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Syrian regime tries to enforce its military victory in peace negotiations

Damascus threatens to boycott Geneva dialogue if the opposition demands the departure of the Assad's power

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Syrian regime tries to enforce its military victory in peace negotiations

Backed by Russia and Iran, Syrian regime is trying to enforce its victories on ground against insurgency in negotiating table. After nearly seven years of civil War, it now maintains effective control over two-thirds of country, including major cities and useful territory for agriculture and industry. The head of government delegation, Bashar al-Yaafari, warned in Swiss city before flying to Damascus that it will not return next week if rebel negotiating Committee does not withdraw its "provocative statements" against President El Asad. "My Government will make last decision," Syrian ambassador to UN told press, "and re won't be any progress if y try to impose se unrealistic ses." "On ground we are strongest part."

of Mistura, which is often defined as an "incorrigible optimist", had presented eve to both parties — separately — a document with "12 essential principles" that collects basic points of consensus that has been compiled since beginning of dialogue in February Of 2016. As text was accepted in principle by two delegations, UN mediator interpreted that he had a free hand for resumption of talks and — after having managed to have negotiators stay in halls "located only five meters Away "— extended meeting schedule until December 15th.

The threat of slamming wielded by Al-Yaafari — a tanned and harsh-style diplomat — did not seem to impress much of Mistura after more than 40 years of career in United Nations, only interrupted by his passage through Italian Government. The UN special Envoy made public a little later confidential text of "12 essential principles" to counteract órdago of representative of Syrian regime.

This is a generic compilation of elements of consensus — territorial integrity (including reintegration of Golan Heights occupied by Israel), national sovereignty, pluralism, respect for ethnic and religious minorities ... — which can constitute axis of A new constitution agreed. This would be prerequisite for training, according to resolution 2254, adopted unanimously two years ago by Security Council, a Government of national unity and for holding of elections supervised by UN.

The new head of rebel delegation, Nasr El Hariri, was willing to be elected a week ago in Saudi capital to "start from scratch" in new negotiating round. But just getting to Geneva reiterated request that Asad be excluded from process of political transition. "The opposition has to be realistic and accept that it has not won war," recalled U.N. mediator before convening this new cycle of talks in Geneva.

An opposition with several heads

For first time, all groups that have risen against government of El Asad are presented toger on a single platform. The so-called Committee for negotiations is composed of 36 members of disparate organizations such as Syrian National Coalition ( Istanbul-based alliance of moderate laymen and Islamists), Committee for Democratic Change (nationalist domestic opposition ), Group of Cairo (Pan-Arabist and secular), group of Moscow (deserters of regime of El Asad), independent figures and Chiefs of seven main army militias.

A country under foreign occupation

The scenario of World War, because of participation of international forces in support of contenders in war, will not be dismantled immediately in Syria.

Russia. The overturn of Moscow's military intervention in September 2015 in favour of El Asad, when regime was cornered, has had price of a massive deployment, with more than 4,300 military, according to reports quoted by Reuters, as well as hundreds of police Military and dozens of fighter jets and helicopters.

The United States has only declared presence of half a thousand soldiers on ground for over a year, but Pentagon has recently admitted presence of up to 2,000 members of special Forces and Marines in support of ir allies Kurds.

Shia front, with Iran at forefront, has several thousand members of Iranian Revolutionary Guard, of Lebanese Hezbollah fighters, and of Iraqi militias in ranks of Assad regime since almost beginning of conflict. The military analyst of Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahoronot Alex Fishman assured yesterday that " last thing that Asad needs now is a confrontation with Israel." "It needs stability, above all, against aspirations of its allies in Iran and Hezbollah to have permanent bases in Syria."

Turkey intervened directly last year in norrn Syria, where some 3,000 military is stationed, in order to curb advance of Syrian Kurdish rebel guerrillas.

The Syrian Democratic Front, US-supported Arab-Kurdish alliance, now controls one-fifth of Syrian territory in norastern part of country. His political arm, Democratic Unity Party (PYD) held this Friday local elections to consolidate a de facto self-government. The Kurdish representatives have not been invited to participate in Geneva negotiations for Ankara veto.

With America increasingly misunderstood of war in Syria after defeat of Islamic State, Russia is presented as main diplomatic actor in final stage of conflict. His direct intervention has now placed government delegation in a clear position of advantage in Geneva negotiations.

The Kremlin, however, needs to continue credible talks with opposition in Geneva to satisfy all parties involved. As noted by Jordan Times columnist Osama al Sharif, " actors who intervene in Syrian conflict begin to show symptoms of fatigue after seven years of war and seek means to put an end to it."

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