Intelligence Director James Clapper said Tuesday “The prospects are right now that [Assad] is actually in a strengthened position than when we discussed this last year, by virtue of his agreement to remove the chemical weapons, as slow as that process has been.” Clapper was briefing the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee. DEBKAfile predicted this very outcome last September when US Secretary of State and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov reached an understanding on the elimination of Syria’s chemical arsenal.