Tougher Israeli posture in Syria tests Russia-Iran alliance

Photo:marketwatch.com


The Kremlin’s military alliance with Tehran in Syria is showing cracks after fierce Israeli strikes against Iranian forces, testing the limits of the relationship.

The Israeli attack—its biggest ever in Syria—came hours after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sat at Russian President Vladimir Putin’s annual military parade on Wednesday in Moscow. Russia’s response to the strikes has been muted, and the two leaders likely agreed on acceptable targets, said Fyodor Lukyanov, a Kremlin adviser.

The rising hostilities with Israel lay bare tensions in the alliance between Moscow and Tehran that turned the tide of the Syrian conflict in favor of President Bashar al-Assad. The strategy helped assert Russia once again as a global power and Iran to expand its Middle Eastern influence.

Now, as Assad regains control of much of the country, Russia and Iran’s interests have begun to increasingly diverge. In particular, Russian analysts said, Moscow has grown concerned over Iran’s attempt to use Syria as a beachhead to threaten Israel and boost its power over Lebanon, Jordan and the Palestinian Territories.

The current tensions don’t endanger the broader transactional relationship between Iran and Russia in places including Afghanistan, Central Asia and the Caspian region, where both countries have strong influence. Russia is keen to work more closely with Iran’s oil sector and wants to boost its presence in Iraq, where Iranian influence is also strong, analysts said.

 

Source : www.marketwatch.com

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