by Brandon Turbeville
May 21, 2018
Ever since the Israeli-Syrian skirmish (falsely reported as an
Israeli-Iranian clash in Syria by the mainstream press), questions
have been circulating about what this means for Syria, Israel, Iran
and the region, even the rest of the world.
retaliation by Syria all that was needed to finally make
Israel understand that there might be consequences for its
Is this the
beginning of a wider war between the two?
What will be the
response of the United States?
The response of
While a full-on military
conflict between Syria and Israel did not happen in the hours after
the missiles ceased firing, it was announced by the Russians that
Russia would not be sending its famed
S-300s to Syria.
This was despite a
warning by the Russians earlier that the previous U.S. missile
strikes against Syria removed all "moral hurdles" previously in
Russia's way to do so.
The new Russian
announcement seemed to coincide with a trip to Russia made by
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who has been
campaigning against a transfer of those air defense missile systems
for quite some time.
As a result, many have
been wondering whether or not Russia is going back on its support of
Syria or if it is becoming infected with the virus that has made the
United States exist in a symbiotic relationship with Israel.
Indeed, this one
announcement is leading many to question Russia's entire
relationship with Israel.
There are several questions surrounding the announcement that the
Russians would not be sending Syria its S-300 air defense missile
Among those questions are,
"Why did the Russians
decide not to do so? Do the Syrians already have the missiles?
Does the truth lie somewhere in between?"
First, it is
important to look at the announcement itself.
media has been uniform in its suggestion that Israeli lobbying has
prevailed upon the Russian government not to provide the missiles to
For instance, in
the Reuters article, "Russia,
after Netanyahu visit, backs off Syria S-300 missile supplies,"
by Andrew Osborn, writes,
Russia is not
in talks with the Syrian government about supplying advanced
S-300 ground-to-air missiles and does not think they are needed,
the Izvestia daily cited a top Kremlin aide as saying on Friday,
in an apparent U-turn by Moscow.
The comments, by Vladimir Kozhin, an aide to President Vladimir
Putin who oversees Russian military assistance to other
countries, follow a visit to Moscow by Israeli Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu this week, who has been lobbying Putin hard
not to transfer the missiles.
Russia last month hinted it would supply the weapons to
President Bashar al-Assad, over Israeli objections, after
Western military strikes on Syria.
Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the strikes had removed any moral obligation Russia
had to withhold the missiles and Russia's Kommersant daily cited
unnamed military sources as saying deliveries might begin
But Kozhin's comments, released so soon after Netanyahu's Moscow
talks with Putin, suggest the Israeli leader's lobbying efforts
have, for the time being, paid off.
"For now, we're not talking about any deliveries of new modern
(air defense) systems," Izvestia cited Kozhin as saying when
asked about the possibility of supplying Syria with S-300s.
The Syrian military already had "everything it needed," Kozhin
The Kremlin played down the idea that it had performed a U-turn
on the missile question or that any decision was linked to
"Deliveries (of the S-300s) were never announced as such,"
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on a conference
call, when asked about the matter.
"But we did say after the (Western) strikes (on Syria) that of
course Russia reserved the right to do anything it considered
The possibility of missile supplies to Assad along with its
military foray into Syria itself has helped Moscow boost its
Middle East clout, with Putin hosting everyone from Netanyahu to
the presidents of Turkey and Iran and the Saudi king.
Israel has made repeated efforts to persuade Moscow not to sell
the S-300s to Syria, as it fears this would hinder its aerial
capabilities against arms shipments to Iranian-backed Lebanese
group Hezbollah. Israel has carried out scores of air strikes
against suspected shipments.
On Thursday, Israel said it had attacked nearly all of Iran's
military infrastructure in Syria after Iranian forces fired
rockets at Israeli-held territory.
S-300s could have
significantly complicated the Israeli strikes.
For its part, Israel seems happy to boast that its lobbying efforts
have paid off.
"I see here another manifestation of mutual respect,
which our countries have toward each other, and also adherence to
the principle of accounting for [the partner's] interests,"
said Israeli Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz.
"Iran's presence in Syria poses threats to Israel and is a source of
instability both in Syria and in the Middle East. The solution to
this problem would be driving Iran out of Syria and restoring
stability in the region… Israel will continue its activity aimed at
ensuring its security and preventing Iranian presence in Syria," he
But Russian spokesman
Dmitry Peskov said that it was unfair to link
the announcement to Netanyahu's visit because the announcement,
according to him, was made prior to the visit.
statements in question were indeed made two days after Netanyahu
appeared at the Kremlin.
"We never announced these deliveries as such.
However, we said that
after the strikes [by the US, France and the UK on Syria], Russia
reserves the right to do whatever it deems necessary,"
Regardless, the Israelis have been arguing against the Russian
provision of S-300s to Syria for years.
Clearly, the implication in Russia's public statements are that
Russia has not provided Syria with S-300 missile systems. However,
in April, Syrian Ambassador to Russia, Riyad Haddad, stated that the
Russians had indeed delivered S-300s to Syria in March.
statements were denied by the Russian military and a diplomatic
In 2013, the President of Syria himself, Bashar al-Assad,
told Lebanese television station, al-Manar TV, that Syria had
received S-300 missile systems.
"Syria has got the first batch of Russian S-300 missiles... The
rest of the shipment will arrive soon," President Bashar al-Assad
The truth is that
no one really knows for sure...
Syria has stated
publicly that it does. Russia, however, has repeatedly stated that
it does not.
There are thus a number of possibilities to consider here.
possibility is that Syria has not received S-300 missiles from
Russia and is attempting to ward off Israeli temptations to launch
airstrikes inside Syria to destroy those systems.
possibility is that Syria has received the S-300s or at least
partially received them but Russia is holding back further
deliveries for one reason or other.
A third possibility is that
Syria does have S-300s but the Russian government wants to keep it
under wraps so as not to inflame tensions in the region or tempt
Israel further into "acting now" before Syria can effectively end
Israel's ability to conduct strikes.
Israel has long launched
individual strikes into Syrian territory not only for the purpose of
inflicting damage and aiding terrorists but also to get Syria to
light up its air defense systems so that, when the time comes,
Israel will be able to eliminate those systems before launching a
much more massive bombing campaign.
It is possible that the
possession of these weapons are being kept secret now so that, if a
massive air campaign were to take place (via Israel or the US), the
S 300s will be able to light up and demonstrate their capabilities
with the element all at once with the element of surprise.
Lastly, it should be considered a possibility that S-300s are
already in Syria but not manned by Syrians.
Given that these systems
are so effective, it could be that the Russians are manning these
weapons either on Russian bases or elsewhere in the country so as to
avoid premature launches and/or the possibility of downing Israeli
or American planes before absolutely necessary and risking a wider
Indeed, we know that S-300s are present in Syria under the
control of Russian forces at least on
the soil of the Russian base in Tartus.
A mysterious delivery of some type of hardware or material in
April (notably around the time that the Syrian Ambassador suggested
S-300s had been delivered) which involved unloading several cargo
ships under the cover a gas that masked the unloading process and
prevented satellite surveillance lends credence to the idea that
S-300s are indeed present in Syria at a greater level than what has
been publicly admitted by the Russians.
Russia's Relationship With Israel
- Adversary, Sell-out, or
The question over Russia's relationship with Israel and the
influence the Israeli lobby has over the Russian government is
perhaps the most controversial aspect of this entire affair,
particularly in the alternative media where some claim that Putin is
a secret warrior against Zionism and Israel and master of 5d chess,
others claiming Putin has sold Syria down the river, and others
still maintaining that Putin is merely pragmatist.
Andrew Korybko seems to believe that Putin is
secretly attempting to force Syria to compromise to "federalization"
and the weakening of the governmental structure in order to avoid a
regional or possibly world war.
As he writes in his article, "Could
it Be any Clearer? Russia is 'Urging' Syria to 'Compromise' Now!"
for Eurasia Future,
Putin-Netanyahu Summit on Victory Day really did change
everything, and Russia is no longer shy about showing the world
its desire to "balance" "Israel" and Iran in Syria.
It couldn't get any clearer - Russia is without a doubt "urging"
Syria to "compromise" on a so-called "political solution" to its
long-running crisis, and to do so as soon as possible in order
to avoid a larger Mideast war.
