Poll Context: As bad as the Assad regime in Syria was, ISIS was far worse so the joint Syrian / Russian offensive to retake Palmyra from ISIS has to be admired. It is something the West has failed to do.
Writing in the Telegraph, London’s mayor Boris Johnson had this to say,
I suppose it is bizarre to feel such joy at the military success of one of the vilest regimes on earth. But I cannot conceal my elation as the news comes in from Palmyra and it is reported that the Syrian army is genuinely back in control of the entire Unesco site.
There may be booby traps in the ruins, but the terrorists are at last on the run. Hooray, I say. Bravo – and keep going. Yes, I know. Assad is a monster, a dictator. He barrel-bombs his own people. His jails are full of tortured opponents. He and his father ruled for generations by the application of terror and violence – and yet there are at least two reasons why any sane person should feel a sense of satisfaction at what Assad’s troops have accomplished.
“It has been Putin who with a ruthless clarity has come to the defense of his client, and helped to turn the tide.”
Can the West learn a lesson from what Syria and Russia just achieved?