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Russia’s Rise in Mideast Creates Enemies – Yaroslav Trofimov (WSJ via Daily Alert)

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Russia’s Rise in Mideast Creates Enemies – Yaroslav Trofimov
Since entering the Syrian war last year, Russia successfully ended America’s status as the Middle East’s sole superpower, an achievement capped by the fall of Aleppo. As America’s influence has shrunk, Russia has taken the place the U.S. long occupied in the minds of many people in the Middle East: an alien imperialist power seen as waging war on Muslims and Islam. Tens of thousands of protesters converged this month outside Russian missions from Istanbul to Beirut to Kuwait City, where they chanted: “Russia is the enemy of Islam.” The Turkish policeman who gunned down Russian Ambassador Andrey Karlov on Monday shouted that he was avenging the suffering of Aleppo.
“Russia is certainly being perceived as the new bully in the neighborhood,” said Hassan Hassan, a fellow at the Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy in Washington. “You only need to follow how the killer of the Russian ambassador was glorified throughout the region to get an idea of how Russia is despised by the populace today.”  (Wall Street Journal)

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