American forces conducted a missile strike in Syria against the Bashar al-Assad regime on April 6, 2017.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime is neither sovereign nor a viable U.S. partner against ISIS and al-Qaeda. Russia and Iran have penetrated the Syrian Arab Army’s command-and-control authorities at all levels and propped up the force by providing the bulk of its offensive combat power. The pro-regime coalition cannot secure all of Syria and primarily serves as a vehicle for Moscow and Tehran’s regional power projection.
The U.S. cannot drive a wedge between Russia and Iran in the near term. Tehran and Moscow share regional and global interests across the Middle East, North Africa, Caucasus, and Central Asia. Their common interests and overarching objective of expelling the U.S. from the Middle East will likely bind Iran and Russia together into an enduring partnership.
Iranian military cooperation with Russia in Syria is dramatically increasing Tehran’s ability to plan and conduct complex conventional operations.
As participants head to Baghdad for this week’s Arab League Summit, the Institute for the Study of War takes stock of the opportunities and challenges for Arab leaders at the conference.
On October 11, 2011 the Department of Justice revealed that U.S. authorities had foiled a plot by Iran's Qods Force to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the United States in a potential mass-casualty attack in Washington, DC.