NEWSWATCH: “The Russian Gordian Knot begins to unravel” – Asia Times/Norman A. Bailey

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“… Putin said two completely unexpected things: first … Iran should evacuate its forces from Syria and stop interfering with events in the northern Arab arc (Iraq, Syria, Lebanon). Second … Israel has a right to defend its borders, whether in the north or in the south (Hezbollah and Hamas territories respectively). … within a few days of a meeting with … Netanyahu, who can now claim yet another foreign policy success. … * * * I File Photo of Deck of Russian Aircraft Carrier Admiral Kuznetsovthink the answer is … fairly simple: Putin is interested in one overriding objective in the Middle East … developing and protecting his naval and air bases on the Syrian coast. … The Assad regime owes its survival to Russia and knows it. … As far as Russia is concerned, Iran has performed its function in Syria of assisting in the survival of the Assad regime and its continued presence is unhelpful. Therefore, the Iranians should go. …”

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