Equipo Nizkor
        Bookshop | Donate
Derechos | Equipo Nizkor       


U.S. and Russia Set Date for Cease-Fire in Syria to Begin

The United States and Russia on Monday announced plans for a nationwide cessation of hostilities in Syria, the latest effort in what has been a fruitless diplomatic campaign to halt the five-year-old civil war.

The cease-fire, which would take effect on Feb. 27, does not apply to two of the most lethal extremist groups, the Islamic State and the Nusra Front, raising questions about whether it will be any more successful than previous peace efforts.

President Obama called President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia on Monday to discuss the terms of the agreement, but the White House acknowledged that obstacles remained. "This is going to be difficult to implement," said Josh Earnest, the White House press secretary.

Secretary of State John Kerry, who has been heavily involved in previous negotiations on Syria, reacted with similar caution. In a statement Monday, Mr. Kerry did not mention the Feb. 27 date and said that although the agreement represented a "moment of promise," the "fulfillment of that promise depends on actions."

The agreement calls for the Syrian government and the armed opposition to indicate by Friday whether they will comply with the cease-fire. The United States and Russia have agreed to set up a hotline to monitor the compliance of both sides.

Analysts said the agreement was less an effort to end the fighting in Syria than to ease the bloodshed enough to allow more humanitarian aid to reach stricken cities like Aleppo.

"Washington's stated policy is not to end the Syrian war," said Andrew J. Tabler, an expert on Syria at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. "They just want to settle it down so it boils a little more slowly. It's yet another attempt to contain a conflict that has been uncontainable."

[Source: By Mark Landler, The New York Times, Washington, 22Feb16]

Bookshop Donate Radio Nizkor

Syria War
small logoThis document has been published on 23Feb16 by the Equipo Nizkor and Derechos Human Rights. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.