BEIRUT, LEBANON (10:00 P.M.) – With all eyes on Iran’s presence at the Albukamal crossing in eastern Syria, one could forget about the Russian military’s deployment to the area along the Iraqi border.
The military expert and former high-ranking officer in the Syrian Arab Army, Major General Mohammad Abbas, revealed in an interview who benefits from the reopening of the Albukamal Crossing and why the U.S. opposes this.
“The United States seeks to achieve its strategic goals of making Russia a landlocked country and not allowing it to cross the Black Sea, the Dardanelles and the Bosphorus, and to prevent it from warm water,” Abbas said during a telephone interview.
In particular, the former army commander said that Russia will now have a land route that stretches from the Black Sea to the Mediterranean region; this will allow Russia to maintain its influence over a great deal of territory.
However, Abbas believes the U.S. is still focused on preventing the Russians and Iranians from exerting their influence over these.
“The United States is engaged in a global war that focuses on Moscow, Beijing, Tehran, Baghdad, Beirut, and the Mediterranean,” he said, pointing out that the U.S. is focused Syria’s Al-Tanf and Albukamal, which he said “could be the most sensitive strategic dividing line at the core of the struggle.”
He pointed out that the United States is still counting on its alternative forces located in the Rukban Camp, which is located in the Al-Tanf region, and also on the presence of other alternative forces for them, including the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).
He said that the United States has failed to pressure the Iraqi leadership to give up its aims to reopen the Albukamal/Al-Qa’im border crossing, despite the fact it will allow the passage of goods to sanctioned Syria.
Concerning the Al-Qai’m-Albukamal Crossing’s safety, Abbas said, the area is safe, despite U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s claims that the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL/IS/Daesh) is regrouping in eastern Syria.
He did point out that there have been Islamic State attacks in Syria’s Al-Sukhnah and Iraq’s Al-Anbar, but with the arrival of reinforcements and the Syrian Army’s successful military operation in the Deir Ezzor desert, this threat has become limited to central Syria and some parts of western Iraq.