The war has also created a power struggle outside of Syria, with Russia supporting Syrian President Bashar Assad although it says it is helping the international alliance fighting IS. Russia's Prime Minister Medvedev said the U.S. and its Arab partners should reconsider any kind of land operations.
"The Americans and our Arab partners must think well: do they want a permanent war? Do they think they can really quickly win it? It is impossible, especially in the Arab world. Everyone is fighting against everyone there," Medvedev added in the newspaper interview.
The comments came on the eve of a summit of the International Syria Support Group (ISSG) in Munich on Thursday where major powers aimed at coming to an agreement on a cessation of hostilities.
Early on Friday morning, a communique was released in which the group – which includes the Arab League, EU, U.S., Russia and United Nations among others, said that a ceasefire would start in one week although the fight against militant groups like IS and al-Nusra would continue. There was also no agreement to end Russian airstrikes, which have been accused of widely targeting rebel groups attacking Assad's forces, rather than focusing on IS.
The group stressed the importance of enabling humanitarian aid across Syria too to help thousands of civilians caught in the fighting.
In a statement, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said that the end of the conflict in Syria would only come with when the parties involved agreed "on a plan for a political transition…And we have no illusions about how difficult that is."
"No one here is following some pipe dream in this effort. People fully understand that compromise will be necessary, that it will be essential to resolve very tough issues that are outstanding. But without a political transition it is not possible to achieve peace," he said.