Russian anti-aircraft missile battery (file)
Russian anti-aircraft missile battery (file)Reuters

Retired Lebanese General Walid al-Zaitouni told the semi-official Iranian Fars News Agency on Saturday that the growing Iranian and Russian alliance is creating a new "hegemony" in the Middle East, and has effectively ended American influence in the region.

The Lebanese military analyst opined to the Iranian paper that the growing military involvement of Moscow and Tehran in the internecine civil war in Syria, where the two are propping up the autocratic leader Bashar al-Assad, is challenging "US hegemony in the world."

"In the current stage that Russia has strengthened and Iran has also grown stronger militarily and economically, cooperation between Russia and Iran is considered as a serious threat to the US plots and hegemony," said al-Zaitouni.

"The US has not been able to fully implement its plots in Syria in the past 5 years and it cannot now witness Iran and Russia foil its plots in the region and therefore, it is after creating rift between the two main regional powers at any costs," he said, apparently accusing the US of trying to somehow sow discord between Iran and Russia.

But al-Zaitouni "underlined the US failure in its new tricks," according to Fars, and said the "era of a unipolar world is over."

Russia's recently growing role in the fighting in Syria has not been without its mishaps. One of Moscow's fighter jets was shot down by Turkey last week near the Syrian border, leading to a serious fallout between the two nations that on Saturday included Russia sanctioning Ankara.

President Vladimir Putin also last week dispatched the advanced S-400 anti-aircraft missile system to a Russian army base in the western Syrian city of Latakia, in a move that American officials responded to by expressing serious concern.

The advanced system is capable of shooting down planes within a 250 mile range, posing a serious threat to air activity in the entire region.