The United States is open to discussions with Russia on Syria, said Thursday the spokesman of the White House at a time when Washington is alarmed at a rise of military power in Moscow torn country the war.
“We remain open to tactical and practical discussions with the Russians to strengthen the objectives of the Islamic anti-government coalition and ensure the safety of coalition operations,” said Josh Earnest.
The UN envoy for Syria on Thursday met in Damascus with the regime and the opposition from within, when Moscow asserts its presence in the country by offering a “military to military” dialogue with Washington.
The arrival of the diplomat Steffan de Mistura to Damascus comes as the West, overwhelmed by the arrival of migrants, wants a political solution to the conflict even find a compromise with President Bashar al-Assad, he demanded the departure.
De Mistura did not comment after meeting with the head of the Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem, but he stressed that “the fight against terrorism” was “the priority and the prelude to a political solution “according to the official SANA news agency.
Bashar al-Assad and his Russian ally Vladimir Putin hammer this message by linking it to the refugee crisis, according to them caused by the advance of the jihadist Islamic State Group (EI) in Syria and Iraq.
“With the crisis of migrants, we hear voices of European advocate of cooperation with Assad and Putin. The idea of a stability at all costs is gaining ground, “says Karim Bitar, a researcher at the Institute of International and Strategic Relations (IRIS) in Paris.
Muallem said his interlocutor that Damascus expecting more on its initiative to create four thematic committees prior to “take the appropriate decisions.”
Mr. de Mistura had assured the Minister that he “was thinking of four committees and the results are not binding,” said AFP spokeswoman Jessy Chahine. This is an essential point for the Syrian authorities, who do not want to have their hands tied.
The UN envoy in late July had proposed a new approach based on “thematic discussions” between Syrians. In mid-August, his assistant Ramzi Ramzi Ezzedine Damascus had submitted a 60-page document described as a “collection of ideas” harvested with interlocutors from the opposition, the regime and civil society.
The IU criticizes migrants
In reality, for al-Watan newspaper, close to the Syrian leadership, differences persist between Damascus and Moscow on the one hand, the other UN to resolve the crisis.
For the former, “there is no political solution without defeat terrorism,” a term that refers to all opponents of Assad.
According to the newspaper, “the plan of the UN envoy is aligned with the positions of the Coalition of the Syrian opposition, the United States, Turkey and Saudi Arabia who want a political solution before the fight against terrorism “.
De Mistura also obtained the agreement of the opponent Hassan Abdel Azim within his group to participate in these committees.
“Terrorism is a phenomenon we all reject and oppose any application by a judgment of conflict between the government and the opposition,” said Abdel Azim Mr.
The arrival of Mr. de Mistura comes at a time that reflects a new phase in this war that claimed 240,000 lives since 2011.
Until then discreet, Russia appears increasingly open its military presence in Syria alongside the regime against international led coalition the United States to fight against EI.
Thus, Moscow has offered Washington to open a dialogue “between soldiers” of the two powers into the conflict in Syria, in particular to avoid any incidents between US and Russian armed forces in the field, said Wednesday the Secretary of State John Kerry.
Russia pushes his pawns while in the West, “those who believe that Assad is a lesser evil are becoming increasingly vocal and openly declare in favor of a rapprochement with him to fight the IE,” says M . Bitar.
On the ground, the war knows no respite. At Aleppo (north), 53 people, including 13 children and two women, were killed in 24 hours in strikes Syrian aviation. Furthermore, in the fief of the IU in Raqqa (north), 18 civilians were killed and jihadist regime in raids, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (OSDH).
The EI is she, her silence on the crisis of migrant disseminating Thursday several videos on the subject.
They criticize this massive migration to Europe as going against the “hijara”, ie emigration to the land of Islam, namely the caliphate proclaimed in June.
One of the videos and says images of refugees trying to reach Europe, “they will live subjected to humiliating acts instead to flee to the land of the Muslims to live in dignity and security.”