Brahimi seeks peace for Syria in Russia amid blame-shifting over broken truce
In an effort to bring stability amid the ongoing finger-pointing between the Syrian rebels and government over blame for disrupting a truce, UN-Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi is in Moscow to meet with the Russian foreign minister.
The main plan of action for Monday’s meeting is to discuss a political and diplomatic settlement to the crisis in Syria.“We believe that the collective work should be carried out under the Geneva communique platform, which was agreed to at the meeting of the action groups on June 30 of this year,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Aleksander Lukashevich told the press.Moscow has worked collectively with Chinese counterparts to bring stability and peace to Syria without outside military intervention, and has on a few occasions suggested the involvement of outside mercenaries in the conflict-torn country.Now, analysts believe, outside forces were responsible for breaking the UN-brokered four-day truce on Eid al-Adha, the Muslim feast that began Friday. “The backers of these extremist groups have no control over them, and since they are being supported by the out-of-control Gulf States, the United States and the NATO alliance, they want the Assad regime destroyed at any cost – and the rebels know it. So why should they honor anything?” political analyst Randy Short told RT.With hopes for even a temporary peace shattered, UN officials say Brahimi is looking ahead to new efforts to tackle the crisis.He is to present his vision to the UN Security Council in November, and is now in Russia to muster support.“The political process will not start until Assad and the opposition have battered each other so much that there is no choice. They are not there yet, but Brahimi has some ideas,” an envoy at the Security Council told AFP.The United Nations’ peacekeeping force in Syria, pending a Security Council mandate, could now be the only way to bring stability to the country.The city of Aleppo was an epicenter of fire exchange on Sunday as the government headquarters came under heavy mortar attack, according to state media. It is also alleged that at least three civilians, including a child, were killed in an insurgent attack.Also on Sunday, three allegedly al-Qaeda militants were killed in the city of Deir el-Zour after a heavy fire exchange between the army and the rebels, Syrian news agency Sana reported.Meanwhile, the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights claims that at least 110 people were killed Sunday, including 16 killed in an airstrike on the village of al-Barra.The Observatory also reported that 15 people were wounded after a car bomb exploded in a residential area in the Damascus neighborhood.Saturday also saw a number of clashes in the country, as opposition groups claim that at least eight have died in regime airstrikes in the Damascus suburb of Arbeen, where a three-story building was leveled.This, as a car bomb exploded near a military police compound in the town of Deir el-Zour, killing eight. The attack bore the hallmarks of Jabhat al-Nusra, a radical rebel-allied Islamist group that has rejected the cease-fire.So far it is estimated that around 35,000 people have perished in the country’s 19-month-old conflict.