Untangling Syria: Europe’s top diplomats mull new strategy

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has controversially suggested that the West should negotiate with Syria’s despotic leader Bashar al Assad. In recent weeks, he’s said it’s impossible to deal with the refugees without taking action to stop the violence that’s causing them to flee.


A coalition of Western and regional militaries is arrayed against the self-proclaimed Islamic State, or ISIS, and the UN Security Council has imposed sanctions on the al-Qaeda-affiliated Nusra Front. Lebanon, through civil war, and Iraq, through invasion, both saw their long-standing regimes, composed heavily from each state’s minority population, replaced. But some clues might be found in examining what has happened since then – and what those same jihad-supporting anti-Assad governments have been demanding. It is certainly a legitimate criticism – it is hard to imagine what goal could be served by waiting until more than 200,000 people died to set the record straight.

“Yes, Assad should be involved in the talks”, Mikl-Leitner said.

Whether it’s eight times as many is hard to determine, as there aren’t official counts.

“President Assad unleashed chemical weapons on his own people, and the death and destruction in Syria is appalling and at unprecedented levels”.

Fabius said he supported United Nations special envoy Staffan de Mistura’s initiative to work towards a political transition based on the 2012 Geneva Communiqué, a document setting out guidelines on Syria’s path to peace and a political transition.

The civil war between the Assad regime and rebel groups has been further complicated by the rise of jihadist militants, including Islamic State.

“If you assume it’s one crisis you’re making an error”, Stein said. “Under IS rule in many parts of Syria, thousands of Christians, Muslims and other religious communities have been and are being persecuted”.

Assad issued a statement to SANA after the prayers, in which he condemned the Islamists fighting against the regime and said that the country has not experienced a true Eid for “more than four years“. By the time everyone gets in board, however, it may be too late to matter, and ISIS will be so much larger than everyone else in the country that no amount of unity will be competition for them.


“Assad is gradually losing this war”. The main difficulty was to gather all parties around the table for peace negotiations. Assad’s bombs gave life to the IS in Syria. United Nations agencies and non-governmental organizations would help to the extent possible; regardless, relief could certainly be provided far more effectively than is the case today. We are witnessing the equivalent of a slow-motion genocide and doing little about it.

Australia softens stance on Assad