Nations are meeting in New York to discuss a possible settlement of the Syrian Civil War, with early indications that Russia is the prime mover in the process, trying to get various Western-backed rebel factions to unite with the Syrian government in fighting ISIS.
The UN has endorsed the idea, but only in language that very carefully avoided the question of President Bashar Assad’s future. That, of course, has been the sticking point on any such deal throughout years of diplomacy, and seems set to remain one.
France is already demanding assurances that Assad will go, and even though Secretary of State John Kerry previously claimed the US isn’t out for regime change, President Obama insisted that the US would be at risk of more terror attacks if they didn’t force Assad from power.
Russia has been resisting any ouster of Assad during the transition, saying they believe that the ultimate future government of Syria should be up to the Syrians themselves, and not to be decided by the international community.