Friday, March 03, 2017

Good, Bad and Mixed News on Syria

Good, Bad and Mixed News on Syria

by Stephen Lendman

First the good. Syria’s military said the historically important, strategically located city of Palmyra and surrounding areas were liberated, ISIS terrorists routed after weeks of fighting.

According to Russia’s General Staff, Main Operations Department head Gen. Sergei Rudskoi, “(t)he city has been fully liberated by now, and the government troops have captured commanding heights north and south of Palmyra and continue advancing in the eastern direction.”

No Russian airstrikes targeted areas with historical monuments vital to the city’s heritage, Rudskoi added.

Now the mixed good and bad news. Geneva IV Syria peace talks ended with no breakthroughs as expected, but no breakdowns.

During seven days of discussions, both sides didn’t talk to each other directly, nor did Washington participate, essential for progress.

None was made other than agreeing on another round of talks - depending on the results of a March 14 and 15 meeting in Astana, Kazakhstan between both sides.

More bad news - Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, saying “no substantial contacts” between Moscow and Washington on Syria occurred since Trump assumed office - other than a get-to-know-you Lavrov/Tillerson short meeting in Bonn, Germany.

Russia alone among major powers continues going all-out for conflict resolution. Indications so far suggest Washington wants it continued.

US terror-bombing still targets Syrian infrastructure. Hundreds of US special forces are on the ground in northern areas, actively aiding anti-government moderate terrorists, maybe ISIS and al-Nusra covertly.

Reports suggest larger numbers may be sent to Syria and Iraq, indicating Washington wants war in both countries continued, not ended.

Syria peace talks can’t succeed without active US participation and commitment for conflict resolution - nonexistent so far.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

Visit his blog site at 

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