Top diplomats from Russia, the United States, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia have decided to hold talks on the Syria war. Russia has got involved into the conflict with the country’s bombing campaign in support of President Bashar al Assad.
Russia launched air strikes in Syria on September 30th. This has shifted the dynamics of the brutal four and a half year war, allowing Assad’s battle-weary forces to go on the offensive and overshadowing the US-led coalition bombing the Islamic State (IS) group.
The US has already warned Russia that its involvement could escalate the violence in Syria. Together with their allies, the US has decried Russia’s strikes, insisting Moscow is not mainly targeting Islamic State as it claims, but other groups battling the regime in Damascus. Kremlin’s intervention will only prolong the fighting, they say.
However there is scant hope of any breakthrough, as Assad’s fate remains a major a stumbling block. International forces have failed to stop the bloodshed in Syria for years. The fighting has already cost more than 250,000 lives. Washington and its regional allies have been insisting that Assad must go for any chance of a political solution. However Moscow insists that they must first help him defeat the IS and other terrorists before any reforms.
“The aim of the US is to get rid of Assad, our aim is to defeat terrorism, to battle terror, and to help President Assad claim victory over terror”, Putin said recently. This is the way to create conditions to reach a conclusion and find a settlement, he adds.
Meanwhile, John Kerry, the US Secretary of State said in Berlin that while all sides agreed on the need to find a political solution and battle IS only, there is just “one thing that stands in the way, a person called Assad — Bashar al Assad”.
However some of the analysts are saying that a few of Assad’s opponents seem to be softening their line and conceding that he could remain in power temporarily.