Russia: Syrian Strongman Assad Is Losing His Grip On Power
When your only powerful ally says rebels may win the civil war, you know you’re in trouble:
While Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov didn’t issue any immediate signal that Russia could change its stance and stop blocking international sanctions on Assad’s regime, his remarks will likely be seen as a betrayal in Damascus and could persuade many Syrians to shift their loyalties and abandon support for the government.
It could also further strengthen the hand of the rebels, who have made some significant gains in their offensive recently, capturing two major military bases and mounting a serious challenge to Assad’s seat of power, Damascus.
It’s likely no coincidence this news comes on the heels of reports that Syria is firing SCUD missiles at rebel strongholds — but also on Russia’s “surprise” over the Obama administration’s recognition of the Syrian opposition.