“Russia’s military intervention has shifted the balance in favour of Assad. Many in the opposition believe the regime – which never even considered making concessions in the past – is in no mood to compromise. And on the political front, the UN and Western powers are no longer talking about a transitional body with full executive powers as outlined in the Geneva communiqué. There is now talk of a national unity government which would mean a power-sharing deal,” writes Zeina Khodr for Al Jazeera.
“Disagreements on the upcoming peace talks are not limited to disputes over the makeup of the opposition delegation. Internal disagreements within the Supreme Commission emerged Jan. 5 following the resignation of one of its most prominent members, Louay Hussein, president of the Building the Syrian State political movement, which seeks a democratic civil state in Syria,” writes Mustafa al-Haj for Al-Monitor.
“The problem is that there’s no consensus about which of the many armed groups fighting in Syria should fall into that category. Syria and Russia maintain that their current military campaign is solely targeting what they describe as terrorists, but the United States says the bombs are mostly hitting opposition targets, as well as civilians,” write John Hudson and Colum Lynch Foreign Policy.