Frustrated by the deadlock of the second round of Geneva 2 talks, Saudi Arabia has reportedly offered to supply the rebels with anti-aircraft missiles. Meanwhile Russia has accused the US of once again hijacking peace talks and pushing for regime change.
Both Russia and the West have presented their draft resolutions on delivering humanitarian aid to Syria. Moscow accuses the West of paving way to military aggression, whereas Washington blames Russia for insufficient action to help suffering Syrians.
As a third batch of Syria’s chemical weapons leaves for Italy, Assad’s envoy to Russia says the most dangerous chemicals will leave the country by the end of February. The US hopes to destroy Assad’s chemical weapons stockpile in a single operation.
The Syrian FM claims to have rejected a US offer of direct talks without the involvement of the opposition "tools" during the Geneva conference over John Kerry’s refusal to apologize for his biased speech. US officials denied seeking such a meeting.
The Syrian opposition and the US government have placed a condition on the Assad government, which they know in advance will be impossible for it to meet, Brian Becker, Director at the Anti-war Answer Coalition, told RT.
Hackers claiming to be from the Syrian Electronic Army broke into CNN’s Twitter and Facebook accounts and one of the news channel’s blogs on Thursday. The hacks occurred amid the Geneva 2 peace talks between government and opposition representatives.
The Syrian opposition involved in the Geneva 2 peace talks said a face-to-face meeting with President Bashar Assad’s representatives is unlikely to happen. Formal discussions on how to alleviate the ferocious civil war are set to begin on Friday.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said that ‘the really hard work begins on Friday’ with regard to reaching a diplomatic solution in Syria. “Nobody underestimates the difficulty of this issue,” he announced on the first day of peace talks in Switzerland.
President Bashar Assad said in an exclusive interview to AFP that he has decided to participate in Syria’s future presidential elections. He also stressed that the War on Terror should be the major focus of the Geneva 2 peace conference.
The most of the civil war going on in Syria is a proxy war, so it’s better to involve those states with vested interests from the very beginning, Jan van Aken, foreign affairs expert from the German Left Party, told RT.
Geneva talks are set to fail unless the armed Syrian opposition, including radical jihadists, as well as all the regional players, including Iran and Hezbollah, attend the negotiations, journalist Pepe Escobar told RT.
A new MIT report is challenging the US claim that Assad forces used chemical weapons in an attack last August, highlighting that the range of the improvised rocket was way too short to have been launched from govt controlled areas.