Retired U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Paul Vallely says there’s no doubt Russia is running the show in Syria, and Vallely believes the only successful path forward is convincing Vladimir Putin to abandon the Assad regime for the good of Russia and the region.
Vallely recently spent several days in Europe, evaluating the refugee crisis and meeting with key officials, most notably Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov, who serves as Putin’s chief envoy to Syria and the Middle East.
The general said Bogdanov didn’t say much but listened intently, and he certainly conveyed the belief that Putin is calling the shots in Syria.
“They know we have very weak leadership in the United States,” Vallely told WND and Radio America. “We have no strategy that works or will work in the Middle East. He knew that Russians were basically controlling the chessboard, and nothing will happen in Syria unless something is done with the Russians. That’s just the way it is.”
During their talks in Paris, Vallely laid out his multi-point plan for solving the Syrian crisis to Bogdanov.
“Nothing will happen in Syria … until Assad retires and is removed,” said Vallely, who urged the Russians to take several immediate steps.
“First thing, cease fire. Quit bombing the Free Syrian Army and civilians that the Russians have been doing. They been hitting almost no ISIS targets at all. We got this from inside Syria through our intel operatives there. Assad’s got to step down, be replaced by a new government, and then they can proceed with the reunification and restoration and get Syria pulled back together as a unified country and people,” said Vallely, who still firmly believes that supporting the Free Syrian Army is the smartest way to achieve a secular, stable Syria. Source