Mark N. katz
After Russia joined the rest of the Security Council in condemning Syrian government forces for killing so many people in Houla, hope has arisen in the West that Moscow can now be enlisted to bring about a resolution to the ongoing crisis in Syria in a manner similar to what occurred in Yemen. As the headline of a May 26 New York Times article put it, the “U.S. Hopes Assad Can Be Eased Out with Russia’s Aid.” Such expectations, though, are utterly misplaced. Moscow is neither willing nor able to persuade Syria’s President Assad to step down like Yemen’s President Saleh did at the beginning of 2012.