

If we want to understand the Iranian and Russian interests in the region, we should attempt a forecast, characterizing the aims and objectives that each side has in 2017.

In diplomatic terms, Russia will likely continue to try to align its policy of solving the Syrian conflict with that of the United States. In particular, Moscow will use opportunities opened through their strategic cooperation with the Kurds. Russia will continue to work with Ankara in order to decrease, if not cease, the flow of arms and munitions from Turkey to the various militant groups in the Syrian province of Idlib. An important issue is the need to separate pro-Turkish militant groups from al-Qaeda-linked organizations. Concerning the Kurdish issue, Russia will contribute to any efforts that create and strengthen confidence and trust between the Damascus government and the Kurdish leadership. The goal is to get a joint vision of the post-war political order in Syria that includes the interests of the Kurds. This must lead to setting up a de-facto alliance between pro-government and Kurdish forces. Russia will also work to expand its role as a mediator in other Middle Eastern conflicts, such as those in Iraq, Palestine and Yemen. This will result in increasing influence on Israel, preventing it from conducting unilateral military actions against Damascus, or at least limiting them.

In military terms, Russia has the following goals for 2017:

  • decisive defeat of ISIS;
  • developing its own military infrastructure at the facilities in Tartus and the Khmeimim Air Base;
  • strengthening of the Syrian Armed Forces;
  • limiting US expansion in Syria via the expansion of the zone of Syrian government forces’ military operations in the provinces of Raqqah and Deir Ezzor;
  • limiting Turkish military expansion and continued development of relations with the Kurds.

In turn, Tehran will continue its diplomatic efforts aimed at strengthening of pro-Iranian forces in Syria, including the Assad regime, as a key component of the Shia Crescent. Iran will also focus its efforts on the he stabilization of Iraq, led by the Shia government and defended by the predominantly Shia military forces. Tehran will adopt all possible measures to counteract the actions of the Gulf monarchies, and as a result, those of the United States and Israel, in Yemen, by supporting the Houthis.

Within the framework of the Arab-Israeli confrontation, Iran will further seek to depict itself as the main frontline power working in the interests of the Palestinians. Tehran will contribute military and diplomatic efforts to strengthening the influence of Hezbollah in the region and to assist Hezbollah in gaining international, legal recognition as a legitimate political and military force in the region.

Economic isolation is a major obstacle for Tehran. The Trump administration has intensified cooperation with Israel and sees Iran as a key threat to both the US and Israeli interests in the region. This political reality does not bode well for the chances that sanctions on Iran will be wholly lifted in the near future. Meanwhile, Iranian-EU relations pursue another agenda, and here Tehran could expect an economic breakthrough.

As for Iranian military goals in 2017 in the region, they consist of:

  • decisive defeat of ISIS;
  • disintegration of radical Sunni opposition groups in the regions crucial for the survival of the Damascus regime, especially in the Damascus countryside, in the provinces of Homs and Daraa. At the least, Iran will be striving to push these groups to relocate to the province of Idlib;
  • strengthening of pro-government forces in Syria with special attention to strengthening of Shia and pro-Iranian military formations in the Syrian Armed Forces;
  • development of Hezbollah’s infrastructure in Syria;
  • development of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps’ facilities in Syria.

Thus, we can see that Russia and Iran have joint military goals, and at least there are no irreconcilable differences. As to the political and diplomatic agenda in general, the situation is relatively the same; however, there could be some variance. These differences could appear as a result of different levels of vision of the situation in the region. Iran is a regional player with its own historical agenda, while Russia is a supra-regional player with some links to the region. Economic and energy factors could also play a role. This is why the alliance has to operate in close contact with one another and to respond swiftly to challenges as they materialize. Both sides have to clarify their own vital interests in good faith, to exchange views, and to develop a pragmatic, joint approach in the sphere of regional security.

Donate

SouthFront

Do you like this content? Consider helping us!

  • MeMadMax

    Don’t support the kurds, they are the new isis and the goal is just the same: get that pipeline going thru syria…

    • Thegr8rambino

      Exactly! I wonder why the Russians are supporting them? I dont think that will sit well with turkey!

      • John Mason

        Believe that Russia is sticking to its’ game plan and Turkey have on many occassions renigged on their agreements so Russia doesn’t really care what Turkey wants or thinks. Taking sides with the Kurds is siding with Syrians, Kurds obtained citizenship a few years ago.

        • Thegr8rambino

          So why is Russia selling turkey the S-400? Makes no sense

      • More

        Thegr8rambino

        Russia – Turkey relations have again gone to a low point due to trade disputes,

        Turkey has halted purchases of Russian agricultural products – principally wheat,
        maize and sunflower oil.

        Also the Turkstream pipeline project appears to be going slowly since Trump became
        President. This means US has blocked the Turkstream Project.

        • PZIVJ

          I think Erdogan launched this trade dispute after Putin told him he could not move into Manbij area. RU/US token forces moved into the area.
          And now US/RU/French move more token “peace keeping forces” into the Kurdish border areas for a non attack zone.
          Erdogan must be getting pissed off, maybe time to lob more arty rounds across the border against the Kurds (or not).

          • More

            PZIVJ
            Your opinions are plausible from a tactical conflict operation point of view.

            However Geopolitics are at play.

            Trump is in charge, that means the Neoconservatives are in charge hence Turkey is back to playing Mr Putin for a fool (which he appears to be).

            Bottomline:
            Turkstream project has gone quiet, worth US$10’s of Billions plus per year.

          • Pavel Pavlovich

            Which he appears to be.
            But looks can be oh so deceiving…

          • More

            Pavel Pavlovich
            “…But looks can be oh so deceiving….”

            Yes, looks can be deceiving but actions speak louder than words and looks.

            Body language just today showed Mr Putin was uncomfortable during his news conference with Mutti (((Mummy:))) Merkel.

            Russia needs to send its military into Syria to setup and control area and regional Command and Control Centers throughout Syria and Iran needs to send 200,000 Military into Syria.

            The Russians command and control the Iranians who can fan out across Syria and clear out the Terrorists for good.

        • Thegr8rambino

          Why did they do that?

          • More

            Thegr8rambino
            “…Why did they do that?…”

            Trump is in charge which means the Neoconservatives are in charge.

            Neoconservatives want regime change in Syria and to destroy the RF.

            Existing pipelines through Belarus – Poland, Ukraine face continuous increase in “Transit Fees”.

            Two new pipelines are going slow, not built, facing obstacles,
            Nordstream 2
            Turkstream

            Turkey is controlled by the US Neoconservatives and is going slow on Turkstream.

            Turkey is implementing Trump tactics of introducing 130% import duty on Russian agricultural produce, i.e.diversionary tactic.

          • Thegr8rambino

            Turkey controlled by neocons? How? They are attacking Kurds

          • More

            Thegr8rambino
            “…Turkey controlled by neocons? How? They are attacking Kurds…”

            Work it out, Baby.

            Turkey is NATO member.

            NATO is controlled by Neoconservatives.

            Turks have been attacking, and killing Kurd men, women and children for many many decades.

          • Thegr8rambino

            But US is using Kurds to carve out Syria so why would they attack their own like experiment?

          • More

            Thegr8rambino
            The Neoconservatives operate multiple tracks.

          • sepheronx

            Nord stream 2 is going normal. Austria increased funding to it. Turk stream already has pipelines being ran.

            Wheat agreement is still onboard. Erdogan lifted the tariffs on it.

          • More

            sepheronx
            “…Nord stream 2 is going normal…”

            Trump is in charge, this means the Neoconservatives are in charge now.

            Russia under Mr Putin has become completely feeble since Trump got into power. It may be Trump who has dirty videos, photos, etc of Mr Putin courtesy of Mossad.

            Nordstream 2 has to cross Denmark’s territorial waters on its way to Germany.

            Denmark’s government is proposing amending legislation to allow it to ban pipeline projects on the grounds of foreign and security policy, due to concerns raised by Russian efforts to build a disputed gas pipeline through Danish waters.

            The small Nordic country has been caught in a geopolitical conflict as Russian state gas exporter Gazprom and its partners behind the Nord Stream 2 pipeline seek permission to pump more gas to Europe via the Baltic Sea to Germany.

            http://www.euractiv.com/section/energy/news/denmark-seeks-to-change-law-on-pipelines-amid-nord-stream-2-divisions/

            “…Turk stream already has pipelines being ran….”

            The Turks can never be trusted, the recent meeting showed the body language between Erdogan and Mr Putin was very cold.

