Russian FM meets Assad

Russia has its own fish to fry in Syria, not least the fact that the Syrian port of Tartus is home to Russia's only Mediterranean naval base. They also have a profitable arms trade as well as historical ties to the Assad family - a holdover from the Soviet days. But it is clear that their veto of a UN Security Council resolution backing an Arab League plan that would have Assad voluntarily giving up power to his Vice President while an interim government worked toward democratic elections has emboldened the dictator. After 400 or more civilians were killed over the weekend in the flashpoint city of Homs, Assad's forces continued their machine gun and mortar barrage on Monday killing another 95 according to activists. BBC: Visiting Syria, Mr Lavrov said Damascus was ready for a larger Arab League mission to monitor the plan, which the West has urged Syria to accept. Crowds gave Mr Lavrov a hero's welcome. His visit comes after Russia and China vetoed a UN resolution. Government forces...(Read Full Post)