Does Iran benefit if Russia moves units from Syria? - analysis


Staff member
Does Iran benefit if Russia moves units from Syria? - analysis
Does Iran really want to “own” a broken Syria, or merely to use it?
Published: MAY 9, 2022

Reports this week say that Russia is transferring units from Syria to aid its efforts in Ukraine. Claims that Iran might benefit from this by somehow moving its units, or partner forces, to backfill areas the Russians are leaving would appear to underline Iranian benefits from Russia’s movements. But it is not entirely clear if Iran can move units into areas the Russians are leaving, or if the Russians really are moving units out at all, or merely rotating units around.

Another possibility is that reports Russia is moving units is leaked information designed to make it look like it is failing in Ukraine, or to cause other informational chaos regarding Syria and Iran. Even if Moscow is moving out of areas in Syria, this may not benefit Iran because while Tehran prefers to use Syria as a launchpad for its threats, it prefers to hide behind the Russian role there, which had conferred some supposed legitimacy and security for the Syrian regime. With less Russia in Syria, Iran could be more exposed, even if it takes short-term advantage.