Secretary of State made it clear that the Russians must decide between the US and Syria that might be Trump versus Assad.
The Russians said hold on, Assad and the Russians are falsely accused of having used sarin gas against civilians. That is easily disproven by the facts. That means that the Russians are lying and covering for Assad.
The Obama administration may not have intentionally handed the fate of Syria to the Russians, but that is what the Russians think happened. Now, they probably want a return on their investment.
The Americans popping back into the picture would undermine Russians benefiting from backing the Assad regime.
The Americans need a whole lot of help to establish safe havens for Syrians and to help reshape the nation. Help may be promised by members of the Arab League and NATO, for instance. Surely, the UN has a stake in Syria going forward. That means, Russians will be squeezed out.
It isn't likely that the US will jump into Syria whole-hog. It is riskier now that there might be incidental mistakes or even intentional conflict between the US and Russians sharing a small space in Syria.
Assad would be prudent to restrain from any additional use of chemical weapons. Russians may bluster, but the facts undermine their volley.
"Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov began a meeting with his US counterpart Rex Tillerson in Moscow with a warning -- do not strike the Syrian regime again.
The two top diplomats are sitting down together in Moscow on Wednesday for what are expected to be painstaking talks, after a chemical attack in northwestern Syria plunged the old Cold War enemies to a new low.
The two countries have traded barbs over last week's chemical attack, which killed 89 people, and prompted the US to carry out its first strike against the Syrian regime in the six-year conflict, taking out aircraft and infrastructure at a Syrian military air base."
Assad has to go, and the Russians have to leave.