Iranian Defense Minister in Moscow to discuss Syria

Iranian Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan arrives in Moscow on February 15th. The program of the visit includes a meeting with Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu. The meeting takes place against the background of a sharp deterioration of the situation in Syria and the direct invasion of the Turkish army.

The Turkish invasion

On February 14th, the Syrian authorities announced the invasion of Turkish military column, which was accompanied by Turkish soldiers and mercenaries in the north of the country. More than 100 military armored vehicles entered the north of the country. Earlier on Saturday 13th February, Turkish troops began shelling Syrian territory in the provinces of Latakia and Aleppo. They bombardment of both civilians and soldiers of the Syrian army and the Kurdish militia fighters.

To salvage ISIS

Currently, soldiers of the Syrian army and Kurdish forces have almost blocked the Syrian-Turkish border. The threat of total isolation of militants supported by the United States, Turkey and the Gulf monarchies forced the US and its allies to go all-in, demanding Russia and Syria stop fighting immediately. Otherwise, pro-American forces threaten to invade northern Syria.
On Saturday, the Syrian command announced that they had begun to advance on the capital of the Islamic state - Raqqa. This statement only spurred the Turks and the Saudis in the preparation of intervention in Syria. Their interests are not only the existence of groups of "moderate" terrorists, but ISIS.

Why are the US and its allies interested in ISIS?

Turkey aims to continue the existing economic cooperation with ISIS via the transportation and sale of oil. On the other hand, ISIS is acting only in the interests of the US and Saudi Arabia, undermining the potential of the main regional enemy - Iran, in Syria and in Iraq. ISIS is a wedge of Sunni radical Islam hammered between pro-Iranian Syria and Iraq, thereby preventing the creation of a full-fledged Shiite axis from the Mediterranean to Afghanistan.

For the United States, ISIS presents no real danger. Rather, it is a threat to the media, which the US and its allies can use to justify their actions in Syria. It is significant that Saudi Arabia, which is suspected of supporting ISIS, justified its invasion of Syria by the need to combat this organization.

The American strategy

The main strategy of the United States since the beginning of the year in Syria was to force Russia, Iran and the Syrian leadership into peace talks with the so-called opposition, to include militants controlled by them in new structures of power, and the ousting of Bashar Assad from the leadership of the country.

Before the start of the peace conference in Munich, Germany, Russia and the United States agreed on a truce for the parties to the conflict, but interpreted it differently. Russia linked the truce to the ability of the opposition and Assad’s government to reach an agreement during the week, with then Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs stating he does not really believe in this prospect. The Russian military bombardment continued as well as the Syrian army's offensive. The Gulf countries have understood the proposal for a truce on their own and demanded that Russia stops fighting. The Saudi Foreign Minister outlined that the main goal of its policy in Syria is to overthrow Bashar al-Assad. The US will continue to press Russia to halt military operations in the coming week.

US Special attention is paid to the Kurdish factor. On the one hand they support the Syrian Kurds and oppose shelling of their positions by the Turks. On the other, Turkish-Kurdish conflict is in the interest of the United States - it provokes Turkey for an invasion of Syria and the subsequent clash with Russia. Ultimately, this will result in the weakening of both regional actors and the strengthening of the role of the United States, including in the territories occupied by Kurds.

The role of the sixth column

To implement its strategy the united States have used not only direct military threat and pressure, but also their agents of influence in Russia and Iran. Their main argument given is the costly military campaign and the possible causalities in case of its aggravation. The US is also trying to divert the enemy forces involved in the war in other conflicts. In Lebanon, actions of Sunni terrorists intensified, diverting a major portion of "Hezbollah" units.

Strengthening Russian-Shiite axis

Under these circumstances, Russia and Iran are forced to intensify their military cooperation. The visit of the Iranian Minister of Defense in Russia is a sign of the strengthening of the Russian-Shia axis. Both sides are interested in the speedy completion of the victorious campaign in northern Syria, and complete coverage of the Turkish-Syrian border.