News Release

“Risks in Putin’s Syria Withdrawal”

vladimirputin-1JOE LAURIA, [in Iraq, 7 hours ahead of U.S. ET]  joelauria at, @unjoe
Lauria is a veteran foreign-affairs journalist based at the UN since 1990. He has written for the Boston Globe, the London Daily Telegraph, the Johannesburg Star, the Montreal Gazette, the Wall Street Journal and other newspapers.

He just wrote the piece, “Risks in Putin’s Syria Withdrawal” for which states: “Russian President Vladimir Putin’s surprise announcement to withdraw most Russian war planes and personnel from Syria has left the public in the dark about his motives, raising troubling questions about whether the move will provide an opening for the U.S., Turkey and their Gulf allies to resume their drive towards ‘regime change’ in Damascus.

“More than five months of Russian airstrikes and Russia’s reconstitution of the Syrian Army dramatically turned the war in President Bashar al-Assad’s favor and has left the jihadists in disarray. But the liberation of Aleppo was not yet complete. Also, the Islamic State has not been destroyed, although the Syrian army reportedly had entered Palmyra and reached near Raqqa, Islamic State’s capital. …

“Putin’s move has led to widespread speculation that perhaps he has made a deal with the U.S., a grand bargain of sorts. Maybe Washington has offered a major concession on Ukraine, something President Barack Obama may gladly concede given what a disaster the U.S. adventure in that country has become.

“Perhaps in a game of chicken with Obama, Putin blinked first. The U.S. has wanted Russia out of the Syrian theater since the moment it entered. Now, with Russia yielding the Syrian skies will the U.S. set up ‘a no-fly zone’ as Turkey and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have desperately wanted?”