“Interpreting the Russian Withdrawal from Syria” (Aron Lund, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace)


“The world is now scrambling to understand what Putin meant and what this means for Syria. There are a few different ways to read the situation, and they are not mutually exclusive. Putin may be telling the truth. The Russian intervention has achieved quite a lot. It has undercut the Syrian opposition, stabilized  Assad’s government, and produced a peace process on more favorable terms for Assad than was previously possible. Perhaps Putin was always planning for an intervention of limited duration and kept Assad informed about this. With a truce in place, now is a good time to start scaling it down. Meanwhile, other forms of support to the Syrian government are likely to continue and, if the peace process collapses, Putin could easily reverse his decision. Remember, the Hmeymim and Tartus bases will remain operational, which leaves Russia with all the infrastructure it needs to resume airstrikes on short notice.” Read all http://carnegieendowment.org/syriaincrisis/?fa=63042&utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=New%20Campaign&utm_term=%2AMideast%20Brief