With more than one hundred days after the start of Russian military operations in Syria, the situation in the middle East has become even more contentious. First hit the Russian-Turkish relations, and has recently occurred and the Iran-Saudi divide. However, the regional tension only increases Russia’s influence in the world game.
The emergence of Russia in Syria could not lead to a change in the balance of forces formally in the Syrian-khilafat situation, and in fact throughout the middle East game.
“None of the three regional powers are not able themselves not only to crush opponents, but also to impose new rules and the balance of power”
The main external player is still the US, but Washington got mired in trying to balance its relations with Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Iran, to relate the stakes in the Syrian conflict, the war in Iraq against the Caliphate (and tied to it, but the broader question of relations with the Shiites and Sunnis in Iraq), the use of the Kurds. In this puzzle, even the desire not to allow the excessive strengthening of Russia’s positions in the region faded into the background, replaced by the attempt to negotiate with Moscow on joint diplomatic action at least on the Syrian crisis.
The three main regional powers – Turkey, Iran and Saudi Arabia – are in the region of your game, in which the war in Syria is only the most visible point of conflict. The rivalry of three civilizations – the Turkish, Iranian and Arabic – is in the middle East the historic, centuries-old character, but in the last hundred years is happening in terms of external intervention. But if until recently it was predominantly Western influence – first in the form of direct colonial rule of Britain and France, and then in the form of direct military domination of the United States – that now appeared on the scene Russia, whose objectives are not limited to the Syrian campaign.
The main task of Moscow in the region – to participate in creating a new balance of power that will emerge in the middle East after the departure of the United States. This care is inevitable, and it is happening before our eyes, despite the fact that a purely military presence, Washington will remain in the region for years to come. But military force without the willingness and ability to apply it is not the deciding factor, and the States at least in the next decade will not be at war in the middle East. They, of course, will not silently observe the formation of a new geopolitical reality in the region, despite the fact that they have failed the operation “democratization of the Middle East”, in stock at USA are still several scenarios, including the redrawing of borders throughout the region. But to implement any of these, States should be of paramount importance for each of the three regional powers, and with this there are big problems.
Attempt to make peace with Iran rests not just in the lasts third of a century the feud, and the clear unwillingness of the Iranian leadership to play with the devil in his game, and Washington for Tehran is that the conductor of a satanic project of globalization, which, in practical and material, that in the religious dimension. In addition, it is difficult to imagine that someone in Iran wants to forget about those plans of a military attack on their country, not just prepared, but also openly voiced in the United States.
How the West was pushing Russia and Turkey: history of the Russo-Turkish vounatsou with Saudi Arabia, the former for half a century a faithful partner and a client of USA in the Islamic world, began to deteriorate after the involvement of Saudis in the attacks of September 11, 2001 and subsequent destruction of Iraq. In Iraq, with all the secular nature of the Baath, after all ruled by Sunnis, not Shiites, as it is now, and in General this country was regarded by Riyadh as a counterweight to Shiite Iran. But finished off us-Saudi relations, war in Syria, during which the Saudis had initially hoped that the Americans will do everything in order to remove Assad, and when that did not happen, disappointed in the ally, suspecting him of colluding with Iran.
And when Washington went to the Iranian nuclear deal, promising to remove sanctions against Tehran, it only confirmed the belief of the Saudis of betraying the Americans. USA finally lost the confidence of Saudi Arabia, despite the fact that no formal waiver of allied relations did not happen, no joint plans for the future the Americans and the Saudis can no longer build.
But now everyone in the region worried about what the future – what will it be in the middle East? Not just borders but the very existence of some States (not to mention the ruling dynasty) is a big question. And if Iran is confident in his abilities (especially since he just survived the blockade of the West) and behind him is a thousand years of history and tradition, the Saudis are literally and figuratively built its strength on the sand, and most recently, and know that they can rapidly you lose it.
Of course, any war between Iran and Saudi Arabia speech now can be no severance of diplomatic relations only increases the intensity of the confrontation – but the rate hike Riyadh (and the execution of Ayatollah al-Nimr was pure provocation) to show how much the Kingdom is concerned about the strengthening of Iran. By and large, Riyadh attempted to do the same thing and Ankara the destruction of a Russian su-24 – to raise their own importance in regional Affairs. Clashing with Iran, the Saudis hope to rally Sunni Arabs and Sunnis in General, because some infusions of cash can’t achieve.
The game is dangerous, and, as in the case of a Turkish adventure, the chances of success are minimal. Turkey has increased its influence on the Syrian situation – on the contrary, it has decreased, and even the consolation of a bonus from the Americans it has not received.
A break with Moscow did not improve Turkey’s relations with the United States, including because Washington didn’t go on changing its position in the Kurdish question, while continuing to support the Syrian Kurds, that is totally unacceptable for Turkey, which, like Saudi Arabia, States suspects a secret desire to destroy her. Of all the regional Troika Turkey formally the most powerful – it has a powerful army, it is under the NATO umbrella, she’s strong and independent from energy exports, the economy, the situation of the most westernized Islamic country, and nikolitsa pan-Turkic plans. Plus ambitious and experienced guide.
