Despite bold words of UN talks, Russia digs in heels for long war in Syria
Russian air force pilots arrive to board a Russian fighter jet before departure on a mission at the Russian Hmeimim military base in Latakia province, Syria, on December 16, 2015.
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The bold words of Western envoys following the United Nations resolution aiming at peace in Syria passed Friday give the impression that not only is the end of the war nigh, but their countries’ interest and influence in the region is unwavering. Unfortunately for Syria, the opposite may be true.
Far from being a decisive step to peace, this resolution’s opaque and one-sided nature should be regarded with circumspection. Indeed, the Syrian opposition is doing just this, noting that the road map ignores the important Riyadh meeting of revolutionary forces, as well as previous U.N. resolutions. The root of such skepticism lies in Russia’s dominance in the process, and the United States’ seeming acquiescence to Moscow’s desires, whatever Secretary of State John Kerry and President Barack Obama might say.
The silence over whether Syrian President Bashar Assad will stand down is deafening, evidence of Washington’s weakening stance on the murderous tyrant. And as for Russia’s interest in having guns fall silent, it should be noted that Moscow’s announcement that it is ready to unleash new, more sophisticated weapons shows that it is finding the exercise of warfare in most encouraging. Why stop these real-life training exercises now?
Sadly the U.N. negotiations played out to the thunderous soundtrack of Russian airstrikes, and without a more serious and decisive resolution this din is set to continue. The road map is nothing short of a legal whitewashing of the current situation in Syria, and sadly, 2016 looks set to be no different to 2015, with the rate of killing unchanging.
This means there are 50,000 Syrians whose lives are marked to end this coming year, as the world lets this Russian bear loose to satisfy his ambitions, designs and ego.