Putin-Netanyahu Summit that took place a couple of days ago in
Moscow on Victory Day was bookended by two back-to-back
"Israeli" bombings of Syria within a 24 hour period, all of
which was followed by
Russia reportedly declining to sell S-300s to Syria.
no other way to analyze this than to see it for what it truly
is, which is Russia utilizing various means to "urge" Syria to
"compromise" on its hitherto recalcitrant position in refusing
to make tangible progress in adapting the
2017 Russian-written "draft constitution" for
"decentralization" (and possibly even "federalization")
and "complying" with Moscow and others' "request" that it
initiate the "phased withdrawal" of Iran's elite Islamic
Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and their Hezbollah allies from
the Arab Republic.
or Scenario Fulfillment?
The suddenness with which Russia moved may have caught many
Alt-Media observers by surprise, but that's only because many of
brainwashed by the community's dogma that Russia is
and supposedly on some kind of "anti-Zionist crusade", which it
Instead, Russia and "Israel" are veritably
allies and the events of the past couple of days prove it.
said, just because Russian foreign policy seems (key word) to be
"pro-'Israeli'" doesn't in and of itself make it "anti-Iranian",
at least not how Moscow conceives of it.
Rather, Moscow believes
that it's fulfilling its grand geostrategic ambition to become
the supreme "balancing" force in 21st-century Eurasia, to which
end it's playing the
globally irreplaceable role of preventing the current
"Israeli"-Iranian proxy war in Syria from evolving into a
full-fledged conventional one all throughout the Mideast.
The contradiction between Syria's "maximalist" approach in
wanting to liberate "every inch" of its territory (which is its
sovereign and legal right) and Russia's "pragmatic" one in
recognizing the impossibility of this reality and declining to
get militarily involved in advancing these plans (which would
correspondingly include forcibly removing NATO members Turkey
and the US from the Arab Republic) have led to a "strategic
dilemma" between the two partners whereby Damascus is intent on
dragging its feet and procrastinating in order to avoid the
political ("new constitution") and military ("phased withdrawal"
of the IRGC and Hezbollah) "compromises" that Moscow's
Russia respects that Syria has informally
made the choice to avoid committing to either of these two
interlinked prospective means for resolving the crisis, but it
nevertheless won't stop trying to "convince" Damascus that the
options presented before it are what Moscow believes to be the
"best" ones that will ever be offered from this point forward.
In pursuit of its peacemaking objective to get Syria to
"compromise" on the terms that Russia has presumably presented
it with in order to avoid escalating the "Israeli"-Iranian proxy
war inside the country to the point where it becomes a
conventional one all throughout the region, Moscow has
apparently decided to send very strong symbolic messages to
Damascus to let it know just how serious it is about this.
most powerful signals that sent shockwaves through the Alt-Media
and likely also the global diplomatic communities came from the
Putin-Netanyahu Summit and Russia's passive "acceptance" of
"Israel's" latest bombing run against what Tel Aviv claimed were
Iranian units in southern Syria.
Furthermore, Russia's reported
reconsideration of possible S-300 sales to Syria also stands out
in the starkest terms as an informal statement declaring
Moscow's unwillingness to contribute to anything that would
"compromise" "Israel's" ability to bomb suspected Iranian and
Hezbollah targets at will.
Referring back to the title of this analysis, it couldn't be any
clearer that Russia is "urging" Syria to "compromise" as soon as
possible, though it's uncertain whether Moscow's latest messages
will get Damascus to "comply" or if it will continue digging in
its heels to resist all international "pressure" to do so.
Time is running out, however, because "Israel" has signaled
that it's run out of patience with this "game" and will utilize
all means at its disposal to remove Iran and Hezbollah from
Syria once and for all, counting as it will on open US and Gulf
backing alongside Russia's implicit support.
involvement in these "containment" measures is a real
game-changer and dramatically alters the strategic dynamics of
the "Israeli"-Iranian proxy war in Syria, making it more likely
than not that the odds will decisively shift in Tel Aviv's favor
with time unless Damascus "cuts a deal" and freezes the state of
affairs before it gets any worse than it already is.
This raises the question about the skirmish itself.
To be clear,
Iran was not at all involved despite overwhelming reports in the
Western mainstream press that it was. The skirmish began when Israel
launched missiles against the Syrian village of Ba'ath located in
the occupied Golan and Syria responded by not only taking out a
number of those missiles but firing back at Israeli positions.
Israel then launched bombing raids inside Syria against what it
claims were Iranian military positions.
