The major nations behind the UN push to get peace talks going to end the Syrian Civil War are not just trying to get everybody to the negotiating table, as diplomats say they are also working on an agreement to impose a federal system on Syria as a way of helping to resolve the war.
Both Russia and the US, along with other Western nations, are said to be on board with the idea. Russia has favored federalism as a way to nominally maintain nations’ territorial integrity while allowing more regional autonomy, and the Syria plan is said to eye dramatically weakening the central government in favor of local powers.
At some point they’re bound to run this idea by the Syrians, however, and while the US and Russia seem keen to simply impose a solution on Syria it’s not clear how much Syrian support they’ll have. Rebels have already made clear they oppose any effort to weaken the central government they believe they’ll eventually be installed in control of, and while the Assad government hasn’t ruled out federalism, they want it to be the result of a referendum and internal negotiation, not just something the US and Russia decided.
The only group that seems keen on the idea is the Kurdish YPG, which seems keen to have its own authority over the nation’s northeast cemented in the post-war situation.