Putin shortlists candidates to succeed Bashar Assad

The Syrian peace conference in Geneva has only one real task: to rubberstamp the quiet deals Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin have struck for ending the Syrian war. Their pact was first revealed in last week’s DEBKA Weekly. The current issue out this Friday has the sequel, which exclusively covers Putin’s next steps as front man of the partnership, with Obama “leading from behind.” The Russian president is already studying a short list of candidates to take over the Syrian presidency after Bashar Assad steps down.

This issue also reveals US-Russian plans for eradicating ISIS by the targeted date of July 1.

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