The Syrian peace talks mediated by the United Nations (UN) have been suspended just two days after its commencement. UN special envoy, Staffan de Mistura, who is responsible for channelling negotiations between the Syrian government and opposition forces, admitted that more work has to be done by all sides before the peace talks reconvene on 25 February.
The breakdown of the peace talks was catalysed by the Syrian Army’s most recent military breakthrough, where they breached a three-year siege of two towns in the Aleppo province with the aid of Russian aerial bombardment. The High Negotiations Committee (HNC) that represents opposition forces announced they will not be returning to the negotiating table unless there is a cessation of airstrikes and improvement of ground conditions.
Meanwhile Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov reiterated that its airstrikes against terrorists would continue. Nevertheless, the United States argues that only 10% of Russian bombing has targeted Daesh, with the vast majority striking opposition groups instead. Local human rights organisations and opposition forces also report that Russian airstrikes have extended into civilian areas in the past few days, where refugee camps in the west of the country are being targeted.
What is the way forward for the Syrian peace process? What could the international community do to support the millions who are threatened by airstrikes, starvation and military siege in Syria? Whatever your view, send it in - via Twitter, Facebook or our website. Check out the news articles below to find out more about the issue: