In what many will claim was always going to be the inevitable. Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad, has signalled that the removal of rebel forces from Aleppo could begin a period of renewal in the country. Though it is unclear whether that remains. On Friday rebels caused significant trouble in Damascus by polluting the water supply with Diesel. The rebels launched the attack in the Wadi-Barada valley, which is still under rebel control. Adding diesel to the spring which delivers the water for the capital.
Attacks on the capital have been extremely rare, as there are a significant number of agreements in place. Though government forces have now launched an offensive on the area, in order to remove the rebels and regain control of the vital supply.
Syrian government forces backed by Hezbollah have been searching the city of Aleppo to make sure that it has been cleared. They are also trying to clear land mines that may be left in the area.
Vladimir Putin has joined the campaign to restart the political process in the country. As the civil war has now been down-graded to a succession of skirmishes, rather than the full scale war that it has been. He, along with leaders of Iran and Turkey as well as President Assad have agreed that a political solution should be looked for. They’ve nominated the Kazakh capital Astana as the venue most suited to the task.
Though where this fits in with the plans of the United Nations is unknown. During the final days of the conflict, the diplomatic union had stated disapproval at the way the finale was carried out. They had warned Russia and Syria that they were responsible for the crimes being carried out. These crimes were thought to be carried out by squads of soldiers clearing homes, and killing the occupants. The UN had it on good authority from many sources that this was happening. Though any action that will follow is unknown, though those in the west will certainly want President Assad brought to task. Though Russia will almost certainly veto any vote on that, and attempt to protect their strong ally.
As it is now playing out, it seems that the war was just another proxy one. With the innocent civilians in the middle being used as pawns. The settlements that happen now are not going to bring innocent civilians back from the dead. But many will hope that justice is served to the perpetrators.
Joseph is a 34 year old freelance writer from London. He has a wide interest in politics and specialises in the subject. He's also a blog writer in his spare time.