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Putin Congratulates Assad

By Stephen Lendman

Ending an otherwise dismal year by handing America a stunning defeat in Aleppo is a glorious way to end it.

Hopefully it’s prelude to liberating Syria entirely, along with inflicting a mortal blow to Washington’s regional imperial agenda.

I tweeted Trump the following: A new year’s resolution to keep: Pursue world peace. Reject wars. Make you presidency historic if achieved.

I restrained myself from separately saying govern like Putin, not Obama. On Friday, Russia’s president phoned Assad - “congratula(ing) him on the completion of the operation to liberate Aleppo. This success became possible thanks to the common effort of all those who joined in the fight against international terrorism in Syria.”

He “stressed that the main task now is to focus on furthering the peace process, in particular by signing an agreement on comprehensive resolution of the Syrian crisis,” according to the Kremlin web site.

At his annual yearend marathon press conference, he commented on Aleppo’s liberation, saying Iranian and Turkish leaders “played a very large role in resolving the situation…”

“This involved exchanges and unblocking several areas with a Shiite majority. Perhaps this will sound immodest but this would have been simply impossible without (Russia’s) participation.”

“(T)his cooperation in the trilateral format definitely played a very important role in resolving problems around Aleppo…especially at the last stage.”

“(T)his was achieved without military action, as the Defence Minister just reported to me about this work at the final stage. We simply organised and carried out the evacuation of tens of thousands of people, and not only radical armed groups and their representatives but also women and children.”

“I am referring to the over 100,000 people who were evacuated from Aleppo. Thousands were moved out of other residential areas in exchange for this withdrawal from Aleppo.”

“This (was) the biggest…international humanitarian action in the modern world” - achieved with no Western help. Just the opposite. Assad deserves credit for fully cooperating.

“The next step…should be an agreement on a ceasefire throughout Syria, immediately followed by practical talks on political reconciliation,” Putin stressed.

“We suggested Astana, Kazakhstan as a neutral territory, and the President of Turkey agreed. The President of Iran also agreed as did President Assad. President Nazarbayev has kindly agreed to provide this venue. I very much hope that we will manage to put it on a practical footing.”

Separately, Russia intends helping keep peace and security in Aleppo, a Defense Ministry statement saying:

“A battalion of the military police of the Russian Defense Ministry was sent at the Hmeymim airbase by aircraft of the military transport aviation after undergoing an additional training on one of the polygons.”

“At the moment, the unit marched from the Hmeymim airbase to the city of Aleppo in order to perform tasks as a part of the Russian Centre for reconciliation of opposing sides in Syria. The unit of the military police is staffed only by contract servicemen.”

Despite eastern Aleppo’s liberation, shelling western city residential districts continues by nearby US-supported terrorists.

On Friday, over a dozen deaths were reported, another 10 injured. Defeat in Aleppo hasn’t stopped their atrocities.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

Visit his blog site at

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.