The UN Security Council approved a resolution Friday calling for a cease-fire and political talks starting next month for ending the civil war in Syria. Adopted unanimously, it was the first time Russia and the US have agreed on the political road to a peace process. No mention was made of whether Bashar Assad may run for office in new elections to be held in the next 18 months. One of the obstacles still remaining is determining which of the Syrian rebel groups would take part in the peace talks, and which would agree to come to the table without a guarantee of Assad’s exit. For now, he appears to be firmly in power.
DEBKAfile: Despite deepening US-Russian collaboration on the Syria issue, the prospects of an end to the war are fairly dim. Even if the two powers can agree on which opposition groups count as terrorist and so must be excluded from the peace talks, there is no end in sight for the war on ISIS and Al Qaeda’s Nusra Front.