A man inspects a site that contained a drinking water well, damaged by what activists said was an airstrike carried out by the Russian air force, in the rebel-controlled area of Al Ghariya village, Syria, November 12, 2015.
Alaa Al-Faqir / Reuters

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has made it clear that he has no interest in negotiating with rebels, whom he considers “terrorists.” His allies, Moscow and Tehran, also continue to rebuff demands for him to step down. So did it matter that, last week, members of the Syrian opposition repeated their calls for Assad’s removal in a conference in Riyadh? It is hardly consequential in the near term. But the conference’s goal—to put the Syrian opposition’s house in order—is a worthy one. In fact, it is critical for international efforts to end the civil war.


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