Can we expect a change to a more cooperative strategy on the ground in Syria after the Geneva talks between Russia and the US? Or was it a big enough achievement that both countries were able to sit down and understand each other better? RT asked experts. On Friday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and US Secretary of State John Kerry met in Geneva for a 12-hour marathon session to discuss their countries’ respective strategies in Syria. The diplomats claimed they had made progress during the talks, saying they had reduced areas of misunderstanding. No official breakthrough statement was made, however. RT asked experts if the talks between third parties in Geneva could result in a solution for Syria, and what the prospects were for the peace process if the sides still can’t agree on who the terrorists are there.
Richard H. Black, a state senator representing Virginia’s 13th District, said the negotiations on Syria in Geneva are “going to be very difficult, because right now there is an enormous battle taking place for Aleppo.” “The Syrian Army, with the help of Russia and Iran, has managed to cordon off the Aleppo pocket. And they’ve trapped Al-Qaeda inside the pocket. The US likes to talk about moderate rebels; there are groups of rebels that are under the command of Al-Qaeda in the Aleppo pocket.”
Black said that “what is really providing so much incentive for the peace talks is that the US and Turkey are very concerned because Al-Qaeda has been surrounded, also the Syrian Army has made dramatic gains in the Damascus area.” In Black’s opinion, part of the problem is that “the US has consistently held this diplomatic line that there are moderate terrorists who can be distinguished from Al-Nusra.”
“All of them are part of something called the Army of Conquest that was set up by Saudi Arabia and Turkey in 2015. They are under the general command of Al-Nusra. So, you have groups like Jaysh al-Islam, the al-Zenko group – very violent terroristic groups that we term “moderates,” but they are really identical to al-Nusra,” he said.
Sorting these groups out is difficult, according to the state senator, as they are all fighting under the joint command of the Army of Conquest. “The headquarters of the Army of Conquest is in Idlib. It controls the terrorist armies throughout Syria