A Lebanese delegation who recently met with Syrian regime officials claim to have refused a draft plan to freeze the fighting in Aleppo, endorsed by UN Special Envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura.
The refusal comes after content within the draft is said to contradict the plan suggested earlier by the UN envoy. The delegation said they could feel Assad's ambitions to make progress in the region around Aleppo in order to impose his vision of a solution in the city.
Syrian officials also expressed frustration towards the meetings convened by de Mistura's assistant, Ramzi Izzaddin, during his visits to the Lebanese capital. The Syrian regime views meetings between Izzaddin and the leaders of the March 14 Alliance as obstructive, as they reflect the views or positions of leaders hostile to the Syrian regime, which may negatively affect the international vision of the solution.
The Syrian regime fails to acknowledge that Lebanon, with all its factions and parties, continues to host a large percentage of displaced Syrians, while facing enormous consequences as a result of the crisis and intervention of Hezbollah, Assad's ally, in the war.
According to some sources, the regime acts as if it can deal with de Mistura's initiative in a that way suits its interests; either to save time by announcing its approval and then its refusal on the grounds of contradicting earlier agreements, or through showing the initiative launched by Moscow as a sole solution.
Sources believe the regime is trying to use the current international silence towards its survival as a chance to develop and stabilize its power, considering the recent recognition of Assad’s position by the US and its Western allies.
The Russian initiative may be an important step along this path, as Russian attempts to lure the opposition to recognize the regime's legitimacy and to comply to negotiations within this framework.
Moscow may also play this card against the US in order to stabilize the Assad regime as a response to the war on terror.
Translated and edited by The Syrian Observer