The talks are being moderated by Syrian government ally Russia, in the capital city of a former Soviet republic, without US involvement, at a time when military conditions on the ground put the ball firmly in Russia’s court.
Terror has once again struck in Turkey. Tuesday's coordinated attack by three suicide gunmen at Istanbul's Ataturk Airport killed 44 people and injured around 240. It was the latest in a string of terror attack in Turkey in the past year, and a worrying demonstration of the country's deepening security crisis.
No group has taken responsibility for the attack, but the Turkish government has blamed ISIS. Indeed, all indications point to ISIS.
Just what Syria needed – another military actor on the battlefield. After a three-week military buildup of about 30 warplanes in the northwestern coastal city of Lattakia in Syria, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's ally Russia began airstrikes in the country's central provinces late Wednesday Syrian time.
Russian Government footage of Russian air strikes in Syria.
Monday's suicide bombing in the Turkish town of Sucuc on the Syrian border, blamed on militants from ISIS, marks a significant deterioration in Turkey's national security.
While not the first attack blamed on Islamist militants inside Turkey's borders, it was the deadliest in two years, killing at least 32 people and injuring more than 100 others in the tiny border town.
Syria's war has dramatically moved within Turkish borders for the first time.