In an effort to shore up the ongoing ceasefire and to bolster the new peace talks in Astana, Kazakhstan, Russia, Turkey, and Iran have reached an agreement on a mechanism for monitoring reported violations of the ceasefire in Syria, amid ongoing accusations of violations by the rebel delegation.
Though the ceasefire has dramatically reduced the amount of fighting in Syria., the rebels have been complaining from day one of non-stop violations, mostly centering on attacks against al-Qaeda’s Nusra Front. Though Nusra is explicitly excluded from the ceasefire, the rebel leadership has argued that since Nusra officially changed its name that no longer applies.
The Assad government was quick to endorse the plan to enforce the ceasefire more strictly, while rebels complained about allowing Iran to be one of the parties enforcing it, though the three nations were the ones who got the ceasefire in place in the first place.
The peace talks began Monday in Astana, with the first face-to-face meeting between rebels and government officials of the entire civil war. This didn’t last long, with both trading condemnation and quickly adjourning to alternative rooms for indirect talks.