As the success of Assad in Aleppo will change the political process in Syria


On Wednesday evening the leaders of USA, France, UK, Italy, Canada and Germany (all the countries “the seven” without Japan) issued a joint statement in which they criticized the ongoing military operation in Aleppo city and has threatened sanctions. “We are ready to consider additional restrictive measures against individuals and entities that act for or on behalf of the Syrian regime,” — the document says. It notes that Russia — despite promises — is not willing to participate in the political settlement of the situation in Syria.

Political resolution of the conflict named in the Declaration the only option leaders have called on the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to agree to the UN plan for the resolution of the humanitarian crisis in Aleppo. The operation in Aleppo — the so-called “second capital” and the most important city of Syria — is the Syrian government army. The defense Ministry claims that the HQs of the country in operations in Aleppo and are not involved. The presence of Russian military specialists, advisors, engineers and medical personnel.

The statement was made after Monday, Russia and China vetoed a resolution on the humanitarian situation in Syria, and in Aleppo, the government army expanded the territory they control. The resolution called for a cease-fire by all parties seven days for delivery of humanitarian aid and the exit of the city’s civilian population. Russia voted against it, as a pause would allow the militants to regroup and get reinforcements, said Russia’s permanent representative to the UN Vitaly Churkin.

A day for two quarters

During the four weeks of operation the Syrian army cleaning Aleppo from the “armed opposition” was released 47 districts of the city, which is about two thirds of the territory controlled by the rebels. Such data results the Center for reconciliation of the warring parties at the Ministry of defence of Russia. Until last week, the main fighting was over peripheral areas in the North and East of the metropolis, to the beginning of the week, the Syrian army launched an offensive in the Old city and told about his passing under her control. Syrian monitoring centre for human rights (SOHR, based in the UK) confirmed that government troops drove the rebels from the historic centre.

“The return of Aleppo under government control will be an important milestone in the Syrian war, — said the expert of the Russian international Affairs Council (RIAC) Maxim Suchkov. — Moscow declared its readiness to help Assad achieve this goal before the end of this year. This reality felt, it seems, all involved players.”

American officials at the beginning of the operation assumed that the full sweep of Aleppo by opposition fighters will take about two months and will be completed by the inauguration of Donald trump on January 20. But later, when government forces has developed successful offensive, the Russian politicians and experts began to assert that the fall of Aleppo as the stronghold of the opposition perhaps to the end of the year.

Armed opposition, mainly groups banned in Russia “dzhebhat an-Nusra” and its allies, controlled the Eastern part of the city in 2012.

The price of progress

On Wednesday morning received from Aleppo died on the Russian military adviser, Colonel Ruslan Galitsky. He died in hospital, were seriously wounded in the shelling of “opposition fighters” of one of the blocks to the West of Aleppo, reported the Ministry of defense. Galitsky performed the task in the group of Russian military advisors: assisted the command staff of one of the compounds of the Syrian army in the training of parts and divisions, as well as the development of military equipment, said the office. On Monday, in occupied by the forces of Assad part of the city the shelling field hospitals, killing two medical workers. from Russia: Hope Durachenko and Galina Mikhailova. In total, according to official data, over 14 months of operations in Syria killed 23 Russian.

Negotiations stalled

The success of government forces in Aleppo, has not led to a breakthrough on the negotiation front. Wednesday were to resume the talks between the experts of Russia and USA on the situation in Aleppo. On Saturday, Lavrov said that the US proposed approaches to the organization of the militias to withdraw from cities and access for humanitarian assistance, these proposals generally coincide with the Russian. However, on Tuesday, the Minister said that US officials refused and withdrew their proposal. What proposals have been revoked, neither the American nor the Russian side announced.

However, on Wednesday was appointed consultations at the level of Ministers of foreign Affairs Lavrov was to meet U.S. Secretary of state John Kerry and Minister of foreign Affairs of Germany Frank-Walter Steinmeier. As reported Kerry, the meeting “was to be raised the Syrian issue.” State Department spokesman mark Toner said that the elaboration of the details of the negotiations between the two countries continues, however any details refused to name. By Wednesday evening the information on how the meeting went, haven’t been reported.

“To make even greater efforts to convert the victory “on the ground” in diplomatic success, which, moreover, will contribute to resolving the entire situation in Syria and negotiations with the new American administration,” says Knots from the INF Treaty. A dramatic statement of Western leaders of Knots explains that “they have no choice but to increase the pressure in the public sphere after they support forces suffer a defeat”. They, according to experts, can not be reconstructed as China, which earlier — before the joint veto in the UN de facto maintained neutrality in the Syrian issue. The expert admitted that in private talks, Western diplomats are ready to show more flexibility than in public speeches.

Polled by Reuters staff the U.S. administration, argue that Russia gets the better of US. “Who won? Putin, the Iranians and Assad. Who lost? Most of all — we (the US ), the Jordan (where was the training camp for the moderate opposition ), Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States”, — quotes Agency the words of one of the interlocutors. “Russia does not want to end the war, she wanted to be in it to win it,” said another source, answering the question about the diplomatic efforts of Washington.

The advance of the army — “strategic victory” that will prevent foreign intervention and change the course of the political process, said the Syrian Minister of national reconciliation Ali Haidar.

The capture of Aleppo would mean Assad’s government, a radical change in the war, said the Director of the Center for analysis of middle East conflicts of the Institute of USA and Canada Alexander Shumilin. However, according to him, to speak about the interception of a Russian diplomatic initiative yet. “Prospects for a diplomatic solution is unclear. This requires negotiations with Assad, but who will lead is unclear,” he said. Shumilin said that Western States has avoided direct intervention in the Syrian conflict, making it possible to help Russia to Syria.

Source