Relations between the triad dominating most of Syria – Russia, Turkey and Iran – are unstable and have become more so as ISIS succumbed to overwhelming odds against it. Having agreed on a Syrian ceasefire in Kazakhstan, now the cracks in the coalition are showing through.
Last week the Russians asked that the Iranians withdraw from Syria; apart from anything because Teheran is building springboards for attacking Israel from its base areas in Syria. This complicates Russian relations with the United States, which has no intention of pulling back while Iran is expanding into the region.
“No one can force Iran to do anything”, its official spokesman thunders. And since it claims it has no contingents in Syria, obviously there is nothing to withdraw. And even if they had, they were invited in! (I. Subbotin, “Iran otkazalsya ustupat’ Siriyu rossiiskim voiskam”, Nezavisimaya gazeta, 23 May 2018.)