America Losing Ground to the Iran-Russia Axis

By Kyle Orton (@KyleWOrton) on 27 November 2018

U.S. forces and members of the “Syrian Democratic Forces” (SDF) patrol Al-Darbasiya in northeastern Syria, 4 November 2018. (AFP)

Despite the change of rhetoric between US Presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump, the United States has continued to lose influence, political and military, in the Middle East to the Iran-Russia axis.

Since January 2017, the Russia-led Astana political process, including Iran and Turkey, has run parallel to the internationally recognised Geneva process. Moscow drew in Ankara after the Turks changed their priorities from overthrowing Iran’s and Russia’s client, Syrian President Bashar Assad, to containing the Syrian Democratic Forces. The United States has empowered the group, which is an arm of the separatist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), as a partner against the Islamic State. “De-escalation zones” created by Astana allowed Assad’s battered regime to eliminate pockets of resistance one at a time, until only Idlib was left.

This reshaping of the military picture in Syria was leveraged into political currency, positing Assad as a counterterrorism partner and intended to redraw the Geneva terms so it was no longer about transitioning Assad out but negotiating the terms under which he would stay.

Read the rest at The Arab Weekly

1 thought on “America Losing Ground to the Iran-Russia Axis

  1. craken

    Ten years ago Assad ruled Syria. If he still rules ten years hence, how can America be said to have lost ground?
    In Turkey, America has lost ground to authoritarian, Islamist-sympathizing rule. Syria has been damaging only through its cross-border human emissions, further Islamizing Europe.
    Iran’s significance is unrelated to its Syria/Lebanon involvements: it matters because of its nuclear program and its threat to oil shipments. Pakistan is a greater threat: it’s already nuclear armed, supports massive terrorist/militant activity, and is on constant alert vis-à-vis India.



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