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article imageBashar al-Assad’s Moscow visit upsets United States

By Abdul Kuddus     Oct 22, 2015 in World
Moscow - The United States disapproved Moscow’s "red-carpet welcome” to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and questioned Russia’s intentions about the political transition in Syria.
Bashar al-Assad met Vladimir Putin in Moscow Tuesday and thanked him for the airstrikes against his opponents in Syria. It was Assad’s first overseas visit since the start of the Syrian civil war in 2011.
The Syrian conflict began in March 2011 with anti-government protests that triggered a full-fledged civil war. The uprising against an alleged, autocratic Assad swelled into a brutal proxy war that sucked in regional and world powers into the conflict.
Seemingly, the entry of Russian war planes in Syria has boosted Assad’s morale to remain in power.
Moscow has been aiding Assad, militarily and diplomatically. Assad’s opponents are aided by the CIA and other countries such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey.
Moscow's air strikes in Syria started on September 30, reportedly to weed out the Islamic State forces. Syria is also getting support from by Iran and Lebanon’s Hezbollah. The ground offensive is against Islamic State-held areas of western and northwestern Syria.
Footage taken from the Russian Defence Ministry's website  on October 15  2015  purports to sho...
Footage taken from the Russian Defence Ministry's website, on October 15, 2015, purports to show airstrikes carried out by Russian force an Islamic State foothold in the Syrian province of Idlib
, Russian Defence Ministry/AFP/File
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette quoted Russian Air Force saying “It has flown over 700 sorties against more than 690 targets in Syria since September 30.”
Moscow justified the airstrikes in Syria saying it is “a common-sense move to roll back international terrorism in the face of an ineffective action from Washington.”
An estimated 250,000 Syrians have died in the four-and-a-half years of armed clashes. More than 11 million Syrians have left their homes as Assad and his opponents battle each other.
Migrants and refugees walk to the Croatian-Slovenian border after disembarking from a train on Octob...
Migrants and refugees walk to the Croatian-Slovenian border after disembarking from a train on October 20, 2015 in Kljuc Brdovecki
Now the Syrian conflict is more than just a battle between President Assad and his foes. The sectarian implication and breeding of virulent Islamic fundamentalism has wider implications for the world polity.
According to an Op-Ed article by Niklas Kossow, a PhD student at the Hertie School of Governance, Berlin:
Viewed in this geopolitical context, the civil war in Syria is of enormous significance, and not just for the Middle East. Beyond the borders of the region, the conflict has the potential to change relations between NATO member states and Russia in the long-term. What happens in Syria will determine whether the confrontation between Russia and the West leads to further military upgrading and proxy wars, or whether it is indeed possible to work together to solve the most momentous civil war since the dissolution of Yugoslavia.
Despite multiple negotiations initiated by the United Nations and other world bodies, signs of a peaceful political transition in Syria are not visible.
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