Opinion Putin Has Lost His Handle On Assad

01:40  14 april  2018
01:40  14 april  2018 Source:   dailycaller.com

Turkey, Iran, Russia say will work for stability in Syria

  Turkey, Iran, Russia say will work for stability in Syria <p>Turkey, Iran and Russia pledged on Wednesday to accelerate efforts to bring stability to Syria.</p>A statement by the three countries after a summit meeting in the Turkish capital Ankara said they were determined to "speed up their efforts to ensure calm on the ground" in Syria.

Yet, over time, Russian forces stabilized Assad 's loses and turned the tide in his favor. His reward has been heavy sanctions, resulting in Russia's ruble falling in value, as well as doing financial damage to several of Putin 's closet oligarch friends.

Yet, over time, Russian forces stabilized Assad 's loses and turned the tide in his favor. His reward has been heavy sanctions, resulting in Russia's ruble falling in value, as well as doing financial damage to several of Putin 's closet oligarch friends.

Assad and Putin Getty Images/Mikhail Klimentyev© Provided by The Daily Caller, Inc. Assad and Putin Getty Images/Mikhail Klimentyev

Editor’s note: The opinions in this article are the author’s, as published by our content partner, and do not necessarily represent the views of MSN or Microsoft.

We’ll probably never know exactly why Syrian President Bashar Assad ordered Saturday’s chemical weapons attack on the encircled rebel-held city of Douma with pro-regime forces on the eve of complete military victory.

But this much is certain: Russian President Vladimir Putin is the big loser.

The Russian leader has far outpaced his Soviet predecessors in going to bat for Syria’s Assad regime – including two-and-a-half-years of air strikes against its enemies and use of Russia’s Security Council veto twelve times, in the words of Amnesty International, “to shield the Syrian government from the consequences of war crimes and crimes against humanity.” And yet he can’t seem to get his client to do what he wants when it really counts.

Russia has betrayed obligation to end Syria's chemical weapons program -White House

  Russia has betrayed obligation to end Syria's chemical weapons program -White House The White House on Monday accused Russia of betraying its obligation to end Syria's chemical weapons program in light of a suspected chemical weapons attack over the weekend. White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders told reporters the attack was consistent with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's established pattern of chemical weapons use, and that Russia and Iran also bore responsibility for their material support for the government."It is also now clear that Russia has betrayed its obligations to guarantee the end of the Syrian regime's chemical weapons program," Sanders added.

Meanwhile, Putin has riled Obama with his backing of Syria's Bashar al- Assad , his annexation of There’s no love lost between Vladimir Putin and Barack Obama.

Rather, he quotes them largely to bolster his argument that America should partner with Assad and Putin . Assad still controlled 80 per cent of the Syrian population, but he had lost a vast amount of territory. Ukraine: ‘Ukraine is a serious issue and Obama has been handling it firmly with sanctions.

What Moscow really needs now is an internationally-endorsed political settlement that preserves and rebuilds the Syrian state apparatus, as regional and international buy-in is necessary to finance the country’s estimated $200-300 billion reconstruction tab. Toward this end, it has reached understandings with the rebels’ primary sponsors, Saudi Arabia and Turkey, to ensure that some representation of a Sunni Arab “opposition” will acquiesce to Assad’s continued rule. All Putin needs is for the Assad regime to avoid gratuitous bloodshed and consent to modest constitutional changes.

Time and again, however, Moscow has shown it lacks sufficient leverage over pro-regime forces to compel respect for ceasefires brokered by its own diplomats. Five weeks ago, Russian envoys spent three days haggling over the wording of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2401, which mandated a 30-day cease-fire to allow for humanitarian deliveries and medical evacuations. But Assad’s UN envoy immediately shrugged off the resolution, and his air force persisted with the devastating daily bombardment of rebel-held Eastern Ghouta in suburban Damascus that the Security Council had been working so feverishly to stop. A December 2016 ceasefire negotiated at the highest levels with Russia was scuttled by pro-regime forces on the day it was supposed to go into effect.

Will Trump's angry tweets on Syria precede U.S. missiles?

