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US and Russia agree to enforce Syria cessation of hostilities

john kerry

Washington: The US and Russia have agreed on a “cessation of hostilities” which is set to start on midnight Saturday, on 27 February. It is the second such proposal in as many weeks. The first proposal for a cessation of hostilities ended last week before it even began.

The agreement between the Syrian government and groups fighting it in a deal has not included the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group and the al-Nusra Front deemed to be terrorist organisations.

The agreement is signed on Monday which called on all the sides to sign up to the agreement by midday on February 26 and to stop fighting by midnight.

The Syrian Opposition High Negotiations Committee (HNC), Riad Hijab said in a statement thay. “He does not expect the Assad regime Russia and Iran to cease hostilities due to their realisation that the regime’s survival depends on the continuation of its campaign of oppression killing and forced displacement,” the syement further said.

“Therefore the regime and its allies will continue to derail the political process and evade the inevitable.”

“The United States and the Russian Federation together call upon all Syrian parties, regional states and others in the international community to support the immediate cessation of violence and bloodshed in Syria,” the statement said.

John Kerry, the US secretary of state said “this is a moment of promise,” adding “I am gratified to see the final arrangements concluded today for a cessation of hostilities in Syria and call on all parties to accept and fully comply with its terms. If implemented and adhered to, this cessation will not only lead to a decline in violence, but also continue to expand the delivery of urgently needed humanitarian supplies to besieged areas and support a political transition to a government that is responsive to the desires of the Syrian people”.

President Barack Obama said on a phone call with Russian president that he welcomed the agreement between the US, Russia and the International Syrian Support Group (ISSG) on the ceasefire’s terms, but stressed that “the priority was now to ensure positive responses by the Syrian regime and armed opposition as well as faithful implementation by all parties”.

More than 150 people killed and more than 200 wounded in the destructive bombings in Homs and Damascus as the agreement brokered between the two superpowers.

Syria’s civil war started five years ago when initially peaceful protests against Assad’s rule gave way to a war that has killed at least 250,000 people and forced millions from the country.

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