Photo Source: Los Angeles Times

By: Gabriela Santana Taveras

The Syrian Civil war has been ongoing since 2011, taking the lives of 400,000 people, and making half of the Syrian population refugees throughout the world. The war, quite frankly, is nothing but a proxy war.

Russia supporting Assad’s government, the United Sates supporting the Rojava rebels, Turkey supporting the Syrian Opposition, and ISIL. The talks over the ceasefire in Syria started on January 23rd  in Astana, Kazakhstan. The rebels and Turkey on one side of the room, the Syrian government and Russia on the other, and the U.N. envoy, Bashar Ja’afari, mediating.

More surprising than having both sides of the issue sitting together is that the United States is only an observing member. This is an important shift from the peace talks in Geneva at the end of last year, where most Western nations were more focused on the crimes committed by the “dictator Assad” rather than peace talks.

The United States, contrary to its usual role as leader of coalitions and interventionist in nature (ex. Iraq, Afghanistan, Haiti, Vietnam), is now more resilient to send troops, limiting its presence to 50 Special Troops for training processes. President Obama, during his term, had made it clear that he was not going to send troops, resonating the public’s opinion of the Iraq war. For many, the United States is now more focused on internal politics. Whether this has a positive or negative impact, it is for the readers to decide, but it is undeniable that we saw the results of the new American approach in Aleppo.