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The Contrary Perspective

Putin Assad hug Putin Embraces Syria’s Assad

In the final instalment of Richard Silverstein’s exploration of the massive changes going in the Middle East, he looks at just how effective Russia has been in filling the gap left by the United States. – Ed.

Richard Silverstein

The Russia factor

It’s unclear how the Saudis believes he will force a much larger and distant state like Lebanon to submit. He can turn off the spigots and declare a boycott. Indeed, Bahrain, one of the Saudi vassal states, directed its citizens to return from Lebanon and declared a travel ban like the Qatari ban which preceded it.

All this will only strengthen Hezbollah’s hand. It will also serve as a tacit invitation to Iran to play a much larger role in Lebanon. When there is a vacuum, it will be filled.

There is an even larger power looming behind this all: Russia. The stalemate in…

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