Former Trump diplomat warns of rising Russian influence in the Middle East

On Friday Russia is aggressively competing to replace American interests in the Middle East in a way not seen since the 1973 Arab-Israeli “October War,” the former US envoy to Syria under President Donald Trump warned.

James F. Jeffrey, now chairman of the Middle East Program at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, said during a media briefing that Moscow’s interests in the region are not restricted to Syria or working with Iran, but extend to forging alliances with regional players such as Turkey and Iraq.

He added that Russia is leveraging the approach of the new US administration to Iran in its efforts to build stronger alliances.