Tom Hagen: When I meet with Assad's men, should I insist all their thugs not use chemical weapons?
Don Corleone: Mention it, don't insist. But Putin will know that without being told.
Tom Hagen: You mean Assad...
Don Corleone: Assad is a pimp. He never could have outfought the FSA. But I didn't know until this day that it was Putin all along.
In Syria it hasn't been Vladimir Putin all along, but it has been for at least three years now. The "status of forces" agreement he signed with Assad in 2014, when the Russian military entered the Syrian Civil War much more directly, gave him complete autonomy, and the superior firepower of the Russian military insured that he would call the shots.
As if more proof was needed as to who really has command and control of the Syrian government, and all armies operating on its side, we have this from EA Worldview today:
Alexander Lavrentiev, the Russian envoy to the Astana political talks, told journalists, “As for [the coalition] actions in the de-escalation zones, starting from now those zones are closed for their flights.”Assad isn't even a party to this agreement. Russia, Iran and Turkey, three foreign powers with military units operating on Syrian soil made this agreement, and they are establishing these rules of combat without any Syrian signer. This is but one more example of the assertion made by Pravada Report that "it is Russian headquarters that supervise all combat actions in the region. Assad will not be able to use any aircraft unless the Russian command in Hmeymim gives permission for this."
Lavrentiev said the ban was not in the Russia-Turkey-Iran agreement, but asserted, “As guarantors we will be tracking all actions in that direction. Absolutely no flights, especially by the international coalition, are allowed. With or without prior notification. The issue is closed.”
Even though both Putin, Assad, and their supporters, want the myth of a socialist-like nation coming to the aid of a sovereign third world country by invitation to be taken at face value, this is the hard truth of imperialist military occupation.
When atrocities were happening during the Vietnam War, the world's people didn't petition the head of the puppet government in Saigon to make them stop. They quite rightly made their demands to the puppet masters in Washington, DC and on Wall Street.
It was more than four years ago that Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov announced that Russia was taking control of Syria's stockpile of chemical weapons on 21 December 2012. Linux Beach reported on it within hours of the Russian announcement. The Syrian conflict death toll at the time had reached 46,178, and we naively wrote:
If these reports are true it should bring a huge sigh of relief from the people he [Assad] might chose to use them on in his desperation. We should also hear a sigh of relief in the region and throughout the world if it means that those stockpiles are now in safer hands and now less of a pawn in the whole Syrian situation.Within two days of this Russian announcement, we saw the first use of what probably was sarin in Syria:
Presumably the Russians can keep them out of opposition hands as well, including the jihadists, and won't be inclined to share them with Hezbollah either. This would also relieve the West of the excuse of intervening after the victory in the name of protecting Syria's chemical weapons.
SYRIAN REGIME IS SPRAYING NERVE GAS IN #HOMS. HERE ARE SOME OF THE INFLICTED PATIENTS: http://t.co/m9JI6IbY #Syria #AssadCrimes 12/23 @AC360— Middle Easterner (@HouriaWaBas) December 24, 2012
There is no reason to doubt the truth of the Russian announcement of December 2012 that they were taking control of all of Assad's chemical weapons, and have controlled their use ever since. If they only announced it, but left Assad in control, they certainly couldn't be trusted later as the guarantor of Assad's CW disarmament. If they did take control of them, then it has really been the Russians that have been behind their use all along. Either way, it is Putin that should be held responsible for every chemical attack carried out by Assad supporters since December 2012.
It really does defy belief that the Syrians, on just Assad's authority, could load a Su-22 bomber with sarin bombs without the Russians on that base noticing, and then fly it "under the radar" to Khan Sheikhoun without Russian military air defense at Hmeymim noticing. The Syrian air force is now operating under Russian command. The responsibility for the Khan Sheikhoun attack should be placed first and foremost on Putin. Those that ask why would Assad used sarin in Khan Sheikhoun are asking the wrong question. That decision was not Assad's to make. The right question is: Why would Putin use sarin in Syria?
The answer has little to do with Syria.
What makes this conclusion all the more troubling is something Putin said on 11 April 2017, the same day Dr. Ted Postol was releasing version 1.0 of his changing "Assad didn't do it" thesis. Putin told reporters to expect more sarin attacks like Khan Sheikhoun in the near future:
"We have information from various sources saying that such provocations, I do not have a different word for it, are being prepared in other Syrian regions, including in southern suburbs of Damascus, where they are going to use some substance and accuse the Syrian official authorities of that."This tells us that Putin is planning more sarin terror attacks in Syria. Putin, not Assad, not "the opposition," not "jihadists," Putin. It also means that soon we will be hearing how Putin's prediction was right and Assad didn't do it again, as more little children choke to death, and the "anti-imperialists" like Code Pink and Veterans for Peace once again play out their role as 21st century holocaust enablers. Putin is desperate to end this thing at any cost. He did his own "Mission Accomplished" dance 13 months ago, when he announced the Russian air force was going home. Then he brought them back right quick, and they are still there, slugging it out. It is Putin that has turned to sarin hoping its terror will end this thing quickly. That is why it is essential to his plans that the world do nothing in the face of these attacks and the Syrian people feel abandoned. That also why the Assad Loving Left in the United States has played a crucial role in sustaining the dictatorship through all its difficulties.
See also: A valuable admission: Russia controls Syria & Putin runs the war
Syria is the Paris Commune of the 21st Century!