US, Russia Broker 48-Hour Ceasefire in Syria’s Aleppo

Russia Sees al-Qaeda's Nusra Front as Threat to Calm

As the ceasefire elsewhere in the country begins to expire, Russia and the United States have brokered a 48-hour ceasefire in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo, where two weeks of firing between military and rebel factions have killed nearly 300 civilians, and hit several hospitals.

US officials are continuing to “warn” the Assad government about the ceasefire, though there has been reported shelling since the pact was announced. They insisted that they would hold Assad responsible for any violations.

Russia’s Defense Ministry, by contrast, sees al-Qaeda’s Nusra Front as a major threat to the truce, accusing them of thwarting previous efforts to get a ceasefire in place in that city. In the city, materially all the rebels are either with Nusra Front or are allied with them.

The presence of the al-Qaeda affiliate has been a big problem in the city, as they were previously, deliberately excluded to the ceasefire, which meant all factions could attack them freely without violating the ceasefire. Despite this, the US has repeatedly accused Assad of “violations” for military attacks on al-Qaeda.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.