"It is very intriguing to see that the United States is not included," the former senior security policy analyst to the US Secretary of Defense said, referring to the recent negotiations in Astana.
Maloof described the Astana talks as "a beginning" and a "positive step."
"I know that there was a lot of grumbling among the delegates, particularly the opposition, but at least they sat down and they talked," he said. "You have to commend Russia, Iran and Turkey for doing that."
Maloof further suggested that "Moscow is going to want the US involved" in Syria "to eradicate [terrorist groups] from the face of the earth, as Trump would say." The United States "will have a place" in the Syrian peace process, he noted, adding that the trilateral group, comprising Russia, Turkey and Iran has the leading role in this process at the moment.
The analyst maintained that Russia and the United States could join their counterterrorism efforts in Syria.
Maloof also explained why Russia struggled to reach a lasting cooperation agreement on Syria with the Obama administration.
"The Obama administration had a different agenda. They were actively supporting Sunnis and ultimately al-Nusra Front and elements of [Daesh] to basically overthrow [President Bashar al-Assad]. This is not the political reality that we are seeing today. It's clear that Assad has become stronger over time as a result of the Russian participation," he said, adding that the Obama administration had "no alternative strategies" when it became clear that its efforts became "obsolete."
Never miss a story again — sign up to our Telegram channel and we'll keep you up to speed!