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    The Eiffel Tower is seen at night in Paris, France, November 23, 2015. The capital will host the World Climate Change Conference 2015 (COP21) from November 30 to December 11.

    France Leads Western Capitulation Over Al-Assad in Syria

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    French President Francois Hollande is in talks Tuesday with US President Barack Obama in the first of a series of meetings with world leaders as the NATO alliance alters its position over Syria in the battle against ISIL.

    France has taken the lead on rapprochement with Russia as the West has spent two years struggling with a joint policy over Syria. In 2013, both the US and the UK dropped plans to launch a bombing strike against the government of Bashir al-Assad in Syria, over claims he was using chemical weapons against opposition forces.

    At the time, Russian President Vladimir Putin warned the US and its allies against conducting a military campaign against Assad's government.

    In September, former president of France, Nicolas Sarkozy called for dialogue with Russia in an effort to support the government of Syria to defend itself against ISIL, following a similar call from the White House in what is seen as a U-turn by the West.

    Sarkozy told Le Parisien newspaper: "We must build the conditions for the creation of a liberation army of Syria and rely on neighbors as well as more dialogue with Russia and Putin."

    Since 2013, the US and its western allies has struggled to balance its desire to oust Assad and support opposition groups, but has seen both Syria and Iraq descend into chaos amid the rise of ISIL.

    A Syrian man sits in the rubble following a barrel bomb attack the previous day on the rebel-held neighbourhood of al-Mashad in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo on September 17, 2015
    © AFP 2019 / KARAM AL-MASRI
    A Syrian man sits in the rubble following a barrel bomb attack the previous day on the rebel-held neighbourhood of al-Mashad in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo on September 17, 2015

    In September, Russian President Vladimir Putin accused the US of "flagrant destruction of national institutions" in the Middle East during its military action in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    He argued that US-led interventions in Iraq and Syria created a power vacuum, ISIL was quick to capitalize on.

    US Turnaround

    Less than two months on, the political landscape has dramatically changed. Russia has begun airstrikes against ISIL and opposition forces in Syria, the Russian Metrojet A321 flying from Sharm el-Sheikh to Saint Petersburg was bombed out of the sky over Egypt killing 24 people and 129 people were killed in Paris after a series of terror attacks claimed in the name of Islamic State.

    Fragments of a Kogalymavia Airbus A321 passenger airliner / Flight 9268 that crashed en route from Sharm El Sheikh to St. Petersburg in Egypt's North Sinai Governorate
    © Sputnik / Rafael Daminov
    Fragments of a Kogalymavia Airbus A321 passenger airliner / Flight 9268 that crashed en route from Sharm El Sheikh to St. Petersburg in Egypt's North Sinai Governorate

    Once, again it is France that is leading the talks.

    It began by tabling a resolution to the UN to "take all necessary measures, in compliance with international law, in particular international human rights, refugee and humanitarian law, on the territory under the control of ISIL in Syria and Iraq, to redouble and coordinate their efforts to prevent and suppress terrorist acts committed specifically by ISIL… and to eradicate the safe haven they have established in Iraq and Syria."

    Crucially, this was agreed, without any country using its veto. As Hollande begins his round of talks in the US, many analysts see the French move as being greeted with relief in Washington, which has been struggling over its foreign policy in Syria and will also have to accept it must exercise more pragmatism over its relations with Moscow.

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    Tags:
    Daesh, Russian aerial campaign, Western meddling, meeting, international relations, terrorism, talks, intervention, airstrike, Syrian crisis, Iraq War, French Defense Ministry, White House, Bashar al-Assad, Vladimir Putin, John Kerry, Francois Hollande, Nicolas Sarkozy, Barack Obama, Europe, United States, Russia, France
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