Assad’s Russian defenders: Why?

Opinion: Syria

Assad must survive, not because he buys a few billion dollars worth of Russian arms and gives Russia a naval base in the Mediterranean, but because his overthrow would be a precedent that, they imagine, might one day be used against them.

UN Photo: Joshua Kristal
Russian President Vladimir Putin pictured speaking at the UN headquarters in New York in 2005.
Gwynne Dyer
Published: Tuesday, 06/19/2012 12:00 am EDT

The United Nations Stabilization Mission in Syria has suspended its peace mission. “The observers will not be conducting patrols and will stay in their locations until further notice,” said the commander of the 300-strong multinational observer force, Norwegian General Robert Mood.

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