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The June 1, 2016, deadline for Syria's Assad regime to lift impediments to United Nations emergency food and medical deliveries to desperate Syrians has come and gone.Washington is asking that the signatories to the most recent statement of the International Syria Support Group and the Assad regime uphold their commitments to reduce violence and to facilitate humanitarian assistance. Slightly more than eight months have passed since Russia intervened militarily in Syria. Now the ubiquitous presence of the Nusra Front in northwestern Syria encourages Russia and the regime to pound civilian residential areas as they please, citing the ISSG as having exempted the Nusra Front from the CoH.What would the American-led anti-Daesh coalition do if Russia, Iran and the Assad regime were to shift their focus from collective punishment of Syrian civilians to fighting Daesh?Would Washington have any option other than to facilitate, in effect, the restoration of Assad regime authority in eastern Syria, leaving that regime free to go door-to-door in its lethal hunt for civil society activists who have opposed both it and Daesh?That Assad is, in the end, Tehran's man perhaps still carries weight in Washington.
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