Syria Conflict: Bleak Outlook for UN Peace Talks

Edited by Nelly T.

Violence is escalating in Syria, which is raising concerns from various nations including the United States whose ambassador to the United Nations is urging Russia and other countries with influence to persuade the Syrian government to honor the cease-fire.

France and Iran have echoed this warning saying the current escalation of violence near the city of Aleppo puts more pressure on a fragile truce agreement and underlines the threat it poses to this weeks peace talks in Geneva.

The United Nations expect the talks to resume on Wednesday, and the government delegation has said it is ready to join the talks from Friday.

With President Bashar al-Assad backed by Russian and Iranian military support, the Damascus government is due to hold parliamentary elections on Wednesday, a vote seen by Assad’s opponents as illegitimate and provocative.

A day after Russia said it asked the United States to impede a mobilization of militants near Aleppo, Iran said an increase in ceasefire violations could harm the political process. Up until the conflicted exploded in 2011 Aleppo was Syria’s biggest city.

After a meeting with UN Special envoy Staffan de Mistura in Tehran on Tuesday, Iranian Deputy Foreign minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian blamed the “increasing activities of armed groups” for the violations.

France, who also voiced concern, backs the challenger and blamed the other side.

“It warns that the impact of the regime and its allies’ offensives around Aleppo and Eastern Ghouta are a threat to the cessation of hostilities,” said government spokesman Romain Nadal.

The Eastern Ghouta is an opposition-held area near Damascus.

More than 250,000 people have lost their lives to the 5 year Syrian civil war, the conflict has created the worlds worst refugee crisis, allowed for the rise of Islamic State and drawn in regional and international powers.

The intervention of Russia swung the war in Assad’s favor.