The Huffington Post quotes Rafik Hariri Center Resident Fellow Faysal Itani on Russia’s military involvement in Syria:

“The most striking part to me is how few constraints and obstacles Russia sees to escalating a direct military involvement in Syria, effectively involving itself in a proxy war with the United States and its allies,” Faysal Itani, an analyst at the Atlantic Council, said in an email to The Huffington Post.


That Russian interest yields a dividend for Assad. What’s unclear is whether it will potentially challenge Iran’s sizeable role in Syria, Itani said.

“It’s become quite clear that the regime neither can nor wants to hold onto or retake the majority of Syrian territory east of the Homs-Damascus axis. I imagine that Russia shares this strategy, and will be focused on protecting the same parts of Syria as the regime is, especially the northwest which, incidentally, is the location of Russia’s military base. The regime is not really in a position to be dictating strategy past that point,” he wrote. “Iran is though, and it will be interesting to see whether and how Iranian and Russian interests and strategy can be reconciled here.

Read the full article here.

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