Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif is in Damascus today to meet with Assad government figures on the possibility of setting aside the ongoing Syrian Civil War, and instead focus on fighting against ISIS, with a broad coalition proposed by Russia that would include both government and rebels.
Several of the rebel factions have in the meantime sent representatives to Moscow to talk with Russia about the plan, though they are seen as largely rejecting the plan if it includes the Assad government, which of course is the whole point of the effort, bringing two sides that can’t fight ISIS alone together.
Saudi Arabia has come out against the idea, insisting the Alawite Assad government mustn’t be allowed to have any role in Syria, and they seem much more averse to Assad surviving in any role in a unity government than in ISIS retaining control over most of the country.
The US has been averse to the Russian unity idea in the past, though recently it has been suggested that they are more willing to discuss the matter, for lack of any other ideas on fighting ISIS. Without bringing any meaningful rebels on board, however, the program may be a non-starter.
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