Russian-American relations deteriorated again in connection with the situation around Syria. Moscow and Washington have differences on all issues, except for the principle of the fight against terrorism. During the meeting, the foreign Ministers of the two countries Sergey Lavrov and Rex Tillerson discussed the reason for these differences, namely the role of Iran in Syria and the support that Moscow provides Iran in expanding its sphere of influence from Beirut to Damascus and Baghdad.
Moscow takes the role of Washington
United States with the coming to power of administration of the President of Donald trump has developed a strategy, which supposes three stages: victory over ISIS (banned in Russia — approx. ed.), the creation of free zones and the transition to lasting peace in Syria in the future.
© Ministry of defence Rfsuny de-escalation in Syria
The United States wanted to cooperate with Russia in implementing this plan, however, faced with the fact that Moscow was on the side of the Syrian regime when the latter committed the chemical attack in Khan Sheyhun. Russian military specialists were at the airport “Shirt” when he flew a Syrian plane with toxic cargo.
To prevent another use of chemical weapons by the regime of Bashar al-Assad, Washington launched a missile attack on the said airport. Americans believe that Russia guarantees the termination of the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime, and want to negotiate with Moscow about the elimination of ISIS.
Now Americans understand that Russia is using the talks in Astana, which took place on 4 may was broad a space for diplomatic manoeuvre. To some extent, stole, robbed Washington of its strategy, subordinating its Russian agenda.
Russia is helping Iran
Americans oppose the project, agreement on which was reached in Astana, as it includes Iran among the countries-observers, who will ensure the observance of the ceasefire regime in the areas of de-escalation, while Iran is mainly focused on the support of the Syrian regime. Washington wanted to prevent Iran from the country of the aggressor turned into a guarantor of peace and a fighter against terrorism. The U.S. Department of state has announced, commenting on the results of the meeting in Astana, “that Iran’s activities in Syria only contributed to the bloodshed in the country, and the absolute support Tehran provided to the regime of Bashar al-Assad, was the cause of the suffering of the Syrian people”.
Worst of all, Russia has addressed the UN Security Council for adoption of the draft of the settlement made in Astana, and trying to convince the world that Iran is forgiven for what he did in Syria, both directly and through Hizbollah.
Today, when the Minister of foreign Affairs met with his counterpart, the situation is the following: Tillerson wants to put an end to Iranian intervention in the middle East, while Lavrov wants to protect Iran’s position in Syria.
A negative role for the Ministers of foreign Affairs can play a the fact that the administration of President Donald trump said that Russia could not implement its strategy in Syria to save the Assad regime without the help and support of Iran and the subordinate Shiite militants.
Tehran runs through Deir ez-Zor
The situation “on the spot” has a lot of pressure on both sides: the US and Russia. The Americans, in cooperation with the Kurdish and Arab forces preparing for the last phase of the battle for the capital of ISIS — Raqqa, and this process takes time. Americans need help with their own troops or troops of other forces to the South of Abu Kamal in order to move North and establish control over the international highway linking Syria and Iraq, as well as control over the city of Deir ez-Zor.
Deir ez-Zor will be the last city under the control of ISIS. Furthermore, it is located halfway between Damascus and Baghdad. The establishment of American control over it will mean that Iran and the subordinate militia will not be able to control the international highway which connects Tehran with the capitals of the three Arab countries.
For its part, the Syrian regime seeks to cooperate with Russia and Iran to regain control of what remains of Palmyra, to reach the city of Deir ez-Zor and get to the international highway between Syria and Iraq. This intention was confirmed by the Minister of foreign Affairs of Syria Walid Muallem, saying that the main purpose of Syria at the moment is promotion to Deir-ez-Zor.
In this regard, the worst scenario is that Washington could choose it if he gave the plans for Assad to be and he did it under the supervision of Russia.
What annoys the Americans in Russia’s actions is the fact that their efforts are aimed at achieving mutual understanding with Moscow in the past few months, have failed. Russia, it seems, is a real threat to American influence, and the United States do not know whether the President of Russia Vladimir Putin any desire to cooperate with the administration of Donald trump.
The past few months, Russia has sought to exacerbate Turkish-American conflict over Syria. Russia supplied Turkey with the country’s role as guarantor of the project launched in Astana, while Washington was unable to reach consensus with Ankara regarding the role of Kurdish militants in Syria. The Turkish side claims that the Kurds are terrorists, while the Americans perceive them as the only ally on the ground in Syria and depend on them in their plans to move to raqqa and Deir-ez-Zor.
List of differences between the US and Russia is very long, and the most serious among them is the fact that both countries currently seem to see in Syria is not only the key to total elimination of the hotbed of terrorism, but also to extend its influence throughout the middle East.