An Inevitable Triumvirate: Syria, Russia, and Iran

Iranian troops are converging on Aleppo, Syria’s largest city. (Photo: Michal Unolt / Flickr Commons)

Iranian troops are converging on Aleppo, Syria’s largest city. (Photo: Michal Unolt / Flickr Commons)

Not only has Russia come to the aid of Syria (if you consider the Assad regime Syria) mostly via airstrikes, but now Iran has declared itself all in with Syria. It has sent thousands of troops to Syria to join forces with President Assad in an attempt to take back rebel-held Aleppo, Syria’s biggest city. The Independent reports:

Several Iranian politicians, led by Alaeddin Boroujerdi, the head of the Iranian parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy commission, arrived in Damascus for talks with President Assad and his advisers.

Speaking on Iranian state television as he landed in the Syrian capital, Mr Boroujerdi hailed the impact of the Russian air strikes. “The international coalition led by America has failed in the fight against terrorism. The cooperation between Syria, Iraq, Iran and Russia has been positive and successful,” he said.

More conflict with the United States may be as inevitable as the enduring nature of the alliance. From the Independent again:

Aleppo is divided with the Syrian army, Isis, other Islamists and rebel groups backed by the West all controlling separate enclaves in and around the city. A military push by the Syrian army, which is in control of areas to the east and west of the centre, is almost certain to lead to fighting with Western-backed groups, as well as against Isis operatives.

The depth of the alliance between the three states may well prove to be ongoing. Already Iran has been provided with extra motivation to emerge victorious.

Two leading members of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard were killed in the fighting earlier this week, according to Tasnim, the Iranian news agency. Major General Farshad Hasounizadeh and Brigadier Hamid Mokhtarband died on Monday, but Tasnim did not report where, or how, the two officers had been killed.

The desire to seek retribution for something like that is the kind of thing that can get a state mired in another state’s problems, as the U.S. knows all too well. Russia could also find itself suffering the same fate.