US, Russia strike deal on Syria ‘cessation of hostilities’

By Luke Vargas   
Published
Satellite imagery shows military helicopters parked at Russia's Khmeimim airbase near the Syrian city of Latakia. Imagery: 2016, DigitalGlobe
Satellite imagery shows military helicopters parked at Russia's Khmeimim airbase near the Syrian city of Latakia. Imagery: 2016, DigitalGlobe

Pause in fighting is slated to begin on Saturday

UNITED NATIONS (Talk Media News) – The United States and Russia agreed to the provisional terms of a “nationwide cessation of hostilities” for Syria on Monday, announcing that a pause in fighting is slated to enter into effect on Saturday, February 27th.

The major limitations of the deal identified in recent weeks of negotiations – namely its lack of applicability to terrorist groups and the freedom for the U.S., Russian and Syrian armed forces to continue bombing groups they define as terrorists – remain in place. It also remains unclear exactly which Syrian opposition groups are bound to the agreement.

Secretary of State John Kerry admitted as much, noting that the U.S. “will be working to secure commitments from key parties that they will abide by the arms of this cessation of hostilities.”

The agreement has nonetheless drawn praise from the United Nations, which praised it as “a first step towards a more durable ceasefire.”

“Above all, it is a long-awaited signal of hope to the Syrian people that after five years of conflict there may be an end to their suffering in sight,” spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric said.

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