Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Protecting Russian Interests

If America and Russia have some sort of agreement to basically partition Syria, leaving Assad in charge of a Core Syria in the west where Russia has naval and air bases while America is free to defeat ISIL, this move is consistent with that:

Russia's Defense Ministry announced a cease-fire for a third safe zone in war-torn Syria on Thursday, paving the way for the delivery of sorely needed humanitarian relief to rebel-held areas north of the city of Homs.

A fourth zone is planned under the agreement by Russia, Iran, and Turkey.

I guess it leaves Iran free to seek the expansion of their zone in Syria to the Iraqi border to get an overland supply route back to Iran; leaving America and our allies to cope with that. Russia won't mind if we are busy and they are not.

Turkey gets to keep their zone in the north, of course, as a buffer.

Assad stays in power--unless his supporters crack under the strain of casualties and war--but with a truncated state reliant on Iran and Russia to survive with rebels poised around his Core Syria.

America gets a free hand to fight ISIL in Syria.

And Russia, of course, gets their air and naval bases without the need to fight for formal Syria's borders.

Will Assad be content with that sort of deal or try to expand back to formal Syria's borders?