Putin and his advisors must be waking to the fact they are shackled to a mad dog. Their explanation- that a bomb set off the rebel’s chemicals in a warehouse- is desperate, and they know everyone knows it’s desperate. Chemical weapons simply don’t work like that. Physics doesn’t work like that. And even if it did why haven’t the rebels used the chemicals by now? Nope, Assad (or one of his generals, a scary prospect that) is dropping sarin on children. And Russia can’t do anything about it. They need him to keep their naval base (and by extension their strategic projection) safe. They can’t get rid of their ‘puppet’ and they don’t have the capability to put an army in Syria and maintain it. And Assad knows this. And he knows they know this.
Ah, protecting your assets in the Middle East under the guise of peacekeeping: not as easy as it looks, eh Vlad?