The protracted war in Syria has been a bloody one, in which there are many players. There is the Assad-led Syrian government. There are a plethora of rebel organizations who are seeking the overthrow of the Syrian government. There is also ISIS, playing both sides against the middle.
And things are not quite so clear cut. There is the international coalition backing many of the rebel groups. This coalition is led by the U.S. and has mainly failed to make much military headway. There is the Russian element, now joined by Iran.
The U.S. has sworn that there can be no peace accord that includes Assad remaining in power. Russia has declared the opposite. Despite this disagreement, the two sides agreed to talks. But, they will have to wait to sit down as the talks were delayed yesterday.
The Washington Post reports
Syrian peace talks being held in Geneva were suspended Wednesday, as opposition and government delegations failed to agree on the conditions required to get them started.
In a statement to reporters, (UN Special Envoy Staffen) de Mistura appeared to sympathize with the opposition’s insistence that the bombing of civilian areas by Russia and the Syrian government it backs must stop and that sieges must be lifted to allow humanitarian access before the talks could start.
The Russian military alongside their Syrian ally has decided that there might be more to be gained by staying the course. One would not expect that the Russians would back such a play unless they believed that there was something to be gained.
John Kerry has urged the Russians to hold to their agreement and support the Syrian government coming to the table. This has fallen on deaf ears.
Russia seemingly has ignored Secretary of State John Kerry’s appeals to stop bombing civilians and allow critical humanitarian aid to starving Syrians – and is instead escalating its military involvement, deploying four of its most capable fighter jets to Syria, two defense officials
confirmed to Fox News.
The decision to send the Su-35S jets poses yet another hurdle for Kerry’s efforts to proceed with peace talks. The Su-35S is Russia’s most advanced warplane, capable of air-to-air and air-to-ground missions, one official familiar with the jet said.
Not only has the bombing continued, but the Russians have stepped up the game. They have brought in new and more advanced jets.
Putin might feel a major victory is within his reach. The talks have been postponed until Feb. 25th. If the Syrian government can succeed in capturing the besieged and starving towns, peace talks might be unneeded.
At any rate, the weak international line of the Democratic Party has done little to encourage the Russians to walk the line. Instead, the weak face the administration has shown the world has only emboldened our rivals.