US Envoy: Russia Likely More Flexible On Syria as War Drags On

Says Russia not getting a military victory in Syria

US envoy on the Syrian conflict James Jeffrey said on Thursday that the US expects Russia to be increasingly willing to cooperate with the US on the future of Syria, saying he believes Russia is getting frustrated with President Assad.

Jeffrey cited Russian media coverage as showing indication of more flexibility on Syria’s post-war constitutional committee, saying that “it’s very clear at this point to Russia that they’re not going to get a military victory.

That would broadly depend on how Russia is calculating victory. The Assad government has survived the war, which is certainly something that many didn’t expect earlier in the conflict. What Syria will look like in the long run ultimately depends on the new constitution.

Which is where the US and Russia split is coming from. The US has insisted any post-war scenario would mandate full regime change, forbidding Assad and others from ever running for office. Russia, however, has said such details should be left up to Syria’s voters.

Jeffrey’s comments suggest that the US is still holding out for better terms. This may also put the continued US involvement in Syria, which President Trump insists is just about oil, in a different context, one keeping the US in the conversation at the UN for when the war finally ends.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.