            The Turks will switch to the Saudi Qatar pipeline as soon as Mr Assad is overthrown, assassinated, etc.

            Turkstream work has only just started this week before accepting your assertions there needs to be a weekly report showing how Turkstream is progressing.

      • dutchnational

        Which is exactly why Russia will strengthen ties with the kurds.

        In the end, Turkey is more of an natural enemy than a natural friend to Russia and there is much historic ill feelings between the two of them.

        Turkeys expanding military armamants cooperation (see Al Monitor) will also not sit well with Russia.

        Russia needs Turkey not as an friend as there are too many sources for friction Russia needs Turkey to be compliant for as long as possible, at least until the Idlib pocket has been defeated.

        • Thegr8rambino

          So why are they selling them S-400? This is very strange

          • More

            Thegr8rambino
            “…So why are they selling them S-400? This is very strange…”

            Both sides are probing each others weakness / strengths.

            There is no sale, its been / being discussed.

          • Thegr8rambino

            I read recently the sale is in the final process or something like this. What do u think are their strengths and weaknesses?

      • Antikapitalista

        The Russians must support the Kurds. Fuck Turkey! Erdoganster is a backstabbing, power-hungry maniac and Turkey likes to hide behind the North Atlantic Terrorist Organization.

        There is nothing better then supporting the Kurds against a particularly expansionist member of the North Atlantic Terrorist Organization, while at the same time posing as a champion of the most populous oppressed nation without a country.

        Of course, the North Atlantic Terrorist Organization acts like a mafia, putting aside all human rights concerns when its power is at stake. By seizing the opportunity to pose as a champion of the Kurdish cause, Russia will be able to cast the West—which will keep standing by Turkey unwaveringly (because of Turkey’s strategic geopolitical role in the North Atlantic Terrorist Organization)—in a most unfavourable light and it will further enable Russia to bash the West with Western-made propaganda weapons, discrediting the Western propaganda about the West as a champion of human rights, blowing off the West’s human rights cover, further eroding the conceited West’s perception about its (hitherto unquestioned) civilizational supremacy.

        The worse for Turkey, the better for Russia. Remember, Turkey occupies a large part of northern Syria, 1/3 of Cyprus and refuses to accede to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea because it refuses to relinquish its control of the Bosphorus and the Dardanelles. Furthermore, Turkey is building its Istanbul Canal, which is a bypass of not only the Bosphorus strait, but also the Montreux Convention, which poses a threat to all the other Black Sea countries.

        Furthermore, Russia must exert pressure on Turkey and Russia’s support for the Kurds must serve as a retaliation for Turkey’s blockade of the Crimean Peninsula and for Turkish support for the Crimean Tartars’ cause.

        Russia must support the Kurds and wean them off pernicious U.S. influence. The Russians must persuade them that only Russia can really give them guarantees. The United States of Aggression would only abuse the Kurds, tossing them overboard, betraying them in favour of North Atlantic Terrorist Organization ties with Turkey.

        Russia must get the Syrian government and the representatives of the Rojava Kurds to work together. By mediating an agreement between them (possibly going as far as helping them establish a mutually favourable alliance), Russia will reassert itself as de facto the sole power broker.
        Therefore they must become allies and the Syrian government will have to establish a Kurdish autonomous territory in northern Syria, which could then serve as a buffer zone against Turkey.*)
        Furthermore, without significant power sharing with the Kurds, the situation in Syria could not realistically be stabilized (in the long term).

        I believe that the Russians could go as far making this arrangement a tacit condition of Russia’s support for the Syrian government.

        Simply said, Turkey is a problem which will probably only continue to grow in time, so Russia’s first and foremost long-term objective (with respect to the above) must be the containment of Turkey and Moscow should make it clear to Damascus that this may be the price that Damascus will eventually have to pay to get the situation really stabilized.

