Syrian Rebel Group Withdraws From Ceasefire

Accuses Russia of 'Lack of Commitment' to Truce

by Jason Ditz, January 30, 2017

A rebel faction in the northern Hama Province, which mostly has fought to capture villages populated by religious minorities in the area, has announced that they are withdrawing from the Turkey-Russia ceasefire today, blaming Russia for a “lack of commitment.”

The ceasefire has largely been holding, and the rebels involved in the Astana peace talks agreed to extend the ceasefire just days prior. Previously, there had been arguments about whether or not al-Qaeda’s Nusra Front was a party to the ceasefire, as Syrian forces kept attacking them.

This appears to have been resolved with the text of the ceasefire confirming Nusra was never intended to be part of the deal, and Nusra attacking rebels who went to the peace talks on the grounds that they were “conspiring” against them.

It’s unclear exactly where Jaish al-Ezza, the rebel faction that withdrew, stands in the ongoing fighting between the anti-Nusra coalition that formed last week and Nusra’s own coalition, which formed yesterday, but being at least a little bit south of the Idlib Province allows them to play both sides without being directly involved.

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