Tag: Bashar Assad

Syria needs new constitution, says Russia’s Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Syria needs to start working on a new constitution as a first step to finding a political solution to its civil war, though he acknowledged the process was likely to be difficult.   Putin, who has thrown Russia’s support behind Syrian President Bashar al-Assad with air strikes, also said in […]

No more ‘red lines’? Chinese, N. Korean aggression tests US response

The White House no longer talks about “red lines,” but it seems more are being crossed every day.   From the Middle East to Asia, U.S. adversaries are taking provocative and aggressive actions, raising concerns they are feeling emboldened – ever since President Obama backed off the threat of military action against Syria’s Bashar Assad. […]

Russia’s plan B for Syria: Alawistan

Russia’s pattern of airstrikes in Syria indicate that it is preparing a “plan B” should the regime fail to restore a central Syrian state and be forced to retreat to a fragment of government-held territory along the Mediterranean.   “A second option [for Russia] is to fall back to the defensible parts of useful Syria […]

Russia’s airstrikes on Syria appear futile with little progress on ground

When Russia launched an air campaign to support Bashar al-Assad, it was banking on a ground force of Syrian troops to finish what its warplanes started.   However, more than 12 weeks later, Syria’s army and the large numbers of Shia militias that back it have made few meaningful gains on the ground. Meanwhile, Moscow’s […]

The battles in N. Syria will determine the fate of the peace process

The US-Russian plan, approved by the UN Security Council as the lever for activating a political process towards ending the five-year Syrian war, can only go so far towards its objectives. The process is not capable of halting the fighting or removing Bashar Assad from power; just the reverse: progress in the talks is heavily dependent on […]

Assad Can Stay, For Now: Kerry Accepts Russian Stance

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Tuesday accepted Russia’s long-standing demand that President Bashar Assad’s future be determined by his own people, as Washington and Moscow edged toward putting aside years of disagreement over how to end Syria’s civil war.   “The United States and our partners are not seeking so-called regime change,” Kerry […]

John Kerry Visits Moscow to Prepare for Talks on Syria

Secretary of State John Kerry pressed ahead on Tuesday in the effort to organize a new round of talks aimed at ending the Syrian civil war that could also align the United States and Russia more closely in strategies for fighting the Islamic State.   After an extended trip to Paris for climate talks, Mr. […]

Putin’s Campaign Against Turkey Hits the High Seas

The nearly month-long feud between Russia and Turkey reached a new battlefield over the weekend: the sea.   A Russian warship fired warning shots at a Turkish fishing boat in the Aegean Sea, ostensibly to avoid a possible collision. The Russian Defense Ministry said the boat came within 1,600 feet of the Smetlivy destroyer, one […]

John Kerry arrives in Moscow for Syria talks

The US secretary of state, John Kerry, has arrived in Moscow for talks aimed at making “real progress” in narrowing differences with Vladimir Putin over how to end the conflict in Syria.   Kerry is seeking to prepare the ground for a third round of talks of world powers on Syria but it was not […]

Syria conflict: Assad says Russia role ‘slowing down IS’

Syria’s president Bashar al-Assad says Russia’s involvement in his country’s war has led to significant changes, including the “shrinking” of the Islamic State (IS) group. Russia launched air strikes in late September in support of Mr Assad, Moscow’s ally. Mr Assad told Czech television that US air strikes on Syria had not slowed IS, but […]