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Syria between the U.S. and Russia

April 28, 2017

English, Notizie Brevi, Strategia

One of the crucial diplomatic issues between the United States and Russia in Syria is the role of Iran. In his visit to Moscow in mid-April U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson used the threat of force, unleashed on a limit scale a few days earlier, to make it clear that the Americans are willing to intervene if necessary to prevent Iran from achieving too strong of a position in Syria. The future of Assad is closely linked to this question: the West hopes that Russia will exercise sufficient pressure to force him to leave power after a short transition period.

The attempt is therefore the save the diplomatic process begun last year, while following a new strategy. The problem is that the situation on the ground has changed. Not only is Assad stronger than he was a few months ago, but the U.S. military strike has made it more difficult for others to accept Assad’s ouster. And at this point it is unlikely Russia can impose a solution against the will of Iran – that fully supports the Syrian president.

The new element would be the risk of a sharp contrast between the U.S. and Russia, a risk that it is hoped would push the Russians to make concessions to the West. It’s a risky bet, and at this point the open question is whether the other actors in the region will trust the U.S. Administration as a partner in the diplomatic process.

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