On Monday, less than 24 hours after the U.S. announced a full withdrawal from Northern Syria, Russian-backed Syrian troops were deployed to defend Kurdish territory from the ongoing Turkish assault.
On the same day Russian President Vladimir Putin made a trip to Saudi Arabia to discuss energy and defense cooperation. For decades, Russia has also enjoyed a strong business and diplomatic partnership with Iran – Saudi Arabia’s longtime rival in the region.
Russia has been in the Middle East for decades. But, as the U.S. has abandons alliances and treaties meant to keep a fragile peace, is it – in effect – handing over its role as power broker to Moscow and its designs for the region?
Joining us to talk about Russia’s growing influence in the Middle East is Anton Fedyashin. He’s an associate professor of history at The American University in Washington, DC.