I am glad that the United States seems to have reached an agreement with Russia about Syria. As the old cliche goes the devil is in the detail. If the situation can be resolved peacefully then all well and good. My worry about this is that Assad shall wriggle out of its terms and not fully dismantle is chemical arsenal.
Assad is very unlikely to negotiate with the rebels. He has reneged on countless promises to reform and to parley. Why would he implement real reform now or talk to the insurgents now when he is winning? The threat of US military action has been all but lifted and Russia is fully behind him as never before. Moscow is even more stalwart for the Ba’ath regime than before because now it sees that this strategy is paying off. A year ago there was talk that Putin might drop his stooge in Damascus. But now as Assad seems to be regaining his grip on the country there is no reason for Russia to give up what it has tried so hard to maintain: a client government in Syria.
France would never conduct unilateral military action against Syria. France’s military is too weak and too vulnerable to reprisal never mind the diplomatic isolation and backlash that will result.