Sum­mit on Syria col­lapses

The Jewish Chronicle - - WORLD NEWS - BY AN­SHEL PF­EF­FER

A GLOBAL sum­mit on Syria’s fu­ture in Vi­enna last Fri­day failed to achieve a break­through on end­ing the four and a half year war.

The talks be­tween the for­eign min­is­ters of 17 na­tions — in­clud­ing Iran — got stuck on the ques­tion of the fu­ture of Pres­i­dent Bashar al-As­sad.

As­sad’s Rus­sian and Ira­nian back­ers in­sisted that he would re­main as part of the so­lu­tion, while the Saudis and oth­ers de­manded his re­moval.

The United States an­nounced it was plan­ning to send around 50 spe­cial­op­er­a­tions troops as ad­vis­ers to rebel groups fight­ing Daesh and the As­sad regime.

For the past two weeks, a joint Ira­nian-Syr­ian ground force has been try­ing to ad­vance to­wards rebel-held ar­eas near Aleppo.

Ac­cord­ing t o Is­raeli sources, de­spite in­ten­sive air at­tacks by Rus­sian war­planes, the rebels seem to be well-en­trenched and the Ira­ni­ans have been tak­ing more ca­su­al­ties than ex­pected.

Over the week­end, there were two re­ports from Syria of air at­tacks by Is­rael against Hizbol­lah tar­gets near the Le­banese bor­der. Is­rael has not con­firmed or de­nied th­ese re­ports.

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