Analysis By Assassinating Prominent Rebel, Russia Seeks to Dictate Who Will Run Syria

Moscow's message is twofold: It won't allow Islamist militias to assume key roles in the future Syrian government, and it won't let Saudi Arabia or Turkey influence the peace talks.

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The precision airstrike near Damascus on Friday that killed the head of one of the most powerful anti-Assad rebel militias served as additional proof, as if any was needed, that Russia intends to be the sole...