If Putin thinks Assad could have handled the situation differently, then why not consider that if Assad were to step down now, that might open up the possibility of both sides agreeing to talks? Particularly with the aim of making the situation calm, and not stirring up attitudes of vengeance, and violent retribution such as occurred in Libya, when Gaddafi was apparently murdered by vengeful thugs, and subsequently there was further political violence, Putin could offer Assad and his family asylum in Russia, so long as all sides agreed to assure them safe passage there. Perhaps then there could be a new start in Syria.
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Police arrest 18-year-old Palestinian suspected in Old City stabbing (Haaretz)
from the article: Putin: Assad could have avoided war by enacting political reforms
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