Top diplomats from the United States, Russia, and the Middle East will attempt to salvage a failed Syria cease-fire agreement this weekend.
The renewed efforts come less than two weeks after the United States suspended bilateral negotiations with Russia and the two sides exchanged mutual recriminations. Russian officials say they are hopeful for positive results.
But as fighting continues in the besieged city of Aleppo, analysts are skeptical of any lasting cease-fire.
Many believe Russia wants to first help Assad take Aleppo so they can have a stronger negotiating position.
While a cease-fire would be welcomed, analysts say the bigger concern is preventing a wider conflict developing in Syria.
A White House spokesman ruled out the possibility of any U.S. military cooperation with Russia in Syria. U.S. officials say it is now clear their goals in Syria are no longer compatible with Russia’s, a view echoed by some analysts.
Russia has increased its military presence in Syria and announced plans to maintain bases there indefinitely.