Putin makes Assad an offer he can't refuse
The embattled Syrian leader, Bashar al-Assad, appeared in Moscow on Tuesday night, for his first trip outside of his country since the uprising against him began in 2011. It’s a sign of his dependence on Russian military assistance. And it seems Vladimir Putin summoned Assad to get a sense of how flexible he is on his role in any political settlement or transition in Syria. Syria's secular elite shares a deep comfort level with the arrival of Russian forces.