Damascus is negotiating with Tehran behind the back of the Kremlin?

Russia was not invited to the meeting of the top military of Iran, Syria and Iraq.

On Monday, a meeting was held between the Chief of the General Staff of Iraq, Usman Al-Ghanimi, the Chief of the General Staff of Iran, Muhammad Backeri, and the Minister of Defense of Syria, Ali Ayuyb. The military gathered in Damascus to solve the problems of unstable countries in the region, or to be more precise, the main topic of discussion was Iraq and Syria, which are just such countries. According to official statements of the negotiators, the process of combating terrorism will be discussed first. That’s all. No more clarifications. Unless it became aware of the strong agreement of the parties on the need for the withdrawal of foreign military forces from Syria, who did not coordinate their presence with Damascus. Somehow dry for a meeting of this magnitude.


In fact, this is a rather important event. Important for Iran. During the years of the war in Syria, Tehran made great efforts to preserve its loyal regime. The Persians were the first to finance Assad, were the first in the process of the defense of Damascus-controlled settlements, and so on. They were the first in almost everything. It was expensive, but it was done for a reason.


In the future, for Iran, Syria could become a path to economic prosperity. First, Syria, stable and loyal to Iran, will be the most convenient way to transport all kinds of cargo from Asia to Europe. By the way, now the Persians almost achieved from Assad an almost royalty-free transfer of the Latakian container port. Now the manager is the French company CMA CGM, but by the end of the year the Iranians will be in control here. This, of course, if they do not interfere, but so far there are no visible obstacles. So the meeting in Damascus is probably somehow connected with this event – after all, without the military, capable of ensuring the security of individual areas of the warring SAR, any economic projects are meaningless. On the whole, lately, Tehran has been trying to maximize its Syrian success, and now non-military projects are actively being used – construction, ports, the energy sector, job creation, and so on.


In Iraq, Tehran is trying to do roughly the same thing. Here, besides the locals, nobody is as active. Even the Americans with their fantastic plans are far behind, although they also played an important role in the victory over the Islamic state in this Arab country. But Washington didn’t manage to build on the success of its victories – mired in confusion when the Iraqi Kurds and Baghdad began to find out who owns what. But the Persians managed to attract to their side almost all the local Shiites, who, as we know, make up the majority in Iraq (about 60%.). Paradoxically, even Shiite groups opposing each other inside Iraq sympathize with Iran. Somehow, Tehran, by supporting both those, and others, escaped accusations of double play and the like. At the same time, even with the Kurds – that the Syrians, that the Iraqis – the Persians have an acceptable relationship. Well, Persian diplomats were famous at all times for their ability to achieve the desired goals.


And it seems that this meeting in Damascus is a continuation of this policy and even, perhaps, partly the triumph of Tehran. At the meeting there was no Russian military, although it would seem, what kind of security in Syria can we talk about without them? But it seems the Persians let us all know that Syria and Iraq are in their hands. Perhaps it is so, but it would be foolish not to admit that  Iran is obliged to Russia at least 50% of their triumph, thanks to which the Shiites and all other pro-Assad forces finally began to win. Just before they didn’t have a chance against ISIS.


This meeting does not arouse any particular concerns, but the fact that representatives of Iraq were present was somewhat alarming. The event was not coordinated with the Russian side, but a few weeks ago, representatives of the Syrian side reported on such plans. According to information available to our sources, the meeting was devoted to discussing the actions of Americans in Syria and Iraq. Particular attention was paid to the transfer of igilovtsev from Syria to Iraq and other countries. This seems to be the main reason for the presence of Baghdad in Damascus.


Russian orientalist and political scientist Oleg Gushchin believes that Iran and Russia to some extent oppose each other in Syria. This is a struggle for influence, and it is, of course, logical in all such cases. And this Damascus meeting may well be a manifestation of this competition. Everyone, no matter how ally he is to another, pursues his own goals, and when reasonable people are in power, they do it with even greater zeal. For Russia, the main thing now is to stabilize Syria and achieve the possibility of withdrawing from there foreign forces, including Iranian ones. This will not be easy. Perhaps it is the access to the Mediterranean which will be one of the effective proposals.