Syria peace deal elusive as ever in wake of Islamic State attacks

November 19, 2015 22:04


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Hundreds of innocent people have been killed in spectacular attacks claimed by Islamic State militants from Syria, but diplomats say major powers are no closer to a peace deal to end nearly five years of bloodshed and chaos there.

Meeting in Vienna the day after Friday night's Paris attacks, Russia, the United States and powers from Europe and the Middle East agreed on a two-year timeline leading to Syrian national elections that left many questions unresolved.

On the surface, the talks on Syria appeared to narrow the gap that divides Russia, which like Iran supports Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and the West, which wants Assad out.

The attacks that killed 129 people in Paris, the bombing of a Russian airliner that claimed more than 200 lives and deadly attacks claimed by Islamic State in Lebanon and elsewhere have boosted the resolve of major powers to crush the militants.

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