Syria peace talks resume, but Assad is in the driver’s seat

Geneva, No one is expecting much progress when United Nations-brokered talks on Syria resume on Thursday in Geneva.

The forces of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad scored significant victories in 2016, most importantly the recapture of rebel-held eastern Aleppo. Russia and Iran launched a parallel diplomatic process along with Turkey, which has gone from being Assad’s most vociferous regional opponent to finding common cause with his staunch allies. And there’s a new American president who seems far less concerned with the Syrian leader’s departure than his predecessor.

“Peace is only possible when none of the parties to the conflict think they can win. I’m not sure we are yet there in Syria,” said U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres over the weekend. “I’m afraid that some might still think — and I think it’s a total illusion — that they might win that war, so I’m not optimistic about the short-term solution for the Syria crisis.”

Given such pessimism, here are a few key points when considering Syria’s future prospects.

Source- Washington Post

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