Syrian minister declares 'victory'; thanks Russia
Why didn't he thank Obama too? Without our Barry, there would have been no clown opponent to steamroll off the world stage.
A Syrian minister declared "victory" for his country on Sunday, thanking Russia for orchestrating a chemical weapons deal to avert U.S. military action, Russia's state-run news agency RIA Novosti reported.
"We welcome these agreements. On the one hand, they will help Syrians come out of the crisis, and on the other hand, they prevented the war against Syria by having removed a pretext for those who wanted to unleash it," National Reconciliation Minister Ali Haidar was quoted as saying.
He called the deal an achievement of Russian diplomacy, and "a victory for Syria won thanks to our Russian friends," RIA Novosti reported.
The Syrian regime recently created the "national reconciliation" post to send a message that it wants to end the brutal violence that has led to more than 100,000 deaths, according to U.N. estimates.
The opposition ridicules the post as mere window dressing.
Reuters is reporting that now that the threat of a US attack is gone, Assad has stepped up his conventional attacks on the Damascus suburbs with air power and artillery.
Syrian warplanes and artillery bombarded rebel suburbs of the capital on Sunday after the United States agreed to call off military action in a deal with Russia to remove President Bashar al-Assad's chemical weapons.
Syrian rebels, calling the international focus on poison gas a sideshow, dismissed talk the arms pact might herald peace talks and said Assad had stepped up an offensive with ordinary weaponry now that the threat of U.S. air strikes had receded.
President Barack Obama said he may still launch U.S. strikes if Damascus fails to follow a nine-month U.N. disarmament plan drawn up by Washington and Assad's ally Moscow. But a reluctance among U.S. voters and Western allies to engage in a new Middle East war, and Russian opposition, has put any attacks on hold.
The rebels, who have no air power or artillery of their own to speak of, won't be able to overcome this advantage by the Syrian army until someone supplies them with anti-aircraft missiles and heavier weapons. We're not going to do it, but the Saudis may. And you can bet they won't be too discerning about whether al-Qaeda linked rebel groups get their hands on them either.