Syria’s fragile peace talks might not resume for at least a year if they are abandoned now, a senior Western diplomat warned on Wednesday, as the opposition urged more military support for rebels after declaring a truce was over.
Intense fighting in Syria has left a six-week-old ceasefire in tatters. The truce was brokered by the United States and Russia to pave the way for the first peace talks attended by the warring factions since fighting began five years ago.
Those talks, taking place under U.N. auspices in Geneva, also appear to have collapsed this week. The opposition says it has called a “pause” to negotiations, although it is reluctant to accept blame for the collapse by walking out altogether.
“If this ends now, it will be over for at least a year … The Russians will steamroll — taking advantage of a U.S. vacuum. There will be three million more refugees and thousands more dead,” said the Western diplomat, who declined to be identified while describing a scenario world powers still hope to avoid. Read more