The ceasefire agreement between Syria and the main opposition groups is holding, so say media reports thus far, although the truce will not prevent terrorists such as Al Nusra, and others aligned with ISIS from launching attacks against the Kurdish fighters in the north, as they are not included in the diplomatic negotiations.
Armed opposition groups fighting Syrian President Bashar Assad said they will respect the two-week truce which began at midnight local time on Feb. 26. They warned, however, that the government must not launch attacks in the name of fighting terrorism.
Observers worry that the increasing military buildup by Turkey at its border with Syria signals continued shelling by Turkish troops into Syria amidst claims that Kurdish separatists have fired into Turkish territory.
The Syrian High Negotiations Committee said that more than 100 armed groups have supported the truce agreement Sputnik reported.
Speaking at a meeting of officials from Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB), Russian President Vladimir Putin said the peace process would be difficult, but stressed that there are no alternatives.
On Feb 25, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said that Moscow is not discussing alternative plans for a political settlement in Syria.
“We’re perplexed by our Western partners, the U.S. 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 U.S.-Russia brokered ceasefire was announced on February 22 by Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. 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.
The BBC reports: “ Meanwhile, the UN special envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura has announced that peace talks will resume on 7 March if the truce “largely holds”.
Mr de Mistura said he had no doubt “there will be no shortage of attempts to undermine this process.This will remain a complicated, painstaking process,” he told the UN Security Council via videoconference from Geneva.
Source: This report was com-
piled with information from RT.com.