Moscow, Beirut – Russian informed sources said Moscow will work during Wednesday’s Astana meeting to achieve clear results that would create a tangible progress at the battlefield in Syria.
The sources confirmed that Moscow aims to show the Syrian parties participating in the Astana talks and the guarantor states that this progress would help achieve factual results during the upcoming talks in Geneva.
“All parties realize that no results could be achieved at the political level in the absence of changes at the battlefield, which would push parties discuss the files of a political solution in Syria,” the sources added.
Astana will host a new round of meetings on Wednesday and Thursday with representatives of Russia, Turkey and Iran who agreed last month to bolster a ceasefire in Syria and create a group to monitor the truce.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov asserted on Monday that a new round of talks in the Kazakh capital would be known as the Astana 2 meeting, ahead of the Geneva 4 talks expected to be launched on Feb. 20.
Lavrov fell short on clarifying whether Wednesday’s meeting in Astana would tackle issues related to a political solution in Syria or would only discuss the military part.
Lavrov only asserted the need to continue using the Astana podium to monitor a ceasefire in Syria and to push for political reforms.
The Russian foreign minister confirmed that the Syrian regime, the opposition, the U.S., plus U.N. special envoy Staffan de Mistura had been invited to this week’s Astana meeting.
The meeting will also witness the participation of representatives of Jordan for the first time.
At the battlefield, fierce clashes erupted in the countryside of north Hama between two extremist factions.
Tahrir al-Sham and Jund al-Aqsa clashed around Kafr Zeita in the countryside north of Hama, and near Tamaniaa, Khan Sheikhoun and Tal Aaas in southern Idlib Province, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
Tahrir al-Sham vowed to continue fighting until Jund al-Aqsa opens the road and removes the barracks, placing it in front of two choices: “repentance or eradication.”