After eight years of war, Syria is mostly under Bashar Assad’s control once again. Russia, which joined the war in 2015 as one of Assad’s major supporters, must now consider its future involvement in Syria and its relationship with Assad’s other main backer, Iran. Moscow and Tehran have cooperated thus far, but Russia’s vision for a post-war Syria likely doesn’t include a strong Iranian presence. So what does the future hold for relations between the two countries as their need to work together fades? And how will Russia handle the other major players in Syria now that the war is largely over?
How We Got Here
Before considering what lies ahead, we have to examine how we got here. Russia and Iran cooperated in Syria to achieve a common objective: keeping Assad in power. But in supporting the Syrian regime, they had very different motivations. Russia wanted to distract from its underwhelming performance in Ukraine and its challenging economic situation at home. It also wa
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