The Obama administration and European and Arab allies are seeking to peel Russia away from its alliance with the Iranian regime, a partnership that has bolstered Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, the Wall Street Journal reports quoting senior U.S. diplomats involved in efforts to end Syria’s conflict.
“The efforts, which have unfolded quietly through meetings involving Russian President Vladimir Putin and Middle Eastern leaders, are meant to coax support from Moscow for a limit on Mr. Assad’s time in power. Such a step would solidify an emerging international coalition and help clear the way for a more concerted military effort to counter Islamic State in Syria and Iraq,” the report says.
The Iranian regime that wants the Kremlin to support its pro-Assad position is seen as a brake on those efforts.
A senior U.S. official on Tuesday said Washington has seen “increased tensions between Russia and Iran over the question of the future of Syria,” the journal reported.
U.S. and European officials also said they believe the Iranian regime’s Revolutionary Guard Corps, has withdrawn some troops from Syria in recent weeks, because of a strain on its resources.
The IRGC has ramped up its military presence in Syria since September, in coordination with Russia’s airstrikes on rebel militias. A number of senior IRGC officers have been killed in Syria in recent months.
Source: NCRI website: http://www.ncr-iran.org/en/news/iran-world/19526-u-s-eyes-split-in-russia-iran-partnership-in-syria