US and Russia found the easiest agreement on Syria: try to hold an international conference of peace, if possible, with the participation of the two principal sides fighting: the government of Bashar Al Assad and the Syrian National Coalition in the opposition. Almost at the same time the government in Syria cut the access to the Internet in the Country, something the regime of Al Assad has done in the past during major military operations to block the communications of the rebel fighters. So the climate is not conversational, but all the opposite. So, both the US and Russians have a lot to do if they want all around a table and some results.
The international conference was an agreement after hours of talks between the US Secretary of State John Kerry and the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Moscow on Tuesday and they hope it will possible to convene all sides by the en of this month.
The Syrian Coalition seems ready to go but not to talk to Al Assad. In a statement said that ” welcomes all international efforts calling for a political solution, which achieve the aspirations and hopes of the Syrian people for a democratic state that begins with the removal of the Assad regime”. No known reaction on the other side at the moment.
I would like to be wrong, but my humble experience observing armed conflicts like this one (I can remember the Balkan’s war) is that when there is a deadline in the horizon the better armed, in this case the government that has air strike capabilities, take the time left, to take advantage of its power and advance to reach the last date in a better in-fact situation on the ground. This is the risk and this is why is good the conference will be pretty soon, would be better sooner, because in this lapses of time who suffer the consequences are the civilians trapped in the middle of the fighting. And in this case with the uncertainty of what can do Israel if feels threatened and decides to strike again on Syrian’s soil.
I’m not saying that an international conference is a bad idea. A diplomatic solution would be great, the best solution. But right now there is no agreement to what to do with the regime of Al Assad, with Al Assad himself, with the opposition or with a hypothetical transitional government. What is not a good idea is to prolong the situation with subsequent conferences without clear agreements, giving more time to fight on the ground. What is urgent is to stop the violence, stop the attacks to cities and civilian neighborhoods, the air strikes, the use of chemical weapons. Then help effectively all this people (more than 4.5 million internal displaced, more than 1.3 million refugees, more than 6.5 people in dare need according the UN) establish a secure peace and search for responsibilities.
- Russia and US call for Syria conference with both sides (guardian.co.uk)