Why did Syrian president Bashar al-Assad meet with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin in Sochi on May 17, 2018? “Quite comprehensive negotiations took place,“ was the explanation offered by Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov.
On April 4, 2018 three national presidents met in the Turkish capital of Ankara. Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdogan greeted his Russian and Iranian counterparts − Vladimir Putin and Hassan Rouhani − to discuss a way forward in Syria. In the statement that followed, the three leaders claimed to be working closely to bring about a lasting peace in Syria.
As the world powers are busy carving up Syria’s new boundaries in Geneva and Sochi, a countless number of new lives and their future is not taken on priority.
There is little doubt that the super-power in the Syrian situation is Russia, and that – despite recent US efforts to bolster the UN’s Geneva peace-seeking initiative – the final settlement, whenever it comes about, will provide Russian President Vladimir Putin with the major political advantages in the region that he is seeking.
According to media reports, the Trump Administration is exploring options to maintain an American military presence on the ground in northern Syria after the expulsion of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
The wealth of cultural sites strewn throughout present day Syria and Iraq bear ample witness to the fact that this area was once revered as the cradle of civilisation – sadly, many of these sites have fallen victim to war, violence and looting.
Devastated after years of conflict, Syria remains a huge battlefield, the scene of at least six separate military clashes.