Russian leader Vladimir Putin continues to take advantage of President Barack Obama’s weak foreign policy.
His latest plot is a military push to take over American influence in the Middle East. Putin has sent top Russian generals to Baghdad to coordinate a regional power plan between Russian, Iranian, Syrian, and Iraqi militia forces, according to reports from multiple news agencies.
The plan seems to be simple. The four sides will cooperate to push back the ISIS forces Obama has been unable to contain — and use the power vacuum to carve out a huge chunk of this vast territory for themselves.
The move would make Russia and Putin even more influential in the Middle East. And even American allies are starting to back Russia. Israel has set up a joint mechanism with the Russian military to coordinate their operations in Syria and avoid any accidental confrontations, a senior Israel military official said Thursday.
The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of military regulations, said that teams headed by each of the militaries’ deputy chiefs will hold their first meeting in two weeks and will discuss coordination of aerial, naval and electromagnetic operations around Syria.
Russia has backed Syrian ruler Bashar al-Assad’s regime throughout the nation’s civil war, which has killed more than 250,000 people, and has been building up forces there to help Syria in its battle against Islamic militants.
The United States and its allies see Assad as the cause of the Syrian crisis, but Washington has done nothing to stop Moscow from beefing up its presence.
Assad, a long-time nemesis of the United States and a key ally of Iran and Hezbollah, is seeking Russian troops to prevail in the conflict.
Israeli officials believe that Iran has recently sent hundreds of fighters into Syria to help Assad’s beleaguered forces. Hezbollah forces, sent in from neighboring Lebanon, have suffered heavy losses.
With a coordinated front of Russian, Iranian, Iraqi Shitte milita, and Syrian forces against ISIS – and no US response – the Middle East could quickly fall under heavy Russian influence.
The Associated Press contributed to this article