Russia and Turkey, joined by Iran, announce intention to halt war in Syria

The Washington Post reports: Turkish and Russian diplomats on Tuesday declared their intention to halt the civil war in Syria, showing no signs of a rift in their warming relationship the day after the Russian ambassador to Turkey was assassinated in Ankara in a brazen shooting.

A tripartite conference here, held together with Iran, was hailed by Russian’s foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, as a way to “overcome the stagnation in efforts on the Syrian settlement.” The comment was a dig at the United States, which was absent from the Moscow meetings despite its own involvement in the Syrian conflict.

But the show of solidarity could not mask underlying frictions between Russia and Turkey over the war in Syria, which the assassination of the ambassador, Andrei Karlov, had brought to the fore.

The shouted words of the 22-year-old assassin, who invoked the carnage in Aleppo, echoed the anger expressed by many Turks over the course of the five-year-old civil war. Russia, a stalwart ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, has thrown its military weight behind Syria’s government, and launched its own punishing air raids on rebel-held areas. [Continue reading…]

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