Direct intervention may be nearer than he envisions. VoR said oriental studies expert Boris Dolgov thinks Syrian opposition forces "might get hold of (chemical weapons), use them in small quantities, and put the blame on government troops."
Doing so "would serve as a good pretext for the US to intervene."
Institute of Strategic Studies and Analysis expert Sergei Demidenko said Ankara put itself in the position of "(v)ictory or death. It is set on supporting militants for the purpose of overthrowing the Syrian regime. It's a great mistake."
Publicly, Russia holds out hope for diplomacy. Privately it knows that full-scale war looms. How it plans react remains unclear.
It has much to lose by inaction. Putin at times shows resolve. He sharply criticizes US imperialism. It's time for him to step up to the plate assertively. Words without follow-through ring hollow. His moment of truth is now.
On December 8, Mossad-connected DEBKAfile (DF) headlined "Assad's last warning to rebels before using chemical weapons. West, Israel on high preparedness."
Without evidence or logic, it claims Assad may "resort to chemical warfare." Saying so is falsified inflammatory hype.
Opposition forces captured an Al Safira "chloride factory." It's east of Aleppo.