US, Russia should join hands to wipe out Daesh

ABU DHABI, 30th October 2015 (WAM) – A political and negotiated settlement on Syria is possible if both sides agree on the larger enemy in the form of Daesh which has taken over vast areas of the country, a United Arab Emirates newspaper has said.
“The group has killed and maimed thousands and destroyed the country’s rich heritage, while fanning a refugee crisis that threatens to engulf Europe. The task at hand is to defeat Daesh, wipe them out and regain lands from their control. Once that is done, the fate of President Bashar Al Assad can be decided by the two coalitions led by the United States and Russia,” said the daily ‘Khaleej Times’ in its editorial today.
The paper went on to say Daesh has grown stronger because of divisions in the ranks of the two coalitions. The United States has been a reluctant superpower with President Obama keen on pulling his forces out of campaigns in the Middle East and Afghanistan. Russia is the resurgent power in the region and its air raids have put the brakes on Daesh. Iranian and Lebanese Hezbollah forces are fighting on the ground in Syria to prop up the regime.
It’s clear that regime change will be off the table when the two coalitions meet in Vienna on Friday. A major development has been the seat for Iran at the table. There will be some hard bargaining and arm-twisting but negotiations also hold the prospect of a unified front against the bigger foe. Saudi Arabia, meanwhile, is wary of Moscow and Tehran’s intentions. Iran’s nuclear deal with the West has opened its economy, while helping it to widen its regional ambitions.
The GCC states view Iran’s actions with suspicion, and rightly so. More importantly, it has an ally in former superpower Russia, which wants to direct regional developments and be part of any deal that is being forged in the Middle East. Iran now has the heft and credibility it seeks during the military campaign in Syria. It wants to be seen as a real player that has come in from the cold. The Russians were on the side of Iran during the nuclear negotiations and that partnership is expected to continue in the battle to keep Assad in the saddle.
During weekend talks, both sides will need to compromise on their positions without taking their eyes of the larger danger that is splitting the region along sectarian lines. Brother has turned against brother, much blood has been shed. Men, women and children have been slaughtered. Assad’s troops are guilty of some of the worst atrocities, including chemical attacks, which have killed hundreds.
The images from Syria are blood curdling and crimes against humanity by both sides should not go unpunished. Doing nothing is a crime in itself. But talking is a good way to start. ”We agree that the status quo is untenable and we must find a way to end the conflict,” US Secretary of State John Kerry said. “We agree that a victory by [Daesh] or any other terrorist group has to be prevented. We agree that it is imperative to save state institutions and preserve a united, secular Syria.” The paper concluded by saying: “Daesh must be wiped out for a united, secular Syria. A joint coalition effort could end the brutality.”