The Obama Administration announced two days ago that it was making a dramatic shift, supporting negotiations to end the Syrian Civil War. Today, they appear to have backtracked entirely, insisting that any talks are preconditioned on President Bashar Assad resigning.
The 360 degree path that ended with them taking the same failed position they’ve held for over a year appears to have come entirely from Syria’s rebels loudly rejecting the US-Russia pact yesterday, saying they are holding out for the government to give in to all their demands unilaterally.
Though Syrian officials have repeatedly said a negotiated settlement would likely include Assad not participating in a future government, but the rebels have insisted that Assad and virtually everyone else in the current government must resign before the talks can even begin, a clear non-starter.
Oddly, Secretary of State John Kerry seemed not to notice that he had backed off anything, insisting that the call for talks was met with a “very positive response” in the very same speech where he announced the new/old preconditions.