  Will Trump's angry tweets on Syria precede U.S. missiles? Last year's U.S. strike on Syria didn't deter Assad. Trump may feel obliged to try again, to avoid appearing weak.News Analysis

Assad is a brutal genocidist, but based on his pattern just enough self restraint to retain the Kremlin’s backing, I So why would Putin allow this to happen right now? And the Syrian people would lose , because Assad is the worst thing that’s ever happened to them, and the rebels are their last hope.

Yet, over time, Russian forces stabilized Assad 's loses and turned the tide in his favor. His reward has been heavy sanctions, resulting in Russia's ruble falling in value, as well as doing financial damage to several of Putin 's closet oligarch friends.

It’s no mystery why this happens. With Syria’s military depleted by defections and casualties, pro-regime forces on the ground are today dominated by an estimated 30,000 foreign (mostly Lebanese, Iraqi, Afghani, and Pakistani) Shi’a fighters under the control of Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) commanders. In addition, Iran finances and exerts substantial operational control over many native Syrian militias operating alongside Assad’s military.

Outgoing national Security Advisor Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster’s recent estimation that, all told, Iranian proxies comprise 80 percent of pro-regime forces is probably a bit high, but such lopsidedness is certainly evident among assault forces fighting for the regime. Hundreds of soldiers taking part in the final assault on rebel-held east Aleppo were outnumbered by some 5,000+ foreign Shi’a fighting alongside them. The force that captured the strategic border town on Abu Kamal last October was reportedly composed almost entirely of non-Syrians under IRGC command. Although Assad is appreciative of Russian air power, he owes what’s left of his throne primarily to Iran, not Russia.

Russia warns of 'consequences' for US-led strike on Syria

  Russia warns of 'consequences' for US-led strike on Syria Russia warned the U.S.-led coalition, which struck Syria on Friday response to a suspected chemical attack, of "consequencesRussia on Friday night warned of unspecified "consequences" against a U.S.-led coalition that struck Syria, stoking fears the conflict could escalate.

Yesterday Putin introduced Assad to the military commanders who are most responsible for the stabilization of his country. Syria as a political unit has survived. Saudi Arabia's old guard are imprisoned, impoverished and losing influence around the world by the minute.

“If you don’t help Assad , he’ll lose and then the whole world will say Putin lost .” Putin placed his bet on Assad four years ago, Mirsky said, and he hasn’t wavered since. Now he has become a prisoner to that bet and to a certain honor-bound logic.

While Moscow and Iran share the short-term goal of eliminating insurgent threats to the Assad regime, the latter has wholly different long-term objectives – maintaining proxy control of a contiguous corridor of territory from its border crossings into Iraq to the Golan Heights and the Mediterranean Sea and building a “resistance” infrastructure in Syria for confronting Israel. Since any negotiated political settlement can only serve to constrain its freedom to maintain and expand this infrastructure, Iran is determined to prevent serious peace talks.

Russia’s inability to restrain and extract commitments from its Syrian clients has fatally undercut its otherwise impressive diplomatic efforts to broker a regionally-sanctioned resolution of the Syria conflict. Most major Sunni Arab and Kurdish factions steered clear of Putin’s much-touted “Syrian National Dialogue Conference” at the Black Sea resort of Sochi in January. Somehow Russian Foreign Minister Sergey V. Lavrov still managed to get heckled while addressing the rump assembly of pro-Assad delegates.

For Putin, Assad’s latest chemical weapons attacks couldn’t have come at a worse time — right after President Trump’s abrupt declaration that U.S. troops would be leave Syria “very soon” and “let the other people take care of it” threw U.S. policy into chaos. A harsh reality is surely setting in at the Kremlin: Putin has staked Russia’s claim to be a global power on the fate of a brutal Iranian client regime forever stigmatized by its responsibility for hundreds of thousands of deaths, and over which he cannot exert decisive influence.

Gary C. Gambill is a research fellow at the Middle East Forum.

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.

Russia says Trump invited Putin to U.S. during phone call .
U.S. President Donald Trump invited his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin to the United States during a phone call, and said he would be glad to see Putin in the White House, RIA Novosti reported on Friday, citing the Russian Foreign Ministry. The news agency quoted Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov as saying Trump returned to the subject of an invitation a couple of times during a phone call with Putin. Trump told Putin he would be happy to make a reciprocal visit to Russia, the RIA news agency quoted Lavrov as saying.

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