Syria Fighting Escalates Days Ahead of Ceasefire

Last Minute Offensives Vie for Extra Territory

Last week, a deal reached in Munich scheduled the start of a ceasefire in the Syrian Civil War, which is set for the next few days. As is so often the case with these ceasefires that are set many days in the future, it has led to increased fighting in the interim.

We’ve seen this time and again in ceasefires around the world, with the various factions pushing hard in these final days before a pause in the hopes of seizing a little extra territory, or taking a position that would give them a strategic advantage when (no faction ever says if) the fighting resumes.

To that end, Syrian troops seized a small village that overlooks a string of rebel-held Aleppo towns, while the rebels are pushing hard on several fronts. Even Turkey, which wasn’t a direct combatant force, started attacking targets this weekend.

The US is urging some of the factions to halt attacks, particularly urging Turkey to stop hitting the Kurds and Russia to stop hitting everybody. It seems inevitable that the fighting is going to keep going right up until the deadline, and in some cases likely a bit after.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.