But the game to enhance the role of Turkey in the Syrian conflict led to the rupture with Russia, without which to build the balance in the triangle of the Islamic world – USA – Europe Ankara has become noticeably more difficult. Erdogan’s attempt to get close with Saudi Arabia, undertaken at the end of last year, on the eve of the Saudi-Iranian conflict does not negate the objective contradictions of the two regional powers. Besides, Turkey can’t afford to aggravate and so an uneasy relationship with Iran.
Thus, Iran now has tense relations with Saudi Arabia and Turkey, between which, in turn, have good relations. But Turkey’s war on the borders – with the potential threat to transfer her to a proper Turkish territory populated by Kurds. Saudi Arabia at war in Yemen – and so that in response to receiving already and the strikes on its own territory. Focus on the Saudis and the Syrian-Iraqi Sunni “Caliphate”, they have problems with their own Shiites.
Iran is on the rise – approaching the lifting of sanctions, which disrupt the Saudis will still fail. Thus in the struggle for Syria, if we consider this conflict as part of tripartite confrontation, Iran is also a winner – on the background of both Turkey and Saudi Arabia. The destruction or even minimizing of the Caliphate at the end of the war in Syria will make the “Shiite arc” from Lebanon through Syria and the increasingly Pro-Iranian Iraq – a critical factor in the regional balance of power.
While none of the three regional powers are not able themselves not only to crush opponents, but also to impose new rules and the balance of power. But it can’t do and the United States, and, consequently, the possible or the war of all against all (the prototype of which is the Syrian war), or collective attempts to agree on a peaceful division of interests and spheres of influence. What prevents now Turkey, Iran and Saudi Arabia to negotiate?
Not only mutual suspicions, ambitions, historical experience and personal qualities of the leaders, but the lack of power, forcing them to the world. No pressure, and a more or less objective moderation – United States this role is not suitable. Primarily because all three countries suspect Washington of unfair play and backroom deals with the enemy. The credibility of the American administration neither in Tehran nor Ankara, nor in Riyadh. Meanwhile, compromise is still necessary, because it is clear that neither the Turks nor the Iranians nor the Saudis certainly don’t want “small” wars (in Syria, Iraq and Yemen) has turned into one big war with their direct participation and on their territory.
Can Russia in the present circumstances to turn into someone who “forces” to the world? Not a mediator, not a blackmailer, but a moderator?
Russia started military action in Syria in Alliance with Iran, before our intervention, the former chief military ally of Damascus, and there is no reason to doubt the strategic nature of Russian-Iranian Alliance, for which Syria is only an additional fastening element. It would seem that this, in itself, deprive Russia of chances to look standing above the fray in the eyes of Saudi Arabia – Moscow fighting with Pro-Saudi rebels in Syria is friends with Iran, which is feared by Riyadh.
But Russia has steadfastly refused to participate in the Shiite-Sunni confrontation, largely, by the way, provoked by external actors and radicals within the region. Moreover, the project “Caliphate” is a threat for the Saudis and the Iranians, and Moscow suggests it is considered a major common problem.
And relations with our neighbour Iran does not rule out Russia’s desire to build good relations with Saudi Arabia, especially since, unlike Americans, we are not going to cover the region with a network of their military bases, to change a political regime or system attack or, conversely, to act as guarantors of the security of a particular country as opposed to another. Yes, Turkey and Saudi Arabia are tied with the Americans in military contracts, but both countries just want to rely on themselves to ensure their own safety. And if the Turks and is now capable of doing that, the Saudis need the us security umbrella is very high.
But the need for this umbrella is primarily because of Saudi-Iranian confrontation, and if relations between the two countries was determined not by the play of external forces and their own interests, even serious religious (including between the two models of the organization of Islamic States), regional and national (between Arabs and Iranians) contradiction is not doomed them to war.
It is clear that establishing normal relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia – it is extremely difficult, but when you find a solution to the Syrian, Iraqi and Yemeni situations it could pass the first test. In the Syrian crisis settlement Russia will play a key role – both diplomatic and military – and its sequence will work on enhancing the reputation of Moscow in the eyes of not only Tehran, but also, oddly, Riyadh. Because the Saudis see fair play – Moscow has handed Assad, Damascus supported all the war and not acting like Americans who first promised the Saudis one thing and then doing another.
As for Turkey, the restoration of Turkish-Russian relations – it’s only a matter of time: an adventure Erdogan is so not primarily responsible to the Turkish interests, as we approach the Syrian settlement, Ankara will try to resolve the issue with an apology for the su-24. Turkey, in principle, can not afford to ignore Russian involvement in the middle East and especially Syrian Affairs.
Russia’s policy to build a new global security system does not imply the replacement of one world leader to another, and its elimination as such. Russia calls for increased independence of national States and regional centers of power, the formation of regional and interregional systems of checks and balances. Not the US withdrawal from the Middle East led to chaos in the region, and their attempt to control everything, direct military intervention, geopolitical dictates and manipulation of the state structure. It is unknown how many years will it take to calm at least part of the mangled, but those are important principles that will form the basis of the approach to the settlement.
Russian military power and Russian diplomacy is at least try to move some things around in the most explosive region of the world in the right direction.Related posts: