Ignoring Russia: The Impact of the US-Led Coalition Strike against Pro-Russian Forces in Syria

On June 6, 2017, the US-led coalition again attacked the Syrian government forces in At-Tanf. The first attack was carried out on May 18 in the same area. Moscow called the coalition's strike an aggressive act, which violates the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria. Valdai Club expert Maxim Suchkov believes that by such actions the US increases the pressure both on the Syrian President Bashar Assad and on Iran, ignoring Russia, and to the detriment of potential cooperation with Moscow in Syria.

"This is the second major attack of US-led coalition forces during the Trump's presidency," Maxim Suchkov, editor of Al-Monitor, said in an interview with www.valdaiclub.com. "The US military leadership announced about the attacks after the strikes, assuring, however, that it warned about the attacks in advance".

The problem is that the attacks were carried out in the de-escalation zone, which, according to the expert, "undermines the Russian initiative, which Washington supported verbally during the last telephone conversation between Putin and Trump."

According to Suchkov, the United States is thus increasing the pressure both on Bashar Assad and on Iran, almost throughout the whole regional front. Unfortunately for the speed and quality of the Syrian conflict settlement, they do so ignoring Russia, to the detriment of the potential cooperation with Moscow in Syria.

It is noteworthy that the coalition strikes occurred on the background of reports about closed-door contacts between Russia and the United States on the formation of a security zone in southern Syria. "If the attacks were not coordinated with Moscow, they could complicate further consultations. There is an opinion that they were carried out with the aim to press on Russia, including this issue. In any case, it seems that this is a step backwards, "Maxim Suchkov concluded.

Views expressed are of individual Members and Contributors, rather than the Club's, unless explicitly stated otherwise.