As far back as early November, the international effort to get a peace process in Syria going hinged heavily on deciding who was a rebel and who was a terrorist. To this day, diplomats warn the process is stalling on the inability of nations to answer that question.
The most recent UN draft on the situation continues to list defining terrorist organizations as something “still to be negotiated,” despite this seemingly being one of the primary focuses of several of the involved nations.
Russia in particular has been keen for this to be resolved, both to know who the proper rebel groups are to start inviting to the talks, and to settle once and for all which rebel factions are “terrorists” who can be legitimately bombed. With other nations railing at every Russian airstrike not explicitly aimed at ISIS territory, this is an important distinction for them.
But other nations are resisting this quick resolution, likely in part because it gives them a talking point against Russia, but also because every major nation involved in the process has a different idea of who is and isn’t legitimate. Saudi Arabia, in particular, is bankrolling several Islamist groups that are almost impossible not to include on the final “terror” list.
Early on in the process, everyone foresaw this as an issue, and predicted a lot of “horse-trading” on the final list. Ultimately, if this horse-trading is going on behind the scenes, we haven’t seen it, and rather everyone seems to be dragging their feet rather than risk losing important allies to the terror list.
Indeed, this is going on so long that some diplomats envision simply moving on with the talks without resolving who’s going to be allowed to participate, a move which itself could lead to a huge mess and a lot of infighting at the talks.
6 thoughts on “Syria Peace Talks Stalled as Diplomats Can’t Decide Who Is a ‘Terrorist’”
One problem is that the terrorists keep morphing into other groups with different names. This seems to suit the US which seems to be lukewarm about tackling ISIS, which is clearly of a secondary nature to them, well behind their goal of getting rid of the legitimate sovereign government of Syria. By renaming themselves as more "moderate" they also make it possible for the US and Israel to support them with a straight face.
Which makes sense if they are just foreign mercenaries paid to kill and destroy as Putin has mentioned. And it's why America and other nations allegedly don't negotiate with terrorists. Which of these "groups" actually has any political plans for Syria? None of them.
Mercenaries? In other words, Putin beleives that he is being paid back in his own coin in Syria for the use of such mercenaries in Ukraine.
But of course. The plan is for the US/isreal/saudi arabia to install a government of their liking in Syria. The wishes of the Syrians and the safety of the minorities be damned.
In fact, Nobody really wants the talks to succeed at the moment and this is no doubt a convenient excuse. Putin fears that any settlement will cost him his naval base, which is militarily useless but is a prestige object loss of which could undermine him in the eyes of his Soviet-generation supporters back home. The US wants to keep Putin bogged down as long as possible and precisely because Putin is fighting for the base and nothing else, want to keep dangling Assad in front of his nose. Nobody seems to believe that Assad will be part of the permanent settlement, so everybody stalls. Time is not on Putin's side. He now has a sixth white elephant, after Transnistria, Abkhazia, South Ossetia, Crimea and the Donetsk/Lugansk "sausage". The present situation suits everybody except Putin.
What a quandary for America they have been funding a group Known as Al Nusra, however they also declared Al Nusra to be a terrorist group, its was set up by Al Qaeda in Iraq, and ISIS morphed out of it! The US funds Al Qaeda!
There is also the other quandary that other groups are in fact Mercenaries, now under Geneva and the Hague Conventions Mercenaries have no legal status on the battlefield, they are but common criminals!
America hasn't ratified The United Nations Mercenary Convention which has a similar definition of a Mercenary as Geneva! Only groups that are in fact 100 % funded and contain 100% Syrians are legally able to claim they are lawfully Syrian opposition groups! A huge problem!
Comments are closed.