February 13, 2018 – FRN –
President of Syria, Bashar Assad, is unlikely to agree to voluntarily leave his post or make serious concessions to the opposition, says US National Intelligence Director Daniel Coates.
“Moscow probably can not force President Assad to agree to a political settlement that, in his opinion, will significantly weaken Syria, unless Moscow is ready to remove Assad by force.”
While Assad can participate in peace negotiations, he is unlikely to negotiate (withdraw) or offer meaningful concessions to the opposition,” says the report of Coates, published on the website of the US Senate Intelligence Committee.
The document also notes that Russia and Iran want to maintain a long-term presence in Syria for the protection of their military bases and for obtaining contracts for the extraction of oil and gas (whether or not that’s true.)
In addition, according to Coates, Iran seeks to create a land corridor through Syria to Lebanon.
In turn, the Syrian Kurds will try to gain some autonomy within Syria but will be opposed by Russia, Iran and Turkey.