        *) similarly to the Treaty of Saint-Clair-sur-Epte (signed by Charles III the Simple and Rollo)

        • Thegr8rambino

          I think Russia is trying to play both turkey and the Kurds. Why else would Russia sell turkey S-400, and also set up military bases in Kurd territory? I think they are trying to get both of them in their side, while the US is trying to stop turkey from attacking the Kurds further, and may even be thinking of taking out erdogan if he goes too far

      • HebAlba

        Who cares about Turkey, they are Christians Kurd and Shia killers.
        Erdogan is a mad Dog, he want’s to be the new Ataturk who committed the Armenian Genocide, including Assyrian and Lebanese Christians atrocities.
        In 1915 Zeev Jabotinsky the father of Zionism was the Editor of Ataturk paper “The Young Turk”, wish promoted the Armenian and Christians Genocide for future Israel establishment.

    • Dustil schmit

      Whatever helps you though pipeline can go through from Iraq and Turkey since they have a border!!!! No real need for Syrian pipeline. And every single so called pipeline that goes through Syria most go through Turkish FSA or SAA areas.
      In a theorized pipeline Palyma would be needed and the FSA are advancing towards it.

      • More

        Dustil schmit
        “…from Iraq and Turkey or jordan since…”

        You need to look at the map.

        Jordan has no border with Turkey, the Saudi Qatar oil and gas pipeline has to go through Jordan into Syria and then into Turkey.

        • Dustil schmit

          Go from jordan to iraq then to turkey. Or saudi arabia to iraq then turkey whatever its bs the only differnece is saving a few pipes doesn’t really matter anyway no pipeline will never ever happen since the region will remain unstable for decades. Plus they would of went with the iraq route since funding the entire rebelliong/terrorists in Syria would cost more then the entire pipeline from iraq to turkey.
          Jordan has border with Isarel/pales and can ship the gas to the ports.
          https://syrianfreepress.files.wordpress.com/2015/10/syria-qatar-pipeline-6.jpg

          • More

            Dustil schmit

            Your map is from Watchman of Zion which is a good factual article.
            https://www.watchmanofzion.com/?p=2167

            Iran owns half of the worlds largest gas field, “Pars” along with Qatar.

            The US axis (Neoconservatives) are not in favour of the Iraq Turkey route because Iran can link into the pipeline in Iraq and start making serious revenue.

            The preferred route is via Jordan through Syria into Turkey.

            If Mr Assad is removed from power, Syria will stabilize because the US “Terror Axis” will stop financing, arming and training the terrorists.

            http://oil-price.net/cartoons/iran-iraq-syria-pipeline.jpg

          • MeMadMax

            It would seem to me the a underwater pipe going thru saudi > egypt > turkey would make the better and easier sense…

            But good sense hasn’t come out of saudi land in decades now…

          • More

            MeMadMax

            Saudis in general are backward looking and specialize in the “Sofa Culture”, sitting in the lounge smoking their hookah, LoL:)))

            Saudi has also spent upwards of US$80 Billion worldwide building mosques and Islamic schools which are a breeding ground for Terrorists.

            The route you mention was discussed on another news article, from Saudi Qatar through Egypt and onto Cyprus and then spur to Greece EU and Turkey.

            Though it may turn out to be fake news there is a proposed plan for a Cyprus to Egypt pipeline, this scheme is weird because Egypt has large oil and gas discoveries which are slowly starting to come online, though oil and gas can flow both ways.

            Saudi has also shot itself in the foot by over pumping oil and flooding the market causing the oil price to drop.

            As a result Russia has cut its oil price to US$40 for large 3 year / 7 year contract customers against a market price of US$52 to US$55.

            If Russia continues with its pricing policy then majority of US, UK, etc., and Saudi, Arab oil companies will eventually go bankrupt.

            That’s Putin’s Revenge, LoL:)))

          • HebAlba

            Mister Zion, it will never happen.
            Syria is a sovereign country
            Rothschild and you will not decide who’s in charge in Syria.
            Only the Syrian people can.

          • More

            HebAlba
            Only Russia and Iran can save Syria. So far they have not been doing enough.

            Iran needs to send 200,000 military personnel to Syria.

            Russia needs to establish Area, Regional and National Command and Control Centers to control the Iranian Military who would do the actual fighting.

      • dutchnational

        Jordan would be a bad choice as Jordan only has one small port (Aqabah) and no coast line on the mediterranean.

        Syria is the better choice and preferred by the Shia as Jordan is a fully sunni country.

        • Dustil schmit

          It would go through Israel or pales take your pick on the country Idc about that region since I dislike both.

          • HebAlba

            Not through Palestine. Netanyahu regime illegally sold oil-gas shares on occupied Golan Heights to Rothschild and Murdoch in 2009.

