Situation on the Ground in Syria ‘Has Begun to Resemble a Global War’

As the situation in Syria is steadily deteriorating, any kind of breakthrough in the Russo-American negotiations is needed to pave the way for halting the ongoing bloodbath in the region, Swedish journalist Gunilla von Hall writes, adding that events on the ground have begun to resemble a global war.

The situation on the ground in Syria has begun to resemble a global war, Gunilla von Hall, the foreign correspondent for Swedish daily newspaper, Svenska Dagbladet, reports. According to Hall, the Geneva peace talks have become the focus of worldwide attention. “It is here in Geneva that some sort of breakthrough could occur to stop the fighting in Syria, where the situation is seemingly spinning out of control. Since July, the situation has deteriorated and complicated dramatically,” she writes. Turkish tanks and armored vehicles in Jarabulus Sputnik Türkiye/HİKMET DURGUN Turkey Bolsters Operation ‘Euphrates Shield’ in Syria with Eight More Tanks Hall points out that US Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov are discussing two major issues: a 48-hour truce which would allow the parties concerned to provide humanitarian aid to the Syrian civilians; and a Russo-American military cooperation in Syria against Daesh (ISIL/ISIS) and other terrorist groups on the ground. Although there was a glimpse of hope that the agreement on the ceasefire and the military cooperation would be struck on Friday, the talks have stalled. A number of key issues are yet to be solved: first and foremost, it still remains unclear how to separate “moderate” rebels from jihadists in Syria. The issue has been hanging in the balance since January 2016 with Washington appearing to be unable to sort things out on the ground. Last Thursday Lavrov called attention to the fact that the White House should do what it promised to do regarding separating the Syrian moderate opposition from terrorists. “They should… do what they have been promising to do since January — to separate the opposition which they consider loyal from terrorists. They cannot do this, they are either unable to do this or do not want to do it,” Lavrov told reporters. Russia’s Sukhoi Su-34 Fullback tactical bombers strike ISIS sites in Syria Ministry of defence of the Russian Federation Russian Su-34 Bombs Daesh Meeting, Killing Up to 40 Fighters in Syria’s Aleppo To complicate matters further, the Syrian radical opposition continues to disrupt UN humanitarian efforts in the besieged Syrian city of Aleppo. “We strongly condemn the Syrian radical opposition’s inhumane stunt that disrupted the course of a prepared UN humanitarian operation in Aleppo,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in a statement published on the ministry’s website Monday. However, according to Russian political analyst Elena Suponina, the fact that the Russo-American negotiations continue can be seen as a “sign of progress” in the talks. “Perhaps, the parties are intending to finalize some initiatives which would be announced later, however, contradictions on political issues still remain in place and they are very significant,” Suponina told Svobodnaya Pressa. Apparently therefore, the analyst underscores, Moscow and Washington have focused on humanitarian issues and counter-terrorism collaboration in the first place. “It is good that the coordination [between Russia and the US] on these two issues would be bolstered, but there are no prospects of the Syrian war ending soon on the horizon, she believes. People walk near a Syrian national flag at the President bridge in Damascus, Syria March 14, 2016 © REUTERS/ Omar Sanadiki Lavrov: US Must Fulfill Own Promises in Syria Before Voicing Demands Regarding Damascus According to Suponina, the military experts of Russia and the US may potentially reach common ground on coordinated air strikes in Raqqa and Deir ez-Zor, which remain under control of Daesh. In this case, Russia would again send a clear signal to the international community that it is targeting Daesh terrorists, and not “moderates” as Western propaganda is insisting, while Washington would show the American voters that it has come one step closer to eradicating the terrorists in Syria and has even teamed up with Russia to counter the mutual threat. For her part, Swedish journalist Hall insists that Moscow and Washington should accelerate their efforts to reach common ground on Syria. She highlights that very soon the Americans will shift their attention to the final phase of the US Presidential run.

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