Since then Assad
, with backing from Russia and Iran, has driven rebels from strongholds in the south of the country and around Damascus, strengthening his authority even though parts of the country remain outside government control.
In recent weeks, the Russian air force has stepped up its bombing of the rebel-held Idlib province in Syria's northwest, as Assad
reinforces ground troops on its edges.
is the emergent victor in the Syrian Civil War.
Yes, this attack should help hobble Assad
's ability to drop those horrific weapons on his own citizens.
While the Pentagon says the Assad
regime still has enough chemical-related facilities to attack its citizens with banned weapons, the American ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, warns that the US remains 'locked and loaded.'
A year ago, the United States launched 59 Tomahawk missiles at a Syrian air base in retaliation for the government of President Bashar Assad
's use of chemical weapons against his own population.
Syria's Foreign Ministry quickly responded by accusing Erdogan of himself supporting terrorist groups that are fighting against Assad
in Syria's civil war.
Syria-watchers, including members of the United States Senate, reacted critically to statements by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley about the Trump administration's position on the status of Syrian President Bashar Assad
. In Ankara on March 30, Tillerson commented that Assad
's long-term status "will be decided by the Syrian people." On the same day, in New York, Haley stated "our priority is no longer to sit there and focus on getting Assad
out." Has the administration decided on a major American policy shift?
"You can find it on the Net," Assad
said. "Those terrorists in Syria, holding the machine gun or killing people, they [appear as] peaceful refugees in Europe or in the West."
announced he was gearing up for a decisive victory in Aleppo, notwithstanding a request from Trump's advisers to Putin to hold back from the final step and refrain from retaking every last eastern district from rebel hands.
Russian intervention has a number of goals but none more so than to ensure the survival of Assad
, preserve Russian strategic interests in the Mediterranean and enshrine the role of Moscow as a key player in the Middle East.