After the recent UN peace talks failed so miserably that negotiators on both sides disputed UN claims that they ever really began, there wasn’t a lot of hope for progress in the near term. The US, however, is said to be pushing anew for a full ceasefire.
Secretary of State John Kerry had confirmed late last week that there were talks ongoing with Russia to get the process back on track, interesting since the US had previously blamed Russia wholly for the UN effort’s failure.
Historically, the US has been resistant to efforts at a ceasefire in the civil war, trying to condition all truces on Syrian President Bashar Assad stepping down. Recent losses among rebel forces in the north, however, seem to have changed the US position, and they seem eager to stop the fighting before the rebels lose even more ground.
This has been a problematic part of getting ceasefires going in Syria, with the only side supporting it at any given time the one that believes it is a near-term tactical advantage to stop fighting and redeploy, while whichever side believes it is “winning” resists.
When the fighting was more or less stalemated, both the US and Russia seemed eager for unconditional talks amid the fighting. But as the military has gained in recent days, the US insists talks are “impossible” without a ceasefire first, something which was never even suggested ahead of the UN talks.