Secretary of State John Kerry is spreading optimism regarding developments in Syria. In Paris he told reporters that the Vienna talks on the future of Syria were “a gigantic step“.

There were no Syrians present at the conference, neither rebels, nor any representatives of the Assad regime.

It is precisely on the fate of the latter, that no compromise could be found so far. While Russia is trying to keep Mr Assad in power in Damascus, Western countries have ruled out any kind of cooperation with the Syrian President.

In order to fight ISIS as effectively as possible, the US, Britain, and France have said that they want to follow a “twin-track strategy“. This means diplomacy on the one hand, and increased efforts step up the fight against the Islamic State on the other.