Secretary of State John Kerry has said that the U.S. is ‘not abandoning the pursuit of peace’ in Syria. However, the anyhow fragile diplomatic process has been buried. Instead, Russia and the U.S. are blaming each other and consider their further options. Russia countered discussions of limited U.S. strikes against Syrian military targets firmly: The Defence Ministry announced the deployment of an S-300 air defense system at the Russian base in Tartous.
A resolution proposed by France and Spain to the Security Council failed - Russia’s Ambassador to Germany said he wouldn’t even comment on it - while pro-regime airstrikes continued targeting medical facilities and residential neighborhoods in Syria, notably in east Aleppo. Pro-regime forces advanced further from the north, however, rebels inside Aleppo claimed successful resistance. In addition, the regime took territory in the Ghouta east of Damascus and in northern Hama province. Rebels in turn announced a new offensive in northern Latakia. The militarily back and forth is not likely to end soon, although east Aleppo might fall in the mid-term if Russia and the Assad regime continue their strategy of total destruction.
The regime advance in northern Hama was enabled by infighting between the jihadists of Jund al-Aqsa, who led the offensive, and the powerful rebel faction Ahrar al-Sham. Jabhat Fatah al-Sham announced a settlement of the conflict after Jund al-Aqsa pledged alliance to the Al-Qaeda offshot, but the dispute is likely to remain and provides insight into the opposition’s intricate dynamics. You can read about the issue below.