MESOP NEWS TODAYS MOST RELEVANT ANALYSIS SYRIA – Contributions by – John McLaughlin, former Acting Director of the CIA / Michael Sulick, former Director of the CIA’s National Clandestine Service / James Jeffrey, former U.S. Ambassador to Turkey and Iraq

 Blood & Quicksand: Moscow and UN Vie for Syria Peace  

25 Jan 2018 – CIPHER / MESOP – Multiple rounds of peace talks aimed at ending Syria’s seven-year civil war have failed to yield results or relieve a catastrophic humanitarian crisis throughout the country.

While the Trump administration throws its support behind a United Nations-led process that aims to deliver a roadmap for peace, Russia has organized its own negotiating track that threatens to upend the U.N. effort. • There have been eight rounds of U.N.-sponsored peace talks since the Syrian civil war broke out in 2011, with the ninth scheduled for Jan. 25-26. But bringing the warring factions to the negotiating table has proven extremely challenging. 

  • Russia and Iran have positioned themselves as instrumental in bringing the Assad regime – and, in Russia’s own talks, the opposition – to the table and have asserted themselves in Syria to advance their regional interests and standing.
  • Nonetheless, until both the Syrian government and the opposition are willing to entertain difficult concessions, neither of these efforts will succeed.

Read today’s brief, with expert commentary by: