Russia, Iran, and Turkey meet and discuss Syria without the United States in Beirut, Lebanon. Leaving the U.S. in an awkward diplomatic position. The U.S. was not invited and the UN wasn’t notified. No official reaction has come from either the White House or the President-elect’s transition team. Although it’s certain, there will be a response of some sort. Russia and Iran’s alliance has been anything but secret and this latest move is a tricky one. But, despite the predicament this makes for the U.S. – it’s a strategic play on Russia’s part capitalizing on the recent assassination of the Russian ambassador to Turkey.
Turkey was no doubt apologetic and concerned about the possible Russian response. Russia has a sophisticated information operations campaign that is constantly working and heard around the world. It’s potent enough to make Turkey probably fear Russian aggression. However, in an altercation Turkey would invoke Article 5 and all of NATO, including the U.S., would come to Turkey’s aid. The very point of Article 5 is to keep Russia at bay.