        • HebAlba

          Syria is not yours

    • Antikapitalista

      The Kurds could not be further from a new Islamic state! If you assert that, either you do not know what you are babbling about, or you are Erdogangster’s toady.

      • MeMadMax

        Why is it that whenever someone does not support the communist backstabbing kurds, they are automatically a turk/erdoggie/etc etc etc?

        Can you answer this question?

        I mean, its not like the turks are the only ones that hate the kurds…
        The Iraqi kurds hate the syrian kurds… The Iraqi’s hate both syrian and iraqi kurds… The kurds hate each other… The sunnis hate the kurds, but have found them as excellent cannon fodder to pick up where isis has failed… and on and on and on and so forth…

        You people have this unrealistic fantasy about the kurds, one that was put in place by THE BRITISH, and OBAMA… Anything supported by obama should be a BIG FAT RED FLAG that you should probably stay away from it… And if you had even bother doing a cursory background check on these guys would prove it IS a big fat red flag…

        But denial is not just a river in Egypt….
        >_>

      • More

        Antikapitalista

        This is about money, oil and gas.

        The Kurds may not be IS, however if they take full control of Northern Syria then the Iran, Iraq, Syria to Cyprus and Greece (Southern EU) oil and gas pipeline can be built.

        If the US controls the Kurds then the oil and gas pipeline can branch off to supply Turkey.

        Russia will be the loser because it will face competition as the EU and Turkey are its two largest customers for oil and gas.

    • HebAlba

      MeMadErdog should be your name

      • MeMadMax

        HeADumbass should be yours…

        Also, why is it that you people always fall back on turk/erdoghan whenever you morons run into someone that doesn’t go along with the status quo of supporting the kurds anyway?
        Have you ever thought of that?
        Also, why are you supporting a OBAMA project… Cause thats what the kurds are… They wouldn’t even exist right now if it weren’t for obama…
        AND THAT RIGHT THERE IS A BIG RED FLAG…
        Everything that obama touches, DIES a slow, horrible, painful death… look at solar panel companies for example…
        You ever think of that?
        Of course not, you go along to get along, blindly following your master…

        Let me ask you something… When you buy a car, you know at least something about it before you buy it right? Like, its new, its used, it has a problem with the stereo, there’s a scratch there, people say it has a problem with this, or it has a problem with that…
        The point is, you do at least a LITTLE bit of research on that car, in some way, before you buy it right?
        Did you even bother researching the kurds?
        You should, because your tax money, along with the tax money of a whole bunch of other pesudo democratic countries are pouring money into these people…

        You should at least know what ur buying….

        • HebAlba

          I despise Obama.
          I don’t compare Kurds to cars.
          I’m from the Middle East and know History.

  • Thegr8rambino

    Very good except how does Russia expect to get along with turkey by supporting the Kurds? And why are they doing that? They serve the interest of the US/israhell

    • Dustil schmit

      Supporting ISIS loving turks is great idea.

      • Thegr8rambino

        Lol what? No its not

        • Dustil schmit

          You said you prefer getting along with turkey. Is the same way what turks think they rather get along with ISIS then kurds!

    • More

      Thegr8rambino

      Bottomline, worst case scenario:

      The Russian Federation will face disaster as Mr Putin is a fool, far too cautious and dithering in protecting Syria as well as the Syrian Military which is open to regular attack by Israel and now a direct missile attack by the US.

      Almost all the Terrorist border enclaves around Syria, NW, N, NE, W, S, etc are poised to breakout for a full scale assault towards Damascus.

      Regime change will take place in Syria, the Saudi Qatar pipeline will break Russia’s hold over Turkey and the EU.

      The Russian Federation will be starved of oil and gas revenue from Turkey and the EU causing the RF to disintegrate.

      Kurds:
      Israel is involved with the Kurds in order to destabilize and balkanize, Syria, Iraq and Iran

      US carries out Israel’s objectives relating to the Kurds using US- NATO countries tax payers money as Israel is too tight fisted to use its own money.

      Russia – Turkey relations have again gone to a low point due to trade disputes, Turkey has halted purchases of Russian agricultural products – principally wheat, maize and sunflower oil.

      Also the Turkstream pipeline project appears to be going slowly since Trump became President.

