12:56 GMT +3 hours26 June 2016
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Syrian men walk past a poster bearing a portrait of President Bashar al-Assad in the capital Damascus, on February 27, 2016, as the first major ceasefire of the five-year war takes hold and an international task force prepares to begin monitoring the landmark truce

In Full Control: Whatever Happens Next in Syria Will be Decided in Moscow

© AFP 2016/ LOUAI BESHARA
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The US media grudgingly admits that the US-Russian backed cessation of hostilities in Syria has been struck on Russia’s terms and Moscow remains “in control of what happens next”, however some media sources say that Russia’s mere negotiation of the ceasefire has already been done from a position of strength.

“That is the real import of the cease-fire: It puts Russia in control of what happens next in Syria,” laments The Washington Post, adding that the Obama administration has simply “handed” this geopolitical victory to President Putin.

Rather than support Syrian rebels, it “chose to sue for peace on Moscow’s terms”, the US daily suggests.

However, this turns out to be only partially true.

“The important thing to note about the ceasefire is that Russia and Hezbollah were within a month or so of declaring victory when the deal was struck,” suggests one of the key bloggers at the website Zero Hedge.

“Government forces have closed in on the city of Aleppo, a major symbol of the uprising. Their supply routes from Turkey cut, rebels in the Aleppo area now say it may only be a matter of time before they are crushed altogether,” echoes Reuters.

That meant Russia was already negotiating from a position of strength.

"We are heading toward being liquidated I think," the agency quoted a former official from a rebel group in the city as saying.

All the above has been confirmed on Saturday by a senior representative of the Russian General Staff, Sergei Rudskoi:

"We are in full control of the situation across the whole of Syria," he said, adding that Russian forces suspended all sorties over Syria on Saturday, in line with a ceasefire deal, but are using at least 70 drones and space surveillance for monitoring purposes.

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Tags:
Syrian ceasefire, control, Syria, United States, Russia
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