While Syrian missile defense
systems did a great job of taking out Israeli missiles, Russia did
not intervene, most likely out of a desire to stay out of
Israeli-Iranian conflicts and not to further inflame tensions.
Russia also would not like to be forced to "choose" between Israel
or Iran on the spur of the moment by downing Israeli jets and losing
an "ally" and "partner" in Israel. It may also be true that Russia
is willing to allow Iran to take as many hits as Israel is willing
to give it, due to the fact that Iran is expanding its influence in
Russia may figure that the loss of life and material
may begin to encourage Iran to head back home, reducing the
complication of international relations between itself and Syria as
well as itself and Israel.
This lack of defense of Syrian and Iranian positions has been
interpreted as a Russian "green light" of the attack, especially
since Netanyahu met with Putin in Moscow hours before the strike
both by the mainstream press and a portion of the alternative media.
after the meeting were
more upbeat suggesting that Russia would not interfere
or block Israel's routine attacks in Syria.
"Given what is
happening in Syria at this very moment, there is a need to
ensure the continuation of military coordination between the
Russian military and the Israel Defence Forces...
previous meetings, given statements that were putatively
attributed to - or were made by - the Russian side, it was
meant to have limited our freedom of action or harm other
interests and that didn't happen, and I have no basis to
think that this time will be different," he said.
Israeli lobbying, or "a long-running Israeli courting of
was credited with this alleged decision by Putin and,
notably, Israel has not joined the Western countries in
imposing more sanctions of the disproven "Skripal affair"
which Israel was more than willing to point out.
notable is the fact that the United States has not responded
with sanctions on Israel for ignoring its dictates.
This possible "green lighting" of the attack on the part of
the Russians has been reported
ad nauseam in the mainstream
If it is true, then the fact that Russia would agree
to such a massive attack - the largest Israeli attack on
Syria since 1974 - is a major concern in terms of Russia's
commitment to Syria.
But there is another possibility that few have discussed.
Whitney Webb of Mint Press News writes in her article, "Is
Netanyahu Playing a Geopolitical Chess Game to Drive a Wedge
Between Russia and Syria?"
prior to the strikes, there had more or less been a
consensus that Israel was increasingly desperate that
its involvement in the Syrian conflict was not going
Could this new narrative of Russia cozying up to Israel
and distancing itself from Syria be a desperate act by
Israel to create an impression that it now has the upper
Webb continues by
reports on the Putin/Netanyahu meeting certainly suggest
Putin approved Israel's strikes beforehand, information
from local sources and independent analysts suggest that
narrative - based solely on Netanyahu's post-meeting
comments - was largely inaccurate.
Elijah Magnier noted, the meeting with Netanyahu was
much more tense than described by most media, with Putin
expressing disdain for
Israel's bombing of Syria's T4 Airbase in early
April, just 50 meters from a Russian military position.
Information from sources within Syria and from the
Syrian Arab Army also offered counter-narratives that
reject the notion that Putin "greenlit" Israel's strikes
Those sources alleged that Israeli jets, which took
part in the strike, used a U.S. transponder signal to
masquerade as U.S. fighter jets.
Given that Syrian and
Russian forces are under orders not to fire on jets
transmitting U.S. transponder signals - in the hopes of
avoiding a wider conflict - this ruse
would have allowed Israeli jets to fly into Syria
via its ally Jordan with little incident.
Earlier this month, a
source in the U.S. Air Force stationed in Syria
reported that Israeli jets had been using U.S.
transponder signals to move freely in Syrian airspace,
suggesting the tactic had been used by Israel prior to
last Thursday's strikes.
If true, this would mean that it is highly unlikely that
Putin "greenlit" anything, as there was no way of
knowing that those jets using U.S. transponder signals
were not of U.S. origin and because allowing the jets to
use those transponder signals would threaten the
understanding between the U.S. and Russian militaries, a
risk Putin was unlikely to take.
It would mean that Israel deliberately endangered the
understanding between U.S. and Russian forces to respect
flight paths of their respective fighter jets, which
could potentially have dangerous consequences, as it
would erode the trust that served as a basis for that
Sources within the Syrian Arab Army
also suggested that Netanyahu approved the use of
U.S. transponders before his meeting with Putin, giving
the subsequent Israeli strikes the appearance that they
were approved by Putin and in turn sowing distrust
between Russia, Syria and Iran.
