Moscow does not want to escalate confrontation with the West over Syria beyond the current level without what it sees as good reason. In general, Russia’s behavior in the Middle East has been largely defensive, with only isolated and mostly inept attempts to inflict harm on the West.
The recent nuclear agreement with Iran will likely have far-reaching effects on conflicts across the Middle East, particularly the war in Yemen.
Although Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika has dismissed several top generals, the state's security apparatus remains unshaken.
Despite recent diplomatic efforts to end the Syrian conflict, the Assad regime continues to be buttressed by its Russian and Iranian allies.
The world powers agree that the Islamic State must be defeated, even though they disagree on how to do it. In spite of Washington’s anger with Russian activism in Syria, a degree of coordination is advisable.
The killing of several Mexican tourists has raised questions about the military aid Egypt receives from the United States.
To the Kremlin, Assad is not the source of the problem in Syria—he is actually the way to solve it.
The fact that the Kremlin has stepped up its military assistance to Syria demonstrates that Moscow has no intention of withdrawing its support from Assad.
U.S. and Turkish relations continue to be tested by both the fight against the self-proclaimed Islamic State and the Kurdish question.
Syria and the Middle East have been war-torn for the past four years, yet the European migrant crisis has only reached breaking point in recent months.