Opinion: David Kenner, associate editor at Foreign Policy
What Russia gave Syria
“Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has had no better friend than Vladimir Putin's Russia,” writes David Kenner. Russia has reportedly supplied Syria with everything from attack helicopters to landmines to bullets and shells. “Amid these developments, the news that Barack Obama and Putin agreed at the G-20 summit [last] week to support a political solution to the Syria conflict would seem almost, well, laughable – if the situation on the ground weren't so dire.”
As the death toll in Syria rises, Russia and the United States remain on opposing sides of the conflict. The US says Assad must step down, while Russia has vetoed two UN Security Council resolutions on Syria and continues to provide controversial support.
And the support on the opposing sides of the Syrian conflict goes beyond simple diplomatic terms: According to The New York Times, CIA agents are steering arms to opposition groups in Syria, while Russia supplies Assad’s regime with sophisticated weaponry.
Though Russia and the US do not agree on much in the case of the Syrian conflict, they do agree it’s necessary to prevent the country from descending further into civil war. “With their respective governments working at cross purposes, however, it remains a mystery how they expect to accomplish even that limited goal.”