MESOP FORECAST : Russia’s Strategy Runs Into Trouble / Scott Lucas with Joshua Yaffa Analysis

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is meeting US Secretary of State John Kerry again over the Syrian crisis, this time on Friday in Geneva. However, circumstances have changed since the two men last met on July 26. US strategy in Syria has long been in trouble, with a caution and indecision that has led to a near-reliance on Moscow. But now the Russians also have problems I analyzed the situation with Monocle 24’s The Globalist on Friday afternoon, with Monocle correspondent Joshua Yaffa contributing from Moscow.

Listen from 6:02: Both the US and Russia are scrambling, and they are trying to react from positions of weakness rather than strength.That’s not surprising with the Americans — they haven’t known what to do for many, many months. I think it’s more surprising with the Russians.

They had a strategy to try and pen in the rebels and opposition and try to force a capitulation to political terms. But they have suffered three setbacks in recent weeks: 1) the rebels launched a major offensive near Aleppo and inflicted a series of defeats on the Syrian military, Iranian forces, and Hezbollah; 2) Kurds inflicted a defeat on the Syrian military in the northeast in the city of Hasakah; and 3) in the last 72 hours, we’ve had Turkey make its first military intervention in Syria on behalf of Syrian rebels.

These have ripped apart the Russian strategy behind its aerial intervention and bombing of opposition areas. Watch more