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Will we witness cooperation between the US and Russia in Iraq and Syria?

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With Donald Trump as the US new president, relations between Washington and Moscow are at stake. If any rapprochement takes place between the two countries, a new future will be in the offing for both Iraq and Syria.

This all depends on how each of the two super powers considers each other. Moscow as an ally in the fight against the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS) in Syria is likely to explore ways of improving relations.

Nonetheless, the vistas for strategic realignment between Moscow and Washington in the Middle East and North Africa region are and remain woolly.

From a Russian viewpoint, Russia has no intention to replace the USA in the Middle East region. However, the state of instability in the region necessitates further cooperation between both countries to solve the stalemating issues, including terrorism which, after the demise of Da’esh and al-Qa’ida, would turn out a new version of terrorists, a clone of both terrorist factions, who would transform into an even worse version of terrorists.

The vague developments on the ground in Syria and in Iraq, the reactions of regional powers such as Iran, Turkey and the Gulf Cooperation Countries (GCC) will hold back a joint action.

Thus, it is expected that the relationship between Moscow and Washington will be transactional during 2017, waiting for further conflicts or regional wars to erupt to shape up the future relationship between both countries, which will also craft the new image of the Middle East.

What both Russia and the USA are giving due care to is the spread of jihadi militancy from the Middle East to other countries in Asia and Europe which are close in proximity to the focal point of terrorism. Therefore, in the coming few months we would be witnessing  a stretch in military capabilities of both Russia and the USA, including putting more boots on the ground to avoid the retaliatory reaction of terrorist groups towards some American and Russian allies in the region.

Shehab Al Makahleh

Source: RusisWorld

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