Continuing with her discussion of the possibility that
Israel is attempting to sow the seeds of deception between
the Syrian, Russian, and Iranian alliance, Webb writes,
Russia's alleged "green lighting" was an indeed an
intentional ploy on the part of Netanyahu to spread
distrust through the key alliance of Russia and Syria
and Iran, if would not be without precedent, as
Netanyahu has been known to resort to similar tactics,
recent presentation on Iran's so-called "Atomic
Archive," where he presented old information on Iran's
alleged nuclear ambitions as groundbreaking new
In fact the whole foundation for the "green
light" narrative came exclusively from Netanyahu's
comments combined with the timing of the strike, which
came just hours after Putin and Netanyahu met.
Israel stands to gain significantly from fomenting
distrust between Russia and Syria.
As the foreign-funded
proxy war targeting the Assad-led government in Syria
has largely failed, weakening Assad's most critical
alliance by making Putin appear to have been complicit
in a major Israeli air strike against Syrian Army bases
would certainly benefit the Israeli government.
noted that Russia is largely to thank for "saving"
the country from regime change efforts at the hands of
foreign governments and their proxies.
alliance to weaken, it would give Israel, whose defense
minister just a week ago spoke of "liquidating"
the Syrian government, a new opening.
Israel's apparent influence over Putin also distracts
from other embarrassing news that came as a result of
its attack on Syria, such as the apparent failure of its
often dysfunctional Iron Dome missile defense
managed to shoot down only four of the twenty Syrian
missiles launched into Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.
In contrast, Syria's 30-year-old Russian-made missile
defense system downed
more than half
of the 70 missiles Israel fired in and around Damascus.
The Israeli government has
been careful to prevent the proliferation of images
or information showing the damage caused by the 16
Syrian missiles that landed in the Golan Heights,
publicly claiming it has eliminated the "Iranian
threat" (i.e., presence) in Syria.
Israel, always ready to point out how its neighbors are
terrorizing and threatening it, has now claimed that it has
"eliminated the Iranian threat" signaling to some that
Israel is not prepared to go any further in the near future.
However, with the backing of the world's biggest bully, the
United States, Israel may also be acting deceptively in that
regard as well.
Knowing that the U.S. will coming running
ready to sacrifice as much American blood and treasure as
necessary to defend it, Israel is as emboldened as ever.
But Putin's hesitation to give Syria S-300s (if, in fact,
Syria does not have them) may also be rooted both in
pragmatism and lack of perceived necessity.
As Tony Cartalucci writes in his article "Israel
Baits The Hook - Will Syria Bite?"
cynical reality remains as to why. Israel's war on
Lebanon in 2006, conducted with extensive airpower -
failed to achieve any of Israel's objectives.
abortive ground invasion into southern Lebanon resulted
in a humiliating defeat for Israeli forces. While
extensive damage was delivered to Lebanon's
infrastructure, the nation and in particular, Hezbollah,
has rebounded stronger than ever.
Likewise in Syria, Israeli airstrikes and missile
attacks will do nothing on their own to defeat Syria or
change the West's failing fortunes toward achieving
They serve only as a means of provoking a
retaliation sufficient enough for the West to cite as
casus belli for a much wider operation that might effect
Attempts to place wedges among the
Syrian-Russian-Iranian alliance have been ongoing.
Claims that Russia's refusal to retaliate after
US-Israeli attacks or its refusal to provide Syria with
more modern air defenses attempt to depict Russia as
weak and disinterested in Syria's well-being.
The fact remains that a Russian retaliation would open
the door to a possibly catastrophic conflict Russia may
not be able to win.
The delivery of more modern air
defense systems to Syria will not change the fact that
US-Israeli attacks will fail to achieve any tangible
objectives with or without such defenses.
will - however - help further increase tensions in the
region, not manage or eliminate them.
Syria Already Won
Syria and its allies have eliminated the extensive proxy
forces the US and its allies armed and funded to
overthrow the Syrian government beginning in 2011.
remnants of this proxy force cling to Syria's borders
and in regions the US and its allies are tentatively
the conflict's status quo be maintained and Russia's
presence maintained in the region, these proxy forces
will be unable to regroup or regain the territory they
In essence, Syria has won the conflict.
