Every Cloud has a Silver Lining.
Every cloud has a silver lining, and the Ukraine-Russia war has proven no exception to the rule. Had there not been a major conflict with Ukraine. Russia would be taking a more aggressive position on Israel’s Gaza campaign while at the same time making bellicose noices on the Israel-Syrian border.
Back on September. 30, 2015, Moscow made its first significant engagement in the Middle East in decades. For the time being Russia would prefer to take a back seat over any confrontation with Israel while encouraging Assads Syria and Iran to apply pressure on Israels northern border in the belief that this will undermine the Wests commitment to Ukraine. The outcome meshes the two conflicts together.
This still leaves Putin unsure of his longterm plans for an attack on Israel and has brought the Americans back into the Middle East after being all but absent since Obama in 2015 dismantled U.S. policy for the region.
Things are changing dramatically at a pace that staggers the cautious amongst us. Assad while wholly in the Putin camp juggles his growing dependence on Iran as Russia gets bogged down in Ukraine. Assads interests are often at odds with his other ally Iran. Syria is concerned as Russia seems to struggle to gain the ascendency in Ukraine and watches with growing anxiety as Russia draws down it military in Syria from a high of 60,000 military personnel to some 20,000 today. In the meantime Putin continues to engage in talks with Turkeys President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to secure his cooperation in stabilising the Assad regime while Russia continues the fight in Ukraine.
As one can see there is good and bad news here. However every cloud has a silver lining even in a storm tossed strategic nightmare. All eyes are now on the Israel-Syria-Lebanon border where all parties are converging for a final showdown.