This research analyzes the implications US and Russian involvement has had as two great powers in the Syrian civil war for international relations in the Middle East as well as for the relations between Washington and Moscow. Using a structural realist approach, this study suggests that the actions of both the US and Russia have mostly been defined by geopolitical status-quo concerns. As a result, they have preferred that their great power play be contained in Syria. As key findings, this study puts forward that the US-Russia showdown in Syria has prolonged the destruction and shaken US alliances in the region while allowing Iran as a key US adversary in the region to extend its influence deep into the region under cover of Russia. Furthermore, contrary to their broader escalatory security policies, Russia and the US have adopted containment approaches and avoided direct confrontation using Cold War tools.