After the trilateral (between Russia, Iran, and Turkey) meeting in Sochi Russian President Vladimir Putin, stated, "The presidents of [Russia and] Iran and Turkey supported the initiative to convene an All-Syrian Congress for national dialogue in Syria. We agreed to hold this important event at the proper level and ensure the participation of representatives of different sectors of Syrian society" (my emphasis).
While pundits are quick to notice waning American influence----which this surely signals----and gaining Russian influence----which it also indicates----there is a glaring omission.
Like so many Palestinian "peace agreements" that didn't actually include Palestinians (á la Egypt and Israel's Camp David Accord), the Syrians are missing from an agreement that states that they should meet in order to start healing from the war!
The Syrian people and the various militias that represented them (or didn’t) have lost this war. That is what this tripartite agreement truly says. The now infamous Syrian President Bashar al-Assad wasn't even present for this "important" agreement----let alone representatives of the opposition.
The message is clear that, "We've taken control of your situation, on behalf of your president, and now you should do what we say because we have all the cards (the guns) and you have none."
This is not a diplomatic breakthrough because this is not the end of a civil war; it's the start of a hostage crisis.
Drew Kinney is co-founder of La Formoisie, on Twitter @laformoisie, and a PhD Candidate in Comparative Politics and International Relations at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs.