But reaching a cease-fire will not be much easier. It seemed that the two parties have different priorities for the cease-fire for military and geographic considerations.
The opposition delegation, for example, wants to start the cease-fire in Homs, where things are clearly going in the Syrian army’s favor and a cease-fire would give oxygen to the opposition’s armed groups. The official delegation wants to start the cease-fire either in the Aleppo area or in Daraa, near the border, as a test of outside intentions about meddling in Syrian affairs and to stop the flow of support and supplies for opposition fighters. Ending the hostilities in Daraa means ending the support for fighters across the Jordanian border. The same goes for Aleppo and the Turkish border.
But more importantly, said the diplomat, Brahimi soon discovered that neither of the negotiating delegations have the technical knowledge, practical ability or authority to implement a cease-fire decision.
The diplomat concluded by saying that Brahimi will conserve his energy during the remaining Geneva II sessions and that he would seek to alter the negotiating delegations for Geneva III and beyond. In effect, he would ask the two negotiating parties to send those who know the ground and who can take concrete steps to stop the fighting and to silence the guns.
January 27, 2014
Updates On Syria [1.27]: A Localized Ceasefire Is Off The Table, Syria's Leading Internal Opposition Group Is Not Represented At Geneva II, Syria Makes A Fool of Itself By Releasing A Communiqué Saying It Is A "Democratic Country"
1. An excerpt from, "Brahimi saves his energy for Geneva III" by Jean Aziz, Al-Monitor, January 27, 2014: