Asma al-Assad was once hailed by Vogue magazine as Syria’s “Rose in the Desert.” But since the death of her mother-in-law, she’s emerged as a brutal power player in her own right.
Vladimir Putin wants a stable Syria, with billions from abroad for his oligarch cronies to rebuild the country. But Assad's infamy and the ayatollahs stand in the way.
Turkey's President Erdogan and the other players may think this is a blood-drenched game of chess, but nobody is winning as new refugee floods threaten Europe.
He sees every foreign-policy relationship as a transaction: How much does the U.S. pay, and what does it get in return? Don’t think he won’t do the same with Israel.
It’s a showdown in Idlib province that pits Russia, Iran, Hezbollah and Assad against Turkey and its militia allies. But what’s the U.S. up to? Where’d the TOW missiles come from?
One example: At the peak of the pre-war crises around Iran, German Chancellor Merkel has gone to see Putin, not Trump, looking for solutions.
Russia’s real goal is not to end the war in Syria, but to sustain low-level confrontations where all sides become dependent on Moscow. It’s doing much the same in east Ukraine.