The Russian proposal comes as the USA effort to train and equip moderate Syrian rebels to fight the Islamic State has gotten nowhere, according to testimony Wednesday by Defense Undersecretary Christine Wormuth before the Senate Armed Services Committee.
From the early days of the crisis when Assad was facing unarmed-protesters in the streets, he said his battle was one against terrorism.
Moreover, with Russia’s renewed involvement in the affairs of Syria, there is a possibility that a post-Assad dispensation is also being studied at the diplomatic level. Instead of fighting IS in small independent units, the US-trained rebels will be embedded with established Kurdish and Arab forces already engaged against IS in northeastern Syria.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said it would not be enough to defeat Islamic State militants only. In his comments he made no mention of reports of Russian military activity in Syria.
Aerial imagery shows Russia is focusing on Bassel al-Assad global Airport, south of Latakia on Syria’s Mediterranean coast, and on the Russian naval facility in Tartus. That is why an emboldened Assad shrugs off calls for sharing power with the opposition at the cost of stepping down.
In the afterglow of the Iran nuclear deal, which was hailed by the Obama administration as the kind of diplomacy that can be achieved when Russian Federation and the United States cooperate, USA must do something – anything! – to counter Russian intervention.
In Sydney, meanwhile, Defence Minister Kevin Andrews said Australian warplanes had carried out their first strike against IS in Syria, destroying an armoured personnel carrier on Monday.