      This indicates Trump will force regime change in Syria and then the Saudi Qatar oil and gas pipeline will be built through Syria to Turkey and onto the EU.

      Go to Bottomline above and continue reading.
      .

      • PZIVJ

        I got stuck in a loop reading about the worst case scenario. :)
        Other scenarios are much more likely.

        • More

          PZIVJ

          Many readers don’t go past a few lines to get to the most important bottomline, hence moved it to the top.

          Trump will carryout regime change in Syria, its on the cards.

          Syria is Russia’s Achilles Heel in relation to Oil and Gas pipelines into Turkey.

          Think carefully, Russia / Mr Putin is feeble when it comes to standing up to Turkey, US and Israel who shoot missiles whilst Mr Putin calls them “Our Partners”

          Mr Putin needs to be kicked front, back and centre until he comes to his senses otherwise its game over for the Russian Federation.

          • Pavel Pavlovich

            Shut the hell up, you are just a more sophisticated form of a Hasbara troll.
            I won’t fall for your crap.

          • More

            Pavel Pavlovich
            “…I won’t fall for your crap….”

            You are writing nonsense.

            The Russian Federation will collapse because of your stupidity in common with Mr Putin’s dithering and feeble way.

            Both Russia and Iran has large military firepower yet fail to use it.

            Any President of the RF with guts would wipe the floor with the “Terrorist Axis”, US, Turk, Saudi, Qatar, etc have to be hot so hard until they stop squealing.

            This is the bottom line:

            If Mr Assad is removed from power then its over for Russia as well as Syria.

            The US, Turk, Saudi, Qatar, “Terrorist Axis” will take over Syria, build the Saudi Qatar oil and gas pipeline through Syria into Turkey and onward into the EU.

            Russia’s two largest oil and gas customers are the EU and Turkey, Russia will face competition and be starved of revenue which will cause the collapse of the Russian Federation.

          • Ronald

            Your logic is not kind , but well grounded in a very real possibility .
            Realism is ; the Iranians and Russians both face defeat if they fail to act strongly enough , and not just in Syria .

          • More

            Ronald
            “…Your logic is not kind…”

            Agree with you and have to add.

            Mr Putin / Russia – Iran with a proper Battleplan can eliminate the Terrorist axis in Syria within weeks but deliberately do not.

            This is the reason for being unkind.

      • Pavel Pavlovich

        Putin a fool? Only the most foolish fool – that is you – believes that.
        The fools here is the Russian people.

        • More

          Pavel Pavlovich
          “…Only the most foolish fool – that is you…”

          Being polite and hoping regularly for a victory in Syria has not worked out since 2011 / 2012 / 2013 / 2014 / 2015 / 2016 / 2017.

          Mr Putin using a small but intelligent Russian force with a large Iranian force can eliminate the Terrorist axis in Syria within weeks.

          Note: All “Moderate Rebel” etc are part of the Terrorist Axis.

      • Ronald

        While I agree , ” Putin is far too cautious … in protecting Syria” , I certainly would not call him a fool . The US has managed to distract him with the NATO troop build up , Ukraine , etc.. Upon entering the fray , as he has , he must play to win .
        Both Iran and Russia could very easily loose largely right now , by not reclaiming , Dier Ezzor and its near by oil fields . If Syria is not in full control of that area , Iran and Iraq could be blocked from Syria and Lebanon .

        • More

          Ronald
          “… I certainly would not call him a fool …”

          Agree with you overall and have to add:

          Both Russia and Iran have allowed Syria to gradually fall apart. If Syria falls, the unthinkable worse case scenario will take place.

          NATO:
          The Nato forces in Eastern Europe are small in number, they are contained.

          The public in the EU would not accept any “large scale” Nato troop build up or “small scale” casualties arising from a Nato attack on Russia.

          Ukraine:
          Ukraine does need 24/7 Russian monitoring but is overall contained as the separatists are holding their positions.

          Syria:
          As you point out Oil assets have not been captured, the Deir ez-Zor position remains vulnerable.

          The main problem is the Battleplan for Syria is feeble.

          The Terrorist axis are in a bulge at points along Syria’s border,NW, N, NE, E, S, etc. A well coordinated breakout would overwhelm the Syrian Military.as it did in Palmyra v2.

