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Russia Sees Syria War Endgame Stretch to 2017 as Talks Renew

  • Talks in Vienna Saturday seek to jump-start political process
  • Russia, Western powers try to agree on terrorist list
Syrian opposition forces during clashes with IS militants near Aleppo, Syria on Nov. 05, 2015.

Syrian opposition forces during clashes with IS militants near Aleppo, Syria on Nov. 05, 2015.

Photographer: Huseyin Nasir/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
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Russia will propose a political transition in Syria lasting as long as 18 months at the next round of talks starting Saturday in Vienna, where diplomats will resume the search for a settlement to the country’s civil war.

Russia, which has entered the conflict on the side of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, will also seek United Nations backing for a wide coalition to carry out airstrikes against Islamic State militants, according to a draft proposal obtained by Bloomberg. The plan may encounter opposition from the U.S. and its allies, who say the Russian intervention is geared more toward propping up Assad than defeating the jihadists.