Wednesday, September 09, 2015

R2P Their Allies

As the Russians expand their presence and direct combat role in Syria in defense of Assad's government, do recall I said that other than the Russians, I didn't see any source of fresh manpower to rescue the Assad regime from defeat.

The Russians are coming:

Russian forces have begun participating in military operations in Syria in support of government troops, three Lebanese sources familiar with the political and military situation there said on Wednesday.

But I stand by my assessment in that post that Russia would much rather have the simulation of rushing to Assad's rescue than an actual military rescue mission.

So let's see what Turkey does. I wouldn't be shocked over a Russian-Turkish deal of some sort over Syria.

If Russia manages that, it will add to my respect for their diplomatic skills.

UPDATE: We may have to re-rethink our approach to fighting ISIL:

The United States is rethinking its strategy for battling the Islamic State in Syria, the New York Times reported on Monday, with the Pentagon looking into moving more fighters into safer zones, providing better intelligence and improving the skills of trained rebels.

Well, that not wanting to militarize the conflict further ship has sailed, you must admit.

UPDATE: I missed this:

Arab media are reporting that the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has reactivated a 1980 “friendship” treaty between Damascus and Moscow, handing over the Latakia airbase in Assad's mostly Alawite Mediterranean coastal enclave.

The only question is whether Russia and Iran are banking on a post-Assad Syria with cosmetic changes in leadership or a post-Syria Assad who controls just the northwest corner of Syria--perhaps not even including Damascus.