How Syria's President Assad Feels About the U.S-Russian WMD Agreement
As many of said before, the US-Russian agreement to remove all of Syria's chemical weapons may become DOA very soon for any number of reasons Most, even if agreed upon, feel something will go wrong in a bad way. Both Russia and Syria and Iran are all players in this and none can be trusted.
Already, Putin has backtracked about the agreement stating that because Syria was not part of the meetings, Russia cannot be 100% certain Syria will actually do what it claims it will do and Russia will not be liable for their actions. What is Putin really saying? He has no clue if Assad will do what Russia wants him to do, assuming Russia really wants to weaken Syria, which is hard to believe.
Assad, during an interview, stated that removing his chemicals will take well over a year and cost $1 billion that Syria is NOT going to pay a cent of. He said he will not allow the chemicals to be destroyed in Syria, which means, to do so, countries will have to volunteer to remove them to their home country for destruction. He suggested that Obama airlift them over to the USA for destruction since they want it so bad. But Assad knows that American law forbids bringing in chemical weapons into the USA. According to Assad, his chemical weapon empire consists of 10,000 tons not the 1000 tons mentioned in earlier days.
Assad then went on to basically state that his position is to only allow the removal of its operational chemical weapons, which may be the 1000 tons the media has mentioned BUT none of the stockpiles that are now hidden in over 50 dispersed sites throughout Syria.
That is a big difference and deal killer. No country has yet volunteered to remove the weapons and destroy them within their borders, only Germany has indicated it has inspectors ready to check sites.
Now, one can see Russia back down and put space between Syria and itself. Putin does not control Assad and obviously, Assad was not party to the discussions, which is odd. How can you have an agreement if a key party is not involved?
While Obama hopes that this, too, will not collapse because that would leave the military option once again, the US is opening discussions with Iran about the nuclear weapon quest. Would Obama settle for this: allow Iran to keep nuclear related equipment if Iran promised not to use their 18,000 centrifuges to create material to make a nuclear bomb? What choice does Obama have? If the US Congress is unwilling to send a few cruise missiles to Syria because it crossed a redline, do you think they would approve a robust bombing of Iran's suspected nuclear weapon facilities?
No. Iran has the leverage and the Syrian debacle showed them the way.