By Roy Murray @sykes_picot
During the Second World War, Winston Churchill stated: “If Hitler invaded hell I would make at least a favourable reference to the devil in the House of Commons”.
In July 2014, we used this analogy to rationalize how Russia’s help could be leveraged to end the Syrian conflict; more specifically, we wrote in “Reviving the Syrian Revolution, defusing the Middle East“:
The West can craft a deal with Russia that would be the nucleus to stabilizing the Middle East. This deal would be mutually beneficial. On the one hand, Russia would satisfy its national security concerns by maintaining the Syrian Army as a long term partner. On the other hand, the West would be guaranteed that Syria is neutralized from being an Iranian satellite and a sponsor of terrorist organizations.
On a national level, such a deal would afford legitimacy to a transitional Syrian leadership, enabling Syria to embark on a “Second Republic” whereby they can elect their own parliament, and appoint a transitional government on the basis of unanimous consensus amongst national parties and the international community
There is no doubt in our mind that the Russian intervention in Syria is the final chapter of the Assad story. Whilst the specifics of Russia’s actions in Syria have been the subject of much analysis, we argue that Putin has his eyes set on a stable, post Assad Syria firmly under Russian hegemony, free of Assad.