National Security

Strategic Consequence of Soleimani Airstrike Could Mean Possible Split for Russia and Syria

The two nations, though erstwhile allies, now may have conflicting interests.

Image Credit: WikiMedia Commons / The White House

The fallout from last week’s justified American strike against Iranian terrorist bully boy Qassem Soleimani continues to reverberate in the tactical and strategic senses. 

One of the strategic consequences is putting a spanner in the once close relationship between Syria and Russia regarding their roles in the Syrian civil war.

The Syrian military and political leadership has fallen into two factions.

One hates the Iranians and wants a closer relationship with Russia.

The other, and Syrian President Bashar-al-Assad is said to align here, has grown close to the Iranians and was particularly influenced by the current resident of excruciating hellfire and eternal damnation, Qassem Soleimani.

With the likely smoldering in molten sulfur Iranian butcher out of the picture it has brought to the fore a conflict that was heretofore repressed to safeguard other aspects of the shaky civil war alliance.

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The pro-Iranian faction seems to be in the ascendance, at least for now.

U.S. troops who are still stationed in selected parts of Syria are mostly out of the fray. But still in the thick of it is the wily Russian president Vladimir Putin and the mad mullahs of Iran.

Russia has invested time, arms, and lives in Syria trying to convince other nations it still is a global player.

It has succeeded to a point, as Putin has done well using his strategic pair of fives like a straight flush.

However, given its own internal issues in places like Chechnya the Russians have no great inherent love for Islam or Muslim nations. Just the opposite. During the Soviet era the Russians thought of their Arab and Middle Eastern allies as nothing more than expendable pawns.

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Many of the Levantine pawns returned the cynical negative sentiment with knobs on.

Iran is in the region, she has a large, if badly trained and armed, military force, and commands the loyalty of satraps like Hezbollah and other fanatical co-religionists in the area.

These factors make the continued rise of the pro-Iranian faction inside Syria more likely than not.

For the U.S. it is interesting news to digest and plan upon. Thankfully it is not much else.

David Kamioner
meet the author

David Kamioner is a veteran of U.S. Army Intelligence and an honors graduate of the University of Maryland's European Division. He also served with the Pershing Nuclear Brigade and the First Infantry Division. Subsequent to that he worked for two decades as a political consultant, was part of the American Red Cross Hurricane Katrina disaster relief effort in Louisiana, ran a homeless shelter for veterans in Philadelphia, and taught as a college instructor. He serves as a Contributing Editor for LifeZette.

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