          Both Russia and Iran possess large Military forces which remain at their bases training day in and out. Instead some of these can be deployed to Syria.

          The Russians can take over / run Area – Regional – National Command and Control Centers, this keeps Russian manpower safe in order to control a large Iranian force of at least 200,000 to fan out and eliminate the Terrorist axis embedded around Syria.

      • Thegr8rambino

        I doubt any of that will happen, I’m an optimist you see :)

        • More

          Thegr8rambino

          Boss Baby, been optimist just like you but enough is enough.

          Being optimist for a victory in Syria has not worked out since 2011 / 2012 / 2013 / 2014 / 2015 / 2016 / 2017.

          • Thegr8rambino

            Well maybe it will take both of us to be optimist and then finally war will end with SAA victory :)

          • More

            Thegr8rambino
            “…finally war will end with SAA victory :)…”

            Syrian Military on its own has not been able to defeat the Terrorist Axis.

          • Thegr8rambino

            Not yet but it has done rather well recently, of course Russia is helping them and Iran so it would be a joint victory

  • jeremija krstic

    us doesnt want Syrian problem solved. Even Trump did recognize that!

  • Gabriel Hollows

    Looks like Russia cares less about dismantling the NWO and more about becoming part of it. They do not really care if Assad is removed from power as long as they get to expand their influence.

    • More

      Gabriel Hollows

      If Mr Assad is removed from power then its over for Russia as well as Syria.

      The US, Turk, Saudi, Qatar, “Terrorist Axis” will take over Syria, build the Saudi Qatar oil and gas pipeline through Syria into Turkey and onward into the EU.

      Russia’s two largest oil and gas customers are the EU and Turkey, Russia will face competition and be starved of revenue which will cause the collapse of the Russian Federation.

  • Brad Isherwood

    https://www.newsdeeply.com/syria/articles/2017/03/06/analysis-hezbollahs-highly-versatile-and-embedded-role-in-syria
    A Hezbollah trainer admitted in an interview that while thousands have been trained across Syria, some 10,000 were trained in Qusayr alone, the largest training facility for Hezbollah on the border with Lebanon

  • Алина Скоробогатько

    So many arguments about Russia in the comments, without asking Russia itself) are funny people. Someone decides what Russia needs without knowing anything about the culture of this country, nor about history, nor about the mentality, nor about the main political line of the current Russian Federation. It reminds us how the US decides who needs democracy, and who does not belong to countries on another continent, whom and what government it needs, while not knowing about these countries and people.
    In fact: Russia (as the successor of the USSR) with Syria, there is an agreement on cooperation and mutual support (including military). The SISI’s officially elected government officially requested assistance from Russia in the fight against Iguil. Russia responded to this request adequately, according to the contract, and helped and helps and will help. We (Russia) are not at all interested in who is there Kurds, who are Shiites, who are Sunits, who are Christians and who are of what nationality (in Russia there are more than 160 nationalities, and absolutely all possible religions of the world are represented). There is only one difference – terrorists and not terrorists (there are no moderate or not very moderate ones). Russia organizes negotiations, puts all sides of the conflict at one table, creates corridors for both civilians and those terrorists who wish to surrender their weapons peacefully, without killing. If the weapons do not pass, then the forces of the Russian Air Force and the forces of the Syrian army will be directed against them. Dot.
    Syria is a huge hello with love from Russia.

    • Antikapitalista

      Alina, those are merely guesses and attempts at explanations in order to guess the future development of events in Syria.

      And I have argued that Russia ought to care about the oppressed Kurds for geopolitical reasons—to use them as a lever against the dangerous Turks because Turkey is an adversary of Russia.

      Feel free to offer your own arguments and contributions to the article (which was most likely written by Russians anyway).

      B-)

      • Алина

        Russia does not owe anything to anybody), let alone the Kurds. Russia also asks to show and show the world that it’s enough to decide for other people how they should live, like the US does! And use the people for their own purposes. Our relations with the Turks will depend on their behavior with the Russians, and not with the Kurds or anyone there. If there is aggression from the turz

    • More

      Алина
      “…So many arguments about Russia in the comments, without asking Russia itself)…”

      There is nothing to ask Russians because actions speak louder than words.

      The Russians are deliberately allowing Syria to slowly fall apart.

      Recent Russian – Syrian Failures:

      No Intelligence gathering of the terrorists, their assets and movements:

      Both the Russian and Syrian Military allowed approx 4500 terrorists to capture Palmyra v2 by driving unhindered across the desert from Mosul, in December 2016.

  • More

    Article says:
    “…As for Iranian military goals in 2017 in the region, they consist of:
    decisive defeat of ISIS;…”

    These goals are fantasy because the Russians are deliberately allowing Syria to slowly fall apart.

    Battleplan Failure:
    1. Intelligence gathering of the terrorists, their assets and movements:

    Both the Russian and Syrian Military allowed approx 4500 terrorists to capture Palmyra v2 by driving unhindered across the desert from Mosul, in December 2016.

    Battleplan Failure:
    2. Force Ratio, prepare the forces and equipment to halt the terrorists:

    The 4,500 convoy of terrorists would have used approx 450 vehicles, “Pickup Trucks”, 10 terrorists per truck.

    Not one single truck was targeted whatsoever.by the Russian Air Group as it drove across 200+ Km of highway with no checkpoints whatsoever from the Syrian Military.

    This indicates that the Russian Military is allowing terrorists to control certain areas and regions and the Syrian Military has no effective Battleplan in place.

    Battleplan Failure:
    3. Counter Strike to destroy the terrorists in Palmyra.

    Due to lack of manpower, lack of equipment, lack of coordination, lack of Command and Control, the Syrian Military has taken many months to oust the 4,500 terrorists from Palmyra v2, Dec 2016, Jan / Feb / March / Apr 2017 and many of the IS are still loose or embedded in and around Palmyra.

    Battleplan requires
    1. Intelligence gathering of the terrorists
    2. Force Ratio, prepare the forces and equipment to carry out a
    3. Counter Strike to destroy the terrorists

    All of the above are failures and the same situation continues.

  • Kev

    Russia is more vulnerable to Western pressure because of its cleptocratic elite, that likes to keep its money in Western banks. That’s the main reason Ukraine hasn’t been annexed yet.

    Putin originally intended to use Syria as a barganing chip with the West to get the Ukraine-related sanctions removed. However, the West refuses to negotiate with Putin in this manner. Instead, they are presenting ultimatums, which Putin is unable to fulfill without destroying his regime.

    So now, Putin is stuck in Syria fighting a war in “alliance” with Iran, although this was never his plan. Putin would dump Iran in a heartbeat, if the West showed just a little bit of flexibilty on Ukraine.

  • Алина

    Gentlemen, task.
    You have 256 wheels. How many THREE wheeled bicycles you can collect?
    (I’ll later explain why I asked this task)

    • More

      Алина
      Bicycles rarely have 3 wheels, the term Bicycles means 2 wheeled device.

      • Алина

        Scoff? Well, let’s say it’s children’s bikes, for kids. So, how much? (Do not like THREE-wheeled, ok, answer how much you can collect two-wheeled bikes =)))

        • More

          Алина
          No scoff, as admire Russian people, culture, jokes, trick questions LoL:))) etc., very much.

          256 wheels / 3 =
          85 x 3 wheel bicycles
          1 wheel left over.

          256 wheels / 2 =
          128 x 2 wheel bicycles

          • Алина

            The answer you will like more) you mathematically correctly counted, but 99% of Russians know how to answer? What can be collected can be Zero bike! No one! Why? Because the wheels alone are not enough to build a bicycle =)))) you know? I wanted to show the difference in thinking, in mentality. In Europe and the United States, thinking, “clip-on”, i.e. You see the figures they need to calculate, do not pay attention to the process with the condition of the problem), the Russians think “spatial”, we begin to imagine the whole process in the head)) All this I mean, what to think here or somewhere else about what you need Russia or about how Russia will act senselessly, if there are no Russians in the dialogue))

          • More

            Алина
            Thank you.
            Agree, Russians are clever as well as smart ! LoL:)))

          • Алина

            Do not think that this is bad. Just different is too thinking. What is right and right for you is fundamentally wrong with the Russians and vice versa. Therefore, it is impossible to achieve any understanding without mutual dialogue. The same applies to the mentality of the people of Iraq, Iran or Syria, or China … These countries, like Russia, have a thousand-year culture, the experience of millennia. It looks wild when the same US is trying to teach how to live properly in such countries.