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Think The War In Syria Will End In 2017? Think Again.

Did you think the war in Syria (which is now coming up on its six year anniversary) was set to wind down now that, thanks largely to Russia, Iran, and Hezbollah, Bashar al-Assad has managed to retake Aleppo? No? Neither did I. Indeed, last month's effort to evacuate what remained of the opposition in what was once the country's largest city was repeatedly stymied by mutual distrust that manifested itself in volleys of gunfire, shelling, and airstrikes. Assad now says he's ready to "negotiate everything" with the rebels this month at a meeting arranged by Russia and Turkey. The talks are set to be held in Kazakhstan, although as of Monday, the opposition had reportedly failed to RSVP citing alleged violations of a delicate cease-fire orchestrated by Ankara and Moscow. The bottom line - as I've said  repeatedly - is that Russia, Iran, and Hezbollah will not allow the Assad regime to lose control of "useful Syria." The preservation of Tehran's precious "Shiite crescent" and the integrity of Moscow's naval base at Tartus and airbase in Latakia depend on keeping Assad in power. At the same time, the Saudis, Qatar, and Turkey aren't going to give up support for Sunni oppos
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