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CIA director rules out Russia holding on to Assad

October 29, 2015 at 10:52 am

The director of the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has ruled out the possibility that Russia will continue to hold on to the Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad in the long term.

“It is ironic that it seems that they [the Russians] need to strengthen the regime before they can take him [Assad] out,” John Brennan said on Wednesday during an intelligence conference in Washington, DC.

The CIA chief explained that Moscow is interested in Syria, mainly in order to maintain its own position in the Middle East. He added that the Kremlin would be willing to let Assad fall, if it saw a solution that serves the target set by Moscow which gains acceptance by a majority of the Syrian people.

Brennan acknowledged that although the CIA did not know exactly when Russia began to intervene militarily in Syria, the agency does not expect the Kremlin to stand by and watch the Assad regime fall. Russia has invested for over 50 years in Syria, he explained, and has many strategic interests there, including an entire port on the Mediterranean under its control.