Indeed, sections of Syria are now under the control of
occupying foreign armies. Turkey controls sections in
northern Syria and the United States is occupying
territory east of the Euphrates River.
territorial integrity is essential - Syria will be
better positioned to retake this territory years from
now, than it is at the moment. Maintaining the status
quo and preventing the conflict from escalating is the
Over the next several years - within this status quo -
the global balance of power will only shift further away
from America's favor. As that happens, Syria will have a
much better opportunity to reclaim its occupied
The baited hook to which Cartalucci refers is the U.S.
strategic plan, developed by corporate-financier think tank,
The Brookings Institute, to create a "multi-front war" in
which pressure is brought to bear on Syria and/or the plan
to provoke an Iranian response that would be used to justify
an Israeli or American military invasion.
In its 2012 article, "Assessing
Options for Regime Change," Brookings wrote that
Israel's role, particularly in the Golan is to put pressure
on Syria and create a "multi-front war."
Israel's intelligence services have a strong knowledge
of Syria, as well as assets within the Syrian regime
that could be used to subvert the regime's power base
and press for Asad's removal. Israel could posture
forces on or near the Golan Heights and, in so doing,
might divert regime forces from suppressing the
This posture may conjure fears in the Asad
regime of a multi-front war, particularly if Turkey is
willing to do the same on its border and if the Syrian
opposition is being fed a steady diet of arms and
Such a mobilization could perhaps persuade
Syria's military leadership to oust Asad in order to
preserve itself. Advocates argue this additional
pressure could tip the balance against Asad inside
Syria, if other forces were aligned properly.
In regards to Iran, Brookings wrote in its article, "Which
Path to Persia? - Options for a New American Strategy towards
truth is that these all would be challenging cases to
For that reason, it would be far more preferable
if the United States could cite an Iranian provocation
as justification for the airstrikes before launching
them. Clearly, the more outrageous, the more deadly, and
the more unprovoked the Iranian action, the better off
the United States would be.
Of course, it would be very
difficult for the United States to goad Iran into such a
provocation without the rest of the world recognizing
this game, which would then undermine it.
that would have some possibility of success would be to
ratchet up covert regime change efforts in the hope that
Tehran would retaliate overtly, or even semi-overtly,
which could then be portrayed as an unprovoked act of
At the end of the day, Putin's interests are essentially
Putin wants to see an end to the
encircling of Russia and the economic isolation foisted onto
it by the West. Putin does not want to see Russia's
strategic ally destroyed but Putin has also negotiated his
own deals with the Syrian government that not only see
Russian bases and ports established in the country but
mining rights for Russian companies.
It was a deal made at
exactly the time when Assad couldn't refuse.
Whether or not
Putin has personal feelings about the fate of the Syrian
people, Russia entered the Syrian field because Russia's
interests deemed it necessary from a Russian perspective.
Make no mistake, Russia is out for Russia's interests, not
This is not a criticism. The first priority a
leader has is to his own people and enlightened
self-interest is the wisest way to conduct international
With all that being said, however, it is undeniable that
Russia has acted as Syria's savior with its entering the
country and assisted the government in liberating territory
from Western-backed terrorists. Even more so, Russia has
stood as a deterrent to the United States which has
attempted to launch direct military invasions of Syria on
However, Russia is not interested in seeing regional
tensions fanned simply because it makes the waters rougher
for its own fleet.
Thus, Russia is not on some
crusade. It is merely looking to maintain stability in the
region while at the same time maintaining and boosting trade
with all parties and establishing a more equitable balance
of power on the world stage along with the United States and
This is why Russia has opposed Israel's unprovoked
attack on Syrian military targets while saying nothing about
its attacks on Iranian military positions.
It is also why,
despite Israel and Syria being mortal enemies, that Russia
has boosted its trade with Israel.
In the future, look for Russia to continue to do whatever it
can to aid Assad in his attempt to retake the country while
avoiding World War III and an confrontation with Israel.
While it is tempting to become emotional and desire to seem
a little justice or at least a little revenge, Putin is
going to continue to let cooler and more intelligent heads
He is also going to let Russian interests take top
priority and there may be a time when Russian interests and
Syrian interests do not necessarily line up.
For the sake of
Syria, we hope that such a divide can be easily bridged.