The Middle East is of strategic importance to the world, particularly because of its supply of oil. Many analysts believe that the US’s plan is to prolong and intensify the ongoing conflict between two major regional foes, Saudi Arabia and Iran, in order to make accessibility to the region risky for Russia and energy starved China, both of which are trying to reshape the current global order that is led and dominated by the US.
On the otherhand, many other analysts believe that it is Russia, not the US, which wants to engineer such a conflict between Saudi Arabia and Iran, and then get the US embroiled into it and drive up the cost of oil, benefitting Russia that is suffering from the lower global oil price.
The US-led Western alliance, the Saudi-led Sunni alliance and the broader coalition between these two alliances are at one side of the Syrian conflict; the other coalition involves Assad regime, Iraqi regime, Iran and Russia. Although two major powers – Russia and the US – are involved in this conflict, a Russia-US direct confrontation is unlikely.