Perhaps no weapons are changing hands at this time, yet it is obvious that the silence of the countries involved in the Syrian conflict is furthering the chaos consuming the country
Peace negotiations on Syria have begun in Geneva, but it seems that they will be problematic, as the issue is too complicated.
The involved parties do not want to talk face to face, but use the United Nations as an intermediary. This is what is called shuttle diplomacy. But one way or another, the warring sides are talking to each other, which is good, but they do not agree on what to talk about, which is less encouraging.
The U.N. insists that the first step is to impose a cease-fire in order to allow international aid to reach people in need. On paper this is quite rational, but there are a number of practical problems. First of all, one can announce a cease-fire, but how does one make sure that all combatants on the ground respect it? Those who represent the moderate Syrian opposition ask that the Syrian government forces to stop attacking them. However, the Damascus regime is not their only enemy. Everyone knows that President Bashar Assad's forces are supported by militias from Iran, as well as experts from Russia. Even if the Assad forces agree to stop, the others may not accept it. It is not like Assad can persuade them.
This is why the United States is particularly busy looking for ways to persuade Russia and Iran. In other words, the U.S. is looking to find compromises. The problem is that these compromises will include forcing Ankara to accept a number of things. It is known that Russia is actually trying to keep Turkey away from Syria by all means, including using the PKK, the Democratic Union Party (PYD) and even DAESH, and violating Turkish airspace. It appears Russia has the intention to use the PYD further, especially if a "security zone" is implemented in northern Syria one day. Moscow would probably be quite satisfied if there was some kind of buffer zone between Turkey and Syria. The U.S. is not very disturbed by this, and Washington even hints that it could accept this willingly. They are not disturbed because of the simple fact that they consider Iraqi Kurdistan as their zone of influence and as a buffer zone between Iran and Syria. In other words, if Syrian Kurds get closer to Russia as expected, there will be two Kurdish entities in Iraq and Syria, one under American, and the other under Russian control. The PKK has no place in this equation, and that is why it is trying to open an area for itself in Turkey. While doing that, it is trying to get support from third countries that similarly have no place in this U.S.-Russian equation. By the way, no one is asking how DAESH will be forced to accept a cease-fire.
The second important part of the Geneva talks is about international aid. It is obvious that millions of civilians are in need of urgent assistance from the international community.
Turkey has received millions of Syrian refugees, but everyone knows that the international community has done very little to help Ankara regarding the situation. Will they really help people who are still in Syria now? We will see which countries will be willing to help.
This aid issue is more complex than one might think. We remember that during the Bosnia and Kosovo wars, some countries sent weapons under the label of humanitarian aid in addition to the many corruption scandals that erupted. Maybe no one will send weapons to anyone this time, but it is obvious that the countries involved will try to influence different segments of the Syrian population by helping them.
International assistance may be useful to stop the flow of refugees, but at the same time, it can make sure that foreign fighters and divergent countries' intelligence officers are gradually replaced by international aid convoys.