Andrej Kreutz raised a poignant question in his book from 2007, "Russia in the Middle East: Friend or Foe," well before the Syrian civil war erupted in 2011. Even though Russia has been an important player in the Middle East since the Cold War era, its influence in the region has burgeoned since Syrian President Bashar Assad invited Moscow into the Syrian civil war in 2015.
Çankaya Palace in Ankara was home to a historic trilateral summit on Monday. The presidents of Turkey, Russia and Iran met for the fifth time in two years to discuss the situation in Idlib, refugees, the most recent developments in northeastern Syria and the proposed constitutional committee.
An important meeting was held between the leaders of Turkey, Iran and Russia in Ankara on Sept. 16. The three actors' positions were close in the last trilateral meeting. The leaders of the three countries agreed on the structure of the constitutional commission and reiterated their commitment to the territorial integrity of Syria. They also supported the idea of reducing the tensions in Idlib province.
Six years ago this week the Bashar Assad regime used chemical weapons against civilians in Ghouta. More than 1,400 people lost their lives and thousands were injured by the most well documented chemical weapons attack in human history..
Syria's northeastern city of Idlib, a rebel-controlled enclave, has seen indiscriminate bombardment by the Syrian regime and Russian forces in the last few weeks. The humanitarian catastrophe is affecting civilians, mostly in the Idlib area.