Russia Urges Peace Talks to End Fighting in Area
The evacuation of Aleppo was completed only 24 hours ago, and any hope that this might lead to a return to calm in the war torn city has already evaporated, with the rebels shelling a southwestern district of the city, killing at least six civilians, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
Syrian military airstrikes were reported against rebel territory outside of Aleppo, areas which hadn’t been hit in awhile as the focus had previously been on ending the fighting over Aleppo itself, which is now fully controlled by the government, albeit apparently still within artillery range of the rebels.
While some were expecting Syria to try to expand on the momentum of “winning” Aleppo to attack the Idlib Province, Russian President Vladimir Putin is instead urging the Assad government to seek an immediate ceasefire, with an eye toward a comprehensive peace process.
Russia agreed to make such an effort in talks with Turkey and Iran, and the expectation on the Russo-Iranian side seems to be that they are in a strong enough position now to negotiate a favorable end to the war. At the same time, the remaining rebels are so heavily centered on Islamist factions with links to international terror, that many are unwelcome at the peace talks in the first place, and are unlikely to be talked into a truce without a major rethink in who is and isn’t allowed to attend.
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