Tenuous peace negotiations are ongoing between the Assad government and a representative of the Syrian opposition in Geneva, supervised by Russia.

Russia is playing head diplomat within the United Nations-backed peace talks, which have had a rocky track record over the past few years. Historically, these peace talks have done nothing to abate the fighting and violence throughout Syria.

In these latest rounds of talks, a key sticking point has been the transition of power within the Syrian government. In past negotiations, representatives of the Syrian opposition have insisted that any peace deal would require the removal of President Bashar al-Assad from the government.

Assad officials have soundly refused to concede that point, arguing that the issue is a ‘red line’ for the government.