"Putin has a point: All of Syria's atrocities cannot be placed solely at the feet of the regime. Nevertheless, when it comes to stopping these war crimes, the buck stops with Russia, Syria's chief backer at the United Nations. Moscow, however, has long opposed U.N. action to push Assad's government to meet its international obligations. Following last fall's chemical weapons deal brokered by the U.S. government and Russia, the council's silence on Syria's humanitarian catastrophe became increasingly untenable," writes Mark Malloch-Brown in Foreign Policy.
"Failure is imminent. The Al-Assad regime has no incentive to enter these negotiations with any seriousness; the opposition has no meaningful or effective leverage to convince the key actors to bring significant pressure to bear on the regime or to force its hand by military means. Unless there is a serious shift in the balance of power combined with new creative strategies, there is no hope of any agreement emerging from Geneva," writes Amr al-Azm in the Cairo Review of Global Affairs.
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