Few Violations as Syrian Ceasefire Takes Effect

Southern Rebels Kill Four Soldiers After Deadline

by Jason Ditz, September 12, 2016

The Syrian ceasefire came into effect this evening across the nation, and despite a handful of claims of violations, it appears to have largely been intact. Across the country there is considerable tension, and many expect the deal to fail, but there is also calm.

The largest reported incident of fighting was in the far southern Daraa Province, where southern rebels who were supposed to be part of the ceasefire bragged of killing four soldiers after it was supposed to have gone into effect.

Helicopter strikes were also reported against the rebel-held half of Aleppo, though since that area is held by the Nusra Front, which is not a party to the ceasefire, it is unclear if they actually amounts to a violation or not.

The plan is for the ceasefire to last for seven days, leading to joint US-Russian operations against Islamist factions within Syria. This presumably will include attacks on Nusra as well as ISIS, though details are relatively scant on the matter.

There is also some hope it would lead to peace talks which might resolve the war, though this appears to be a real longshot, and getting the rebels to even agree to participate in peace negotiations has historically been all but impossible, and filled with preconditions demanding unilateral government surrender before the talks.

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