The regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad had been getting weaker over the summer, and we were on the cusp of a profound reorganization of the balance of power in the Levant. The regime had suffered serious losses, both in terms of battles and key strategic holdings, both to ISIS in the east and central Syria, and to Western-backed rebel groups in the south and the north-west.
If Russia is seen to engage directly to aid the Assad government, it is highly unlikely that Syrian rebel forces could be persuaded to come back to the negotiating table.Dr. Azeem Ibrahim
What chance of negotiation?
Putin’s land grab
Putin has made another land grab, and has put the Western allies in a position where they cannot themselves respond without risking escalating the conflict.Dr. Azeem Ibrahim