Tales of the New Cold War: Trump, Syria & Russia’s Red Lines. Stephen F. Cohen @NYU @Princeton EastWestAccord.com

Apr 12, 2017, 03:15 AM

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Tales of the New Cold War: Trump, Syria & Russia’s Red Lines. Stephen F. Cohen @NYU @Princeton EastWestAccord.com

Claiming that Assad’s rule “is coming to an end,” Tillerson previewed his message to Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. “We hope that the Russian government concludes that they have aligned themselves with an unreliable partner in Bashar al-Assad,” he said. In what was in effect an ultimatum, he said Moscow must calculate the costs of remaining an ally of Assad, the Iranians and Lebanon’s Shiite militia Hezbollah. “Is that a long-term alliance that serves Russia’s interests?” he told reporters. “Or would Russia prefer to realign with the United States, with other Western countries and Middle East countries that are seeking to resolve the Syrian crisis?” [U.S.-Russia rifts were already widening before missile strike] Russia has maintained that a Syrian government airstrike last week hit a factory where Syrian rebels were manufacturing chemical weapons in the northern Idlib province. After the U.S. missile strike, Peskov asserted that the Syrian government “has no chemical arms stockpiles. ” Moscow says it fulfilled its part of a 2013 agreement mandating that Russia oversee the destruction of Assad’s chemical-weapons arsenal. On Monday, Russia’s general staff said two sites where chemical weapons might remain are in territory controlled by Syrian rebels. https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/in-moscow-tillerson-seeks-to-move-russia-away-from-syrian-alliance/2017/04/11/adb6f8ed-4712-493e-927e-40574ab3cdb6story.html?utmterm=.4818e2277114