When Russia will have to take on ISIS in Syria: The BBC
The Kremlin’s military strategy for the Middle East is being driven by Russia’s growing economic dependence on oil.
But it is also a balancing act.
As Russia’s military buildup in the Middle Sea escalates, the United States is expected to use its influence to press Russia to curb its military buildup.
That would force Russia to take a harder line.
For years, Russia has relied on military support from the United Nations and other international actors to deter the West from pursuing its interests in the region.
Now, that support may be drying up.
The new alliance, which is likely to include Iran, has also shown an appetite for expanding its military capabilities in the face of Western sanctions and the rise of Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) in Iraq and Syria.
And there is growing concern in Moscow that if the United State does not take a tougher stance against IS, Moscow may have to seek its own partners in the fight.
Russia’s economic dependence On Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed an agreement with the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Bahrain that will see the oil-rich Persian Gulf states help Moscow defend itself against threats from Islamic State and other militants.
The agreement, which the Russian foreign ministry said was in the “final stages” of finalization, was signed on Friday, with Putin in a meeting with the Emiratis, Qataris and Bahraini leaders.
The United Arab Emirates, which have been at odds with Moscow over its military involvement in the Syrian conflict, have been seeking to bolster their military ties with Moscow as they face a series of challenges.
In addition to backing the Emirati military in Syria, the UAE and Bahrain have also been working on a deal to help Russia fight Islamic State in Afghanistan.
Russia has also been building up its military presence in Syria.
In August, Russian troops and military equipment were seen patrolling the skies over the Syrian city of Raqqa in support of the Syrian government, a development that was first reported by The Associated Press.
Russia recently announced it would send more troops into Syria, expanding its role in the war.
“It’s a continuation of the Russian effort to be part of the solution in Syria,” said Vladimir Markin, director of the Moscow Center for Strategic Studies.
“We’re now trying to help the Syrian people, and we’re helping them with the air force, the navy, the air defense, the ground forces.
And it’s in line with the Russia-Iranian strategic partnership.”
The new coalition Russia hopes to bolster with its new ally, Iran, is also expanding its air defense capabilities in Syria and is working to strengthen its military and logistics networks.
Russia, Iran and Turkey already have a long-term strategic partnership.
Russia is Iran’s largest trading partner and has close economic and military ties.
Iran has also become an important partner for Russia in its efforts to push back against IS in Iraq.
The Syrian conflict “is a major threat to Russia and to the entire Middle East,” said Sergei Ivanov, an expert on Russia’s security affairs at the Center for Research and Analysis of Strategies and Technologies in Moscow.
Russia’s expansion into the Middle”
The threat of this is greater than the threat of ISIS.”
Russia’s expansion into the Middle