The situation in Syria has been a smudge on the fabric of humanity for years now. The Syrian Army with the help of Iran and Russia has been making headway against those in opposition to the Assad regime….while the war on ISIS has had its ups and downs but for the most part it is going well but not good….
There have been NO bright spots for the most part….the refugees are suffering…..civilians are dying….and bombs continue to fall….but recently a small flicker of hope came out of Syria…..that flicker is a peace process to end this thing….and how many know there is a peace talk going on?
The Syrian peace talks arranged by Russia, Turkey and Iran that opened today in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan, show that President Bashar al-Assad is winning the six-year-old war, but his final victory may be a long way off. Several participants in the conference have good reasons to fight on and Isis has recently made important advances.
Representatives of some of the rebel armed groups sat on one side of a round table, while the Syrian government delegation sat on the other, but the rebels said there would be no face to face talks. The most positive likely outcome of the meeting would be a reinforcement of the shaky ceasefire that began on 29 December and has been only partly effective. The US is not taking part in the talks, in contrast to previous abortive negotiations, but has sent its ambassador to Kazakhstan indicating that it does not oppose them.
If you get your news from American media then you know very little of this attempt…..why/ For one the US is not part of this process……we have an observer for what that is worth…..
My friends at the International Crisis Group (ICG) has issued a report on what is at stake with these negotiations……
Here in Astana, the spotlight is on the talks between the Syrian government and members of the armed opposition, but this is largely theatrics. Indeed, among the diplomats, journalists and analysts waiting in the hotel lobby and pub, there is a growing sense that we are also part of the show. The more substantive event involves trilateral discussions among Russia, Turkey and Iran, yet little has been revealed about their content.
The very fact that Russia, Turkey, and Iran are driving the talks – with limited participation from the U.S. as an observer, and none at all from Saudi Arabia – reflects the extent to which the centre of gravity in the Syrian war has shifted. This is the result of military progress by the regime and its backers, declining U.S. influence (for the moment at least) in the conflict’s central power struggle, and Riyadh’s stepping back from a role in Syria (due to its Yemeni quagmire and the weakening of its preferred rebel partners).
This is a monumental attempt that could have long lasting effects…it will be a difficult and delicate process but if sides are willing then peace is possible….as it is today….the US would have very little to do with peace…….that is sad.