Far from "flexing muscles" the Syrians are struggling to figure out how to secure their regime into the future. Survival of the elites is all that matters. Val suggests that if only Israel would "throw a bone" in the form of the Golan, things would change. The Golan will always be on the table but as people who have participated in past peace talks will attest, its the Syrians who are uncomfortable with what real peace with Israel would mean for the regime. They want the Golan but none of the normalization that would change the minds of future generation and prevent future wars. When Syria wants the Golan, it only needs to deal honestly about what peace would mean. They don't want to deal, and risk an openness that would lead to, heaven forbid, democracy. So Israel sits pretty on the heights and grows wine and waits for a reasonable peace deal.
Kerry raises South China Sea concerns with China's Wang (Reuters)
from the article: As the West woos Syria, Assad aligns himself with Iran