At sundown on Monday a cease fire took effect in Syria.
The cease fire was the subject of intense negotiations between Russia and the United States. The two parties had met several times over the course of weeks. Even though the two sides did not see eye to eye with regard to the situation.
After a third attempt at coming up with a cease fire deal, there was success. And the deal was announced with hope for a week of peace. A week that would allow for help to reach those in need.
The Cease Fire Violated
The cease fire was set up to begin on the first day of the holiday of Eid al-Adha. In the hope that the Muslim holiday would act as an incentive to cease hostilities.
Syria had just seen a weekend of fighting. And a president that stated that he wants to take back the entire country.
But violations of the truce took place just a few hours after officials announced the cease fire.
Residents in Aleppo said that a helicopter that looked like a government helicopter dropped explosive cylinders on the city. In an area that a rebel group controls.
A rebel faction in the province of Dara’a in the south of Syria issued a statement about their exploits. Announcing that they had killed four soldiers belonging to government forces.
Over the weekend there was little sign that the two sides of the conflict were ready to put down their weapons. Ahead of the start of the scheduled cease fire. On the contrary, the fighting seemed to intensify.
According to records by groups working in the area, there was a significant number of victims over the weekend. In just two days, almost 100 people were killed in areas controlled by rebel groups.
The Cease Fire Agreement
The cease fire deal is valid for seven days. Under the terms of the agreement, the truce should allow for space to maneuver. And achieve certain objectives.
The United States and Russia have agreed to collaborate on airstrikes. To work together on hitting against jihadist militants.
During this time, the Syrian air force will remain grounded. And will not fly over areas held by insurgents.
In the conflict, the United States and Russia support two opposing forces. The United States supports the alliance formed by rebel groups. Russia supports the government and President Bashar al-Assad. But both the United States and Russia are against the Islamic State. And against the Al-Nusra militants. That are gaining ground in Syria.
Bashar al-Assad made use of the cease fire deal. He promised victory in the country’s civil war that has been going on for five years now. As a show of strength, he visited Damascus. Specifically, a suburb of the city that had been under the control of rebels until only last month.
The loss of the suburb of Daraya strengthened Assad’s position. The Syrian President visited the place and a mosque in the area. Government news media and state television reported on today’s visit .
Image source: here.