Syrian Deputy Prime Minister Qadri Jamil was yesterday given the boot for holding meetings "without coordinating with the government," the New York Times reports. The meetings in question? The one he had with the US ambassador to Syria on Saturday may be at the top of the list; the Times notes Jamil was canned shortly after telling Russian media about it. Jamil has been an outspoken proponent of negotiating a peace deal to end the country's civil war. Meanwhile, Bashar al-Assad has told the UN that peace talks will go nowhere unless countries stop providing aid to rebel forces, Reuters reports. "The success of any political solution is tied to stopping support for terrorist groups and pressuring their patron states," Assad told UN envoy Lakhdar Brahimi.
This may all be irrelevant if rebels don't show up for the talks, which are penciled in for Nov. 23. A spokesman for the main rebel alliance, the Supreme Military Council, says it will only attend if the goal of the meeting is to end the Assad regime. "We want this bloodbath to end, but we want a clear guarantee this Geneva II will end the war in Syria, that Bashar al-Assad will have no future in Syria or any kind of solution," he says, per USA Today. Assad, on the other hand, says he will only attend if there are no preconditions for the talks, Reuters reports. (Read more Bashar al-Assad stories.)