Assad taking advantage of U.S.-Russia split over Ukraine, observers say

a13-iconThe Washington Post reports: Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is taking advantage of the rift between Russia and the United States over Ukraine to press ahead with plans to crush the rebellion against his rule and secure his reelection for another seven-year term, unencumbered by pressure to compromise with his opponents.

The collapse last month of peace talks in Geneva, jointly sponsored by Russia and the United States, had already eroded the slim prospects that a negotiated settlement to the Syrian war might be possible. With backers of the peace process now at odds over the outcome of the popular uprising in Ukraine, Assad feels newly confident that his efforts to restore his government’s authority won’t be met soon with any significant challenge from the international community, according to analysts and people familiar with the thinking of the regime.

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s defiant response to the toppling of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych has further reinforced Assad’s conviction that he can continue to count on Russia’s unwavering support against the armed rebellion challenging his rule, said Salem Zahran, a Damascus-based journalist and analyst with close ties to the Syrian regime.

“The regime believes the Russians now have a new and stronger reason to keep Assad in power and support him, especially after the experience of Libya, and now Ukraine,” he said. “In addition, the regime believes that any conflict in the world which distracts the attention of the Americans is a factor which eases pressure on Syria.” [Continue reading…]

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

3 thoughts on “Assad taking advantage of U.S.-Russia split over Ukraine, observers say

  1. BillVZ

    As anotherOpEd site said”The bellowing we hear from the United States about “Russia is committing a breach of international law,” or “You just don’t invade a country on phony pretext in order to assert your interest!”, should amuse the world rather than arouse it What amuses me a tad bit more is the ‘New Sources’ That War in Context has begun refereeing to: WaPo, Slate, FP ,Time seems rather a rather narrow source of opinions for a site started to bring “critical intelligence in an arena where political judgment gets repeatedly twisted by blind emotions and ideological inflexibility.”
    I admit I have strong (blind?) political emotions and am pretty inflexible ideologically but they are what move me to speak out when a see the range of recent “News Sources’ being offered ;the Time article and film clip was the proverbial ‘last straw’!
    Yes, of course I am free also to look elsewhere-which I do. ‘Everything changes’….

  2. Paul Woodward

    You should have included the lines immediately preceding the ones you quoted so that readers here could get a full sense of the writer’s gushing admiration for Russia’s president, “The world’s last true statesman”:

    Putin stands out, for his independence of mind, keen intelligence, ability to make decisions, and his readiness to act in proportion to the threat of a situation. In Syria he blunted America’s effort to bomb its government into submission, a la Libya. In Ukraine, he has acted appropriately and without excess, quietly taking steps to secure a region whose population includes a majority of Russians and where Russia has a major naval base and longstanding interests and relationships.

    He goes on to write:

    I am confident in the ability of Mr. Putin to outplay the current crop of uninspired politicians in the West at geopolitical chess, especially where Russia’s vital interests are at stake, and we should all wish him well to prevent anything like Syria or Libya being repeated in Ukraine.

    Outplay? That’s a cute euphemism. I suppose a man who has ruled Russia as president and puppet-master for 14 years can be expected to retain his power for a good deal longer. If he gets “reelected” in 2018, by the end of his second (and fourth) term, he will have been in power for 24 years and at 72, probably in much better shape than Stalin was at that age. President for life? Putin’s certainly heading that way.

    I am just as aware of the hypocrisy of America’s political leaders as any of these commentators who tirelessly point it out as though everyone didn’t already know. Yet to be sickened by American political culture while admiring Russia’s is plain idiocy.

  3. BillVZ

    My posted quote was an introduction to my amusement of the “News Sources”that War in Context has recently been WaPo,Slate,FP,WSJ,Time, as wellas the hacks that often write for them -Kaplan,Krauthammer,Coen-Jennifer Rubin.; iThey are an expression of my opinion of them that has nothing to do with my introductory remark othen that it was just that- an introduction. As you are sometimes wont to do you begin your ” friendly admonition” with a bit of misdirection ‘while ignoring my opinion .
    Source for the ‘News Sources’ mentioned come from your posting and from a timely article-“We’re Just Not That Special” by Andrew J. Bacevich. Who ,by the way, remarks that if the President’s advisors, (to which I add- your readers)look to guidance or real facts for your audience from such sources ” One might as well leaf through the latest Victoria’s Secret catalog for guidance on empowering women.”

    ” Yet to be sickened by American political culture while admiring Russia’s is plain idiocy.” Tn your opinion….here is mine

    To be amused or sickened by the MSM spin on the news while appreciating and learning from other available sources probably is just good sense.

Comments are closed.