The United States will unlikely deliver new strikes on Syria due to restricted capabilities, Russian experts said following a scientific conference on the Middle East organized by the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies (RISS).
"Experts have assessed technical and tactical nuances of the US strike on Shayrat air base on April 7, 2017, underlining that further capabilities are rather limited for US military operation in Syria. At present, new strikes are highly improbable," the experts said in the document available by TASS.
The conference pointed out that "the US activity in Syria pursues a goal to weaken Iran’s regional positions."
"The first months of Donald Trump’s US presidency produce conclusions that the US policy in the Middle East is being taken shape, as an anti-Iran camp is being gradually formed uniting Israel, Egypt, Jordan and Arab monarchies of the Persian Gulf," the document said.
Experts expressed their concern over Turkey’s inconsistent regional policy.
"In this regard, the stance of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who supported the US strike on Syria, is very illustrative," the document reads.
Russian experts believe that "the victory at Turkey’s recent referendum on constitutional amendments will enable Erdogan to concentrate executive powers in his own hands. This might lead to surprising steps by Ankara and could damage the negotiations in Astana."
Fight against Islamic State
The Russian Institute for Strategic Studies said that the conference focused on possible scenarios of how the Islamic State terrorist group (outlawed in Russia) might transform and what militants’ possible routes to other countries could go within the region and outside its boundaries, provided they eventually surrender their strongholds in Syria and Iraq.
In conclusion, the experts said that uncertainty about prospects for the Syrian conflict and the future of Syria’s territorial integrity remain in place.
Taking part in the conference were RISS leading experts, lawmakers of the State Duma (upper house of parliament) International Affairs Committee, experts from the Oriental Studies Institute at the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Russian International Affairs Council, the Primakov Institute of World Economy and International Relations, the Higher School of Economics, Moscow State University’s Asian and African Studies Institute and other institutions.