Washington is Interested in Striking Deal on Syria Before November Election

Russo-American talks on the Syrian ceasefire and military cooperation may bear fruit, although Moscow and Washington still have a number of questions and details to think through, managing editor for Veterans Today Jim W. Dean writes.

The much-anticipated ceasefire agreement and the US-Russian military cooperation deal may help the parties concerned to sort the war mess on the ground in Syria. According to Jim W. Dean, managing editor for Veterans Today, there are signs emerging that the Syrian plan negotiated by Moscow and Washington may finally come to fruition. “Although they are still not 100% there, having a few last details to be worked out by their respective military technical people, the news is positive in both what they say, and not say,” Dean wrote Thursday in his opinion piece for New Eastern Outlook. U.S. President Barack Obama (R) chats with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin prior to a working session at the Group of 20 (G20) leaders summit in the Mediterranean resort city of Antalya, Turkey, November 16, 2015 © REUTERS/ Kayhan Ozer/Pool Chances for US-Russian Cooperation in Syria ‘Higher’ Than One Could Imagine There are grounds for cautious optimism, according to the journalist. Interestingly enough, in his interview with Bloomberg Russian President Vladimir Putin emphasized that Moscow and Washington are close to concluding a deal on fighting terrorists in Syria. “We’re gradually, gradually heading in the right direction,” President Putin told the media outlet Thursday. Dean calls attention to the fact that US Secretary of State Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov have agreed on “concrete ways” in which they would work with the sides on the ground. However, “the big Gordian Knot of these Kerry-Lavrov summer talks has always been separating the legitimate rebel opposition forces from the terrorists. The problem there was the later have been a key component in keeping the offensive pressure on the Assad government and Syrian Army,” he highlights. Still, Russian online media outlet Vzglyad.ru calls attention to the fact that Kerry and Lavrov agreed to take efforts to separate jihadists from the cooperative “moderate” Syrian opposition and focus their attention on the al-Nusra Front — the group that has declared recently that it had severed its ties with al-Qaeda. Syrian army fighters during a fight in south-western Aleppo, Syria © Sputnik/ Michael Alaeddin Situation on the Ground in Syria ‘Has Begun to Resemble a Global War’ This terrorist organization is maneuvering to preserve its status quo on the ground by establishing alliances with other jihadist groups and creating “umbrella entities” for Islamists which are not fighting under al-Nusra Front’s banners. It is clear that “the hammer just went down on the ceasefire deal wreckers. The ‘uncooperative opposition’ has been banished. They can deliver their veto on the battlefield, where they can be dealt with as the other terrorists are,” Dean emphasizes. Jarablus © Sputnik/ Hikmet Durgun Hillary Clinton-Backed ‘No-Fly Zones’ Taking Shape in Syria Russian political analyst Elena Suponina believes that although the Syrian conflict is unlikely to be settled in near future, there is the possibility that Moscow and Washington would reach common ground and even carry out joint air operations in Raqqa and Deir ez-Zor against Daesh (ISIS/ISIL). Suponina told Svobodnaya Pressa that Washington’s potential military “success” in Syria would acquire a new meaning in the light of the final phase of the US presidential campaign. Military expert Anatoly Nesmiyan shares a similar stance. According to Nesmiyan, the Obama administration’s military achievements in Syria would become “a gift” to Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton on the eve of the November election. Although major geopolitical players have signaled their willingness to reach an agreement and pave the way for a diplomatic solution of the Syrian crisis, the recent developments leave more questions than answers, Dean remarks. He refers to clashes between Kurdish militants and the Syrian Arab Army in the Hasakah region as well as to Turkey’s stepping in to northern Syria. “Was it an agreement to throw the rump opposition groups out of the talks? Was the timing of the Turkish move into Syria a condition of getting a ‘stake in the game’ so to speak, to get its cooperation in a Syria resolution, knowing that a Kurdish state will not appear one morning on its border providing safe haven for what it deems to be Kurdish terrorists in Turkey?” he asks.

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