Saturday, 27 February 2016

BREAKING: Syria ceasefire takes affect

Syria ceasefire takes effect 

 

following UNSC 


endorsement

© Iliya Pitalev

The US-Russian truce deal on “cessation of hostilities” in Syria came into effect at midnight Damascus time. The ceasefire does not apply to Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL), Al-Nusra, or “other terrorist organizations” designated by the UN.

Earlier on Friday, the United Nations Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution urging all parties involved in Syrian civil war to adhere to the terms of the US-Russian deal.

The US-Russia brokered ceasefire was first announced on February 22 by Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Barack Obama.

Under the “Terms for a Cessation of Hostilities in Syria,”  the participants of the agreement are obligated to “cease attacks with any weapons, including rockets, mortars, and anti-tank guided missiles”and “refrain from acquiring or seeking to acquire territory from other parties to the ceasefire.They must also allow unhindered and sustainedaccess to humanitarian assistance missions and employ only “proportional forcein self-defense against those not party to the agreement.

"The truce will be monitored by a task force co-chaired by Moscow and Washington. Russia and the US are to “work together to exchange pertinent information,” such as up-to-date maps indicating which sides have agreed to the ceasefire, and where they are located.


Earlier on Friday, the Syrian opposition taking part in the Geneva talks announced that they would respect the truce.

The High Negotiations Committee (HNC) confirms the agreement of the Free Syrian Army factions and the armed opposition to a temporary truce from midnight Saturday,” an HNC statement said, as quoted by Reuters.

Damascus has supported the ceasefire, but says it will not tolerate terrorists exploiting it in order to restore their positions or receive support from abroad.

DETAILS TO FOLLOW

Syrian opposition groups agree to respect two-week truce

Free Syrian Army fighters © Khalil Ashawi

RT,
26 February, 2016

Armed opposition groups fighting Syrian President Bashar Assad say they will respect a two-week truce which begins at midnight local time on Friday. They warned, however, that the government must not launch attacks in the name of fighting terrorism.
"The High Negotiations Committee (HNC) confirms the agreement of the Free Syrian Army factions and the armed opposition to a temporary truce from midnight Saturday," an HNC statement said, as quoted by Reuters.




However, the HNC said the government and its allies must not use the "proposed text to continue the hostile operations against the opposition factions under the excuse of fighting terrorism.”

The HNC said that more than 100 armed groups have supported the truce agreement, and that it will circulate a list of those which have agreed later on Friday, Sputnik reported. 

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced on Friday that he had received information that all parties expected to take part in the ceasefire have said they are ready to do so, according to Russian media. 

Speaking at a meeting of officials from Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB), Putin said the peace process would be difficult, but stressed that there are no alternatives. 

On Thursday, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanovsaid that Moscow is not discussing alternative plans for a political settlement in Syria. 

We’re perplexed by our Western partners, the US included, mentioning the existence of some kind of ‘Plan B,’ Nothing is known on that one, we are considering no alternative plans,” Bognanov told the ‘Middle East: From Violence to Security’ conference in Moscow.

The US-Russia brokered ceasefire was announced on February 22 by Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Barack Obama. It does not apply to Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL), Jabhat al-Nusra, or “other terrorist organizations designated by the UN Security Council,” according to a joint statement

It will apply to the Syrian government, "moderate" opposition fighters, and Kurds, all of whom will be required to lay down their arms.

The truce will be monitored by a task force co-chaired by Moscow and Washington.
 


My litmus test for western media is the Guardian. The US is obviously expecting it to fail and are preparing their imperial “Plan B” - actually Plan A

Syrian ceasefire begins but US expecting violations

Complex ceasefire deal agreed by Russia and US, which excludes large areas of country, began at midnight local time

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