JRL NEWSWATCH: “How Putin Views the Iranian Role in Syria: Insights from Bolton’s Memoir” – Mark N. Katz

Syria Map

“[According to Bolton’s new book] … Putin … told Bolton to convey … to Trump [that –] … Moscow did not need Iranian forces … in Syria… [and gained] no advantage [from it] …. Iran’s policy agenda … regard[ing] … Lebanon and the Shi’a were not [Russia’s] … [and] Iranian policy was causing problems …. Russia [wanted] … an Iranian withdrawal … [but] Putin could not ensure [it] … [and] if Iranian forces did withdraw … there would be ‘large-scale aggression’ against Assad …. Putin had no intention of substituting Russian forces for Iranian …. Putin … did want … U.S.-Russian agreement on … respective military dispositions [there] …. [U]p to 5,000 ‘locals’ near … U.S. forces … at Al Tanf were actually ISIS … who would … betray [the U.S.] …. Syrian opposition forces were not reliable allies …. [Putin argued that] the U.S. should support the (Russian-led) peace process …”

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